A fundamental overhaul of the cultural sector has been created by Act XVI of 2021 (and its accompanying decree) by creating The Foundation for Hungarian Culture “for the purpose of supporting the financing of cultural strategy activities, the predictable operations of institutions in this avail, as well as the plannable future of the beneficiaries of cultural strategy supports”. The format of “Public Interest Foundations Performing Public Functions”, constituted by the Parliament on the same day, allows for their distance also from future governments. Besides 600 million HUF seed money, the law donated to the Foundation three existing nonprofit limited companies, active in managing governmental cultural policies, as well as 20 real estate objects. These include a large castle and valuable brown field terrain in Budapest where an enormous new cultural hub is planned to be erected.
Most of the state universities have been transformed into the same public interest foundations, foundations equipped with important endowments (usually stocks of state enterprises) with boards appointed for a longer period. Among art universities this affects the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, the Hungarian Dance University, and the University of Theatre and Film Arts (Színház- és Filmművészeti Egyetem, SZFE). The management, faculty and the students of SZFE deemed the process a limitation of academic autonomy and carried on a sit in for months at the academy campus; some of them opted for an independent secession academy of theatre and film studies: Free SZFE.
A feature of the current cultural policy is the key role of some personalities who fulfil multiple tasks:
- László Baán is director of the now combined Museum of Fine Arts and the National Gallery. He manages the Budapest City Park Project (involving the erection of several new cultural institutions) as well as the renovation of the Opera House.
- Csaba Káel is CEO of the Müpa art centre, the director of the new Bartók and Liszt Festivals, and is Government Commissioner for the National Film Institute and the Eszterháza Palace and Cultural Centre.
- László L. Simon, newly appointed director of the National Museum, has been commissioned to undertake an integrated development programme of public museums, including the fusion of the National Museum and the Natural History Museum, and possibly with the Museum of Applied Arts.
- Szabolcs Demeter is Director of the Petőfi Literary Museum and the subsidiary Petőfi Cultural Agency, the anchor of the gigantic endowment destined to serve the newly created Foundation for Hungarian Culture. Furthermore he is preparing the erection of the House of the Hungarian Language, including the venue of the National Library, and he is ministerial commissioner for the integrated development of libraries and of the renewal of the rock scene.