6. Cultural participation and consumption
Last update: December, 2020
The 1996 Law on Museums stipulates that free admission to the public must be guaranteed one day per week and that reduced tickets must also be made available (the amount to be determined by the museum directors). Museums have developed cultural education programmes for children and youth. A similar educational obligation is in the remit of public theatres, as one of their statutory aims, although it is rarely implemented.
Cultural centres also play a very special role in promoting participation in cultural life. First of all they provide facilities for amateur art activities and help to organise various events. There is also formal co-operation between schools and the cultural centres as part of a cultural education programme.
The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage runs the Accessible Culture programme. The strategic goal of the programme is to support tasks aimed at facilitating access to culture, aimed at a wide audience and favouring social integration. These activities should serve to achieve real, systemic and long-term effects in eliminating barriers to access to culture in the following dimensions: spatial, economic, social-mental and competence, with particular emphasis on the needs of people from localities deprived of direct access to national resources of cultural goods, cultural institutions and artistic institutions. The second programme of the Ministry to increase participation in culture is Digital Culture. The strategic goal of the programme is the development and digitisation of cultural heritage resources, as well as making available and enabling the re-use of digital resources for popularisation, educational and scientific purposes.
Last update: December, 2020
The data on cultural participation in Poland is being collected by the Centre for Public Opinion Research on annual basis. The 2018 survey was carried out in January 2019 on a representative data sample of 928 adult citizens of Poland.
According to the report of the Centre for Public Opinion Research, the cultural participation in 2018 in Poland increased as compared to the previous year. In 2018, 56% of respondents declared they have been to a cinema, 44% to attended a concert, 34% attended an exhibition and 24% went to a theatre. The increase of cultural participation continues since 2016.
The percentage of respondents who participated at least once in a particular cultural activity:
|Went to a cinema||44||43||47||45||49||47||49||56|
|Attended a concert||34||37||37||37||40||39||41||44|
|Attended an exhibition (gallery, museum)||26||31||28||27||32||31||33||34|
|Attended a play in a theatre||18||19||20||19||22||19||22||24|
|Read a book for pleasure||57||59||59||60||63||62||64||67|
|Used Internet for non-professional purpose||55||63||63||67||66||70||71||73|
|Attended a sport event||35||39||40||39||36||38||41||43|
There is an apparent correlation between the education level, income per capita and the place of residence, and the rate of participation, with people with higher education, higher income and from bigger cities participating in culture more often. There is also an apparent correlation between age and cinema attendance, with younger people attending more often (92% of respondents between 18 and 24 years old declared that they went to a cinema at least once in 2018).
Last update: December, 2020
Household expenditure on culture in PLN (EUR)
|Newspapers and periodicals||42.48|
|Books and other publications||15.00|
|Theatre, music hall, cinema entry fees||11.16|
|Purchase of stereo appliances||8.64|
|Purchase of TV sets||22.56|
|Purchase of video appliances||11.04|
|Purchase of sound and image carriers||9.96|
|Radio, TV licence fees||44.52|
|Cable TV fees||62.52|
In 2018, the average percentage share spent on culture and cultural appliances amounted for 2,5% of the total household expenditure, similar to the previous year. The total household expenditure on culture per capita varied between urban and rural areas – 426,72 PLN and 247,08 PLN respectively.
Last update: December, 2020
Folklore preservation, including traditional arts, is associated mostly with rural areas. In many villages the tradition of regional arts is cultivated and more often operates as a local tourist attraction.
The protection, development and promotion of Polish folk culture are also the main aims of the "Cepelia" Polish Art and Craft Foundation operating since 1984. In particular, it supports research in the field of art, handicrafts and ethnography; arranges exhibitions, shows, concerts, lectures, conferences; establishes, maintains and supports the activities of the exhibition centres, art galleries and outlets selling works of art and handicraft products; supports the publishing of books, magazines, brochures, etc.; and promotes Polish culture and art abroad.
Folklore in its many forms (from arts and crafts to music and dance) is slowly gaining the interest of younger generations. It is no longer perceived as boring and unoriginal. Initiatives to popularise and re-new folk culture are becoming more common. Numerous design and music events using traditional folk patterns, instruments, tools, etc. in a modern way are gaining a wider audience every year.
The biggest organisation in Poland active in the field of folk culture and connected with the activity of unprofessional folk groups is the Polish Section of the International Council of Folklore Associations, Festivals and Folk Art (CIOFF – Conseil International des Organisations de Festivals de Folklore et d'Art Traditionnels). Poland was one of the initiators of this organisation in 1970. It aims to protect folklore and folk art; foster international cooperation in the field of preservation and popularisation of folklore and folk art; and include the younger generation as much as possible in the implementation of these objectives. According to the CIOFF Annual Report 2015, CIOFF includes 118 members.
There are two professional folk ensembles in Poland: "Mazowsze" Tadeusz Sygietyński State Folk Song and Dance Ensemble and "Śląsk" Song and Dance Ensemble. The former is in a very good financial situation and owns an extremely modern base, which was renovated with the assistance of EU Structural Funds several years ago. There are also many amateur folklore groups and student groups.
Due to the engagement of local institutions, regional ensembles and ethnographers, traditional music is still present in rural areas. Folk music is increasingly an inspiration for modern musicians who play it in a traditional way or with jazz, rock or even techno arrangements. The festivals of folk music are becoming more and more popular. Since 1999, the Folk Artists Association in Lublin has conducted a national database entitled "Village artistic groups" including over 2 000 music ensembles, bands and theatre groups.
Cultural houses and community cultural clubs
Prior to 1989, cultural houses in Poland were leading institutions of the communist cultural politics. It was difficult to find their equivalent in democratic European countries. There were even problems with translating the term itself. No law defines cultural houses. The Act on Organising and Conducting Cultural Activity merely states that this is one of the possible forms of organising cultural activity, but does not indicate differences or gives a description. However, cultural houses run by state enterprises were dismantled in the free market economy environment because their costs were seen as unjustified.
Today, cultural houses and centres are creating a new image for themselves as a shelter for amateur art and various programmes aiming at broadening participation in cultural life, with a special focus put on those parts of the population which are "socially excluded". Together with libraries, they are often the only cultural institutions in the Polish suburbs. Their activities are undertaken in co-operation with and financed by local governments, mostly the municipalities and communes.
The extent to which cultural houses and community cultural clubs are financed by the the government and local administrations is presented in chapter 7.1.3.
An important programme has been launched by the National Centre for Culture. The Culture House + (Dom kultury +) aims at creating equal access to culture for the inhabitants of rural areas and improvement of participation in culture. The concept of the programme is to initiate the process of transformation of the existing culture houses into modern local culture centres. The programme consists of three priorities: Training, Development and Infrastructure. An important part of the programme is creating the Support Network – an interactive platform of cooperation and exchange for all culture houses. It aims at having development strategies created on the basis of socio-economic-cultural diagnosis of the given municipality or commune; actively animating the cultural life of local communities; creating possibilities for basic but universal cultural education, etc.
In 2018, there were 4237 cultural centres, houses and clubs (in 2017 – 4230). The majority of them are located in rural areas (63,3%) (GUS Kultura).