Culture and Cohesion. How cultural operators access regional development funds in Poland
Applied Cultural Sciences Leuphana University of Lüneburg Brussels, Belgium
In recent years, discourses around the role of culture, the arts and creativity for socio-economic development slowly spread. It is more and more accept that the art sector is not only a "nice to have" but also an important element of social AND economic prosperity.
On EU level, Structural Funds are the main instrument for cohesion. They represent a third of the EU-budget and therefore come only second to agriculture support structures. As the expectations of culture as a positive factor for socio-economic development is increasing, culture, the arts and the creative sector in general should have a standing within Structural Funds. Still, projects will only "fit" if they contribute to socio-economic development.
Poland is one of the countries openly supporting cultural projects within Structural Funds and therefore was chosen as case study.
Taking this as a starting point, the following question is raised:
What kind of strategies do cultural operators use to access Structural Funds?
Within the framework of sociological Neo-Institutionalism (NEE/INGRAM 1998), I focus on different levels of interaction and the role of formal and informal norms to support the analyse of the drivers, facilitators and barriers that can explain the application process of cultural operators in Poland.