6. Cultural participation and consumption
Last update: December, 2020
Both public and private cultural consumption as well as cultural participation are not continuously monitored nor systematically promoted by the Ministry of Culture and Media or local communities. In most cases cultural organisations themselves promote their programmes and invest in reaching an ever wider audience. There are very few surveys and statistical information or analysis that could result in designing polices to link participation in cultural life to the broader issues of citizen participation. The absence of this kind of information affects the quality of decision-making, especially aimed at decreasing the existing disproportions in the level of cultural development throughout Croatia. However, selected research data indicates a strong correlation between both indexes of cultural consumption and several indicators of socioeconomic status, education level, gender and residential status in Croatia (Tonković et al. 2017). Research shows that there are significant differences in various Croatian regions: the wider Zagreb metropolitan area, Rijeka and Gorski Kotar are the only regions with an above average cultural consumption index. Thus, cultural consumption is strongly related to the overall development of an area (Tonković et al. 2017).This has also been corroborated in the research on cultural capital and cultural taste of Croatian youth in the cities on the Adriatic coast (Tonković et al 2020). It also has to be added that in Croatia, policies regarding access to culture remain mostly implicit and revolve around traditional models connected to instruments dating back to socialism; while on the other selected cultural organisations develop instruments for fostering it where European projects have an influence (Primorac et al 2017).
There are no strategies on the national level or on local levels in relation to cultural participation and consumption, but there are several programmes that are oriented towards enhancing cultural participation. One example started in 2012, when the Ministry of Culture, in association with the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports, started a pilot programme "Backpack (full) of Culture / Ruksak (pun) kulture", with the aim of bringing artists and cultural events directly to kindergartens, primary and high schools. The pilot programme was successful, and in October 2013 the Ministry of Culture issued a public call for expression of interest for artists, arts organisations and cultural NGOs to participate in this programme. The Ministry of Culture and Media provides financing for the selected programmes, while the Ministry of Science and Education was responsible for providing the network of schools that hosted the selected programmes. The Programme was oriented to children and youth from 3-18 years of age, while the artistic range of the programmes was diverse – from performing arts, fine arts, film, cultural heritage to literature, and in particular programmes oriented to the promotion of reading. In 2019 the number of submitted and accepted applications rose (184 and 66 respectively), and 6 369 children participated in the programme. Thus, the implementation of the programme resulted in a high number of quality artistic programmes distributed to a large number of pupils and students throughout Croatia, contributing to the decentralisation of culture and providing better access to culture for children and youth. Additionally, in 2018, a special pilot programme for the islands called ‘The Island Backpack’ was created that resulted in the execution of 43 programmes and workshops on a number of Croatian islands where more than 600 children participated. Another programme of note that was developed as a pilot project in 2017 is The Programme of Audience Development, which was implemented through a public call for funding of projects and programmes oriented to audience development in different fields of culture and the arts. In 2019, 365 applications were submitted and seventy-eight programmes in different fields have been approved with a total funding of approx. 266 666 EUR. In addition, The National Strategy for Promotion of Reading is been implemented (see chapter 3.5.2) to focus on better access to books, development of reading and literacy activities etc. In 2019 the network of mobile libraries ‘Bibliobus’ celebrated fifty years in operation in the Republic of Croatia. This led to establishing the 9th of June as a Day of Croatian Bibliobuses in order to highlight the importance that mobile libraries have for the cultural life throughout the country as many towns still do not have local libraries. 12 counties do not yet have bibliobuses and mobile libraries currently provide services in only 9 counties and a number of these bibliobuses need to be renewed or replaced due to wear-and-tear.
Enhancing cultural participation in audiovisual activities is provided by the National Audiovisual Programme for digitalisation of cinemas throughout Croatia (see chapter 2.4). An additional feature of the measure was the establishment of the new Croatian Network of Independent Cinemas – ‘Kino mreža’ in 2014, which has grown to more than fifty members. However,the number of specialised cinematéques is minimal – ‘Kino "Tuškanac"’ and Kino “Kinoteka” in Zagreb, Kinoteka "Zlatnavrata" in Split and Art kino Croatia offer film programmes with special focus on audiovisual heritage. The first cinema specialised for documentary films in the region of South-eastern Europe opened in Zagreb in June 2009 – Dokukino, but currently it is based only as a programme in various different venues. New programmes in this area are being developed through funding from the EU programmes that encourage cultural participation of older populations and youth (see chapter 2.6).
Special categories of the population (school children, people with disabilities and senior citizens) pay only 50% of the full ticket price for some events. Rebates for university students are also available from selected theatres, museums, etc. There are also reduced cards or tickets available such as the "Zagreb ticket" or "Dubrovnik card" which can be used to buy cheaper tickets for various cultural events, but which are primarily oriented towards tourists. Other cities in Croatia are introducing different incentives in order to increase participation.
