The legal basis for cultural institutions is the Act on Organising and Conducting Cultural Activity of 25 October, 1991 (OJ 110, p.721 with later amendments and annexes).
The Amendment Act on Conducting and Organising of Cultural Activity was signed by the President Bronisław Komorowski in September 2011. This law entered into force on 1 January 2012. It contains two basic theses on the activity of cultural institutions: (1) patronage in culture is an inalienable responsibility of the state and (2) the mission of the government in this field is implemented through cultural institutions, which have to adapt to changes in the world, modify themselves, increase their effectiveness etc.
This law established an opportunity to entrust management of cultural institutions to an entity selected on the basis of the Act on Public Procurement. Another important change relates to creation of a new category of cultural institutions: performing institutions. It introduces the concept of “artistic season” as a basis for organisation and implementation of tasks of the artistic institution. The Amendment Act provides new roles of appointment of directors, eliminates the possibility of appointment of the director for an indefinite period, specifies the procedures for conducting a contest for the position and conditions of appointment of the director without a contest.
It is essential that a new legal Act regulating the terms of organising and financing cultural activities in Poland is prepared. The one in force at the moment is being strongly criticised. The core of the current Act has been inherited from the planned economy system with its budgetary rules which constrains the functioning of modern cultural institutions. The consequence is that Poland has financially unstable institutions managed by directors who are limited in their autonomy. The paradox of the current Act is that it discourages institutions to seek additional sources of financing (income from private sources during a year cause a decrease of public funds in the following one).
|Title of the Act||Year of adoption|
|Press Law of 26 January 1984||OJ 1984, no. 5, item. 24 (with later amendments and annexes)|
|Act on Organising and Conducting Cultural Activity of 25 October 1991||OJ 1991, No. 114, item. 493 (with later amendments and annexes)|
|Broadcasting Law of 29 December 1992||OJ 1993, No. 7, item. 34 (with later amendments and annexes)|
|Copyright Act of 4 February 1994||OJ 1994, No. 24, item. 83 (with later amendments and annexes)|
|Act on Museums of 21 November 1996||OJ 1996, No. 5, item. 24 (with later amendments and annexes)|
|Act of 7 November 1996 on Obligatory Library Volumes||OJ 2003, no. 152, item. 722 (with later amendments)|
|Act on Libraries of 27 June 1997||OJ 1997, No. 85, item. 539 (with later amendments and annexes)|
|Act on Polish Language of 7 October 1999||OJ 1999, No. 90, item. 999 (with later amendments and annexes)|
|Act on the Protection of Fryderyk Chopin Heritage of 3 February 2001||OJ 2001, No. 16, item. 168|
|Act in ratification of the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (Geneva, 20 December 1996)||OJ 2003, No. 50, item. 422|
|Act on Academic Degrees and Titles in the field of Art||OJ 2003, No. 65, item. 595|
|Act of 23 July 2003 on the Protection of Monuments and the Guardianship of Monuments||OJ 2003, No. 162, item. 1568|
|Act on Cinematography of 30 June 2005||OJ 2005, No. 132, item. 1111|
|UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (Paris, 20 October 2005)||OJ 2007, No. 215, item. 1585|
|Status of Artist Act||In preparation|