3. Cultural and creative sectors
Last update: February, 2019
At state level, the Sub Directorate-General for Historic Heritage Protection and the Spanish Cultural Heritage Institute are the organisms responsible for heritage policies. Both bodies are in charge of protecting cultural heritage, enriching the state-owned collections, promoting international cooperation related to heritage and restoring works of art and archaeological objects owned by the state, other public administrations or the Church. The National Heritage Plans are the instruments for heritage management and are shared by different instances of the public administration with the participation of other public and private institutions. Its aim is the development of shared criteria, methods, and coordinated programs of activities, including actions of preservation, conservation, restoration, research, documentation, training and dissemination. There are currently 14 National Cultural Heritage Plans.
Also noteworthy is the task carried out by National Heritage, an organism attached to the Ministry of the Presidency, responsible for the assets of the Royal Sites (cultural and natural) and Royal Collections, which are currently State ownership derived from the legacy of the Spanish Crown. Among its strategic goals, contained in the Action Plan 2017-2021, are the development of a sponsorship policy, the increase in the total number of visitors and entrance revenues, the conservation of its heritage and the modernisation of the organisation.
In general terms, the current heritage policy is faced with three challenges, namely:
- updating national, regional and local legislation. There are new concepts and law figures to be included (intangible heritage) and there are controversial issues such as the right for private visits associated with the designation of movable and immovable material heritage under special categories (which poses technical problems in terms of access and conservation, as well as conflict of interest or troubles with the right to intimacy of the private owners);
- developing plans to foster comprehension and validation of cultural heritage sites and properties as a tool to promote local cultural identity; and
- differentiating, particularly at the local level, the intrinsic aims of conservation and protection and the extrinsic economic significance vis-à-vis tourism, within an overall regional policy.
Two other issues related to the current debate about Spain's cultural heritage are its diversity and the limits of its scope. This is part of an ongoing discussion about the term cultural heritage being extended to new fields, such as contemporary history, industrial properties and intangible heritage.
One of the goals of the Ministry of Culture during the past few years has been to improve the management of historical heritage and to allow its integration into the “society of knowledge”. Both aims are incorporated in the Culture Plan 2020 through different initiatives, such as:
- the “Cultura inteligente 2020” [Intelligent Culture 2020] aimed to facilitate the digital transformation of cultural institutions, as well as the standardization, interoperability and reutilization of digital cultural contents;
- the updating of the web portal on assets of the Spanish historical heritage (PH.es);
- the establishment of a new audiovisual platform “Danzamedia” aimed at disseminating and studying the Spanish choreographic creation;
- the establishment of the Information Centre on the Spanish Cultural Heritage, and
- the design of new plans aimed to contribute to the conservation of digital heritage and the digitisation of bibliographic heritage.
More recently, the central government has also encouraged the social accessibility to cultural heritage through initiatives such as Museos más sociales [Museums More Social] (see chapter 2.2) and the development of new publics.
Last update: February, 2019
One of the goals of the Ministry of Culture during the past few years has been to improve the availability of cultural works to the general public via the Internet. With this goal, the Ministry has carried out various initiatives including the following:
- the Portal of Spanish Archives, a web-based database for the diffusion of national historical documentary heritage;
- the Virtual Library of Bibliographical Heritage that allows users to consult a wide range of online documents from Spain's bibliographical heritage;
- the Virtual Library of Historical Newspapers which participates in Europeana and EuropeanaLocal projects;
- the Museum Libraries Network (BIMUS) which allows access to the catalogues of libraries from 18 state-owned museums;
- Hispana, the Digital Collections of Archives, Libraries and Museums (with functions that are analogous to those of Europeana), and
- CER.es, the online catalogue of the Digital Network of Collections of 80 Museums located in 11 Autonomous Communities, which offers unified access to cultural assets of Spanish museums.
The Culture Plan 2020, passed in March 2017, also incorporates the improvement and technological modernisation of state archives, libraries and museums as a tool to promote a cultural offer of quality. Two outstanding initiatives are:
- the dissemination of the new version of the Portal of Spanish Archives (PARES 2.0 Beta), a web-based database for the diffusion of national historical documentary heritage and the possibility of consultation of the archival heritage through mobile devices;
- the promotion of a unique catalogue of Spanish authors in the National Library of Spain aimed at improving the knowledge and dissemination of Spanish authors in the public domain.
