One of the fundamental missions of the Cultural Services is to provide the required framework (along with the whole range of the necessary means and incentives) in order to stimulate artistic creation across the whole spectrum of the arts and to support Cypriot artists to further educate themselves. Within the said framework, the role of the Cultural Services is twofold: firstly, to provide the required financing tools for stimulating artistic creation; secondly, to provide the required facilities for the presentation of the artistic output resulting from the artistic creation.
It is generally acknowledged that the implementation of a long-term strategic plan for culture and the absence of a coherent mechanism for the management of the state subsidies in this domain, have been the main obstacles to the development and promotion of Cypriot contemporary art.
That is why the effort of the Cultural Services since 2015 has been focused on the planning and implementation of a very specific, target-oriented subsidies programme. This programme aspires to provide an up-to-date, smart and transparent framework of support to contemporary culture.
The Strategic Plan for Culture has the following objectives:
1. Support of Artistic Creativity and Promotion of Cultural Activities
1.1 Provision of financial resources in order to support cultural creativity and institutional support for the promotion of cultural activities in Cyprus and abroad.
1.2 Provision of infrastructure to artists in order to present/promote cultural activities.
2. Safeguarding access to culture and cultural participation
2.1 Operation and financial and institutional support to libraries, museums and cultural centres.
2.2 Provision of financial resources and institutional support to festivals and cultural organizations that offer cultural programmes to the public.
The main funding programme of the Cultural Services (Programme “Culture”), was revised according to the above objectives, for the period 2015-2020 to address contemporary cultural policy issues, related to the 2005 Convention. The Programme “Culture” and its relevant sub-programmes, amongst others, include the following objectives:
i. promotion of contemporary artistic creation.
ii. support the mobility of artists and international networking.
iii. foster innovative initiatives with added cultural value.
iv. promote decentralization of cultural activities.
v. encourage cultural activities which address broader social issues.
vi. enhance cultural and arts education.
vii. develop intercultural activities which promote intercultural dialogue, solidarity and cooperation.
The new funding programmes introduced in 2015 aimed at a more rational funding system in order to promote accountability based on certain objective criteria. In this context, a list of the successful applicants is published online and is publicly available. The rationale of the evaluation is provided to all respective applicants, thus contributing in their capacity building.