The article is an attempt at presenting the role cultural education played in folk high school type of educational institutions for over more than a hundred years of their existence. It shows the process of gradual involvement of folk high schools in performing cultural tasks. Originally they focused on other things – mainly on awakening civil awareness of peasants. The author distinguishes three periods in the world’s history of the relations between FHS and cultural education: the first one – which emphasised the necessity of building new cultural awareness of residents of rural areas in the spirit of agrarism (19th and the beginning of 20th century); second – during which a new type of folk high school appears in many countries – FHS groups of interest, emphasising meeting the cultural needs of their social communities (since the turn of the 1960s and the 1970s); third – during which they began to be institutions available for everyone (folk high school for all), organizing various types of leisure time activities – including a wide cultural offer (till the present). The author concludes that the evolution of the place of cultural education in folk high schools sketched in the article (Poland was 20 years behind in this respect) shows that we have reached such a phase of FHS development in many countries that the institutions can constitute important elements of cultural animation in the region in which they function. The author also encourages individual regional communities in various parts of the world to use that proven in action educational concept when they plan modern educational activities connected with cultural activity.