7. Financing and support
Last update: March, 2017
According to the narrower EUROSTAT definition of culture, excluding archives and arts education and newspaper subsidies, the annual public cultural expenditure per capita for current net costs in 2009 was 176.6 EUR and the ratio of public cultural expenditure to the total public (state and municipal) expenditure was 0.99%. For statistics, see Table 15.
Last update: March, 2017
The following Table provides an overall breakdown of public cultural expenditure by the level of government in 2009 and provides the possibility to compare the change that has taken place since 2001.
Table 15: Public cultural expenditure, by level of government, in thousand EUR, 2001 and 2009
|Level of government||Expenditure||
Central government total:|
- direct expenditure
- transfers to municipalities
- direct transfers to non-profit art institutions and cultural organisations
- all direct expenditures & transfer allocations
|Total public expenditure||618 346||100.0||944 799||100.0|
Source: The 2001 statistics were compiled by combining the 2001 information from the EUROSTAT 2004 pilot survey data and statistics from the 2001 closed balance sheet of the state budget; the 2009 central government statistics are based on the closed balance sheet of the state budget and municipal statistics are based on statistics by the Association of Local and Regional Authorities.
The nominal growth in 2001-2009 was 52.8%; and distinctly higher in the case of the central government (65.2%) than in municipalities (41.6%). The overall structure (transfers vs. direct expenditure) has been fairly stable, the main exception being the strengthening of the relative position of the direct central government expenditures.
In 2001, the financing of the arts and culture by the municipalities had again reached the levels that existed prior to the recessions of 1991-1993 and 1999-2000, but the growth has since then levelled-off because of the fiscal deficits experienced by the majority of Finnish municipalities.
The Finnish system of municipal administration is undergoing a structural reform, by introducing better targeted and more efficiently organised services and by merges of small municipalities.
Last update: March, 2017
Table 16 provides more up to date and longer time series but covers only state financing through the budget of the Ministry of Education and Culture.
For the sector breakdown of the grants and subsidies to artists and art communities, see chapter 7.2.2
Table 16: State budget allocations to arts and culture, 2012–2016, in thousand EUR
|2012 Balance Sheet||2013 Balance sheet||2014 Balance sheet||2015 Balance sheet||2016 Budget|
|Total state budget: of which||53 446||54 587||53 225||53 337||--|
|Ministry of Education and Culture:||6 541 000||6 605 000||6 593 000||6 659 000||--|
|of which Cultural outlays * total:||432 646||451 774||452 240||470 294||458 856|
|of this; funded from profits of the national lottery and football pools||222 397||224 634||237 010||236 874||233 322|
|State / national institutions||129 080||132 872||105 698||104 180||104 248|
|Finnish National Opera**||51 437||52 262||37 877||37 877||37 877|
|National Board of Antiquities||21 459||24 513||19 793||19 522||20 750|
|Finnish Film Foundation***||2 065||2 075||2 007||2 007||2 007|
|Finnish National Theatre||11 506||11 506||11 391||11 391||11 391|
|Finnish National Gallery****||19 442||19 444||12 573||12 573||12 573|
|Administration of Suomenlinna||2 905||2 937||2 937||2 524||2 205|
|Finnish Library for the Visually Impaired||6 464||6 377||7 511||6 935||6 522|
|National Audiovisual Archive (Until 2008 Finnish Film Archive)||7 664||7 650||7 511||6 935||6 522|
|Finnish Board of Film Classification||-||-||-||-||-|
|Finnish Institute for Russian and East European Studies||1 245||1 200||1 160||1 160||1 160|
|Arts councils (operating expenses)||4 893||4 908||4 601||4 542||4 289|
|Statutory state subsidies to:||124 132||127 010||132 910||133 903||127 455|
|Libraries||9 763||9 512||15 452||19 489||17 140|
|Museums||35 845||36 791||36 739||35 740||34 452|
|Theatres and orchestras||78 418||80 601||80 613||78 568||75 863|
|Municipal cultural services *||106||106||106||106||-|
|Grants and subsidies to artists||37 730||38 396||33 133||33 095||42 915|
|Grants||10 474||10 604||11 158||11 403||14 507|
|Public lending right compensation grants||3 100||3 100||2 734||2 645||3 100|
|Compensation grants to visual artists||960||960||960||960||960|
|Lending right compensation grants for music and illustrators*||195||186||188||188||-|
|Regional promotion of art||5 520||5 634||5 626||5 619||5 500|
|Extra pensions for artists and journalists||17 481||17 912||18 093||17 899||18 848|
|Other promotion of art and culture||141 704||153 496||182 499||199 116||184 238|
Source: Ministry of Education and Culture. *Funds in the administrative branch of the Ministry of Education and Culture. The figures of different years are not entirely comparable because the content of art and culture has varied between the years. **Operating expenditure and rents.***Operating expenditure.**** Operating expenditure and facility costs from 1 January 2014.
