Serbia/ 8.2 Cultural consumption and participation  

8.2.2 Policies and programmes

Over the past two years, the strategy of cultural policy-makers has been to deal with more general issues, to fight to establish a new legal framework, to reform cultural institutions and whole sectors – mostly focusing on the conventional area of cultural policy, such as production of arts events or heritage restoration and protection. This means that policy debates about civic participation and citizenship, as well as instruments and forms of policy measures to promote participation in cultural life have not yet been developed.

Even so, attendance at many events and programmes organised by public institutions or with public money are free, e.g. the Belgrade Summer Festival, all events in libraries, galleries and similar programmes in cultural centres. However, more and more cultural institutions are forced to introduce or raise the price of their entrance tickets or, as in the case of the Studentski grad - the cultural centre on the student campus, are starting to charge an entry fee for the first time. It seems that price is not a decisive factor of participation. The price of tickets for museums is extremely low, starting from 1 EUR. Concert prices range from 5-40 EUR.

There are also new initiatives related to audience development within cultural institutions. Most cultural organisations have activated their websites and started using social networks for building audience communities. Many theatres have introduced the use of third-party ticket sale platforms or developing their own. Museums are slowly opening to their audiences with Museum Nights as a typical example. Organised for the first time in 2004, Museum Night has become a very popular event with hundreds of venues joining in, even in smaller towns. Finally, a growing number of free open-air festivals in cities across the country also try to animate new audiences.

However, there is much more to be done, especially in the fields of programming for specific groups of audiences, development of educational programmes for children and youth, geographic barriers and participation of the rural population as well as opening up the tourism sector.

Chapter published: 18-08-2015