Amateur arts and folk culture
The culture sector in Norway is characterised by a wide range of NGOs, both in the amateur and professional sectors. Approximately 76% of all Norwegians hold a membership in one or several NGOs. However, this number includes all voluntary organisations. As shown in table 10, 11% of Norwegians were members of a band, choir or an amateur theatre ensemble in 2014.
The municipalities represent an important source of support for amateur arts and culture. In addition to this, The Ministry of Culture administers a support scheme called the Frifond. Several youth organisations receive public support from the Frifond and the scheme also supports young people with creative ideas who are not members of an organisation. The application process is relatively easy, and all groups of three or more people may apply.
In 2010 a new scheme for VAT-compensation was established. NGO receives support based on their expenditures. In total, more than one billion NOK was distributed to NGO in 2014 through this scheme.
Table 11: Share of total population which holds a membership in one or several NGOs, 2011 and 2014
|Membership in a NGO||2011||2014|
|Member of political party||8||7|
|Member of an enviromental or humanitarian organisation||17||16|
|Member of a concert / marching band, amateur choir, amateur theatre||13||11|
|Member of a religious association||..||8|
|Member of a non-religious life stance association||3||3|
|Member of a disability organisation, patient association||11||8|
|Member of sports clubs||27||25|
|Member of an outdoor organisation||15||15|
|Member of other associations or organisations||12||12|
Source: Statistics Norway – Levekårsundersøkelsen, 2014.
Cultural houses and community cultural clubs
There are a number of cultural venues within the voluntary cultural sector in Norway. One of the most important venues provided by the municipalities is the Children’s Cultural Centres/Youth clubs. There are a variety of cultural activities such as dramatic acts, bands, choirs, etc. 11% of girls and 24% of Norwegian boys between the ages of 16 to 24 visited such centres in 2007 (Source: Statistics Norway). Within religious organisations, there is a similar activity in which churches are used as venues for various cultural activities.
A substantial proportion of Norwegians live in regions with a low density population. In such regions as well, people have access to cultural houses and related venues in many communities.