Government grants to culture schools reintroduced
The Government intends to reintroduce government grants to municipal culture schools. The grants, which encompass SEK 50 million, will be used to broaden the offering within culture schools and reach new groups.
The proposal is made in the Government’s Spring Amending Budget, which is based on an agreement between the Green Party, the Swedish Social Democratic Party, the Centre Party and the Liberals.
“More culture to more people is the lodestar of the Government’s culture policy, and I am delighted that we are reintroducing support to culture schools, which will give more children and young people the opportunity to take part in their activities. This is an important initiative for more equitable culture schools,” says Minister for Culture and Democracy Amanda Lind.
Between 2016 and 2018, the Swedish Arts Council distributed grants totalling SEK 100 million annually to municipal culture schools. By the end of 2018, the majority of municipalities with culture schools had applied for grants, and these were primarily used to broaden the offering and reach new groups. The grants were removed in the budget approved by the Riksdag in December 2018, but will be reintroduced from 1 July this year. The Government proposes funding of SEK 50 million for 2019 – as opposed to SEK 100 million previously – because the funds approved now will only apply to the second half of the year.
“I really want to highlight the significance of culture schools. It is extremely important that children and young people have the opportunity to play instruments, paint, do drama, and express themselves in other ways,” says Ms Lind.
Government policy on municipal music and culture schools
In May 2018, the Riksdag adopted new national objectives for central government initiatives for municipal culture schools.
To achieve these objectives, the Government has undertaken the following initiatives:
Since 2018, there has been a National Culture Schools Centre within the Swedish Arts Council, tasked with supporting municipal culture schools. The centre distributes grants, identifies educational and development needs, and monitors statistics in the area. It is funded to the tune of SEK 10 million per annum.
The Culture Schools Leap, which aims to train more teachers and educators for culture schools by supplementing existing teacher training, was launched in 2018. Access to good teachers and educators in municipal culture schools is the key to successful culture schools.
The Swedish Council for Higher Education and the Swedish Arts Council have been jointly tasked with surveying the need for, and providing information on, higher education programmes of relevance for municipal culture schools.
On 10 April the Government presented its 2019 Spring Fiscal Policy Bill to the Riksdag, together with an amending budget for 2019.