The visual arts have traditionally been one of the main recipients of specific measures to support creativity. Resources are available for exhibitions and for the acquisition of artworks through funds made available to public museums. Regional and local authorities celebrate competitions and provide prize money, sometimes retaining the ownership of the winning entries. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport (current Ministry of Culture and Sport), in co-operation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (current Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation), also develops various programmes designed to promote contemporary Spanish artists and their artworks worldwide.
They provide, for example, support for up-and-coming artists to participate in major international biennials. More recently, within the framework of the Culture Plan 2020 of the State Secretary for Culture, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, aims to launch several projects in the period 2017-2020 to promote cinematographic and audiovisual creation and dissemination (such as the platform Nuevos cineastas / New filmmakers and the programmes ICAA-Difusión Cortometrajes / ICAA-Short film dissemination, ICAA-Difusión Documentales / ICAA- Documentary Disemination, ICAA-Difusión Animación / ICAA-Animation Film Disemination). The Ministry also aims to promote contemporary creation in the performing arts and music sectors (such as the promotion of residencies or the establishment of La Farmacia, Centro Nacional de Creación de las Artes Escénicas / The Pharmacy, National Centre of Creation of Performing Arts).
There are also subsidies for symphony orchestras and the performing arts, for both national and overseas tours, which are distributed by the National Institute of Performing Arts and Music (INAEM). Aids to this sector, traditionally addressed to theatre, have spread to dance (through the programmes Dance Tour on Stage and Theatre and Dance Circuit by the Network of Alternative Theatres) and to circus and the popular music sector. With project GPS – Turn by Halls, the INAEM aims to provide artists with concert tours outside of their Autonomous Community. This programme, organised by the INAEM, together with the most representative entities of the sector, seeks to improve their level of professionalism and encourage the field of live music.
During the past few years, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport has launched different funding mechanisms in support of theatre and circus programming and cultural communication. These mechanisms were mainly aimed at facilitating new creation, the mobility of artists and cultural operators, and the state character of projects. In 2014, the INAEM, in collaboration with the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces, launched the Platea programme – which is still active today – for the circulation of performing arts spectacles in spaces owned by local entities.
Apart from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, other central government institutions play a significant role in providing support to emerging visual artists and creative workers. An example is the Youth Institute, which reports to the current Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality. The Institute holds a number of annual exhibitions and administers international tours, festivals and programmes with travel and work grants.
At the regional and local levels, support for artists comes from the culture departments of regional governments, provincial assemblies and town councils. In the bilingual regions, support for artists is seen as an integral part of promoting the regional language. The cultural programmes of these Autonomous Communities are frequently based on generic policies in order to encourage local culture industries.
As for the training of professionals in the cultural sector by public administrations, the Andalusian community has created a public school of cultural formation, which offers training in the performing arts and techniques, as well as in cultural management. For its part, the Catalan community has the Business Development Service aimed at the managerial training of cultural companies.