Artists expect respect and support from municipalities, municipalities more local vitality from artists – both sides hope for more collaboration
According to the latest Arts and Culture Barometer, professional artists and local municipalities both want to increase their mutual collaboration. At present, municipal support is of little importance to artists due to its scarcity. The barometer also highlights differences between municipalities and regional inequalities in terms of artistic work experienced by many artists.
Altogether 1080 professional artists and 160 local municipalities responded to the Arts and Culture Barometer, which has just been published. According to the barometer, the status of the arts is considered important and artistic work supported, especially in cities, but competition for funding is fierce. In smaller municipalities, common barriers to the promotion of the arts include a lack of resources, skills and expertise.
The financial support provided by municipalities is irrelevant to a large number of artists, as the funds are often directed to recreational activities or to maintaining art institutions and not to independent professional artists or working groups.
Artists wish for professional respect from municipalities and increased visibility for local actors, as well as funding that would enable artistic work. They also wish for better access to spaces suitable for artistic work, exhibitions and performances.
Both municipalities and artists expressed a desire for broader mutual cooperation. Altogether 67 percent of artists stated that they would be happy to work together with their local municipality’s cultural services and to use their professional skills working for their local municipality. Municipalities in turn seek positive synergies through collaboration, especially to promote the vitality and wellbeing of their local community.
There are two opposing trends among municipalities: some plan to invest in arts and cultural activities, as well as to integrate the work of artists more broadly into the activities and structures of the municipality, while others are concerned about the steady decline in municipal resources and the withering of arts and cultural activities.
The responses highlighted the regional inequalities in terms of artistic work experienced by many artists. Approximately half of the artists who responded to the survey have considered moving to a different municipality in order to improve the conditions for their artistic work.
Both municipalities and artists consider the local activities of the Arts Promotion Centre Finland (Taike) to be important, while also calling for more information about these activities.
The Arts and Culture Barometer also investigated the impacts of the corona pandemic on artistic work. According to the responses, these impacts have been significant and even devastating. A separate news release on the impacts of the corona pandemic was published in February 2021.
The findings of the barometer will be presented at the Taike & Cupore talks discussion forum on 15 April.
Download the report (in Finnish, overview and summary in English) in PDF format on the Cupore website:
Minna Ruusuvirta, Emmi Lahtinen, Kaija Rensujeff ja Ari Kurlin Niiniaho 2021. Taiteen ja kulttuurin barometri 2020. Taiteilijat ja taiteen tekeminen kunnissa. Cuporen verkkojulkaisuja 67. Kulttuuripolitiikan tutkimuskeskus Cupore ja Taiteen edistämiskeskus
Photo: report cover, graphic design Tiina Paju