This Table demonstrates that the culture industries are only marginally supported by the central government – and even less so by the municipalities. The only sub-sector that receives more substantial public support is film production where the goal that has been set to reach the same level of funding as in the other Nordic countries has already been reached.
There are no detailed statistics on the sector breakdown of municipal funding. The per capita information in the following Table gives a picture of great stability of the sector breakdown that is no doubt mainly due to the fact that museums, theatres and orchestras have been slumped together. The Table also warns of the fact that municipal expenditure figures are not really net figures but contain often also the "state share".
Table 17: Sector breakdown of operating per capita costs (in EUR, current prices) of cultural services provided by municipalities, 2010-2014
|Museums and exhibitions||19||19||20||21||21|
|Theatre, dance and opera||14||14||14||15||15|
|Basic arts education **||12||12||12||12||13|
|Education and cultural administration ***||15||14||14||14||13|
|Other cultural functions ****||23||23||22||20||21|
|Cultural functions TOTAL||150||153||154||153||153|
Source: Statistic Finland, Finances and activities reported by municipalities and joint municipal authorities.
Last update: March, 2017
The traditional Finnish strategy for the promotion of artistic creativity has been simple and pragmatic: to secure favourable working conditions for individual artists and their associations and provide high level professional education and training. This strategy is reflected in the following opening passage of the 1969 Act on Art Professorships and on the state's grants to artists:
"…the grant can be received for securing preconditions for continued artistic work or for studies and continued education in Finland or abroad"
At the time the 1969 law was prepared and enacted, no mention was made about the economic or employment contribution of the arts, artists and related cultural production and service systems to the national economy. This view was introduced later in the 1980s and was promoted first in terms of the "cultural dimension of development". This economic pragmatism led decision-makers in the late 1990s to start to advocate public support to national export efforts in the field of culture. In the early 2000s this approach was expanded and linked to policy analyses of creative industries and creative economy. The first Finnish strategy paper of the Ministry of Education "Eleven Steps to Creative Finland" of 2006 focussed totally on the issues of developing creativity to match with the requirements of a knowledge society. Artists were not even mentioned in the report. This omission was soon compensated by rather sophisticated analyses of the economic contribution of creative / copyright industries and by the work started to construct the Finnish SNA-based cultural account ("satellite") system. These lines of development were funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture.
The export approach, however, made progress on its own account. An analysis and evaluation of the state of cultural exports was reported to the Ministry of Education and Culture in 2004; interim export support was started in 2005, and an export grant programme was affirmed for the years 2007-2011. The financial support has been granted to top exporters and grants have been given to such business operations as developing sales and business strategies, marketing, branding, commoditisation and establishing network relations. To start with, the grants were rather modest; the total financing allotted in 2005-2008 was only 4.2 million EUR.
The European Social Fund (ESF) has been so far the main source of financing for the practical development work carried out by the proponents of the creative industries / creative economy approach. Within the framework of the 2007-2013 ESF programme the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture financed a national development programme titled "National programme for promoting the growth and internationalisation of the entrepreneurial activities in creative industries". The project was started in 2008 and lasted until 2013.
The objectives of this programme were:
- promoting R&D and innovation activities in the creative industries;
- affirming entrepreneurial competence;
- enhancing competences of producers and managers; and
- analysing and affirming knowledge needed for anticipating changes in the operating environment of creative industries.
