Spain/ 8.4 Amateur arts, cultural associations and civil initiatives
8.4.3 Associations of citizens, advocacy groups, NGOs and advisory panels
Cultural associations are governed by the Rights of Association Act of 2002 (1/2002 Act), which is valid for all associations. Under this law, associations can benefit from a variety of incentives, particularly those declared as being of public interest. Aside from the incentives listed in the 1995 Ministerial Order on Cultural Voluntary Work, nationwide associations can apply to general subsidy programmes organised by the current State Secretariat for Culture. At the regional and local levels, cultural associations do not specifically feature in the budget allocations of the government, although they can apply for a variety of promotional grants and aid offered by regional cultural departments and, to a lesser extent, by regional youth institutes. However, the economic crisis has dramatically reduced the resources allocated to the third sector and for cultural activities.
Mention should be made of the neighbourhood associations, which play a key role in bringing people into contact with culture. 2 516 neighbourhood centres are currently in operation and are used as venues for a broad range of cultural projects.
Groups acting on issues related to artistic and cultural rights in recent years are for example:
- Women Artists' Platform Against Gender Violence, a group that since 1999 has been the representative in politics and society to increase pressure and awareness of this issue, besides being a promoter and defender of Culture for Peace;
- Platform for the Defence of Arts Education, founded in March 2007, by teachers in Asturias in response to the intention of the Ministry of Education of this region to reduce the presence of Music Education and Visual Arts in primary and secondary education level;
- Coalition of Creators and Content Industries, created in 2008, with the aim to lobby for tightening of the intellectual property law and other measures against file sharing on P2P networks. It consists of several associations that are linked to authors and to the music and film industries in Spain;
- Association of EMA' ideas, a non-profit organisation composed of artists of all disciplines initiated in 2000 to revitalise the collective spaces for artistic creation in Barcelona (Catalonia);
- Prou! Platform (Enough! Platform) that, through a popular legislative initiative, won a law reform to abolish bullfighting in Catalonia from 2012;
- the Circle of Culture, created in October 2010 in Catalonia, with the aim of being a "moral lobby" to ensure that culture recovers greater social and political centrality;
- the Pact for Culture group, composed of relevant national entities representing different cultural sectors. In late 2010, it proposed to the government and society a pact for culture. At a time of public funds cuts in the cultural sector, this group advocates the need to reach a pact on behalf of culture as a growth factor of the Spanish economy and society (http://16y17diciembre.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/cc-pacto-por-la-cultura-v-43.pdf);
- +CULTURE movement, composed of cultural groups and professional associations, as well as civil society, is located in the autonomous region of Aragon and its main objective is to raise awareness about the need to defend and promote culture as a common heritage, as well as to claim support for the cultural work of public institutions;
- the Performing Arts and Audiovisual Platform, which includes associations of producers and alternative venues, was created in mid-2012 with the aim of combating the rise of VAT on culture; and
- the Valencian Platform for Culture, composed of relevant associations of the Valencian Community, is the first group of this type created in Spain in order to combat the rise of VAT on culture.
Chapter published: 08-03-2013