The Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (hereinafter referred to as the MFA), and Czech Centres are the main public actors in cultural cooperation and the promotion of Czech culture abroad.
In 2015 the Czech Government adopted the Concept of the Foreign Policy of the Czech Republic. One of the goals of the country’s foreign policy is to promote the good image of the Czech Republic within the international community. Considerable attention is devoted to the CR’s branding and various forms of diplomacy including cultural diplomacy.
Other important actors include national organisations under the umbrella of the MC and non-governmental organisations, through which the majority of international cultural projects are implemented. These projects are supported by the state’s grant programmes and grants from regional and local authorities, as well as through foreign cultural institutions and foundations.
The Czech Centres operate under the remit of the MFA. Their mission is to promote the Czech cultural scene on the international level and to strengthen the good reputation of the Czech Republic in the world. There are currently 26 branches operating on 3 continents. At the end of 2018 the most recent branch was established when a new Czech Centre was opened in Jerusalem. Among their cultural activities Czech Centres focus on promoting every branch of Czech culture – fine art, architecture, design, fashion, stage arts, film, music, and literature. The Czech Centres are members of the European Union National Institutes of Culture (EUNIC).
The Arts and Theatre Institute (ATI) is an organisation founded by the MC to promote Czech theatre, dance, and music abroad, among its other roles. At present it also promotes other fields of the arts, such as literature and the visual arts. The ATI organises projects abroad, such as cultural seasons, exhibitions, the publishing of books; it runs web portals in foreign languages; it also has a residential programme for artistic exchanges in all fields of the arts; and it provides financial support for the short-term mobility of Czech artists. The institution also ensures the operation of international non-governmental organisations in the field of the performing arts and music.
In 2017 based on demands from the representatives of the music sector an export music agency was set up under the ATI: SoundCzech. The mission of SoundCzech is to facilitate the development of the Czech music industry in a wide range of genres and to support it with a variety of grants, workshops, and mentoring sessions.
In January 2017 another pro-export state agency was established: the Czech Literary Centre. The centre was set up as a state contributory organisation by the Moravian Library in Brno. Its mission is to engage in the consistent and systematic promotion of Czech literature and book culture, connect individual activities and institutions in the sphere of literary culture, and increase the visibility of Czech literature and book culture abroad and in the CR.
NIPOS is another organisation that operates under the MC. It supports individuals’ travel abroad and through a selection procedure welcomes international artists to perform in the CR in the field of non-professional artistic activities.
Since 2002 the Czech Film Centre has been very active in the area of promoting Czech cinematography abroad. It is currently a part of the Czech Film Fund. It promotes Czech cinematography in various ways: promoting it at major international festivals and markets, publishing work on Czech film and the Czech film industry, networking, and consultation.
In October 2009, the Czech government adopted the ‘Programme of Film Industry Support’ that operates via fiscal stimuli or tax incentives. Before this no such incentive had existed in the CR that would allow foreign and Czech films or TV producers to ask for partial compensation for invested expenses on the territory of the CR.
The CR also adopted the Act on Certain Kinds of Cultural Support which provides a so-called state guarantee by providing compensation for an object on loan in the case of harm or damage during an exhibition or similar event.
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