The aim of the involvement and participation of as many citizens as possible in art and culture is shared on many sides; political declarations of intent, laws, strategies and mission statements affirm this across all the bodies responsible for cultural policy. In order to reach more and broader strata of the population, different provisions and formats for audience development and art and cultural mediation have been initiated by cultural policy. Individual institutions also developed provisions and formats to open up new target groups and to lower barriers and enable participation for all.
The event Long Night of Museums was created in 2000, as an initiative of ORF (Austrian Broadcasting) and has been very successful in increasing the number of museum visits. Every year there are more than 400 000 visitors in about 800 museums, galleries and cultural institutions. Since 2000, a total of almost 5 million people have visited the Long Nights of the Museums. Visitors only need one ticket and there are buses to hop from museum to museum. Similarly successful is the Long Night of Music, also initiated by the ORF in 2001. Like so many others, these events could unfortunately not take place in 2020. Instead, an action week “ORF Museumszeit” in cooperation with a lot of museums and a broad media coverage was brought into being.
A particularly significant measure for the promotion of access to art and culture is the free admission to all federal museums for people up to the age of 19 as from 2009. This led to a rise in visitors of 15% in this age group.
Since 2018, there has been a joint annual ticket (Bundesmuseen-Card) for seven Austrian federal museums and the National Library. The annual season ticket for one admission to every federal museum and the National Library costs EUR 59.
The initiative Hungry for Art and Culture (see chapter 2.6), which includes more than 500 art and cultural institutions, is an important tool in promoting participation in culture, in particular the socially more disadvantaged sections of society.
The City of Vienna has launched the Cultural City Laboratories, an initiative in the field of decentralised culture, in order to revitalise the suburbs. The cultural city laboratories build on an existing network of cultural initiatives and cultural actors and focus on cooperation and synergies. In the coming years, cooperation projects between people, districts, artists and cultural institutions are to be realised. The city laboratories use art to deal with the individual districts and their population and are intended to create social spaces and invite involvement and participation. The pilot project started in 2019 in the twelve outer districts of Vienna with a total budget of EUR 700 000.
In Vienna and other federal provinces, on the Orchestra for All action day (June 5th, 2019) railway stations were the venues for small concerts and participatory actions. These were organised for the second time by the Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Musikvermittlung österreichischer Berufsorchester (AMÖB), a professional orchestras’ group for music education. The aim is to create public enthusiasm for classical music outside of the concert hall. In Salzburg, Klagenfurt, Graz and Innsbruck, the orchestras invited people to their respective main railway stations, in Linz and Bregenz to the city centre. The Vienna Symphony Orchestra is on a similar mission when they give family concerts at unusual venues on the outskirts of Vienna. A special highlight in 2019 was an open-air concert on May 19th on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Viennese council housing.