The main legal provision for the direct public support to artistic creativity is the Act on State Artists’ Grants. This law was enacted in 1969 and after numerous amendments was substantially altered in 2010. As Table 20 illustrates, this and some minor provisions are implemented by the arts council system, which provides the following forms of direct support:
Grants for individual artists:
The core scheme in this category is the working grants for artists in all art fields. The grants are for a kind of salaried period lasting from 6 months to five-years; there are also similar but longer-time (up to ten years) grants to highly merited artists. The art professorships were tenured posts of higher pay, received on the basis of artistic excellence. After the recent amendment of legislation in 2010, most salaries for artistic professors have been transferred to artist professor grants, included in “Artist grants” in the table. In contrast to individual grants, the state prizes are one-off recognitions honouring important artistic contributions.
The rest of the grant schemes in this category have been established as compensation for the loss of copyright income caused by free public use. They do not compensate individual artist’s losses, but are really grant schemes based on competition and refereed decisions.
In the 2010 state budget, the amount of the monthly grant was specified to be 1 558.55 EUR. After a recent amendment to legislation, this sum also includes the same social security fee that regular income earners pay as tax-payers. It has been estimated that about 3% of Finnish artists are working as grantees at any given time.
Project and travel grants for individual artists or project groups:
Table 20 indicates that the project grant scheme covers all the main art forms and three special purposes, multiculturalism, international and Nordic cultural operation and artists in residence activities.
Grants for developing arts and culture of collective bodies:
These development grants can have three types of purpose. Firstly, their applicants / receivers can aim at developing high quality or avant-garde products (e.g art films, experimental music, new types of choreography); secondly, they may try to affirm the position of new art forms (media art, multidisciplinary art forms, circus as a form of art) and thirdly they may look for new creative impulses through transnational cultural cooperation (artist in residence programmes). The same functions can be found in R&D activities of science and technology.
The last category, regional arts councils, refers to the second part of the national arts council system. Its purpose is to alleviate regional inequalities in the whole system. Table 20 tells us that the grant schemes maintained by the regional arts councils are the same as those of the main system, but the funding (3.7 million EUR in 2015) is only about 10% of the total funding of the whole arts council system (36.3 million EUR in 2015).
There is also an extraordinary artist’s pension system, formerly managed jointly by the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Education and Culture and since 2011, managed by the Ministry of Education and Culture independently. It provides flat monthly payments to the recipients and, in addition to being a social security instrument, functions also as a long-term grant for senior artists still active in their creative work.
Table 20: Support of the Finnish system of art councils to artistic activity, in EUR, 2015
|Support for artistic activities|
|NATIONAL SUPPORT SCHEMES||2015|
|For artistic work (individuals)||15.4 million|
|Grants and subsidies to writers and translators*||2 651 300|
|Grants for illustrators and comic artists||73 000|
|Grants for visual artists||960 000|
|Grants for musicians and composers||115 000|
|Artist grants**||11 404 230|
|Artist professors (salaries) ***||–|
|State Prizes||219 000|
|Grants for individuals / working groups||3.3 million|
|Projects grants for different art forms ****||2 722 700|
|Travel and artist-in-residence-grants||411 900|
|Grants for art projects promoting multiculturalism||97 000|
|Project of the Central Arts Council, Visible Climate Chnage||34 800|
|Subsidies for communities||11.6 million|
|Special subsidies for different artforms *****||2 355 300|
|Operational subsidies for different artforms||7 929 000|
|Subsidies for promoting multiculturalism and combating racism||612 000|
|Artist-in-residence scheme||315 000|
|Subsidies for “1% of construction costs for art-projects”||380 000|
|TOTAL NATIONAL SUPPORT||30.3 million EUR|
|REGIONAL SUPPORT SCHEMES|
|Working grants for individuals||1 862 360|
|Project grants for individuals and working groups ******||794 680|
|Special subsidies for communities *******||1 037 090|
|TOTAL REGIONAL SUPPORT||3.7 million EUR|
|SUPPORT FOR ARTISTIC ACTIVITIES, TOTAL||34.0 million EUR|
|Development and project activities|
|PROJECTS AND REGIONAL ARTISTS|
|Salaries of regional artists||1 555 180|
|Artist residences abroad||45 877|
|INFORMATION PRODUCTION AND COMMUNICATION|
|Information production||105 00|
|Centre’s other arts promotion||36 480|
|INFORMATION AND PROJECT ACTIVITIES TOTAL||2.3 million EUR|
|ARTS PROMOTION SUPPORT, TOTAL||36.3 million EUR|
Source: Paula Karhunen, Taiteen edistämiskeskuksen tuki taiteen ja kulttuurin edistämiseen 2015 (Finnish language publication), http://www.taike.fi/documents/10921/1094274/Taiken+tuki+taiteen+edist%C3%A4miseen+2015.pdf/819f8180-8642-47a9-8ec8-cb0deddac7e1
* Of which 10% for non-fiction writers.
** Artist grants for all artforms. Includes also multi-year artist grants awarded in previous years.
*** Included in artist grants.
**** Incl. support for drama literature and quality support for photographic art.
***** Incl. quality support for film productions.
****** Incl. project grants for children’s culture.
******* Incl. state subsidies for children’s culture as well as subsidies for activities that promote the well-being benefits of culture.
Table 21 compares the support expenditures of the arts council system in 2009, 2012 and 2014 by art forms. Understandably literature and visual arts, have the top position in the art form rankings. Visual art gets as much as one third of the regional support and has, in 2014, been also the biggest receiver in the national level over literature. In the five-year period the allocation structure has remained rather stable with only minor losses or growth on the national level. More significantly, there has been changes in the contents of the category “other” (see footnote ** after Table), which is listed in the 2014 statistics as Multidisciplinary. In the regional level support multidisciplinary art forms is the fifth largest category in 2014. This change can be seen as a sign of increased art form diversity.
Table 21: Grants, subsidies and awards by the national and regional art council systems by art form (%) in 2009, 2012 and 2014
|National Arts Councils||Regional arts councils|
|Craft and design||5.0||5.6||4.1||8.2||7.5||4.6|
|Total in million EUR||23.8||28.6||4.5||3.8|
Source: Paula Karhunen 2013, Support granted by the Arts Councils
2012. Arts Promotion Centre Finland; Paula Karhunen 2015, Taike support
for arts promotion 2014. Arts Promotion Centre Finland (Taike) 2015.
** In the 2009 statistics the category “other” contains media art, circus art, critics and unclassifiable recipients. Since 2011 the category “other” contains only unclassifiable recipients and critics, with media and circus art listed as their own art form categories. In case of Regional Arts Councils includes also activities that promote the well-being benefits of culture.
*** In regional support schemes illustration is not always categorised as its own support scheme; instead this support may be included in multidisciplinary art or the combined group illustration and comics.