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Alice Bah Kuhnke is no longer a government minister, Minister for Culture and Democracy
The Government invests in culture and democracy
“The extensive cultural initiatives presented today show that the Government prioritises culture. A living cultural life – accessible to everyone – provides education as well as cultural and intellectual stimulation, and helps deepen our democracy.” So says Minister for Culture and Democracy Alice Bah Kuhnke following the Government’s presentation of the Budget Bill to the Riksdag today.
SEK 252 million increase in culture budget
In its Budget Bill, the Government proposes increasing the budget for culture in 2015 by SEK 252 million compared with 2014. This includes the appropriation’s price and wage indexing, which amounts to some SEK 41 million. The entire budget for culture comprises SEK 7.1 billion.
“The Government’s policy for culture is clear: it is to create the conditions – a fertile ground – in which free culture can grow,” says Ms Bah Kuhnke.
Free admission to state museums
Free admission will be introduced for state museums that are government agencies. In its Budget Bill, the Government proposes that SEK 80 million per year be allocated to the reform from 2015.
The Government intends to introduce free admission to the relevant museums in spring 2015. The exact date on which the reform will be introduced has not yet been determined.
More information as to which state museums will offer free admission can be found in the press release below.
A national library strategy to be developed
The Government proposes that a national library strategy be designed to promote cooperation and quality development throughout the library system. A total of SEK 10 million will be allocated annually between 2015 and 2018 for this purpose. Of these funds, the Government expects SEK 6 million to be allocated to the National Library of Sweden for the development of a national library strategy and to make eBooks accessible via the national catalogue Libris.
“A national library strategy will mean that cooperation between all of Sweden’s libraries can be deepened. It is important that everyone, in both urban and rural areas, has good access to the collected resources of our libraries,” says Ms Bah Kuhnke.
SEK 4 million will be allocated to the Swedish Arts Council’s reading promotion efforts in cooperation with the library system.
SEK 400 million to be invested in schools for music and arts
The Government wants to give children and young people equal access to culture and cultural activities. It therefore proposes that a total of SEK 400 million be allocated in 2015–2018 to strengthen municipal schools for music and arts. The funds will allow schools for music and arts to reduce their fees. The Government intends to provide information on the design of the initiative at a later date.
“Schools for music and art are vital for children and young people to have an opportunity to focus on aesthetics and creativity. They must therefore be of high quality and accessible to everyone. In light of this, I am very pleased that the Government is now presenting extensive initiatives for schools for music and art,” says Ms Bah Kuhnke.
The Government also intends to appoint an inquiry tasked with developing a national strategy for schools for music and arts.
Cooperation for culture in schools
The Government proposes providing an extra SEK 25 million to the Creative Schools initiative in 2015, bringing the total amount to SEK 199 million. SEK 30 million will subsequently be added annually between 2016 and 2018. The Government proposes that the Creative Schools initiative be broadened and deepened, and that an opportunity be created for municipal culture schools to act as a partner with, for example, compulsory schools.
“Education and culture are linked. Collaboration between culture schools and compulsory schools should therefore be strengthened. Greater opportunities for collaboration will mean that the services offered by culture schools will also be of benefit to compulsory schools. Aesthetics and creativity is schools promote learning, development and creative thinking,” says Ms Bah Kuhnke.
SEK 230 million to culture initiative in Million Homes Programme areas
The Government will invest a total of SEK 230 million between 2015 and 2018 in cultural activities in Million Homes Programme areas and artwork in housing environments in these areas, of which SEK 50 million will be allocated for 2015. The initiative is meant to promote local civil society organisations’ actions to develop cultural activities.
“All people, regardless of background, place of residence or stage of life, have the right to a rich and diverse cultural life. This initiative is an expression of our ambition to make culture available to everyone,” says Ms Bah Kuhnke.
SEK 20 million provided to performing arts alliances
Performing arts alliances help increase the social and economic security for freelance culture workers.
The alliances in theatre, dance and music will be given an additional SEK 20 million from 2015, which means an increase from SEK 62 million to SEK 82 million. The additional funds mean that the number of employees can be increased.
A characteristic feature of the labour market for theatre, dance and music practitioners is few permanent positions and a large proportion of time-limited commissions. Performing arts alliances were established to improve the conditions for performing artists by providing professional actors, dancers and musicians with employment and remuneration during periods in which they lack employment in the performing arts.
“Free culture workers often work under tough conditions. The Government’s initiative makes it possible for more culture professionals to work under better conditions,” says Ms Bah Kuhnke.
SEK 25 million to education campaign against racism
The Government expects a total of SEK 25 million to be provided to the Living History Forum between 2015 and 2017 to conduct a major education campaign, together with the National Agency for Education, on various forms of racism throughout history and today. The campaign will target all compulsory and upper secondary schools. SEK 10 million will be provided in 2015.
Protecting democracy against violent extremism
SEK 16 million will be allocated annually between 2015 and 2018 for measures to protect democracy and take preventive action against violent extremism.
The measures include preventing radicalisation and recruitment to combat abroad, strengthening the task of the national coordinator and providing support to civil society. Several civil society organisations do important work to promote democratic awareness, counteract radicalisation and promote defections from violent extremist organisations.
“Preventing and combating extremism require long-term and persistent democracy efforts. When people feel a sense of meaning and participation, there is less risk that they will be attracted to extremist messages,” says Ms Bah Kuhnke.
Press Secretary to Minister for Culture and Democracy Alice Bah Kuhnke
Phone (switchboard) +46 8 405 10 00