Last update: February, 2019
This information will be published as soon as possible.
The promotion of culture by encouraging artistic creation has been one of the strategic aims of government throughout the democratic period. This relevance, referred in many policy discourses, has been translated, though not always at desirable levels, in budget allocations. The performing arts and music is the art sector to benefit most from central and regional administrations, and, after cultural heritage, is one of the main areas of cultural intervention.
Main priorities in the past few years have included: increasing demand; strengthening the collaboration and participation of cultural institutions and sectors; and the implementation of a new organisational and management model that takes into account the territorial organisation of the country.
The aim of increasing demand has had unremarkable results so far. The strengthening of institutional cooperation has focused primarily on the exchange of productions in the regions, as well as the improvement of dialogue with municipalities. To this end, the government has promoted networks of circulation and the marketing of theatre, circus, music and dance, with the aim that cultural companies can perform their productions beyond their regions of origin, correcting territorial imbalances and providing more quality to cultural programming at all levels of government.
Regarding organisational issues, the creation of the State Council for Performing Arts and Music (497/2010 Royal Decree) has been one of the major changes in structures supporting the arts. This body receives, in a formal and institutional manner, requests and proposals from different sectors of music, theatre, dance and circus, as well as from local and regional governments, and contributes to the setting of priorities for the cultural policy in this area. The Council has been conceived as one of the fundamental instruments for achieving communication and cultural cooperation among the different actors.
During the past few years, the INAEM has also supported the development of comprehensive plans of action, such as the General Plan for Theatre, published in 2007 and revised in 2011, the General Plan for Dance 2010-2014, approved in November 2009, and the General Plan for Circus 2012-2015, approved in November 2011. All of the plans have been the result of reflection and participation of the performing arts sector in the analysis of the situation, the assessment of needs and the establishment of strategic lines for public policies.
Also in the field of artistic creation, the INAEM has promoted the approval of the new statutes of the National Dance Company (CUL/1993/2010 Order), the National Ballet (CUL/3065/2010 Order), the National Classical Theatre Company (CUL/3355/2010 Order), the Zarzuela Theatre (CUL/451/2011Order), the National Drama Centre (CUL/2039/2011Order) and the National Music Dissemination Centre (CUL/3359/2011 Order). All of them represented a profound change in the performing arts and music sectors. Among the objectives of the new institutions and their regulation are the impetus for educational initiatives which facilitate the understanding of their artistic programming and the development of campaigns aimed at attracting new audiences. During these years, the legal structures have proved to be unsuitable to properly deal with their artists, performers and technicians, and to assure flexible and adequate funding.
More recently, the Culture Plan 2020, passed in 2017, incorporates the following specific strategies for the period 2017-2010:
- the reform of the National Institute of Performing Arts and Music (INAEM), as an institution responsible for supporting the music and performing arts and the establishment of strategic areas of intervention. In relation to this aim, 2018 was a year of great unrest in some of the national performing arts institutions. The Zarzuela Theatre and the National Foundation of the Royal Theatre were merged in April (for more details see here) and this decision was reversed in June (for more details see here). More recently, the Socialist government has created a Commission to propose how the INAEM should be reformed as to become a more flexible and suitable body of government for the performing arts (for more details see here). The conclusions of the Commission were presented in December 2018 and are now to be considered in the future reform of the Institute;
- the establishment of mechanisms aimed at increasing the visibility, diagnosis and monitoring of the sector;
- the reinforcement of the programme “Platea 19”, aimed at guaranteeing diverse and quality programming in spaces owned by local entities;
- the design of a new National Theatre for Dance, as a permanent venue for the National Dance Company and the National Ballet;
- the development of the programme “Con red” [With net] to promote the circus sector;
- the development of the programme “Educaescena” to facilitate the application of inclusive and pedagogical formulas that connect performing arts and music with social needs;
- the establishment of a Training Plan for the Performing Arts that complements formal education; and
- the reinforcement of the programming of the National Centre of Musical Dissemination in matters of contemporary music.
