Germany votes extra 50 million Euros for culture, And your government is doing what?

Germany votes extra 50 million Euros for culture, And your government is doing what?


norman lebrecht

November 23, 2011

It’s not a subsidy, Culture Minister Bernd Neumann told the Bundestag today, ‘it’s a significant investment in the future of our society.’

And all parties, left to right, cheered him on. The increase amounts to a 5.1 percent boost in the national arts budget.

Here’s a Deutschland Radio report (in German).

LATE EXTRA: European Union follows with apparently coordinated boost. See here.


  • Alberto Martínez says:

    Wow , at least some good decisions in cultural matters

  • Well, my government just voted to reaffirm “In God We Trust” as the national motto. Kinda makes you wonder who the real “Germans” are, doesn’t it?

  • I applaud this decision, and shows how forward german art culture thinking can be, however given an extraordinarliy discriminatory and anti multi cultural social environment , it is the only way germany can go forward and embrace the reality of multicultural society.

    • The topic you raise about German ethnocentricity and public support for the arts is very interesting. (To say nothing of the racism.) I am very busy and so have no time to elaborate, but generally in Europe, their seems to be a relationship between public support for the arts and a strong sense of cultural nationalism. Culture is by nature inherently local, so it’s a natural relationship. On the other hand, people everywhere love to experience the artistic expression of other cultures, so a balance needs to be found for minorities within larger cultures.

      One of the reasons America has failed so miserably with its public funding system is that it has not made it local. Most of the funding should come from the state and municipal level – an area where we have almost no funding infrastructure. The main function of a federal system like the NEA should be to help states and cities develop autonomous systems of cultural funding oriented toward local cultural support. It is this localized focus that makes the European system work.

      But of course the questions remains, especially for countries like Germany and Austria, of how to balance the local nature of culture in a way that is not overly ethnocentric.