Civic centres are municipal spaces that encourage participation in the cultural and social dynamic of neighbourhoods. They connect broad segments of the population with culture through workshops, series of cultural events, talks and exhibitions. In addition to offering services for specific groups in the neighbourhood, the civic centres have specialised in offering coordinated services and cultural activities of interest to the general public.
In addition to these facilities, cultural houses at the municipal level also play an important role in active cultural practices for the local population. Both types of centres depend on the programmes and financing of local authorities.
The only data on visits to cultural centres are collected in the Survey of Cultural Habits and Practices in Spain by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport. According to this source, during the period 2006-2015, visits to cultural centres decreased with 3% (from 22.9% in 2006-2007 to 19.9% of the population in 2014-2015).
In the last ten years, many community artistic projects took place at the district level in particular. Many of them aim to foster collaborative artistic creations in neighbourhoods using diverse, hybrid and experimental languages, ranging from the performing and visual arts to the audiovisual and new technologies. Some of these initiatives are promoted by the city councils (such as the Art i Part [Art and Part ] by the City Council of Barcelona or CiudaDistrito by the City Council of Madrid) or by the third sector (such as the programme Art for Change of the ”la Caixa” Foundation) to help to run art projects involving active participation by people in situations of vulnerability. The aim of the projects is to give these people a voice, equal conditions and opportunities and make them visible in society through participation in a creative process.
The bodies that best represent the spirit of the third sector in Spain are the associations. According to a study by the University of Deusto and the Author Foundation, cultural associations, which were strong at the end of Francoism and the beginning of democracy, are currently in crisis. The causes are not attributed to the size of the movement, since there are 42 107 associations registered in the Autonomous Communities, but rather to factors such as the limited impact of their activities on society, excessive reliance on public subsidies, a lack of generational exchange and changing social habits. The study indicates that 46.3% of the cultural associations do have a generic scope, while the remaining 53.7% are specialised in a specific cultural sector. The largest sector is music, followed by heritage and the performing arts. Regarding regional distribution, Catalonia has the highest number of cultural associations (19% of the total) followed by Valencia (17%). Andalusia and Madrid have the lowest rates (VVAA, 2008).
It is hard to find out how many cultural associations exist in Spain nowadays. The National Register of Association shows 83 417 registrations with the term “cultural” in the official name of the entity. There is no specific official register for cultural associations (as they exist, for instance, for sports associations or for religious associations).
 V.V.A.A.: Las asociaciones culturales en España. Madrid: Fundación Autor – SGAE, 2008.