Institutions and organisations of culture are functioning practically in all areas of cultural activity. Accordingly, the Concept of Culture undertakes to classify cultural institutions in heritage, art and cultural industries.
Archaeological, architectural, garden-park, monumental, memorial, decorative, applied art monuments, culture, architecture, art, and ethnographic reserves, form immovable cultural heritage. Museums of history, memory, ethnography, art, and archives and libraries protect movable cultural heritage. The centres of culture, houses of culture, and clubs represent the infrastructure of intangible cultural heritage (folklore, local lore and crafts).
Concert halls and theatres, art galleries and exhibition halls are places where professional art is widespread. Music, dance and art schools are places where professional skills and professional audiences are nurtured. Finally, film studios and cinemas, publishing houses and book houses represent directions of the cultural industries.
The majority of cultural institutions have public status, being financed by centralised or local budgets. Libraries, museums and art galleries are funded by public budgets, and the state partially subsidises the theatre-entertainment organisations. Salaries are guaranteed by the state, while expenditure on maintaining buildings or building new stages, etc., is carried out at the expense of the theatre-entertainment organisations. A high percentage of centralised expenditure goes on libraries and museums of national importance, subsidies to state theatres, centralised events, theatrical and musical performances, the visual arts, restoration of cultural monuments, creation of new monuments, and conduction of events in foreign countries, etc.
Structural reforms in these spheres explain a significant decline in public libraries (11% in the last five years) and socio-cultural centres/cultural houses (18.8% in the previous five years). Small neighbouring rural branches of Regional Centralised Library Systems were merged and consolidated. In addition, the Ministry for Culture carried out fundamental reforms in the field of the club system under the “Project for the establishment of the city (district) cultural centres”. The project envisaged the establishment of one centre in each city or region, with other club institutions to be branches of the centre. In the future, some of the branches may be dedicated to crafts, ethnography and folklore. In the reform, the Ministry for Culture established 55 cities (district) cultural centres throughout the country.
The Presidential Decree On Measures to Improve the Structure and Management of the Ministry for Culture of the Republic of Azerbaijan (January 15, 2019) envisages increasing the efficiency of cultural and educational institutions (libraries, cultural centres, clubs, music schools, art galleries, etc.) under the Ministry for Culture by:
- Reconstruction of the library system in the country, taking into account the opportunities of information and communication technologies, as well as the existing demand;
- Conducting an inventory of state-owned museums, optimising their activities and organising more advanced museum activities;
- More compact organisation of music schools by administrative-territorial units by conducting an inventory, to increase the efficiency of its activities;
- Improving the activities of cultural centres, cultural houses and clubs, art galleries by conducting an inventory, more compact organisation and raising the level of service in the administrative-territorial units of the country, taking into account the current needs.