The national programme received ESF-allocation of 14.6 million EUR via the Ministry; the required co-funding has come mainly from the municipal sector. The funding went to numerous development projects, which were regionally dispersed and coordinated by organisation "Luova Suomi" (Creative Industries Finland), located at the Aalto University.
For the new Structural Find period 2014-2020, co-ordinated in Finland by the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, the Ministry of Education and Culture is implementing policy line no. 4 Education, professional skills and life-long learning (see chapter 3.5.1). The Ministry implements four development programmes within its own sector and two intersectorally. One of the sectoral development programmes is aimed at strengthening creative competencies through counselling, mentoring and education. The duration of the development programme is seven years with yearly financing of 1 770 000 EUR and 12 390 000 EUR for the whole seven years.
The creative industry development activities have been carried out by the Ministry of Education and Culture with parallel programme-based development work has also been carried out by the Ministry of Employment and Economy. Although both sides have focused their efforts to enhance entrepreneurship in creative industries, there have been frictions concerning financing, division of labour and co-ordination. In 2010 the two ministries appointed a one-man (actually in both cases a one-woman) committee to coordinate the efforts. The task for the appointee of the Ministry of Employment and Economy was to explicate how the basic conditions for more effective creative economy should be affirmed; the appointee of the Ministry of Education and Culture was in turn to explicate how creative economy should be made more efficient by improving the economic and social conditions of artists and other related occupational groups. Both reports were made public in 2010.
The report stemming from the Ministry of Employment and Economy sketched how hybrid economy will put creativity into a new context and proposed mechanism to co-ordinate policy measures of the two ministries. The report from the Ministry of Education and Culture asked whether creative economy is able to get artists committed and contribute to economic growth and what should be done to enhance this commitment. Quite recently a bi-lateral working group of the two ministries outlined a proposal for simplification of the dispersed financing system and recommended establishing of a simple and concentrated joint system of policy planning and decision making. The proposal is by and large based on the report from the Ministry of Employment and Economy.
The report from the Ministry of Education and Culture can be seen as a proposal for the creativity strategy for the Ministry. Although not official it can be seen as updating of the Ministry's 2003 programme for Art and Artist Policy. As it is also in consonance with the Ministry's 2010 Green Paper on the Future of Culture to Parliament, it deserves a brief review.
The basic premise of the report is simple and clear: artists do not exist as producers of assets for external economy, especially if they are not treated equal with other professional groups in respect to accruing economic and social benefit. Or, in words of the report:
"While dealing with the creative economy one should pay special attention to the position of the arts and artists. Artists are not sufficiently taken into account in the present discussions about the creative economy, creative industries and creative entrepreneurship. Among the artists this creates an attitude that "this does not concern us"."
To avoid this we should ask, what are those new structures of the creative economy which facilitate the birth of new ideas and open up such new spaces which generate an innovative and free atmosphere for creativity?”
From this perspective the report makes eleven recommendations. The first recommendation proposes that the concept of creative economy should be replaced with the concept of the growth of creativity; and the last recommendation suggests that the "per cent" principle for new public buildings should be made more binding, not only with a stick but with a carrot as well. The nine recommendations in between recommend a more rewarding and wider grant-system, safeguards against unemployment, resolving of the sole traders' pension problem and allowing more leeway in the taxation for trans-annual levelling of unevenly accumulating income. The result of implementing recommendations should be that the share of income earned by artists from artistic work should be raised from the present 50% to 70%, the same level as in the other Nordic countries.
Last update: March, 2017
The main legal provision for the direct public support to artistic creativity is the Act on State Artists' Grants. This law was enacted in 1969 and after numerous amendments was substantially altered in 2010. As Table 20 illustrates, this and some minor provisions are implemented by the arts council system, which provides the following forms of direct support:
Grants for individual artists:
The core scheme in this category is the working grants for artists in all art fields. The grants are for a kind of salaried period lasting from 6 months to five-years; there are also similar but longer-time (up to ten years) grants to highly merited artists. The art professorships were tenured posts of higher pay, received on the basis of artistic excellence. After the recent amendment of legislation in 2010, most salaries for artistic professors have been transferred to artist professor grants, included in "Artist grants" in the table. In contrast to individual grants, the state prizes are one-off recognitions honouring important artistic contributions.
