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EACEA National Policies Platform


8. Creativity and Culture

8.2 Administration and governance

Last update: 5 March 2024


The Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture, Civil Service and Sport (Bundesministerium für Kunst, Kultur, Öffentlicher Dienst und Sport)

The Ministry promotes contemporary art in Austria as well as Austrian artists abroad. It is responsible for federal funding programmes for all segments of contemporary art including the performing and fine arts, music and literature, film, new media, photography, architecture and design as well as regional cultural initiatives. In the Federal Ministry, a Secretary of State is deployed.

It is engaged in the following culture areas (Links available in German only):

Funding and the federal provinces

Alongside the Federal Ministry, the nine provincial governments are important players in arts and culture politics.

This is showcased by Statistik Austria's data on public cultural expenditure (Statistik Austria: Kulturfinanzierung), which in 2018 amounted to a total of around 2.69 billion euros (0.70% of GDP). Federal expenditure amounted to 893 million euros, while the Länder recorded 1,052 million euros, and the municipalities (excluding Vienna due to its double status as a province and municipality) 863 million euros.

In total, this corresponds to a per capita expenditure of 304 euros in 2018. The expenditure profile of the state budgets shows a focus on education and training (30% of cultural expenditure).

National Center of Competence for Arts Education (National Center of Competence für kulturelle Bildung)

The National Center of Competence for Arts Education, founded by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research, operates all over Austria for all school types and is located at the University College of Teacher Education Lower Austria.

The Centre focuses on giving impulses in the field of arts education by "train-the-trainer" education and multiplier workshops in all school subjects, concentrating on arts subjects. It is in charge of organising networks of experts in the fields of arts education, i.e. visual arts, music, drama and material arts. The networks consist of teachers from all fields of education from all over Austria. The discourse in the networks deals with the promotion and development of arts education in schools. The Centre promotes cooperation and networking between institutions of professional development of teachers and gathers and spreads information on training courses, publications, competitions and other offers for schools that are relevant for arts education in a free monthly newsletter.

'Cultural education with schools' (Kulturvermittlung mit Schulen) and 'Educational Cooperation with Eastern and South-Eastern Europe' (Bildungskooperation mit Ost- und Südosteuropa) by the OEAD

On behalf of the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research, the department of Cultural Education at the Austrian Academic Service (Agentur für Bildung und Internationalisierung, OEAD) works at the interface of schools and arts and culture. In this context, participative cultural education projects and activities with schools throughout Austria are conceived, promoted, and given advisory and organisational support. These programs were formerly termed Kultur Kontact Austria (KKA). As of 2020, they have been integrated into the OEAD, Austria’s Agency for Education and Internationalisation.

The OEAD's work in this field is based on the central principle that children and young people should be encouraged to actively participate in artistic and cultural processes and foster their competences, taking the circumstances of their own lives as a point of departure. The projects are carried out in cooperation with artists and cultural professionals as well as with artistic and cultural institutions. Engaging in direct encounters with artists gives children and young people new ways of accessing and involving themselves in the arts and culture and is thus - as well in the context of equal opportunities - an important precondition for participation in the processes of society.


  • With its cultural education programmes and its large network of cooperation partners, OEAD promotes the active involvement of children and young people in various forms of contemporary art and culture. The objective is to promote active participation in the arts and culture on an as broad basis as possible as well as a constructive approach to dealing with diversity and difference in society
  • OEAD supports collective and individual learning and teaching processes of pupils, teachers, artists and cultural educators, also in terms of a new learning culture at schools
  • The quality and sustainability of communication between cultural institutions, artists and young people are a central focus. Other important aspects are European developments in and discourses on cultural education
Non-governmental actors

A number of private actors and interest groups work at the interface of arts and culture and youth.

