Integrated approach in the development of cultural policies and inclusion of culture in national strategies, plans and programmes
The main objective of the policy is to use culture as a resource for changing the quality of life, for decreasing poverty, mastering new knowledge and skills, encouraging creativity, as a precondition for social realization, access to cultural heritage, to cultural commodities and services.
The Ministry of Culture implements 8 programmes – for cultural heritage, for stage arts, for libraries, for community cultural centers, international activities, etc. In the last two years a reform was implemented in stage arts increasing the number of visitors, of productions, of consumption in theaters, and thus increasing the income in the sector. For community cultural centers it is characteristic that as a result of the state financial support they maintain activities with lower fees than those of private schools, they offer price discounts and free services for disadvantaged people. The same policy shall be applied in all spheres of culture. Special attention is brought to the application of measures related to culture and art training of people with special educational needs. The measures so introduced include physical access to the buildings of schools of arts and culture, improvements in the legislation governing the admission of children with disabilities, provision of resource teachers. There is a special program for giving scholarships to talented children. Another important measure is the provision of accessible environment of cultural sites. Improved internet access through public libraries allows people to get informed about the labor market as well. Informal learning, life-long learning opportunities increase people’s chances of personal realization and social inclusion.
Challenges identified in the implementation of this measure: The challenge is to develop programmes that help the implementation of measures for social policy in the field of culture and in the activity of the cultural institutions to enable them to meet the needs of the population of cultural products and participation in creative processes.
The free education at secondary schools and reduced training fees in the community cultural centres (“chitalishta”) provide benefits for large families, children from poor families, ethnic communities (many of them - from the Roma ethnic community), lonely elderly people, women, and people with disabilities. In the schools of arts and culture, nowadays, 26 children with disabilities are trained. Government grants that receive gifted students, support the process of their preparation for a better career. Over the past two years the Ministry of Culture has signed 32 new projects for rehabilitation of cultural institutions’ buildings covering the requirement for accessible architectural environment. Programmes of the Ministry of Culture supported numerous regional, national and international festivals and competitions, for manifestation and discovery of talented young people, for intercultural interactions, for the promotion and development of the diversity of cultural expressions.