D'Art 21: Assistance to Arts and Culture Festivals

Co-hosted by Budapest Observatory,
01 October 2005

D'Art Report: Assistance to Arts and Culture Festivals

Informe D'Art (en español): Apoyo a festivales artísticos y culturales

D'Art Topics in Arts Policy no.21, October 2005

IFACCA and Budapest Observatory

This inquiry was undertaken by Peter Inkei of the Budapest Observatory in response to some disquiet within Hungary at the level of subsidies given to festivals by the National Cultural Fund of Hungary (NCF) and the NCF’s subsequent desire to get a picture of levels of support for festivals internationally. The report begins with an overall analysis of the responses to the D’Art questionnaire. The author notes that, based on the responses, Hungary appears to be the only place where cultural and artistic goals and granting criteria are combined with those of tourism. According to the report, most respondents said there was no separate structure for the support given to festivals in their countries, with the exception of Canada, where the Arts Presentation Canada Program (APC) of the Department of Canadian Heritage funds non-profit organisations that present arts festivals, and Australia, where there are two festival-specific funding programmes, Festivals Australia and the Major Festivals Initiative.  

The report discusses responses to the question of whether agencies had a working definition of ‘festival’ and notes that most respondents said there was no precise definition. It examines whether respondents had a special programme for, or special assessment criteria to, festival funding applications, and whether funding agencies provided targeted application materials or information sheets. The report also examines trends in demand from festivals for funding over the past ten years, noting that five respondents said there had been an increase in demand, and other respondents estimating the likely percentage of its grants budget going to festivals. It states that most respondents said they did not provide any non-financial assistance to festivals and that control, accountability and evaluation are critical issues for funders everywhere. The report concludes with appendices providing information about the respondents to the survey and a list of reference and resources compiled by Christopher Madden of IFACCA from the D’Art responses and a search of on-line databases.