A short guide to
Arts Council Norway
Arts Council Norway supports arts and cultural projects throughout Norway. It conducts developmental work and is an advisor to the central government on cultural affairs.
Arts Council Norway was established in 1965 in order to administer the Norwegian Cultural Fund. Today, Arts Council Norway is in charge of a broad spectrum of administrative tasks and functions within the cultural field, including artists' grants, the Audio and Visual Fund and a number of other funding schemes.
Arts Council Norway is the main governmental operator for the implementation of Norwegian cultural policy. Arts Council Norway functions as an advisory body to the central government and public sector on cultural affairs. The Arts Council is fully financed by the Ministry of Culture.
Arts Council Norway helps to ensure that art and culture are created, documented, preserved and made accessible to the broadest possible audience. The aim is to guarantee an arts and cultural sector in Norway that is vibrant and diverse.
Each year, the Council receives some 20,000 applications for funding. In 2017, the Council will handle around € 139 million in state funds earmarked for arts and culture, which is about 10% of the national cultural budget.
Arts Council Norway also manages government initiatives in the museum sector. The Arts Council has a staff of around 120 people.
A variety of projects
Allocations from Arts Council Norway provide funding for a variety of projects and activities within the performing arts, visual arts, music, literature, archives, museums and more.
Director General of Arts Council Norway is Kristin Danielsen. Chair of the arts council is Tone Hansen. Head of the committee for government grants for artists is Trude Gomnæs Ugelstad and Head of the board for the Audio and Visual Fund is Stein Bjelland.
Arts Council Norway works to develop the museum sector in Norway and advises the government on museum matters. A major responsibility is ensuring that the museums supported by the Ministry of Culture operate and develop in line with approved policy in this field.
Main focus areas include developing sector-specific standards, statistics and skills, as well as digital access to collections via open platforms.
Arts Council Norway currently has three funding programmes for museum development 2018 - 2020:
- Digital development
- Museums' role in society
- Research in museums
In addition, Arts Council Norway administrates security funds and a government insurance programme that enables Norwegian museums and galleries to show international exhibitions of high quality.
Funds for the museum sector from Arts Council Norway are provided through revenue from Norsk Tipping, Norway's national lottery.
Arts Council Norway facilitates international cooperation in the cultural field. The administration works with the EEA Grants Culture and Creative Europe, manages international projects and initiatives, and the funds for Norwegian-Icelandic cultural cooperation.
Arts Council Norway is involved in and works with several international networks and agencies:
- IFACCA (International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies)
- Monitoring Group on Cultural Heritage in the Baltic Sea States
- ICCPR (International Conference for Cultural Policy Research)
- EGMUS – The European Group on Museum Statistics
- EU group for cultural heritage
- The European network of cultural routes
Arts Council Norway is the national contact point for the culture programme under Creative Europe, the European Union's programme for the cultural and creative sectors. Our tasks include to promote awareness and understanding of Creative Europe, and to provide free one-to-one advice sessions and support for applicants from Norway. Further tasks include organising workshops on the application process, information seminars and other events related to the programme.
Arts Council Norway can also help applicants to spread their partner search both in Norway and in Europe.
EEA Grants Culture
The Council is a donor programme partner and national contact point for the EEA Grants cultural cooperation programmes in the Czech Republic, Romania, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Portugal. The EEA Grants were established by Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein in order to reduce economic and social disparities and to strengthen bilateral relations with 16 EU countries in Central and Southern Europe, and in the Baltics.
The cultural cooperation programmes support a wide range of activities relating to contemporary and live arts. The Council contributes to the development of the programmes in the beneficiary countries and spreads information about the Grants to the Norwegian cultural field. We also facilitate establishment of partnerships between cultural actors in Norway and the beneficiary countries.
Norway's Documentary Heritage
Norway's Documentary Heritage is the Norwegian contribution to UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme. Its purpose is to highlight documents, archives, manuscripts, audio-visual material and the like of central importance to Norway's cultural heritage. Established in 2012, Norway's Documentary Heritage contains around one hundred entries – from the runic inscription on the Kuli Stone from around the year 1000, the first evidence of a unified Norway, to a minute-byminute record of a Hurtigruten journey from 2011.
Intangible cultural heritage
Norway ratified UNESCO's Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2007. In 2010 it was decided to accord responsibility for implementing the Convention in Norway on behalf of the Ministry of Culture to Arts Council Norway.
As part of the work, the Council implements activities related to dissemination of information and awareness-raising, and the development and conserving of skills and knowledge relating to intangible culture. In accordance with the Convention, the Council works to ensure the widest possible participation of communities, groups and, where appropriate, individuals, who create, maintain and transmit intangible cultural heritage (ICH). The Council works with the relevant organisations and institutions to involve them actively in the management of ICH.
Arts Council Norway operates the national registry for intangible cultural heritage as an open website where everyone can contribute.