The rest of the grant schemes in this category have been established as compensation for the loss of copyright income caused by free public use. They do not compensate individual artist's losses, but are really grant schemes based on competition and refereed decisions.
In the 2010 state budget, the amount of the monthly grant was specified to be 1 558.55 EUR. After a recent amendment to legislation, this sum also includes the same social security fee that regular income earners pay as tax-payers. It has been estimated that about 3% of Finnish artists are working as grantees at any given time.
Project and travel grants for individual artists or project groups:
Table 20 indicates that the project grant scheme covers all the main art forms and three special purposes, multiculturalism, international and Nordic cultural operation and artists in residence activities.
Grants for developing arts and culture of collective bodies:
These development grants can have three types of purpose. Firstly, their applicants / receivers can aim at developing high quality or avant-garde products (e.g art films, experimental music, new types of choreography); secondly, they may try to affirm the position of new art forms (media art, multidisciplinary art forms, circus as a form of art) and thirdly they may look for new creative impulses through transnational cultural cooperation (artist in residence programmes). The same functions can be found in R&D activities of science and technology.
The last category, regional arts councils, refers to the second part of the national arts council system. Its purpose is to alleviate regional inequalities in the whole system. Table 20 tells us that the grant schemes maintained by the regional arts councils are the same as those of the main system, but the funding (3.7 million EUR in 2015) is only about 10% of the total funding of the whole arts council system (36.3 million EUR in 2015).
There is also an extraordinary artist's pension system, formerly managed jointly by the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Education and Culture and since 2011, managed by the Ministry of Education and Culture independently. It provides flat monthly payments to the recipients and, in addition to being a social security instrument, functions also as a long-term grant for senior artists still active in their creative work.
Table 20: Support of the Finnish system of art councils to artistic activity, in EUR, 2015
|Support for artistic activities|
|NATIONAL SUPPORT SCHEMES||2015|
|For artistic work (individuals)||15.4 million|
|Grants and subsidies to writers and translators*||2 651 300|
|Grants for illustrators and comic artists||73 000|
|Grants for visual artists||960 000|
|Grants for musicians and composers||115 000|
|Artist grants**||11 404 230|
|Artist professors (salaries) ***||-|
|State Prizes||219 000|
|Grants for individuals / working groups||3.3 million|
|Projects grants for different art forms ****||2 722 700|
|Travel and artist-in-residence-grants||411 900|
|Grants for art projects promoting multiculturalism||97 000|
|Project of the Central Arts Council, Visible Climate Chnage||34 800|
|Subsidies for communities||11.6 million|
|Special subsidies for different artforms *****||2 355 300|
|Operational subsidies for different artforms||7 929 000|
|Subsidies for promoting multiculturalism and combating racism||612 000|
|Artist-in-residence scheme||315 000|
|Subsidies for “1% of construction costs for art-projects”||380 000|
|TOTAL NATIONAL SUPPORT||30.3 million EUR|
|REGIONAL SUPPORT SCHEMES|
|Working grants for individuals||1 862 360|
|Project grants for individuals and working groups ******||794 680|
|Special subsidies for communities *******||1 037 090|
|TOTAL REGIONAL SUPPORT||3.7 million EUR|
|SUPPORT FOR ARTISTIC ACTIVITIES, TOTAL||34.0 million EUR|
|Development and project activities|
|PROJECTS AND REGIONAL ARTISTS|
|Salaries of regional artists||1 555 180|
|Artist residences abroad||45 877|
|INFORMATION PRODUCTION AND COMMUNICATION|
|Information production||105 00|
|Centre’s other arts promotion||36 480|
|INFORMATION AND PROJECT ACTIVITIES TOTAL||2.3 million EUR|
|ARTS PROMOTION SUPPORT, TOTAL||36.3 million EUR|
Source: Paula Karhunen, Taiteen edistämiskeskuksen tuki taiteen ja kulttuurin edistämiseen 2015 (Finnish language publication), http://www.taike.fi/documents/10921/1094274/Taiken+tuki+taiteen+edist%C3%A4miseen+2015.pdf/819f8180-8642-47a9-8ec8-cb0deddac7e1
* Of which 10% for non-fiction writers.
