In Austria, the fine arts comprise fine art, architecture, design, fashion and photography. The promotion of contemporary art has been an increasingly important focus for about ten to fifteen years and has been explicitly anchored in the latest government programmes. Particular attention is paid to promoting the internationalisation and mobility of Austrian artists. The government promotes the creative work of artists as well as its processing, presentation and placement through associations and institutions in the fields of fine arts, architecture, design, fashion and photography. The aim is both to secure what is tried and tested and to establish new impulses and make new developments possible.
Current federal grants include a partial financing of annual programmes of Austrian associations and artist groups that have a continuous exhibition programme, the support of individuals and associations for exhibitions, projects at home and abroad, publications and grants for travel and transport costs. In addition, there are scholarships for artists to prepare, conceptualise or realise artistic projects at home and abroad in the form of state scholarships, start-up scholarships, foreign studio scholarships or domestic studios. Indirect support is provided through gallery support in the form of museum purchases and foreign trade-fair support, purchases and prizes as well as the special mentoring programme for women (see chapter 7.2.1). The IG Bildende Kunst interest group represents the interests of visual artists in Austria, initiates debates on cultural policy, intervenes in decision-making processes that affect the work and lives of visual artists. It offers advice and “survival training” for women artists with regard to social security, tax, residence and employment, copyright and exploitation, fees etc. It advocates the freedom of art and the importance of art for society and offers networking and support for artist-in-residencies and exhibitions.