Cultural and artistic institutions in Helsinki have been found to get the most of discretionary state grants. Nearly half of the companies, associations, or foundations receiving aid operate in the Helsinki region. Those institutions get nearly 90% of the total amount of state support for culture.
According to figures released by the Arts Council of Finland, the biggest single recipient of discretionary grants has been the Finnish National Opera Foundation, which received nearly half of the EUR 80 million that was on offer in recent years.
The company that runs the Finnish National Theatre has taken about ten percent of the total amount.
The Arts Council reports that more applicants are getting state grants for the arts, but that the sums of money involved are declining.
In 1990 there were 193 recipients of discretionary state grants. By 2002 this had risen to 536. The average state grant given two years ago was just half of what it was in 1990, when inflation is taken into account.
The trend has been away from general subsidies toward grants for individual culture projects.
"The main drawback of the aid system has been the insufficiency of the funding", says researcher Pekka Oesch in his report.
Discretionary state grants comprise just under half of the cultural subsidies that come from revenue generated by the state-run lottery company Veikkaus.