Establishing of the Arts Promotion Centre Finland
In 2010 the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture prepared a draft law which proposed the dissolving of the national Arts Council system and establishing in its place another organisation named "Arts Promotion Centre Finland" (Taiteen edistämiskeskus in Finnish, abbreviation Taike). The idea behind re-organising of the system of arts councils was to increase the transparency of decision making and the flexibility of the art form councils in responding to the new art forms. Also important was to separate the peer review expert body from the administrative function of the council as they had become increasingly intermingled. This separation was felt to be essential for strengthening and safeguarding the autonomy of the arts.
Instead of an expert body, the new organisation was to be of a central agency type with a centralised but light organisational structure a well-functioning and receptive information system. The draft law caused a lively policy debate in the Finnish arts and culture field, including the media. After almost two years of debate the Parliament of Finland passed the bill establishing the new Arts Promotion Centre Finland in November 2012. The Centre started operating on 1 January 2013.
The official task of the Arts Promotion Centre Finland is to promote the arts and the work of artists on both national and international levels, as well as to promote those aspects of culture that are not covered by any other official agency. The Centre is an expert agency under the Ministry of Education and Culture. It comprises a Central Arts Council (Taideneuvosto in Finnish), national arts councils, regional arts councils and separate boards. In charge of the overall management and development of the Centre is a director, appointed for a fixed five year term.
Highest in the hierarchy of the expert bodies is the Central Arts Council which is appointed by the Ministry of Education and Culture for a three-year term. The Council makes decisions regarding the number, names and roles of the national arts councils. It also appoints the members of both national and regional arts councils for two-year terms based on expert recommendations. The Central Arts Council serves as an advisory body to the Ministry of Education and Culture in policymaking regarding the arts.
There are 13 regional arts councils (their number has stayed unchanged) and for the term 2015-2016 there are seven (compared to ten in 2013-2014) national arts councils: Architecture, design and environmental art; Audiovisual art; Performing arts; Literature; Music; Visual arts; and Interdisciplinary art, diversity and international activities. In addition there are two separate boards, one for grants and subsidies to writers and translators and one for public display grants to visual artists. The councils decide on the awarding of grants and awards to artists on the basis of peer reviews. The national arts councils have up to four sub-commitees for the preparation of peer reviews.
The aim of the establishing of the Arts Promotion Centre Finland (Taike) was to increase the transparency of decision making and the flexibility of the art form councils in responding to the new art forms and to separate the peer review body from the administrative function to better safeguard the autonomy of the arts.
According to the Strategy of the Arts Promotion Centre (Taike) for 2015-2020, Taike promotes:
• the livelihood and working conditions of artists and therefore the availability and accessibility of the arts
• the internationalisation of the arts
• the diversity of the arts and intercultural dialogue
• the status and visibility of the arts in society and the rights of citizens to art and culture.
In the strategy Taike states as its core values expertise, openness and respect in relation to its customers and art community, the agency itself and its empolyees and the larger society of citizens and public administration.
As operational objectives the Centre states that by 2020:
• Taike has established its position as an expert in art and artist policies
• Taike has created an electronic service package based on the needs of its customers and peer reviewers that is of the highest quality in terms of usability.
• Taike has reorganised its structure and operating methods to correspond better with the tasks assigned to it. Taike has clarified its division of duties with other public administration bodies.
As its arts promotion objectives Taike states high quality art and established cross-sector activities among artists and cooperation that promotes livelihoods. According to objectives by 2020:
- Taike has developed its direct artist grants to respond to the needs of professional artists and communities of free artists.
- Taike evaluates the implementation of its strategic targets annually in connection with its annual report and if necessary reviews its targets on the basis of this evaluation.
The Centre's administrative costs, which amount to approximately five million euros per year, are covered by funds allocated by the Ministry of Education and Culture. For more information on the resources allocated to arts promotion through Taike, please see measure Support for artistic creativity in this report.
It is still early to comprehensively evaluate what role the Centre will take in the field of arts and culture. An evaluation of the legislative changes is under way (to be completed in autumn 2016) and will provide a starting point.