Last update: December, 2020
A total of 160 theatres operated from 1 September 2019 to 31 August 2020. A number of professional theatres have permanent venues at their disposal, either in-house or located somewhere else. Therefore, along with 89 professional theatres, there were 9 operating permanent venues. In addition, there were 31 professional children’s theatres, which included 9 puppet theatres and 40 amateur theatres.
Due to the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of all public institutions in spring 2020, the number of active professional and amateur theatres decreased. The number of amateur theatres decreased by 12% compared to the previous season. According to data by the Croatian Bureau of Statistics (2020b), this difficult season for performing arts affected professional children’s theatres the least: professional theatres for all ages performed 34% less plays and had 36% less visitors than in the previous season; amateur theatres performed 41% less plays and had a decrease in the number of visitors of 57% compared to the 2018/2019 season, while professional children’s theatres had 18% less plays and 28% less visitors than in the previous season.
During the 2019/2020 season, there was a significant decline in the concert season for professional ensembles, orchestras and choirs. Compared to the 2018/2019 season, the number of concerts declined by 30% and attendance dropped by 39%. Professional choirs performed 18 concerts, which was a decline of 45% compared to the previous year. Concerts were attended by 12 150 visitors, which was 51% less than in the 2018/2019 season. These are stark differences in comparison to previous years and are shown n Table 4 which shows cultural attendance trends in the 1983-2020 period. For example, attendance in cinemas has shown a constant increase in the last decade, which is also visible in museum attendance as well as in attendance at professional children’s theatres. In the period 2013-2017, there was a slow but steady increase in radio and television subscribers, as it can be seen from Figure 2.
Table 4: Attendance data for specific cultural fields (in thousands), 1983-2020
|Year||Professional theatres*||Cinemas||Museums and museum collections||Professional children's theatres*||Professional orchestras, ensembles and choirs*|
|1983||1 101||21 324||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|1997||705||3 233||1 129||N/A||N/A|
|2000||658||2 743||1 073||N/A||N/A|
|2002||879||2 766||1 074||426||279|
|2003||1 024||2 343||1 268||429||286|
|2004||1 043||2 976||N/A||436||374|
|2006||941||2 669||1 674||370||378|
|2008||1 067||3 283||N/A||404||318|
|2009||1 033||3 524||2 191||379||323|
|2010||1 184||3 355||N/A||387||320|
|2011||1 261||3 558||N/A||399||290|
|2012||1 211||4 064||2 284||399||294|
|2013||1 161||4 156||N/A||569||332|
|2014||1 374||4 079||N/A||386||356|
|2015||1 245||4 347||2 710||477||270|
|2016||1 690||4 532||N/A||487||317|
|2017||1 540||4 814||N/A||555||380|
|2018||1 435||4 859||2 912||570||469|
|2019||1 485||5 026||N/A||557||297|
Source: Republic of Croatia – Central Bureau of Statistics, Statistical Yearbooks for noted years and from ‘First Releases’ of ’Cinematography’, ‘Artistic production and live performances’ and ‘Museums, galleries and collections’ (see also Sources and links).
Note: Table is compiled from four different Tables (Culture and Arts, Museums and Museum Collections, Professional Children's Theatres, and Professional Orchestras, Ensembles and Choirs) given in the section "Culture, Arts and Sport" in all yearbooks and ‘First release’ data collections(see also Sources and links).
* The data provided concerns seasons not years, thus data for 2002 reflects the season 2001/2002.
Figure 2: Radio and television subscribers in Croatia, 2013-2017. Source: Central Bureau of Statistics, 2019a.
There have not been any representative surveys taken in recent years on receptive or on active participation. In addition, there are no special surveys monitoring the participation of national minority groups or immigrant groups in cultural life or specific research on the composition of audiences at multicultural or other type of festivals.
Last update: December, 2020
According to the data of the Central Bureau of Statistics (2019b), the personal expenditure for "Recreation and Culture" in 2017 represented 5.5% of the total household expenditure. This data shows a decrease in comparison to 2014 when it represented 6% of total household expenditure. In 2011, it represented 5.3%, in 2010 it was 5.6%, and it in 2009 it amounted to 5.99% (Central Bureau of Statistics, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015).
Table 5: Personal consumption expenditures, average by household, 2017.