  • IG Culture (IG Kultur) is a network and interest group of free and autonomous cultural work in Austria. Its central task is to improve the working conditions for cultural work. It acts as a cultural policy lobby and as an advisory body on behalf of cultural initiatives. As a nationwide umbrella organisation, it represents more than 800 autonomous cultural initiatives. Together with the cultural interest groups at the provincial level, it negotiates framework conditions on behalf of its members and sets cultural policy standards. IG Kultur represents cultural initiatives that work continously and self-determined and in the field of contemporary cultural mediation and production. The prerequisite for membership is independence from public institutions, religious communities and political parties as well as agreement with the goals set out in the vision.
  • IG Architecture (IG Architektur) is an association of over 300 architects from all over Austria. It networks architects with each other and with important stakeholders in building culture. As an architects' interest group, it is an impulse platform for the discussion of questions of architecture and architectural policy.
  • IG Visual Arts represents the interests of visual artists in arts policy, social, economic, legal, and other professional matters. It aims to create good living and working conditions for visual artists.
  • (Berufsvereinigung der Bildenden Künstler Österreichs) is the professional Association of Fine Artists in Austria and campaigns for the cultural-political, social, economic, legal and fiscal interests of artists.
  • Association of Free Radios Austria (Verein Freie Radios Österreich, VFRÖ) is a community of broadcasters that provide ad-free programming from local communities as an alternative to mainstream broadcasting. In principle, they create opportunities for every member of our society to be able to go on air. Community broadcasters are nonprofit, autonomous, and ad-free media organisations.
  • Austrian Music Council (Österreichischer Musikrat, ÖMR) is an umbrella organisation of music-related NGOs and a member of the European Music Council, and the International Music Council associated with UNESCO.
  • mica - music austria is a competence and music information centre (not an interest group) dedicated to "helping people help themselves" through music. It provides numerous workshops, legal advice, and a music database
  • Austrian Composers' Association (Österreichischer Komponistenbund, ÖKB) represents the interests of composers of all musical styles and genres living and working in Austria.
  • International Society for New Music (Internationale Gesellschaft für Neue Musik, IGNM) promotes and disseminates contemporary new art music and sound art. It works on achieving the networking of composers, interpreters and musicologists on a regional and international level.
  • Austrian Society for contemporary music (Österreichische Gesellschaft für zeitgenössische Musik, ÖGZM) advocates for the interests of contemporary music makers, in particular through mediation activities and the performance of their works.
  • Film and Music Austria (Fachverband der Film- und Musikindustrie, FAMA) is the professional association of the film and music industry and part of the trade and craft sector in the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber.
  • Association of the Austrian Music Industry (Verband der österreichischen Musikwirtschaft, IFPI) promotes economic, legal and cultural framework conditions that enable bringing diverse music productions to the widest possible audience.
  • Musicians' guild (Musikergilde) is the largest Austrian interest group for freelance music creators. It aims to improve the situation of musicians, composers and lyricists of all musical genres.
  • IG Free Theater Work (IG Freie Theaterarbeit) focuses on the interests of independent theatre, dance and performance workers. It founded the IG-Netz, which supports independent groups in paying their social security contributions.
  • is a freely accessible platform that aims to create better networking between professionals in the field of contemporary circus.
  • IG Authors (IG Autorinnen Autoren) is the interest group of Austrian authors.
  • IG Translators (IG Übersetzerinnen Übersetzer) is the interest group of translators of literary and scientific works.
  • Regional culture interest groups represent the interests of cultural professionals on a provincial level: IG Culture Burgenland, the Interest Group of Cultural Initiatives in Carinthia/Koroška (Interessensgemeinschaft der Kulturinitiativen in Kärnten/Koroška), Culture networking Lower Austria (Kulturvernetzung Niederösterreich), the umbrella organisation of Salzburgian culture initiatives (Dachverband Salzburger Kulturinitiativen), IG Culture Styria (IG Kultur Steiermark), Tirolian Culture Initiatives (Tiroler Kulturinitiativen), Culture Platform Upper Austria (Kulturplattform Oberösterreich), IG Culture Vienna (IG Kultur Wien), and IG Culture Vorarlberg (IG Kultur Vorarlberg).

Cross-sectorial cooperation

Interdisciplinary cooperation and networking at the interface of education systems, the arts, culture and the business sector are integrated into the OEAD's activities. It acts as a point of contact and intermediary for and between countries, systems, institutions and their cultures. Exchanging experiences with European partner countries and cooperating on approaches on the further development and implementation of projects bring each party valuable benefits.