6. Cultural participation and consumption
Last update: June, 2011
At present, reaching new audiences is an increasing priority of cultural policy. In Portugal, efforts have been made to encourage participation by increasing the number of touring projects, launching of new programmes for amateur and university theatre, promoting cultural activities addressed to young people, launching of a National Reading Promotion Programme (1997) and a National Reading Plan (2006). Educational services in museums and other cultural institutions have intensified their work with schools and municipalities.
For several years, national museums have reduced tariffs for students at all levels, teachers, researchers, museology professionals, adults over 65 years and sponsors. On Sunday mornings, entrances are free for all visitors.
Book loans in Portuguese public libraries have no costs for users (see chapter 4.1.6 and chapter 7.2.4).
In connection with cultural participation, mention should be made of the Choices Programme which promotes the social inclusion of children and young people from disadvantaged social and economic backgrounds. With the support of local institutions (schools, training centres, associations and other social agents) responsible for designing, implementing and evaluating projects, this programme promotes inclusion through school, occupational training, leisure activities, and participating in the life of the community, amongst others. Some of these social action projects involve cultural and artistic activities, and play a key role in the social integration of the communities they target.
This government-sponsored programme is currently run by the ACIDI and funded by the Ministry of Labour and Social Solidarity and the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Higher Education.
Last update: June, 2011
Table 7 gives an idea of the overall trends in public participation in cultural activities between 1990 and 2009. There is evidence of a general upward trend in participation (except for a decrease in cinema for the last years).
Attendance numbers at cultural venues and events have increased significantly over the last decades. There has been a sharp increase in attendance at live events due to a matching increase in the number of new or improved cultural venues. Although the lack of data regarding libraries it is possible to note an increase in the numbers of those that use libraries. This is undoubtedly due to the dynamism generated by the National Public Library Network (RNBP) and the Readership Promotion Programme (integrated with the National Reading Plan in 2007).
Mention should also be made of the theatre where, despite low numbers in absolute terms, there has also been very marked growth during the period 1990-2009.
Table 7: Participation, absolute numbers, in thousands, 1990-2009
|1990||9 593||327||6 317||2 037||680||-|
|1991||8 234||302||6 578||1 769||666||-|
|1992||7 848||361||6 596||2 120||839||-|
|1993||7 786||192||7 202||2 098||767||-|
|1994||7 135||411||8 292||3 507||979||2 781|
|1995||7 397||339||8 667||4 101||616||2 397|
|1996||10 446||281||8 395||4 369||655||2 028|
|1997||13 708||232||8 286||5 885||929||2 462|
|1998||14 837||229||8 645||6 368||817||3 900|
|1999||17 026||407||-||9 262||909||3 364|
|2000||17 915||614||7 368||9 992||2 296||3 787|
|2001||19 469||970||8 556||12 096||2 865||4 196|
|2002||19 480||1 267||9 163||11 893||2 997||5 527|
|2003||18 723||1 281||8 922||12 794||3 356||4 918|
|2004||18 800||1 706||8 980||-||5 268||4 958|
|2005||17 165||1 746||9 725||-||7 292||5 022|
|2006||16 367||1 556||10 315||-||7 248||5 544|
|2007||16 318||1 762||9 971||-||8 042||6 890|
|2008||15 979||1 850||11 648||-||9 254||8 049|
|2009||15 705||1 816||12 932||-||8 322||8 625|
INE - Estatísticas da Cultura, Desporto e Recreio, 1990/2007; INE, Estatísticas da Cultura, 2008/9. (http://www.ine.pt/).
Survey on libraries suspended by INE since 2004.
Please find the available information on this subject in 6.2.
Last update: June, 2011
Amateur arts and folk culture
Local authorities play a key role in supporting cultural associations and local cultural activities. Volunteer associations make a significant contribution to local cultural life and they play a major role promoting theatrical performances, book fairs, film shows and folklore.
The Regional Directorates for Culture (Ministry of Culture) provide support to local non professional agents and projects in the traditional cultural domain (Regulatory Decree n. 34/2007).
The work of the INATEL Foundation should also be mentioned here. The new legal framework for this private foundation of public utility was established by the PRACE restructuring (see chapter 1.1, chapter 1.2.1 and chapter 1.3.1).
Presently, under the guidance of the Ministry of Labour and Social Solidarity, INATEL Foundation aims to offer social services, in the areas of social and senior tourism, and social and senior spas. The foundation also provides technical and financial assistance to collective associates in the fields of ethnography, folklore, music, theatre and cinema and promotes cultural events such as festivals, conferences and performing arts productions.
The work of INATEL Foundation involves around 250 000 individual associates and 3 500 collective associates as well as a network of social hotels and a permanent structure of social and senior tourism and other facilities (a theatre and sport facilities).
Several competitions in artistic creativity are carried out annually covering areas such as video, visual arts, choral, philharmonic and orchestral music, new drama, story-telling and ethnography.
Recently, special attention has been given to training of associative managers and artistic performers. A specific programme was launched aimed to promote several workshops and brief courses all over the country regarding artistic and ethnographic issues. Technical visits to collective associates (e.g. philharmonics; folklore groups and amateur theatre groups) are also promoted in order to i) understand the main issues they face today and ii) guide their activity and performances in technical terms.
National Support Plans, which are organised for the areas of ethnography, music, and amateur theatre, include financial support as well as provision of equipment (such as musical instruments, light and sound equipment, footwear and traditional costumes) to collective associations with the objective of encouraging and developing their artistic activity.
Cultural houses and community cultural clubs
These entities of the third sector are usually supported by the Local Administrations, but partnerships with the public sector as well as with the private one are increasing in number.
Recently, "collective houses" for young people are emerging as a new initiative in Portuguese society.
In 2006 the Portuguese Youth Institute (IPJ) established four support programmes for youth associations:
- Juvenile Support Programme (PAJ), to develop youth association activities and informal youth groups;
- Infrastructure Support Programme (PAI), for investments in infrastructure and facilities for youth association activities and premises;
- Student Support Programme (PAE), to provide financial support for the activities of student associations; and
- Training Programme, to train association leaders for association activities
Those seeking support under these programmes must be registered with the National Register of Youth Associations (RNAJ). These associations also qualify for some tax exemptions and reductions.