Location of the initiative:
Relation to Strategy 21 Recommendations:
Time span of the initiative:
since 2006, permanent
Brief description of the initiative:
CULTURE VOUCHERS are a targeted contribution that the state provides to improve access to culture for pupils of elementary and secondary schools and for the pedagogical staff of these schools. The Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic distributes them through elementary and secondary schools participating in the project. On receiving a culture voucher, a pupil or pedagogical worker becomes its owner. The owner can use the voucher to pay for admission (to a theatre, museum, gallery or the like) or to pay for services providing access to culture (e.g. at a library or a cultural centre).
Culture vouchers are provided in sets worth four euros, each of which includes four vouchers worth one euro each. The owner can use three of the vouchers for any cultural event of their choice except watching a film. The other voucher can be used to watch a film or any other cultural event.
Culture vouchers are designed for primary school children, secondary school students and also for teachers to cover entry (or similar) fees in theatres, museums, galleries, libraries and some other cultural institutions officially participating on the initiative. Culture vouchers are distributed to a particular pupil or staff member in his name, and he becomes their owner. Each voucher contains identification data of the pupil or teacher and has a unique code, by which it can be identified. Cultural vouchers can be used only for cultural services provided by the aforementioned institutions, not elsewhere, preferably for art and heritage oriented events (only one in four vouchers can be used for a cinema). Culture vouchers are issued by the Ministry of Culture which reimburses their value to the institution where the vouchers were used.
Objectives of the initiative:
- Support the relationship of young people to cultural values
- Targeting and transparency of state subsidies to cultural institutions on the basis of real interest of the citizens
- to encourage children and young people to develop a relationship to cultural values,
- to create conditions for the active participation of cultural institutions in the upbringing and education of young people in schools,
- to encourage competition between cultural institutions in order increase the quality of their activities,
- to improve targeting and transparency in the state’s financial support of cultural institutions based on citizens’ real interest in their services (rather than the individual assessments of various officials and committees),
- to gain insight into children’s and young peoples’ interest in culture and to monitor visits to cultural institutions in this age group.
Brief assessment of the initiative’s results:
Every year the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic issues around 740,000 sets of vouchers. Most culture vouchers are used for theatre performances (25.7%)* followed by educational concerts (18.9%)* and library membership (10.8%)*.
Since its implementation this measure has become a stable element of our cultural policy which on the one hand helps to stimulate interest of children and youth in culture and on the other represents a tool to monitor the attendance of cultural institutions and subsequently enhance the quality of cultural offer for this age category. The programme mobilizes the active participation of cultural institutions and their cooperation with schools in the education aimed at strengthening the relationship of children, youth, and their teachers as well to culture in general and cultural values in their local environment in particular.