Every year the Ministry of Culture and Media organises special competitions to support artistic creativity. A special prize (Marin Držić Prize) to stimulate contemporary playwriting is awarded through a public competition. In addition to a monetary prize, the Croatian national theatre stages the premiere of the prize-winning play. There is also a national prize to support modern Croatian composers to write music, but in this case the prize-winning works are not given their first public performance.
The “Vladimir Nazor” Prize, the most important national award established in 1991, is a monetary grant given every year for achievements of special value in all fields of culture as well as to artists for their life’s work. Although it is a state prize given by the Ministry of Culture and Media, the decisions about the winners are taken by independently chosen experts and renowned artists from the different fields represented. The Ministry of Culture and Media also gives awards for the protection of heritage, “Vicko Andrić”, and the protection of nature, “Ivo Horvat”, and the award “Ico Velikanović” for literary translations.
The central professional art and culture associations (in the field of literature, theatre, film etc.) also give a number of awards. These awards evaluate artistic achievements, and can be given in recognition of the work of an individual, group or institution.
Special institutions or cultural events and festivals give prizes. There are numerous examples such as the “Orlando” Award for the best performance at the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, the “Golden Arena” Award at the Pula Film Festival and many others.
The President of the Republic of Croatia awards the Medal of the Republic of Croatia for special achievements in the cultural field – “Red Danice hrvatske – Marko Marulić”.
The total number of awards and prizes in the cultural sector is large. For example, 31 major awards are granted in the field of professional music. Nevertheless, only some of them are monetary. Some of these are public awards while some are granted by professional associations. Finally, companies such as publishing houses also give prizes in the form of financial support, usually in literature (i.e. VBZ award, T-portal award, and similar).
The Ministry of Culture and Media does not grant educational scholarships. The Ministry of Education, Science and Sports is responsible for granting scholarships.
In some areas, e.g. cultural management, there is no adequate university-level education in Croatia – the private business school “Baltazar Krčelić”, Zaprešić, and Business School Zagreb (VPŠZ) offer a graduate course with a specialisation in cultural management. Students try to acquire their training abroad; however, resources for this training are limited. To rectify the situation, the Ministry of Culture and Media grants funds for short-term professional training in Croatia and abroad from the funds set aside for international cultural co-operation and other programmes.
The website on Croatian culture Culturenet.hr provides updated information on current major cultural awards and bursaries, and offers a database on past events and other relevant information.