Most Czechs Cutting Spending on Culture Due To Economic Crisis

Many Czechs are limiting visits to castles and music festivals. Photo: KJB/BD.

Prague, Dec 20 (CTK) – Two-thirds of Czechs are reducing how much they spend on cultural pursuits due to the economic situation, and are now spending around CZK 430 on culture monthly on average, according to the Culture Index survey conducted by the Creative Europe Desk.

Compared to the period when the COVID-19 restrictions were loosened, the increase in the number of people attending cultural events is minimal, the survey shows.

However, half of respondents agreed that art deserves support in times of crisis, according to the survey.

The study found that two-thirds of people have been spending less money on culture since the beginning of the year, and over 40% spend less than CZK 250 per month.

Most people are economising on trips to multiplex cinemas, and many are also limiting visits to castles and music festivals.

On the other hand, only one-tenth of Czechs are reading less, and over half of people read daily.

Magdalena Mullerova, head of the Creative Europe Cultural Office, said Czechs were most commonly cutting expenditure on culture due to the increasing prices of energy and high inflation. Many had also fallen out of the habit of visiting cultural events, and some were also discouraged by the increasing prices of entrance fees and tickets.

The survey shows that 74% of Czechs have recognised the increasing prices of cultural events over the past year.

While cinemas and concert halls with energy-demanding equipment have been affected by inflation and soaring energy prices, publishing houses have been dealing with shortages and rising prices of paper during the summer due to the war in Ukraine.

The number of people visiting pop music concerts, cinemas or galleries at least once a year is the same as in March, even though there were expectations that audiences would want to make up for all the cultural events that had been cancelled over the previous two years, said Vladimira Chytilova, the head of the Creative Europe Media Desk.

The survey was conducted between October 20 and 25 on a sample of 1,024 respondents between 18 and 65.

Creative Europe, the grant program of the European Commission, offers almost 20 programmes for financing of cultural projects. The program was established in 2014 and over 40 European countries participate in it.

Last year, the program divided over 5.5 million euros (CZK 140 million) among Czech projects.

The European Commission has increased the program’s budget by 65% to 2.44 billion euros (over CZK 59 billion) for the period between 2021 and 2027.

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