The General Principles of Cultural Policy up to 2020 (see chapter 1.1) state the objective of Estonian cultural policy to be: forming a society that values creativity by maintaining and improving the national identity of Estonia, researching, storing, and transferring cultural memory, and creating favourable conditions for the development of a vital, open, and versatile cultural space and for participating in culture.
Participation has become a more important factor and indicator in cultural life for state as well as for local authorities. There are a number of cultural institutions (museums, theatres, cinemas etc.) that have special discounts or membership cards. The Culture Endowment and the Ministry support the programme Theatre to Rural Areas (see chapter 3.3.), which helps professional theatre and dance troupes to hold guest performances in the countryside or school groups to visit performances in theatre-cities.The Ministry’s programme Support for Music Festivals and Support Programme to Private Organisers and Music Groups helps to reduce the urban-rural difference and to effectively implement the social effects of cultural policy by improving access to the arts.
According to Museums Act, state museums in Estonia upon establishing a fee for tickets shall be take into account that:
- visiting a museum is free of charge for children under 9 years old, disabled persons and their escort;
- a separate and reduced price shall be established for the entrance of up to two adults together with a minor.
The annual Museum Night, when most museums are open free of charge, is very popular and museums get quite crowded.
The digitalisation of museums, archives and libraries increased the accessibility of their cultural services, which resulted in people making more use of the digital opportunities provided by these institutions.