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Today the Cultural Affair’s Committee in Region Västra Götaland is gathering to decide on the proposal of the regional culture plan for 2013-2015.
The culture plan is part of the new ”trunk model”, decided by the Swedish government in December of 2009, introduced, after another round of detail study in how this model should be performed, in 2011 to move (some) decisions of cultural investments from the state to the regions. This way, the argument is, the decisions are taken closer to each region’s citizens. Instead of the state deciding where money in a specific region should be spent, the region gets to decide.
1,2 billion SEK of the cultural budget is moved from the state to the regions. But to get the hands on the money, each region has to present a plan, a cultural plan, and inform and negotiate with the state, here handled by the Arts Council, on where to spend the money. This has of course caused a lot of discussions. Is the trunk model only a paper product, where the Arts Council is taking the real decisions? Are local politicians to be trusted? Do local politicians really know enough about art and culture to be able to decide on investments and make the difficult priorities needed?
Västra Götalandsregionen was at an early stage the role model for the trunk model. The negotiations between the Arts Council and Region Västra Götaland started earlier where the region did very well in negotiations and held a high profile in debates, discussions and visions of the role of art and culture in the region.
Now the region seems to have out-dated itself. The culture plan for 2013-2015 is without any vision and, to be a bit bold, not even readable, something also noted among many of the parties, including Nätverkstan, responding to the circulation of comment before the decision (se today’s daily Göteborgs-Posten). ”It’s a culture plan without a plan”, as David Karlsson puts it.
To the leaders of Region Västra Götaland’s culture affairs we are many that wonder: Where are you heading with arts and culture in the region?
Find attached the culture plan of Region Västra Götaland that is up for decision here: Västra Götalands kulturplan.pdf. See also Nätverkstan’s respond to the circulation here: remissvar vgr_kulturplan_120905.pdf. Read a post by Swedish Radio from 2010 here. And former posts here.