Growing demand for culture in the Veneto region
The Federculture Report 2011 has been presented
In the Triveneto area as in the rest of Italy, the demand for culture and the participation in cultural events are increasing despite economic crisis and the reduction of public fundings. This is the conclusion emerging from the VII Annual Federculture Report, a volume titled “La cultura serve al presente” (“The present needs culture”) by Roberto Grossi, with preface by Carlo Azeglio Ciampi.
According to Federculture Report, in 2010 more than 21% of Venetians has been to the theatre at least once, showing an attendance increase of 26.3% compared with the year 2000. Positive data are also shown in relation with the movies, ranking as the number-one entertainment activity. In the past year, the number of people living in the Veneto region that has been to the cinema at least once amounts to 47% of the total. Over the analyzed period, concert attendance has also increased, changing from 17.0% to 21.2% and +24.7% (classical music concerts).
Museum and Exhibition attendance has raised by 2.3%, while the amount of Venetians that has visited a monument or watched a sport event has remained practically unchanged. Discotheque attendance has drastically decreased and involves 22% of people older than 6 years old and living in the Veneto region.
Overall, according to the Report, the North-east area has promoted cultural activities and schedules more focused on the local cultural demand (also in small and medium cities) and involving complex events reaching wider areas for longer periods, all year long, rather than just concerning a few big exhibitions as in other areas of the country.
By the way, also large and important exhibitions have taken place: The Venetian Biennale of Architecture ranks as the fourth Italian top cultural event in terms of attendance (2000 visitors per day). Conegliano has hosted Cima exhibition, placed at the 13th position of the national ranking, with 1000 visitors per day.
Moreover, the Report states that live shows (more than 230.000) organized in the Veneto region in 2010 have generated a turnover of 632 million and an audience expenditure of 462 million, nearly a third of national spending which amounts to 1.662 million. At a national level, the amount of money that Italian families spend on culture and shows still adds up to 7% of their total expenditure, it has increased by 24.3% in absolute terms between 1999 and 2009.
This positive trend of demand once again shows the importance of placing cultural activities at the core of local and national economic policies enhancing the fundamental value of culture, “…as awareness, education, access to knowledge that can reduce inequalities, fight poverty and ease social distress” as Roberto Grossi writes in the Report “…and transforming activities aimed to promote and enhance culture into core opportunities for citizens…consolidating the substratum of social and individual identity which underlies to a great degree the sense of belonging to a single project for the common good.”
On the contrary, the data concerning Italian International competitiveness are still negative. Italy ranks 48th in the World Economic Forum’s classification, turning out to be the European country that reaches the lowest position in terms of competitiveness.
Moreover, according to OECD’s rankings, Italy is at the second last place in terms of spending in education in relation with the GDP (4.5% of GDP in comparison with the OECD’s average value of 5.7%) and with total public expenditure that in Italy amounts to 9% compared to 13.3% of OECD’s average data. Italian school drop-out adds up to 19.7% in comparison with European average of 14.9%.
[ Publication date: 2 September 2011 ]