In the Czech Republic (CR), there are many projects that link various networks, governmental and non-governmental organisations, and institutions dealing with cultural heritage and individual cultural projects. Useful contacts abroad were established long before the CR joined the EU. Many organisations in the CR have been members of European and international networks since the 1990s. Cooperation continued also within the frame of the international UNESCO NGOs, such as ITI, ASITEJ, UNIMA, SIBMAS, AITA/IATA and others (see also chapter 7.2.4).
There has been direct cooperation with foreign partners on hundreds of film, theatre, dance and music festivals and literary shows. The biggest and the most interesting events are often priority events of the Ministry of Culture (MC), like, the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, the Zlín International Festival for Children and Youth, the DIVADLO Plzeň International Theatre Festival, the Prague Spring International Music Festival, the Tanec Praha International Dance Festival, the Strings of Autumn Music Festival, the Colours of Ostrava Festival, the International Prague Writers’ Festival, or the Strážnice International Folklore Festival and many others.
Direct cultural cooperation is supported by the grant programmes of the MC for cultural cooperation abroad but also by direct support from grant programmes for theatre, dance, music, the visual arts, architecture, and literature. Individual towns also provide grants; the majority of finances being provided by the capital city of Prague under its grant procedure. Visits of foreign artists to the Czech Republic are also supported by foreign cultural institutes and foreign representative bodies in the CR, such as the Czech-German Fund of the Future. The majority of such events combine financing from several sources. Financing from private sources is not very substantial outside the fields of classical music and film.
Since the start of the 1990s NGOs have been very active in forging cooperation and building contacts within European and international networks, initially as individual members – for example, in the IETM performing arts network or in the field of cultural heritage. In recent years active cooperation has also been pursued through membership in and cooperation between networks in the CR and in networks abroad. Examples are the Association of Independent Theatres in the CR (Asociacenezávislýchdivadel CR), the European Association of Independent Performing Arts, the Association of Professional Theatres in the CR (Asociaceprofesionálníchdivadel CR), and PEARLE.