The National Budget 2017:

Broader funding for Norwegian art and culture

The government is continuing its efforts to secure wider funding for the cultural sector, with the aim of strengthening cultural life and reinforcing the sector’s financial base. The government has proposed an increase of NOK 5 million in support for Talent Norway, an uplift of some NOK 6 million for the gift reinforcement programme and a NOK 2.5 million grant for art and cultural projects on Svalbard.

“The government is focused on maintaining strong public funding for the cultural sector. At the same time, we want even more parties to become involved in supporting valuable art and cultural projects all over Norway. That is why we will be topping up private donations with an even larger sum this year. When cultural institutions are successful in attracting private donors, the entire cultural sector benefits financially,” says Minister of Culture Linda Hofstad Helleland.

Talent Norway

Talent Norway is to receive NOK 5 million in increased funding in 2017. In its launch year, 2015, Talent Norway invested some NOK 27 million in 11 talent-promotion projects, while its 16 private-sector partners invested an additional NOK 52 million. The government intends to foster Talent Norway’s growth potential in terms of both talent development and the construction of a broader funding base for the cultural sector.

Talent Norway will also receive NOK 5 million of lottery funding this year, for its “Talent Norway Junior Programme” pilot project. The initiative aims to generate synergies between Talent Norway’s programmes for elite and new junior talents in order to offer an integrated pathway from a young age to the start of a career. Talent Norway’s grants in 2017 will thus total NOK 36.1 million via the fiscal budget and NOK 5 million in lottery funding.

“Talent Norway meets a need in the cultural sector. Additional investment is needed to lift particularly talented artists and performers. Private donors are reassured when projects receive Talent Norway’s stamp of professional approval, and are more likely to make larger contributions,” says Minister of Culture Linda Hofstad Helleland.

Talent Norway was launched in January 2015, and is owned by the Ministry of Culture, the Savings Bank Foundation DNB and Cultiva.

Gift reinforcement

The government plans to allocate an additional NOK 6 million to the gift reinforcement programme, bringing its total funding to NOK 51 million in 2017. Thus far, the programme has received over 100 applications from small and large stakeholders representing the full breadth of the cultural sector. In 2017, the programme will potentially boost cultural funding by some NOK 255 million in private donations and gift reinforcement grants.

“The gift reinforcement programme is working well, and has broadened the funding base of the Norwegian cultural sector. The feedback we are receiving indicates that the programme is facilitating the realisation of projects,” says Minister of Culture Linda Hofstad Helleland.

The gift reinforcement programme was introduced in 2014 with the objective of generating increased private funding for cultural institutions, initially museums. In 2016, the programme was expanded to include donations to benefit music, literature, the dramatic arts, the visual arts and cultural buildings.

Investment in art and culture on Svalbard

The government is collaborating with private parties on the establishment of a foundation to promote art and cultural activity on Svalbard.

“The government wishes to support the cultural and creative sectors on Svalbard and boost interest in Svalbard as a travel destination. The new foundation will have an international and Arctic focus,” says Minister of Culture Linda Hofstad Helleland.

Investment in art on Svalbard is one element of the government’s active High North policy, and a direct response to the white paper on the future of Svalbard.

“This art-focused initiative has the potential to place Svalbard and Norway on the international art map. Interest in Svalbard and the High North is high internationally, and I hope that Svalbard’s unique natural environment and fascinating light conditions will inspire artists from all over the world to create and disseminate new artworks,” says Minister of Culture Linda Hofstad Helleland.