8.4.1 Amateur arts and folk culture
Local authorities play a key role in supporting cultural associations and local cultural activities. Volunteer associations make a significant contribution to local cultural life and they play a major role promoting theatrical performances, book fairs, film shows and folklore.
The Regional Directorates for Culture (Ministry of Culture) provide support to local non professional agents and projects in the traditional cultural domain (Regulatory Decree n. 34/2007).
The work of the INATEL Foundation should also be mentioned here. The new legal framework for this private foundation of public utility was established by the PRACE restructuring (see chapter 1, chapter 3.1 and chapter 7.1).
Presently, under the guidance of the Ministry of Labour and Social Solidarity, INATEL Foundation aims to offer social services, in the areas of social and senior tourism, and social and senior spas. The foundation also provides technical and financial assistance to collective associates in the fields of ethnography, folklore, music, theatre and cinema and promotes cultural events such as festivals, conferences and performing arts productions.
The work of INATEL Foundation involves around 250 000 individual associates and 3 500 collective associates as well as a network of social hotels and a permanent structure of social and senior tourism and other facilities (a theatre and sport facilities).
Several competitions in artistic creativity are carried out annually covering areas such as video, visual arts, choral, philharmonic and orchestral music, new drama, story-telling and ethnography.
Recently, special attention has been given to training of associative managers and artistic performers. A specific programme was launched aimed to promote several workshops and brief courses all over the country regarding artistic and ethnographic issues. Technical visits to collective associates (e.g. philharmonics; folklore groups and amateur theatre groups) are also promoted in order to i) understand the main issues they face today and ii) guide their activity and performances in technical terms.
National Support Plans, which are organised for the areas of ethnography, music, and amateur theatre, include financial support as well as provision of equipment (such as musical instruments, light and sound equipment, footwear and traditional costumes) to collective associations with the objective of encouraging and developing their artistic activity.