In order to visualise the scenic creation and facilitate communication between creators, the INAEM launched the portals danza.es and teatro.es, which are linked to the Centre of Theatre Documentation.
Last update: February, 2019
Regarding the visual arts sector, at the end of 2011 a Strategy for the Visual Arts was launched by the Ministry of Culture, via its Directorate for Fine Arts and Cultural Assets. The Strategy examines participation, contributions and the consensus of the main professional associations in the field. Some of its main lines were included later on in the General Strategic Plan 2012-2015 of the State Secretariat for Culture and more recently in the Culture Plan 2020.
The voice of contemporary visual artists is represented by the Institute of Contemporary Art. It claims for better social recognition of contemporary art and a better access to public funding via the 1,5% of Cultural funding (for more details of the 1,5% Programme see here, and here for the 2018 call).
Outstanding initiatives in this area are the following:
- the new project of Tabacalera, the art centre in Madrid, as a venue for artistic production, research investigation and training, and for the dissemination of new forms of art and industrial creation;
- Tabacalera which opened its doors in 2015 in San Sebastian (the Basque Country) as an International Centre for Contemporary Culture with the aim of fostering and disseminating creation. Besides the cultural project, Tabacalera is also a cultural ecosystem of private initiatives and institutions, as well as a public venue for citizen enjoyment; and
- Medialab Prado in Madrid is a citizens’ laboratory that serves as a place of encounter for the production of open cultural projects. Activities are structured around work groups, open calls for the production of projects, collaborative research and learning communities that address a very wide range of topics.
The Spanish Association of Restorers and Conservers of Cultural Goods (ACRE) gathers professionals in charge of the preservation and restoration of cultural heritage. They claim that the professionals that make interventions over cultural goods should be highly and specifically trained. Regarding the crafts sector, since 1981, Fundesarte is the organisation of reference in the promotion and development of Spanish craft companies. Currently, it is part of the EOI Foundation (School of Industrial Organization), an entity linked to the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism (MINCOTUR) of the Spanish government. In July 2015, it published a report on the situation and competitiveness of the crafts sector in Spain.
Last update: February, 2019
The government's commitment to promote the culture industries resulted in the creation of a new Directorate-General for Cultural Industries and Policy and the implementation, in December 2008, of the first Plan for the Promotion of Cultural Industries. In the 2018 edition, it still does not include a definition of "cultural / creative industries", but it mentions the sectors to be included in the "cultural and creative industries". Following the classification of the European Commission Green Paper: Unlocking the Potential of Cultural and Creative Industries, the Plan adds to the traditional sectors (film, visual arts, cultural heritage, performing arts, television, radio, music, books and newspapers) new sectors closely linked to innovation and creativity such as: design, fashion, architecture, advertising, new media, video games and interactive arts. For the period 2018-2020, the aims of the Plan, based on previous editions and strategies incorporated in the Culture Plan 2020 of the State Secretariat for Culture, are the following:
- to promote incorporation of technology in the activity of cultural and creative sectors, as well as the transversal effects of cultural creativity and innovation in the general economy;
- to promote companies and entities of the third sector to increase their efficiency and profitability in the global market;
- to cooperate with institutions to promote collaboration, alliances and the establishment of networks;
- to improve business training and contribute to the professionalization of the sector;
- to create and consolidate occupation in all cultural and creative sectors;
- to increase social participation and public recognition of the sector;
- to promote respect for the authors’ rights and propose methodologies to estimate their value;
- to modernise and strengthen the functioning of the publishing sector editorial;
- to enrich the quality of the book offer; and
- to modernise bookshops and increase their cultural relevance.
In the particular context of small and medium enterprises (SME), the government, through the different plans for the promotion of cultural industries, has recognised SMEs as the core of the Spanish cultural and creative industry, and addressed one of the main problems faced by these companies: the financing of cultural and creative projects. To do this, the government has implemented a system of capital grants, and access to credit together with the Sociedad de Garantía Recíproca Audiovisual [Mutual Guarantee Society]. This is meant to promote the modernisation, innovation and technological adaptation of cultural companies and to increase the legal supply of cultural content on the Internet. In January 2017, an agreement between the European Investment Fund and CERSA (Spanish re-guarantee company) was signed to facilitate the access to funding of cultural industries.
