8.2.2 Policies and programmes
Since the broad definition of culture is used in the State Culture Policy Guidelines 2006-2015 and in the National Development Plan 2006-2013, participation in cultural life, at least in political documents, is linked to the issues of civic participation, citizenship, social capability, cohesion etc. The idea of a minimum standard of cultural services appropriate to a specific level of administrative territorial classification – is raised.
Support for participation in cultural life is offered through the project competitions and programmes of the Culture Capital Foundation, http://www.kkf.lv. The following programmes of the CCF specifically aim to increase participation in cultural life:
There is a Riga Card available that includes discounts for sightseeing tours, transport, and free entrance to most museums in Riga, http://www.rigacard.lv/.
Most of the museums have a free entrance day or hours each week. Museums do not require an entrance fee for children under 7 years and for other disadvantaged groups of society (children from large families, disabled persons etc.). Since 2001, Latvian museums also participate in the international museum action Printemps des Musées, in 2005 transformed into Nuit des Musées. Each year, the number of participating museums and audience increases. The number of museums involved in the "Museum Night" rose from 54 (in 2005) to 116 (in 2011). Also, other cultural institutions take part in the event and activities take place in the regions as well. In 2009, 95 museums welcomed 270 438 visitors, while in 2011, 116 museums were visited by 271 000 visitors.
Digitalisation of libraries has been a significant contribution to the accessibility of cultural services in regions. See chapter 4.2.11.
During the last decade, the number of films produced in Latvia increased, while the number of cinemas decreased from 90 in 1990 to 17 in 2010. The total number of screens has decreased from 1103 in 1990 to 63 in 2010 (source: Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia, NacionÄlais Kino centrs). In collaboration with the state agency "Cultural Information Systems", Latvian films are made available free of charge in 874 public libraries, via 4 000 computers all around Latvia. Another project "FilmBus" has been launched in cooperation with corporate sponsors: animated films for children will be shown free of charge in regional arts and cultural centres all over Latvia. The bus visited 144 towns and rural municipalities during the years 2009-2010 and the project is to be continued.
There are long traditions of Art Days and Poetry Days in Latvia – these include series of public events throughout Latvia which attract large audiences.