Access to a Diversity of Cultural Expressions through Decentralisation
The public funding system has secured that Denmark is geographically covered with a broad variety of cultural institutions, e.g. museums, theatres, orchestras, venues, libraries, music schools for children and young people, facilitating access to culture for everybody. Although Denmark is a small country with a population of approximately 5.6 million inhabitants there are a large number of cultural institutions of different sizes, for example 150 museums, 88 theatres, 525 public libraries, and 98 music schools.
Following the Local Government Reform (kommunalreformen) which entered into force in 2007, the institutional infrastructure in the field of culture, including with a view to promoting popular participation and access to cultural life, consists of a national and a local level only. The Ministry of Culture and the municipalities now share the responsibility of implementing legislation and providing public funding for cultural institutions, activities, and projects. The structure is thus simplified, facilitating both active local commitment and national cultural policy objectives, such as providing access to culture and high quality cultural events throughout the country.
Availability of cultural activities and events throughout the whole country is also reflected in the "Strategy for Culture in the Whole Country" launched in 2006. It includes among other things the possibility of pluriannual cultural agreements between the Ministry of Culture and the municipalities aimed at allowing for more autonomy to the municipalities when implementing local cultural policy, at promoting dialogue and cooperation between the local and national level, and at providing strategic state funding for local cultural policy objectives.