Other measures implemented by the Ministry Culture and Sport are the following (for more details see here):
- action and cultural promotion, which are primarily related to foundations and associations;
- HISPANEX Scholarships addressed to finance university research projects in the field of Hispanic studies with America, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Mediterranean;
- IBEREX Scholarships for training cultural professionals from Iberoamerica;
- FormArte Scholarships for training and specialisation in activities and subjects within the competence of cultural institutions under the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport; and
- CULTUREX Scholarships for training and specialisation in cultural management in cultural institutions abroad.
According to the Cultural Statistics Yearbook 2018, published by the Ministry of Culture and Sport, which includes data from the Satellite Account on Culture in Spain for the period 2010-2016, the cultural industries sector represented almost 2.5% of GDP in 2016 (and 3.3% if one takes into account all activities related to intellectual property). This generated spill over effects in many other sectors of the Spanish economy, particularly in the field of information technologies, communication, innovation and tourism. The latest (provisional) data show that the Gross Value Added (GVA) of the Spanish culture industries in 2016 was 26 269 million EUR (and 34 491 million EUR if one takes into account all activities related to intellectual property). The most important sectors are publishing (8 494 million EUR) and audiovisual / multimedia (7 425 million EUR). The number of companies, whose main economic activity was defined as cultural, reached 118 407 in 2017, approximately 3.6% of all those recorded in the Central Companies Directory, published by the National Statistics Institute. In comparison to 2008, the number of cultural companies has increased with 6.1%.
Regarding employees within the cultural industry, 93.3% of cultural enterprises had between 0 and 5 employees in 2017, while 6% had between 6 and 49 employees and the remaining 0.7% had 50 or more. Data from the Labour Force Survey, published by the National Statistics Institute, shows that the number of employed people in the cultural field in 2017 was approximately 687 200, around 3.7% of total employment. The data on foreign trade in cultural goods show that the total value of exports of cultural goods stood at 1 932.9 million EUR in 2017, compared to imports of 2 319.5 million EUR, obtaining a trade deficit of 386.6 million. The strongest foreign trade is observed, as in other years, in books and press, with exports valued at 610 million EUR and a trade surplus of 244 million.
From a global perspective, there are four main challenges to be overcome by the culture industries in Spain:
- find a balance between the financial viability of the culture industries while, at the same time, adhering to rules preventing economic or cultural monopolies, particularly in the field of multimedia;
- reaffirm the independence of the culture industries, such as book publishing, film and the audiovisual arts in general;
- revise the approach to subsidising the culture industries (e.g. through grants, cheap loans, tax relief) to focus more on the creative side of the operation and improve the access to credit markets of small and medium firms; and
- persuade people to recognize that culture industries are a source of future economic growth as well as a mean of access to culture. Two possibilities for achieving this objective would be to foster "multimedia clusters" and to establish the application of new technologies to culture as one of the poles of regional development.
From a European comparative perspective, Eurostat data shows that the percentage of employed people in the cultural field in 2017 was 3.6%. The data on foreign trade in cultural goods show that, in 2016, exports and imports reached 0.63% and 0.59% of total exports and imports respectively. Regarding the contribution of the different Spanish cultural industries to the value added of total services in 2015, the most important are programming and broadcasting activities (0.41%), motion picture, video and television programme production, sound recording and music publishing activities (0.35%), followed by architectural activities (0.22%) and specialised design activities (0.16%).
Last update: February, 2019
Specifically in the case of books, the government priorities have been national and international promotion, as well as the promotion of reading and Spanish literature. In recent years, the government has supported the publishing industry in its adaptation to the digital environment. There are specific aids for the modernisation and digitisation of cultural industries and negotiations to achieve, within the framework of the European Community legislation, the same taxes for conventional books and digital books regardless of their form of commercialisation. In addition, the Ministry has continued supporting the internationalisation of the Spanish book industry through its presence in international book fairs and through the dissemination of Spanish books and literature). For this support, the Ministry collaborates with the network of the Cervantes Institute, cultural centres and universities in Latin America.
