COMPENDIUM CULTURAL POLICIES AND TRENDS IN EUROPE
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Spain/ 8.2 Cultural consumption and participation  

8.2.2 Policies and programmes

One of the main objectives of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, included in the General Strategic Plan 2012-2015 of the State Secretariat for Culture, is to encourage cultural participation, which it hopes to achieve through initiatives such as the plans to encourage reading; Christmas programming of state-owned museums and also the promotion of their visit through social networks; the loan of artworks among museums and art centres; concert, theatre and dance tours; the programme of subsidies for promoting the performing arts and live music performances and online accessibility of many cultural resources, among others. The evaluation of some of these programmes shows how they have contributed to the increase in cultural consumption levels, as indicated in chapter 8.2.1.

Among the initiatives of the Ministry of Culture (today Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport) to inform the public about cultural activities are the Ministry's Portal and the canal Cultura (Culture Channel) that, through Youtube, allows access to audiovisual content on the cultural activity carried out by the current State Secretariat for Culture and its institutions.

Traditionally the main initiatives to foster participation in culture at the regional level are those based on the building or restoration of performing arts institutions, mainly as part of the National Plan of Rehabilitation of Theatres and Concert Halls, or the establishment of networks for the performing arts and music circulation. Contemporary arts centres built in recent times and some symphonic orchestras and auditoriums also carry out activities aimed at generating new concert- or exhibition-goers by means of introductory programmes for potential enthusiasts. There are numerous initiatives to promote cultural participation and consumption at the regional level. This is the case of the "Abecedaria Programme", an initiative of the Andalusian Department of Education, Culture and Sport that started in 2001, and that in September 2009 received the award for the most effective action to create audiences in Spain, given by the International Fair of Theatre and Dance in Huesca (Aragon, 23rd Edition). "Abecedaria" is a circuit of performing arts, music and audiovisual performances for students in the Andalusian municipalities that adhere to the programme. With the aim of promoting the market for artistic and cultural production, the Department of Culture of the Basque Country launched until 2012 the so-called "Culture Bonus" which subsidised the purchase of cultural products. With this initiative, the user paid for a culture bonus of EUR 25 and got a purchase value of EUR 40. It could be used to purchase books and music media, as well as tickets for museums, theatre and other cultural events. In 2013 and 2014, the Provincial Council of Bizkaia (in the Basque Country) launched a similar programme, the "Kultur Txartela", with a purchase value of EUR 40. It aims at promoting cultural consumption and establishes different amounts of the bonus depending on the product or service to be purchased: products in the Basque language (EUR 24), followed by shows and museums (EUR 28), and any cultural product (EUR 32). In 2014, Extremadura gave out a "Cultural Bonus" of EUR 32 for young people (18-30 years old European Citizens, holders of a European Young Card issued by Extremadura) to be spent on cultural goods and services. Also targeted at young people, the second edition of "Escena 25" was developed in Catalonia, offering a subsidy of EUR 25 per head to increase attendance at performing arts of people 18-25 years.

To increase cultural consumption among young people, the Youth Institute and its replicas at the regional level distribute the "Euro<26 Card", which gives youth discounts of between 10% and 100% on tickets for museums, theatres, cinemas and music festivals. There are also discounts available for pensioners and students, usually provided by local authorities, including free entrance to museums and discounts on cinema and theatre tickets. For example, the National Drama Centre has launched the campaign "Young Minute", by which young people under the age of 30 can purchase tickets at reduced prices (75% discount) during the 30 minutes prior to the performances.

With the aim of encouraging attendance at movie theatres, two recent private initiatives have been launched by the most representative associations of the film industry. The first edition of the "Festival of Cinema" was launched during three days at the end of 2013, in which the tickets had a price of EUR 2.90. Following the success of this initiative, in 2014, the campaign "Wednesdays at Cinema" was launched allowing viewers to go to the cinema on Wednesdays, from January 15 until April 15, at a special price. Both initiatives aimed at promoting film culture and facilitating attendance to cinemas, in a context of economic crisis and increase of the VAT entries, have been very successful. In collaboration with the National Institute of Film and Audiovisual Arts (ICAA), both initiatives have scheduled new editions.

In terms of preserving audiovisual heritage, the Spanish Film Archive, established in 1953, is entrusted with the custody of the Spanish film heritage. Dependent on the ICAA, its mission is to recover, research, preserve and promote awareness of Spain's film heritage. Among the initiatives carried out by the Spanish Film Archive there is the signature of agreements with universities for the training of students through internship programmes and participation in postgraduate courses. Although the dissemination of film heritage is primarily carried out by the DoréCinema, the Spanish Film Archive, jointly with rtve.es, have launched the largest Spanish Audiovisual Archive on the Internet. Moreover, at the end of 2013, the new Centre for the Conservation of Film Collections of the Spanish Film Archive has opened its doors in Madrid to collect the films that were dispersed in various spaces of the Autonomous Community.

At regional level there are Film Archives in Andalusia, Aragon, Balearic Islands, the Basque Country, Canarias, Cantabria, Castile-La Mancha, Castile-Leon, Catalonia, Extremadura, Galicia, Murcia, and the Valencian Community. The Francisco Rabal Film Archive (Murcia) is leading the International Film and Heritage Festival, organised by the Department of Culture and Tourism of Murcia. This is an annual event dedicated to both the recovery of film heritage and the presentation of films that address the recovery, restoration, creation, awareness, interpretation and dissemination of cultural assets related to human activity. Also of note are the existence of the Museum of the Cinema in Gerona (Catalonia) and the Madrid Film Museum.


Chapter published: 24-06-2015

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