** Artist grants for all artforms. Includes also multi-year artist grants awarded in previous years.
*** Included in artist grants.
**** Incl. support for drama literature and quality support for photographic art.
***** Incl. quality support for film productions.
****** Incl. project grants for children's culture.
******* Incl. state subsidies for children's culture as well as subsidies for activities that promote the well-being benefits of culture.
Table 21 compares the support expenditures of the arts council system in 2009, 2012 and 2014 by art forms. Understandably literature and visual arts, have the top position in the art form rankings. Visual art gets as much as one third of the regional support and has, in 2014, been also the biggest receiver in the national level over literature. In the five-year period the allocation structure has remained rather stable with only minor losses or growth on the national level. More significantly, there has been changes in the contents of the category "other" (see footnote ** after Table), which is listed in the 2014 statistics as Multidisciplinary. In the regional level support multidisciplinary art forms is the fifth largest category in 2014. This change can be seen as a sign of increased art form diversity.
Table 21: Grants, subsidies and awards by the national and regional art council systems by art form (%) in 2009, 2012 and 2014
|National Arts Councils||Regional arts councils|
|Craft and design||5.0||5.6||4.1||8.2||7.5||4.6|
|Total in million EUR||23.8||28.6||4.5||3.8|
Source: Paula Karhunen 2013, Support granted by the Arts Councils
2012. Arts Promotion Centre Finland; Paula Karhunen 2015, Taike support
for arts promotion 2014. Arts Promotion Centre Finland (Taike) 2015.
** In the 2009 statistics the category "other" contains media art, circus art, critics and unclassifiable recipients. Since 2011 the category "other" contains only unclassifiable recipients and critics, with media and circus art listed as their own art form categories. In case of Regional Arts Councils includes also activities that promote the well-being benefits of culture.
*** In regional support schemes illustration is not always categorised as its own support scheme; instead this support may be included in multidisciplinary art or the combined group illustration and comics.
Last update: March, 2017
Most special grant schemes for artists, such as copyright compensation, prizes, travel bursaries, artists' residence programmes, purchase of works of art schemes etc., have been administratively integrated into the system of arts councils. Tables 20 and 21 give a comprehensive overview of the whole landscape of this support. This picture can be complemented by the account of grants from private foundations and funds and from the business sector presented in chapter 7.3.
Last update: March, 2017
The Ministry of Education and Culture supports national art associations and cultural organisations with discretionary subsidies. The total amount of these subsidies is approximately 40-45 million EUR, which covers approximately 35% of their operating costs. Furthermore, the state supports associations and organisations indirectly by subsidising events, festivals and exhibitions they organise.
Municipalities also support these associations and organisations directly from their own budgets and from the funds transferred by the state to municipalities for non-institutional cultural activities.
Some occupations of professional artistic and cultural work, like actors and musicians, have strong unions for collective bargaining.
Last update: March, 2017
The main source of private financing of the arts and culture in Finland is the private grant-giving foundations. According to the COFF – Council of Finnish Foundations, its member organisations provided all in all EUR 451 million to support Finnish art, culture, science and research and different social aims in 2015.
Research data on private funding for the arts in Finland is already very dated and new data would be needed to assess the current situation and aims of sponsoring, or public-private partnerships. In 2008 (the year of the latest data) direct business company support to the arts and culture in Finland was modest and support had declined since 1999. These conclusions were based on questionnaire surveys carried out by the Arts Council of Finland in 1999, 2003 and 2008. The monitored "company support" covered purchases of works of art, actual sponsorship, joint marketing, and donations to funds supporting the arts and culture.
The 2008 survey questionnaire was mailed to 1 376 companies, of which 594 were large enterprises. Only 27% of the recipients of the questionnaire responded, and approximately one-fifth of all the companies had supported the arts and culture. All in all, the companies used some 17.4 million EUR to support the arts and culture in 2008. Of the total amount of support, two-fifths were from manufacturing companies and the rest from the class "other type of companies". There was a distinct fall in support from 1999 to 2003 and no recovery had taken place by 2008. The lack of recovery might reflect the inability of cultural institutions to adapt to new types of sponsorship, especially to joint marketing.