In the specific area of the promotion of reading, the Reader's House opened in Madrid in November 2012 as a cultural centre aimed at facilitating the meeting of the public in general and the professional world. In 2017, a new Plan for the promotion of reading 2017-2020 was launched by the Spanish Ministry. Also at the central level, the Maria Moliner Campaign (which has been organised by the Ministry since 1998) seeks to promote reading in towns of under 50 000 inhabitants.
Various schemes for encouraging book reading have also been explored at the regional level, such as the plans implemented in Andalusia (2000-2004, 2005-2010, 2012-2013), Extremadura (2002), Castile-La Mancha (2005), Murcia (2005, 2017-2019), Madrid (2006-2017) and Catalonia (2008, 2012-2016, 2017-2020).
At legislative level, the Spanish book industry benefits from the Ministry's "cultural exception" policy, with fixed book prices and the Reading, Books and Libraries Act, passed in 2007, which promoted the creation of a Reading and Book Observatory (see chapter 4.2.5).
The proposal of the Council of the European Union to reduce the VAT for electronic books and other electronic publication has not been incorporated to Spanish legislation, though the current government has included it in the Proposal for General Budget for the year 2019 (under negotiation).
A recent overview of the whole sector can be found in AC/E 2018 Yearbook which focuses on readers in the digital age.
Last update: February, 2019
The cinema and audiovisual sector were especially touched by the economic crisis. In addition to the decrease in public resources allocated to film production, cinema was affected by an increase in VAT in 2012 which was finally reduced in July 2018 (see chapter 4.1.4). Among the initiatives of the new Culture Plan 2020 of the State Secretariat for Culture, passed in 2017, for the period 2017-2020 are:
- the establishing of fiscal benefits in the Corporation Tax for investments in the production of videogames aimed at favouring the national production and international investment;
- the clarification of criteria for tax deductions on film and audiovisual productions;
- attracting international productions to facilitate administrative procedures in Spain, contracting local personnel through grants, etc.;
- the updating of the funding model for the sector aimed to make it more transparent and sustainable;
- the inclusion of curricular subjects related to cinematography and audiovisual in formal education, as well as in business schools;
In addition to these measures, the government has also sought to foster new business models of distribution and exhibition of films and to promote the international dissemination of Spanish cinema, especially through presence in the major international festivals. In recent years, with the aim of promoting the presence of European films in Spanish cinemas, the government has placed the quota system under firmer control and is also providing support for independent distributors. In addition, television operators (public and private) are obliged to invest 6% (if public) or 5% (if private) of their annual income in the production of European cinema and TV films (3% reserved for Spanish production).
The reinforcement of this measure - which was already established under the 25/1994 Act but had low compliance rates - has been essential in recent years to finance production and increase stability in the audiovisual production sector, since one-third of the external funding comes from television. The new Culture Plan 2020 extends this measure to the new platforms and introduces the new label “Es cine español” [It’s Spanish film] aimed at recognising Spanish films.
There are several public-private initiatives launched in Spain to promote the territorial reorganisation of the audiovisual sector and to build an internationally competitive industry. This is the case with the Ciudad de la Imagen, promoted in the nineties by the Autonomous Community of Madrid and Terrassa Audiovisual City, promoted in 2001 by the Catalan Government and Terrassa City Council. Both projects were established with the aim of making these cities the driving force behind the Spanish audiovisual industry both at home and abroad.
In 2009, Terrassa Audiovisual City was classified as a prime example of good practice in promoting creativity and innovation by the European Commission. The Catalan project is complemented by the project Parque Barcelona Media in the city's technological district - distrito 22@ - which was set up to reinforce the productive, cultural and research position of Barcelona and Catalonia. The Parque Barcelona Media, which is the result of collaboration between the Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona City Council and the business group Mediapro, is a platform of audiovisual and communication facilities and services, in which private companies and the university work together in the same location.
In the specific case of the videogame industry, one of the most outstanding initiatives was the creation, in July 2017, of a permanent commission composed of central and regional governments and professionals from the videogame sector to channel the initiatives and needs that should be reflected in the design of a plan for the development of the sector. In January 2019, the White Paper of the Spanish Development of Videogames was presented. This fifth edition, produced and edited by the Spanish Association of Production and Development Companies of Video games and Entertainment Software (DEV), with the support of ICEX Spain Export and Investment of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, includes a wide panorama of the videogame industry in Spain.
