7.3 Status and partnerships of public cultural institutions
In 2000, several laws were changed and amended to reflect the intentions of the then new government to embark on a process of decentralising responsibility for culture. The right to appoint and approve directors and to found a public institution has been transferred from the state to the counties, towns and municipalities. Cultural institutions are now usually founded by towns, more rarely by counties, and sometimes by the wealthier municipalities.
The status and number of state-owned institutions has remained almost unchanged. The experiences in privatising cultural industries (especially publishing) markedly slowed down or stopped the process of privatisation. However, public cultural institutions have not been closed. The legislation in force prescribes that every decision to close an institution must be approved by the Ministry of Culture; a provision to preserve the existing level of cultural infrastructure.
Since November 2006, income tax is no longer collected in the cities where companies have their headquarters (mostly in the capital city of Zagreb) but rather in the cities where the income is being made. This could have some impact on the funding of culture, but the recent available data does not provide enough information.
In 2000, co-operation was established between the Ministry of Culture and the Open Society – Croatia (Soros Foundation), a partnership that offered significant support to the non-profit cultural sector. The most important project was the development of a national cultural information portal CultureNet.hr Croatia. It was originally realised as a joint venture between the Ministry of Culture, Open Society – Croatia Institute, Croatian Telecommunications, Microsoft Croatia and the European Cultural Foundation. Today, CultureNet Croatia is a portal managed by the Ministry of Culture as part of its regular activities. Other projects that could be mentioned are the establishment of a modern dance centre, support for publishing houses and programmes, establishment of the Institute for Contemporary Arts (SCCA-Zagreb), the development of CLUBTURE network, etc.
An interesting example of a hybrid cultural institution is POGON – Centre for Independent Culture and Youth, Zagreb, which is based on a new model of public-civil partnership. Pogon's founders are the Alliance Operation City and the City of Zagreb.
A more significant contribution to recent culture funding comes from donations and sponsorship, particularly of large companies such as Adris, T-COM, VIPnet, Filip Trade, B-net, and banks (e.g. ERSTE Bank Croatia, Hypo Alpe Adria Bank Croatia, ZagrebaÄka banka, etc.). The precise amounts and / or indication of trends cannot, however, be given due to lack of statistical data. These contributions are given mostly on a project basis. It has to be noted that in 2010 and 2011, the funds have narrowed down, as a consequence of the global recession.
There was a significant increase in the number of cultural festivals and manifestations in the last two decades. According to data of the MEDIA Desk Croatia, there are currently over 40 film festivals in Croatia. Alongside traditional festivals and events – new partnerships emerged. Several large international cultural events that have a long tradition are: Dubrovnik Summer Festival; Animafest – festival of animation (established 40 years ago as a biennale, and since 2005 is functioning as an annual event); International Children's Festival Šibenik that celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2010; Vinkovci Autumn folklore event established in 1974, the International Festival of New Theatre – EUROKAZ (since 1987), Dance Week Festival (since 1984), Music Biennale since 1961, etc. Some of these traditional events established themselves as cultural institutions. New partnerships forged from private and public funds have resulted in important new cultural events that have established themselves on the international scene, such as: Motovun film festival, Zagreb film festival, Dance and Non-verbal Festival San Vincenti, Split Film festival, Urban Festival, Julian Rachlin and Friends Festival, to name a few.