In Greece, the principle of promoting cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue is expressed in the constitutional right of freedom of artistic and literary expression, as well as in a variety of programs and actions that promote the country’s cultural identity and encourage cultural expression and participation in cultural life without any discrimination, including the participation of children, youth and vulnerable social groups (the unemployed, the Roma community, disabled artists, former addicts, economic migrants, etc.).
The arm’s-length organizations of the Ministry of Culture and Sports, including the regularly subsidized ones, a number of Municipal Authorities all over the country, the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation, libraries and local schools as well as private cultural bodies often organize awareness raising activities addressed to the broader public and aiming to combat racism and social exclusion through art.
In addition, the Ministry of Culture and Sports (with EU funds) and private organizations have a constant concern for the improvement of infrastructures that enable the unhindered access of people with disabilities to cultural spaces and for the development of diversified and innovative cultural products for different vulnerable social groups, so as to enhance audience development.
The State continues to be the primary sponsor of culture and the arts; however, private foundations have been gaining an increasing role in this direction lately, through supporting artistic creativity and participation or even co-sponsoring major capital projects. It should also be noted that in the last few years, culture has increasingly been dependent on funding from the EU Community Support Framework.
Culture has a direct and positive impact on employment and the economy. Apart from the cultural and creative industries, the culture sector generates direct employment during the implementation of projects supporting labor mobility, professionalization and the exchange of scientific knowledge and know-how. In addition, cultural infrastructures create jobs during their operational phase. Since 2011, employment opportunities have been largely linked to contemporary culture and attract young people in particular. The characteristics of employment in the cultural sector are geographically distributed across the country, following the geographical dispersion of monuments and archaeological sites, with highly skilled positions that reinforce gender equality. Heritage-related investments produce employment primarily in the tourism sector. According to a study carried out by Deloitte, in 2014 the total economic impact from the implementation of cultural projects produces a multiplying effect of 3.44 for the Greek economy.
Despite the financial difficulties and lack of personnel, most cultural bodies and institutions in the public and private sector have expanded their activities to achieve audience development. This is done through a wide range of collaborations addressed to different social or age groups (including vulnerable groups), using a variety of means (digital or traditional), and covering different cultural and historical periods and ways to communicate and interact with their audiences.
Many public and private cultural organizations have a ticket policy that favors the vulnerable groups.