The federal cultural institutions (Bundesmuseen, National Library and Bundestheater, mostly based in Vienna) provide the backbone of Austria’s cultural life. They accommodate valuable world-renowned collections of cultural heritage and art productions at the highest level.
Public responsibilities for cultural affairs have been re-allocated by sector to different institutions or bodies. Depending on the allocated tasks and responsibilities, different models of institutions or partnerships have been adopted.
In 2002, the federal museums (as well as the Austrian National Library) were outsourced and since then managed as private law entities. They are owned by the federal state, who allocates the legally determined public subsidies. To better support their strategic alignment, a Bundesmuseen-Service-GmbH(as of 2020) provides strategic and planning aid.
The umbrella organisation of the Austrian federal theatres is the Bundestheater-Holding, (since 1999) owned and controlled by the state. The theatres are legally independent and the holding is responsible for the strategic management and the financial hedging according to the cultural policy mission.
Vienna has numerous other cultural institutions, like municipal facilities (Wien Museum, Kunsthalle), concert halls (Musikverein, Konzerthaus), private theatres (Vereinigte Bühnen Wien, brut Wien, Schauspielhaus), and many galleries, art and cultural centres, stages and venues. Each Bundesland has a publicly funded regional theatre, museums and galleries, e.g. the Landestheater Niederösterreich, the Stadttheater Klagenfurt, Kunsthaus Graz or the LENTOS Kunstmuseum Linz. In the cities and towns, there is a wide range of theatre stages as well as numerous self-managed cultural institutions, partly under agreements with different levels of government.