In addition to direct public support for the arts and culture, Austrian legislation provides a number of important instruments of indirect support for the arts. These include grants, awards and scholarships as well as various legal provisions of social policy and fiscal policy, the system of social insurance for artists, measures taken in the field of labour market management, copyright legislation (both direct and indirect payments such as library royalties), the encouragement of private sector support for the arts by means of tax exemptions, tax deductions for private donations and for arts sponsorship, incentives to purchase artworks as well as promotion of art-works for buildings financed with public money. While such policies are welcome, surprisingly few sector-specific legal regulations have been formulated in areas such as orchestras or theatres.
Since 2011, the Arts and Culture Division of the BMKOES’ mentoring programme has been a special programme for the promotion of female artists of all disciplines, a specialist mentoring programme by women for women, by female artists for female artists. The aim was to transfer expertise from experienced female artists or women established in the arts and culture sector to younger female artists, to pass on knowledge, to build networks and to recognise skills and potential. In numerous meetings and supporting events such as coaching sessions, supervision and a kick-off event, the Tandem mentoring groups developed projects over the course of a year which are presented at a closing event. In the seven years since the programme was established, more than 80 young female artists have been supported in the fields of architecture, visual arts, photography, fashion, media art, music, performing arts, performance, film, literature and literary translation. Unfortunately, the programme has been discontinued since 2018.
In the framework of the gallery support through museum acquisitions, three stakeholders in the area of art are supported: museums, galleries and contemporary artists. The Arts and Culture Division of the BMKOES grants subsidies of EUR 36 500, this sum is to be increased to at least EUR 54 000 by the museums and to be used in Austrian galleries for purchases from Austrian artists or artists living in Austria. At least one third of this sum, i.e. EUR 18 000, is designated for the purchase of artworks from artists under the age of 40. The goal is a sustainable development for the artists, on the part of the participating museums as well as the galleries, with special attention being paid to emerging artists and emerging galleries. The museums have to present the purchased artwork in exhibitions and on their websites.
Another support programme is the promotion of the participation of Austrian commercial galleries in art fairs abroad, to improve the opportunities for fine artists in the Austrian and international art market and to strengthen the international presence, reception and dissemination of contemporary Austrian art. With a budget of EUR 300 000, two types of art fairs are subsidised. There are nine renowned fairs and each gallery can receive support for two participations each year, and there are eleven off- or less reputed fairs for engaged, but financially weaker galleries. Galleries are supported with a sum of EUR 4 000 for participation at two fairs per year. Due to the fact that applications are possible in both funding programmes, participation at four fairs per year can be subsidised. The support of participation at art fairs abroad intends an indirect support for Austrian or in Austria living artists.