arts funding

arts funding
   Funding for the arts derives from three main sources, direct subsidies from government bodies, indirect aid through tax incentives and private financing.
   Direct funding from tax and other revenue is provided at three levels, by central government in the guise principally of the Ministry of Education and Culture/Arts, by the autonomous regional authorities and by municipal authorities. Central government funding supports institutions such the nineteen national museums most of which are in Madrid, the fifty or more state museums, the autonomous Prado Museum and Queen Sofía Museum, the National Library, the Royal Theatre and various theatres and concert halls. It also contributes 70 percent of the upkeep of over eighty cathedrals, makes capital grants to the regions and municipal authorities for largescale building projects (e.g. the Valencia Institute of Modern Art (IVAM) and the Bilbao Municipal Art Museum), and subsidizes a wide range of cultural activities including the film industry (see also film and cinema). In the 1980s the overall arts budget increased by some 70 percent, but the 1990s have seen a series of reductions leading to cuts in arts subsidies, in capital grants to the regions, and in allocations to the museums. Building projects have had to be interrupted and "spectacular" art exhibitions are less frequent in the face of diminishing funds and the rising costs of insurance and transport.
   As a result of increased and increasing devolution the autonomous regions and municipal authorities are emerging as major funders of the arts, and this trend is set to continue with central government happy to transfer to them responsibility for buildings and events from which they derive tourist revenue. In 1995 the wealthy region of Catalonia and the city of Barcelona were the biggest spenders, though Madrid residents benefit from central government monies spent on national institutions in the capital. Indirect public funding of the arts is by means of various tax reliefs. The Law of Patronage passed in 1994 regularized the part payment of tax by donating works of art to eligible institutions. These now include the various foundations which also enjoy a reduced corporate tax.
   Finally a huge contribution is made by private individuals and institutions. Foundations such as the Juan March are major patrons of the arts, as are the Cajas de Ahorros (Savings Banks) which are required by law to devote half their profits to community works. The Caixa de Pensions of Barcelona funds among other things research in arts and science, chamber music recitals and a library service, and Cajamadrid and many others throughout Spain are active in the arts area. Major banks such as BBV, Central Hispano and Exterior de España and large business enterprises have set up cultural foundations and the larger universities also play an important role. Lastly the contributions of individual art lovers and societies of friends of the larger museums are valuable sources of income.
   See also: art collections; arts policy

Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture. 2013.

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