In 2012, the Ministry of Culture in association with the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports started a pilot programme “Backpack (full) of Culture / Ruksak (pun) kulture“, with the aim of bringing artists and cultural events directly to kindergartens, primary and high schools. The pilot programme was successful, and in October 2013 the Ministry of Culture issued a public call for the expression of interest for artists, artistic organisations and cultural NGOs to participate in this programme. The Ministry of Culture provided financing for the selected programmes, while the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports was responsible for providing the network of schools that hosted the selected programmes. However, the current technical minister of culture did not show support for this programme. It was deleted from the Strategic Plan of the Ministry without evaluation and/or any explanation.
An increasing number of cultural institutions have special departments for marketing and public relations and there are more media campaigns promoting cultural events and activities. While it is difficult to assess the effects of these efforts, there are visible examples of some institutions which are able to attract more visitors through seemingly successful campaigns. Some of the most successful examples are the Museum of Arts and Crafts in Zagreb and Gallery Klović.
Special categories of the population (school children, disabled persons and senior citizens) pay only 50% of the full ticket price for some events. Rebates for university students are also available from selected theatres, museums, etc. There are also reduced cards or tickets available such as the “Zagreb ticket” or “Dubrovnik card” which can be used to buy cheaper tickets for various cultural events, but which are primarily oriented towards tourists. Other cities in Croatia are introducing different incentives in order to increase participation.
Number of cinematéques is minimal – kino “Tuškanac” in Zagreb and Kinoteka “Zlatna vrata” in Split offer film programmes with special focus on audiovisual heritage; Art kino Croatia with similar programme opened in Rijeka in 2009. The first cinema specialised for documentary films in the region of South-eastern Europe opened in Zagreb in June 2009 – Dokukino however, currently it is based only as a programme in various different venues. The organiser, NGO Restarted and Cultural Information Centre – KIC collaborate with various festivals in Croatia and in the region.
Generally speaking, participation is not something that is being systematically promoted by the Ministry of Culture or local communities. In most cases cultural organisations themselves promote their programmes and invest in reaching an ever wider audience. There are very few surveys and statistical information or analysis that could result in designing polices to link participation in cultural life to the broader issues of civil participation.