|Expenditure group||Expenditures, (in HRK)||Structure of expenditure, (%)|
|9. RECREATION AND CULTURE (TOTAL)||4 506||5.5|
|9.1. Audio-visual, photographic and information processing equipment||468||10.4|
|9.1.1. Equipment for receiving, recording and reproduction of sound and picture||(226)||(48.3)|
|9.1.2. Photographic and cinematographic equipment and optical instruments||n/a||n/a|
|9.1.3. Information processing equipment||(198)||(42.3)|
|9.1.4. Recording media||(17)||(3.6)|
|9.1.5. Repair of audio-visual, photographic and information processing equipment||n/a||n/a|
|9.2. Other durables for recreation and culture||n/a||n/a|
|9.3. Other recreational equipment, gardens and pets||1 037||23.0|
|9.3.1. Games, toys, hobbies||(130)||(12.5)|
|9.3.2. Equipment for sport, camping and open-air recreation||(93)||(9.0)|
|9.3.3. Gardens, plants and flowers||362||34.9|
|9.3.4. Pets, pet foods and related products||355||34.3|
|9.3.5. Veterinary and other services||(96)||(9.3)|
|9.4. Recreational and cultural services||1 861||41.3|
|9.4.1. Recreational and sporting services||(369)||(19.8)|
|9.4.2. Cultural services||1 333||71.7|
|9.4.3. Games of chance||(159)||(8.5)|
|9.5. Newspapers, books and stationery||805||17.9|
|9.5.2. Newspapers and magazines||232||28.8|
|9.5.3. Miscellaneous printed matter||(4)||(0.5)|
|9.5.4. Stationery and drawing materials||146||18.1|
|9.6. Package holidays||(242)||(5.4)|
Source: Central Bureau of Statistics (2019a).
Last update: December, 2020
The relationship between culture and civil society in Croatia has to be viewed on several levels: the first refers to the infrastructure of cultural and educational centres throughout the country and its changing role; the second is related to the long tradition of amateur arts and folk culture; the third refers to the impact that civil society organisations in contemporary arts and culture have, and finally the role that the Kultura nova Foundation has in their development and the development of civil society in culture in general.
Community (cultural and educational) centres are mostly established by local authorities or run by NGOs on the local (city or municipal) level. There are a growing number of such centres (especially in small cities) involved in different aspects of cultural life, from traditional amateur arts activities to new media. A Network of the open community learning centres (Zajednica pučkih otvorenih učilišta / Association of Community Centres) consists of community cultural and educational centres offering educational programmes for children, youth or adults and cultural programmes. All of these centres are mostly funded by local authorities but there is no data available on the state level that would give some indication of their penetration, impact and overall budgets. In small towns, these centres are very important as sometimes they are the only host of cultural activities. Unfortunately, no new overall data on these centres exists, and the latest data published by the Central Bureau of Statistics relates to 2008/2009. In that season there were 217 institutions that belonged either to public open universities, houses of culture, cultural centres or to similar types of organisations, and they are spread evenly around the country (Central Bureau of Statistics, 2012: 505). In the last couple of years, the role of these centres and the sustainability of their financing are under question, thus creating a number of initiatives for their redefinition (see chapter 2.7).
One of the main characteristics of cultural life in Croatia is a diversified landscape of amateur cultural activities that usually take place in halls and in schools; considered to be the most evenly distributed form of cultural infrastructure in the country. Although the Ministry of Culture and Media considers that local authorities should take responsibility for amateur activities, it nevertheless provides funding for their activities. The reasons for the Ministry's support are: there are hardly any other cultural activities in small towns / villages; the difficult financial situation in many local communities; protection of valuable forms of traditional heritage; and stimulation of awareness about the importance of culture for the identity and revitalisation of towns and regions. The Croatian Culture Assembly (Hrvatski sabor kulture) has its roots in the hundred-year-old tradition of amateur cultural and artistic activities and its mission is oriented to the support and development of amateur cultural and artistic activities. It unites 11 county associations, and it comprises of 1 026 NGOs with 2 346 different performing groups (drama, painting and drawing, literary, dance, ethno, majorette groups, orchestras, vocal and choir groups) with more than 80 000 members. It is a member of CISM, AITA, AMATEO, etc.
The Law on the Protection and Preservation of Cultural Assets (Article 9), under immaterial cultural heritage, stipulates the special status of folk activities. Two examples of a long tradition of activities in folk and traditional culture have to be mentioned:
- The National Folk Dance Ensemble of Croatia "Lado" was founded in 1949 in Zagreb as a professional national ensemble, with the aim of researching, artistically interpreting and presenting on stage the rich tradition of Croatian music and dance; and
- The International Folklore Festival that celebrated over 50 years of continuous activities. The Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Culture is a scientific institution that among its other activities regularly publishes research on folklore and traditional culture in Croatia.
The Kultura nova Foundation was established by The Law on the Kultura nova Foundation in 2011 with the purpose of promoting and developing civil society in the Republic of Croatia in the fields of contemporary arts and culture. The foundation is in full operation since December 2012. Since then it has supported a number of organisations and programmes through programme areas dedicated to the support for organisations, conception and preparation of new projects, development of cooperation platforms in the Republic of Croatia and development of cooperation platforms in Southeastern Europe. The funding for the Kultura nova Foundation is obtained partly through the Lottery Fund, donations and other sources according to the Law. The Foundation is very active in different activities related to the redefinition of existing cultural centres and building of new types of socio-cultural centres based on participatory governance – see chapter 2.7 for more information. Clubture Network is an important actor on the national, regional and international independent cultural scene and was a key lobbyist for the establishment of the Kultura nova Foundation. Established in 2002 as a platform of exchange, it continually develops programmes that are based on direct collaboration among independent cultural organisations (associations, artistic organisations and informal initiatives).