Possibly culture? State funding for culture in Finland in 2019.

Summary in English

In the working paper we examine state funding for culture in Finland in 2019 with a focus on so-called direct support. Various forms of indirect support for the arts and culture, such as special social and fiscal policy solutions, were left outside the scope of analysis. We examine the state funding for culture also by sector of governance and how it is allocated by art form, as precisely as our data allows.

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Read the report in Finnish here:

Olli Jakonen, Ari Kurlin Niiniaho, Katja Oksanen-Särelä & Sakarias Sokka 2021. Mahdollisesti kulttuuria? Valtion kulttuurirahoitus Suomessa vuonna 2019. Cuporen työpapereita 13. Kulttuuripolitiikan tutkimuskeskus Cupore.

ISBN 978-952-7200-58-2 (pdf); ISSN 2343-2284 (pdf)

Summary

In the working paper we examine state funding for culture in Finland in 2019 with a focus on so-called direct support. Various forms of indirect support for the arts and culture, such as special social and fiscal policy solutions, were left outside the scope of analysis. We examine the state funding for culture also by sector of governance and how it is allocated by art form, as precisely as our data allows.

The data consist of budget documents and financial statements, as well as communications with state officials representing different sectors, funding data provided by the officials and data provided by other actors on our request. The applied research method is budget-focused content analysis and coding. In the classification of the funding for arts and culture we have applied the statistical framework presented by the working group European Statistical System Network on Culture (ESSnet-CULTURE final report) and created on its basis 7 main domains and 35 subdomains. We examine the funding by cultural domain and through the funding allocated to the arts and culture by the different sectors of governance. The data enable us to analyse the funding both by funding source (different sectors and units of state governance), funding form (e.g. central government transfer or subsidy or budget funding and gambling revenues), and by target (domains, forms of activities). 

Viewed through the applied framework of classification, the total funding given to arts and culture in Finland in 2019 by all the sectors of governance was EUR 1 328 M. Of that sum, the share of cultural funding allocated by the Ministry of Education and Culture was EUR 785 M. The amount of funding from the ministry allocated for arts and culture under the budget number 29.80 was EUR 452 M.

Of the different cultural domains, audiovisual culture and multimedia receive a lion’s share of the funding (EUR 413 M). The sum total includes the funding received by the Finnish Broadcasting Company Yleisradio Oy from the Ministry of Transport and Communications, which is often excluded from calculations concerning the cultural budget. Most of the funding in the domains of audiovisual culture and multimedia comes from the Ministry of Transport and Communications. The Ministry of Education and Culture did however also allocate nearly EUR 40 M to these domains in 2019.

A significant part of the state funding goes to performing arts (EUR 264 M). The domain includes music (EUR 174 M) and theatre (EUR 76 M), which are the two art forms to receive the most state funding. The emphasis can in part be explained by the funding allocated to the countrywide network of theatres and orchestras through the system of central government transfers. Music receives also a largest part of the central government transfers for basic arts education based on the number of hours of instruction. The Ministry of Education and Culture is the primary financier of performing arts even though music also receives support from other sectors of governance.

A majority of the funding for cultural heritage, museums and archives (EUR 170 M) comes from the Ministry of Education and Culture. This is also the case with the funding for libraries and book & press (EUR 55 M). The funding data on libraries do not in this context include the funding for public libraries through central government transfers from the Ministry of Finance for municipalities and their provision of basic services. A notable part of the funding in the domain of libraries is allocated to the National Repository Library and the National Library of Finland. In the domain of archives the most central target of financing is the National Archives of Finland.

All the state funding for visual arts is allocated through the Ministry of Education and Culture (EUR 16 M). Unfortunately it is impossible to naturally separate the share of the funding that goes to art-oriented work carried out by museums. In this working paper all the activities of museums are categorized in the domain of museums and cultural heritage. We do however present a separate estimate on the scale of the funding allocated to art museums.

The share of funding allocated to architecture, design and art crafts stands out as the most modest among the classified cultural domains. The funding in these domains comes for the most part from the Ministry of Education and Culture and, to a lesser extent, through the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. The funding for the Museum of Finnish Architecture and the Design Museum is classified into the domain of museums and archives, as we have done with all the museums.

Of the total state funding for culture in all our domains, we identified around 34 percent, i.e. EUR 452 M as distinctly allocated to art and various art forms. A considerable part of the state funding for culture cannot be placed under any specific art form or cultural domain due to its transversal nature. This is why we created the category of “other cultural activities” (EUR 401 M) with relevant sub-categories. It includes funding for culture in a broad definition and funding targets which are impossible to classify into individual domains based on the existing data (e.g. funding for culture through central government transfers for municipal basic services or artist pensions).

Although the Ministry of Education and Culture is the most significant supporter of arts and culture in Finland, nearly all the sectors of state governance support the arts and culture financially to some extent, each from their own premises, based on their own policy goals. The multiple funding channels not only between the ministries but also within the Ministry of Education and Culture make the overall funding framework rather fragmented and difficult to perceive. This gives rise to questions concerning the need for cross-sectoral coordination and cooperation. Our overview of the funding also revealed the need for access to clearer and more open funding data. It would serve towards the realization of information-based cultural policies, a fair allocation of resources and effective impact assessments.

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Possibly culture? State funding for culture in Finland in 2019.
Sakarias Sokka
Sakarias Sokka Senior Researcher

+358 50 387 2728 Researcher profile »

Olli Jakonen
Olli Jakonen Tutkija, YTM (toimivapaalla)

Researcher profile »

Katja Oksanen-Särelä
Katja Oksanen-Särelä Tutkija, VTM, LuK

+358 50 505 6414 Researcher profile »

Ari Kurlin Niiniaho
Ari Kurlin Niiniaho Tutkija, HM

+358 46 921 7755 Researcher profile »