The majority of cultural institutions have state status, being financed by centralised or local budgets. Libraries, museums and art galleries are fully financed by public budgets, and the theatre-entertainment organisations are partially financed by the state. Salaries are guaranteed by the state, while expenditure on maintaining buildings, or to build new stages, etc., are carried out at the expense of the organisations themselves. 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.
There are a number of new partnerships between public cultural institutions and private sponsors e.g. during 1998-2001, the Azerbaijan State Theatre of Opera and Ballet was able to attract additional funds to cover its expenditure. It formed an Opera Trust Fund, whose members included wealthy oil and other companies such as BP-Amoco, AGIP, Arco, HSBC British Bank, Mobil, Shell, Texaco, Wicklow Group Limited etc. Various other theatres obtain sponsorship for new productions. The Azerbaijan International Cinema Company, a joint venture of the Union of Cinematographers and a private British firm “ITIL”, has modernised “Azerbaijan Cinema” and successfully manages it.
Many activities of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan, namely festivals, concerts, fairs, etc., both international and local, attract a significant share of sponsorship by private sector.