Development of cultural and artistic creativity and production
The main aim of the measure Development of Cultural and Artistic Creativity and Production is to cover all forms of fostering and promoting the culture and cultural activities and diversity of artistic expressions that will contribute to the development and improvement of the overall cultural lite in the Republic of Croatia. Proceeding from the achieved level of development of culture and cultural activities, by implementing the programmes of public needs in culture, the aim is to improve all aspects of cultural and artistic creativity and production, strengthen the overall participation in cultural life, preserve and develop cultural diversity, strengthen the uniformity of cultural development, promote culture as a development force of society, strengthen the awareness of valuating cultural products and strengthen cultural entrepreneurship and the status of artists. The aim with sustainable changes in the development of cultural and artistic creativity is to promote cultural production, distribution and participation, develop new cultural and artistic tendencies and directions, preserve and promote Croatian cultural identity in the country and worldwide and nurture the contribution of culture to the overall national development. This aim normatively stems from the constitutional provision on the freedom of cultural and artistic creativity and expression (1990) and the Act on financing public needs in culture (1990 and 1993). After drafting the National Report under the European National Cultural Policy Review Programme in 1998, in 2002 the Republic of Croatia adopted a long-term strategie document "Croatia in the 21st Century - Cultural Development
Strategy emphasizing "active cultural policy towards the arts and cultural industries" as a general priority goal . Since 2009 the Ministry of Culture as the authority in charge of the national cultural policy drafts its three-year strategie plan formulating the aim of Development of cultural and artistic creativity and production.
The measure Development of Cultural and Artistic Creativity and Production to support the diversity of artistic expressions is implemented through four separate activities of th Strategie Plan which the Ministry of Culture is responsible for:
- Supporting artistic creativity. production and participation in culture: The activity includes improving the development of all segments of contemporary cultural and artistic creativity in words, pictures, music, dance, theatre, film and other artistic expressions in the entirety of the cultural cycle, cultural activities and cultural life. ldentifying, valuating and fostering excellence is a priority means for its realization along with the furthering of entrepreneurship programmes in culture, the development of cultural infrastructure and participation in cultural life and strengthening the presence of Croatian art and culture in the world.
- The development of independent (non-institutional) culture: The activity includes the support to the "Kultura Nova" Foundation (financed by part of fortune games revenues) and stimulating activities of new media cultures focused on contemporary art production, projects and programmes contributing to the development of nongovernmental associations and organizations in culture and the stabilization of the noninstitutional and non-profit scene. The aim of supporting new media programmes is to develop civil society and neutralize the consequences of society commercialization and consumer culture. The emphasis is on activities promoting contemporary audio-visual urban expression, artistic research practice and the use of new technologies in the production of art. The activities include music, theatre and artistic festival programmes, productions, installations and exhibition projects, educational programmes and workshops, roundtables, lectures and events. As part of the development of independent (non-institutional) culture but also as a special modality of realisation, development of fine arts and contemporary visual creativity is encouraged, freedom of performing visual activities is promoted and protected, visual art events and preservation of national art heritage and cultural diversity are supported and development and promotion of fine arts are promoted.
- Fostering the development of performing arts: The activity includes supporting drama, performing arts, music and dance art as an inseparable part of the cultural identity and the continuity of the Croatian society viability. The fundamental organizational forms represent public and private theatres, (institutions, art organizations and companies), music ensembles, as well as cultural artistic and amateur drama associations. Their activities are aimed at developing the accessibility of culture throughout the Republic of Croatia in order to realise the broadest public needs in culture. ln order to further improve the activity, accessibility and quality of the programme, the aim is to raise the level of cooperation and to further develop performing arts as a whole. State aid fosters creative work, artistic development, cultural production and cultural consumption, programme diversity as well as the quality and creativity of independent artists. As regards the social security framework, the state has acknowledged the special status of freelance artists with respect to other workers. They have the right to retirement and disability insurance and to health insurance. Contributions are paid by the state budget.The Croatian Freelance Artists Association (HZSU) encourages and promotes creative work and public activity in culture and the arts, and it represents freelance artists' common interests, so as to help them achieve their goals and protect their rights. Freelance artists become members of the Association on the basis of their creative work and can apply to have their contributions paid by the state budget, as long as they meet the criteria laid dawn in the Regulations on the procedures and conditions for the recognition of the rights of artists to have their retirement, disability and medical insurance paid by the state budget of the Republic of Croatia. Applications by the artists are considered by an Expert Commission and decisions are subsequently confirmed by the Minister of Culture. When the Expert Commission has reached a favourable decision, the German Association of Freelance Artists registers the freelance artist with the Croatian lnstitute for Retirement lnsurance and the Croatian lnstitute for Health lnsurance according to the artist's place of residence. There are 30 art associations which appoint their members to the expert commissions (list available at: http://www.hzsu.hr/links.html).
- Development of literary publishing and library activities: To preserve significant literary and linguistic achievements and to maintain and improve the achieved level of quality of the Croatian book bath as a work of art and a cultural industry product , the activity includes support for ali aspects of the book chain - from authors and translators, through publishers and editors, distributors, bookstores and libraries to the reader as the final consumer. By supporting a market and culturally efficient process of production and distribution of books, periodicals and electronic publications, by increasing the participation of books in the cultural life, by strengthening international and inter-sector cooperation and the development of library activities, the aim of the Ministry of Culture is to ensure conditions for the preservation of national literary creation and publishing, allow for a more independent functioning of the book market, strengthen the reading culture and increase the recognisability of Croatian literary products in the European and global cultural context. The main legal source for librarianship is the Law on Library Activities and Libraries (1997 amended in 1998, 2000 and 2009). Library activities defined in this Law include the acquisition, collection, classification, sustenance, setting professional technical methods, access to books and other library materials and the functioning of bibliographie-information and documentation services. Libraries may be autonomous or components of other legal entities; they can be public or privately owned and are normally organised as institutions. Before being permitted to operate as a library, an institution must meet certain professional standards, including employing the required number of specialised trained staff, etc. The 2009 amendments to the law now enable foreign legal and private entities to establish libraries. There have been amendments in the regulation of requirements for the position of library director as well as specifie categorisations of library professions and their regulations. The Agreement on the Fixed Book Priee was signed in 2007 between the representatives of the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports, the Ministry of the Economy, Labour and Entrepreneurship, and the Croatian Chamber of Commerce - Community of Publishers and Bookstores. For the programmes and projects of all above mentioned activities the Ministry of Culture announces an annual Call for Proposals for programmes of public needs in culture of the Republic of Croatia to which freelance artists, art organizations, cultural institutions, legal and private entities engaged in culture on the territory of the Republic of Croatia, citizens, associations and local and regional self-government units can apply. The received annual proposals, counted in thousands, are considered independently by professional art councils for specific cultural and artistic fields based on general and specifie criteria for programme evaluation and are forwarded to the Minister of Culture for approval.
Challenges identified in the implementation of this measure : The main challenge is the disparity in public support for the so-called institutional culture with respect to the non-institutional which is a reason to support the establishment of the "Kultura nova" Foundation. ln addition, the challenge is in the initiated strategiec planning process by the Ministry of Culture not being followed and supported by the strategie planning of cultural actors - national and local cultural institutions as well as cultural and artistic organizations and associations and in the lack of systematic coordination with local national cultural policies.