Promoting Children's Culture - Artistic assessment and peer evaluation and/or regulation and policy steering
Research Unit Arts Council Of Finland Helsinki, Finland
When the state allocates resources for promoting children's culture, it defines special forms of activities as worthy of support. In this meaning, the government installs a scale of best practices for the artists and other cultural practitioners working in the different art forms. Consequently, this kind of method may be in conflict with the fundamental autonomy of art. The projects receiving grants and subsidies may emerge as tools to implement other goals as artistic value. The peer evaluation process in the system of arts councils is meant to assess mainly the artistic quality.
The subcommittee of children's culture was established in 1987 by the Central Arts Council in Finland. The subcommittee consists of members of the National Councils of Arts (9 art forms). It awards grants and subsidies annually for the costs incurred by the implementation of projects in the field of children's and youth culture. There are two forms of support delegated by the Ministry of Education to the Arts Council and further to the subcommittee of children's culture. The other one is intended for artists, work groups, critics, art pedagogues and researchers, and the another one for organisations (associations, foundations, co-operatives, municipalities, companies etc.) Recent years, the ministry of education and subcommittee of children's culture has launched notification of priorities in the beginning of each application process. The policy program for the children's culture (2003-2007) has been as a main focus in the support granting process.
The data consists of statistics of applications and supported projects by the subcommittee of children's culture 1987-2007. The contents of applications submitted for the year 2007 are analysed as a case study. This paper observes i.a. target groups and children's role in the working plans of the applications and supported projects for the year 2007, and discuss the effects of intervention of regulation and autonomy of art as different resource allocation guidelines. Also, the appreciation of making children's culture is discussed on the grounds of numbers and statements.