Last update: February, 2019
Please find the available information on this subject in 3.5.1.
In the area of creation, with special repercussions for the music sector, the Ministry has worked on two lines of action: the first is to update the legislation on intellectual property, and the second is to draw society's attention to the need to respect both cultural creators and cultural products. In the first line of action, the 2011/77/UE Directive, by which the period of protection of the rights of performers and sound recordings is extended in 20 years, has been introduced, and the Intellectual Property Act has been modified (21/2014 Act).
In the second line, the Comprehensive Plan for reducing and eliminating activities that infringe intellectual property (better known as the Anti-piracy Plan) was approved in 2005, to stop activities that infringe intellectual property rights. In December 2008, the Manual of Good Practices for the prosecution of crimes against intellectual property was presented by the Ministry of Culture. More recently, the government launched the label Cultura en Positivo, an initiative to support the legal supply of cultural content on the Internet, as well as some toolkits and handbooks on online security and intellectual property rights specially targeted at young people, parents, teachers, academic institutions and museums.
Last update: February, 2019
Since June 2018, the Spanish Ministry of
Science, Innovation and Universities is responsible for innovation and design.
However, some aspects of intellectual property rights are the responsibility of
the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Commerce.
Initiatives in this area include the 2013 Fashion Table,in which the Ministries of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness and of Education, Culture and Sport participated with the main representatives of the fashion and design industries and with manufactures and distributors of products. The Fashion Table seeks to boost the growth and the external image of the sector; it joins forces to take advantage of the potential and the importance acquired by these industries both nationally and internationally.
As a result, the National Fashion Awards were founded in 2013, aimed at rewarding and recognising the sector in the form of different kind of prizes.
Other awards in this area are the National Awards of Innovation and Design which celebrated its 25th edition in 2018. They seek to promote the culture of design and innovation in Spain, both in the business world and in the whole society. The Ministry of Culture and Sport also participates in the Madrid Design Festival (MDF) the first specific festival dedicated to design in Madrid. Among its events are exhibitions, interventions in public spaces, lessons and lectures by renowned international designers and programs for the dissemination of design in its various disciplines: industrial, interior, graphic, etc. In Barcelona, the OFFF Festival, after 18 years, has become the largest showcase and window of contemporary digital creativity in Spain.
Last update: February, 2019
In 2010, the Ministries of Culture, Industry, Tourism and Trade, and Foreign Affairs and Cooperation developed a Plan for the International Promotion of Cultural Tourism 2010-2012 with the aim of promoting the destination "Cultural Spain". In this line, the Ministries of Industry, Energy and Tourism, and Education, Culture and Sport signed a protocol at the end of 2013 to promote Spain as a cultural tourism destination. The protocol, which ended in December 2015, sought to intensify the promotion of museums, performing arts and music events, thematic cultural routes, world heritage sites, manifestations of intangible cultural heritage, as well as the strategy "Study in Spain".
In addition, Spain as a cultural tourist destination is embedded in the objectives and purposes of two lines of grants of the Sub Directorate-General for the Promotion of Cultural Industries and Sponsorship: the action and cultural promotion grants and those addressed to incorporate technology in the activity of cultural and creative sectors
The new Culture Plan 2020 of the Secretariat for Culture, for the period 2017-2020, includes a new protocol between the two Ministries to promote cultural tourism internationally as well as updating and disseminating the contents of the portal España es Cultura [Spain is Culture].
According to the Cultural Statistics Yearbook 2018, 12.8% of all trips made in 2017 for leisure, recreation or vacation by residents in Spain were mainly for cultural reasons, specifically 12.5 million of trips. To these trips we have to add the 12.8 million visits of international tourists in 2017 which were mainly for cultural reasons, representing 18.1% of total trips made for leisure, recreation or vacation of this group. The total spending associated with travels which are mainly for cultural reasons amounted to 6,747.7 million EUR for residents in Spain and 13,923.6 million EUR for visits of international tourists.