The drastic fall / collapse of cultural participation rates observed during the first years of transformation came to a halt in 1994. While figures have begun to rise, they have not yet reached the levels recorded before the transformation period. Since 1999, the number of cinema visitors has systematically increased, by about 23%; nevertheless it is not stable growth. However, this kind of participation in culture is more and more popular, due to a richer offer and increasing number of showings.
At the same time, there has been a decrease in the rates of participation in activities of “high culture” – those which require higher intellectual skills and aesthetic sensibility. At the same time, there has been a scaling down of cultural education and programmes of aesthetic education in public schools. Surveys on household spending have shown that in the 1990s, approximately 80% of the Polish population reduced their expenditures on culture. It has been observed that the way of life for many Polish people has become “home-centred provide” in the past 15 years: watching TV and video cassettes which limited other forms of cultural activity. The reasons which originally facilitated “home-centrism” were of a political nature, today they are economic. Participation in cultural life outside of the home is taking on a “holiday” value.
Graph 1: Attendance figures for selected cultural fields, in thousands, 1995-2009
Central Statistical Office (GUS), Culture in… (yearly publications), Cultural institutions in Poland in 2009 and Concise Statistical Yearbook of Poland 2007 (GUS).
* 53% of all art galleries are public.
** Audience figures.
Table 13: Public libraries, 1995-2009 and 2012
|Registered readers in thousands||7 023||7 332||7 392||7 579||7 509||7 337||7 230||6 720||–||6 600||6 500|
|Borrowing of books per 100 readers||2 241||2 029||1 992||–||1 979||1 840||–||–||1 870||1 890||–|
Source: Culture 2005, Culture 2007, Cultural institutions in Poland in 2009 published by the Central Statistical Office (GUS), Concise Statistical Yearbook of Poland 2007 (GUS) and Culture in 2012 (GUS).
Graph 2: Library readers according to age groups, 2009
Source: Central Statistical Office informational note: Culture Institutions in Poland in 2009.