Arts and sponsorship: A difficult marriage

One of the main priorities of Deputy Minister Petros Tatoulis was to combine his tenure at the Ministry of Culture with the end of state-dependant culture, but the hunt for funds from sponsors is no easy matter here in Greece. Kathimerini has looked into the situation and spoken to experts and museum directors about the need to establish new motives for sponsors, while the ministry itself is putting together – albeit belatedly – a special committee to draw up the relevant legal framework for sponsorship in the arts. The state wants to pull out of being the exclusive financier of the arts, but the fact is that the situation in Greece is not yet ripe enough to share the burden of financing with sponsors. Indeed, up until recently, the state would levy a 20 percent tax on all sponsorships. In the meantime, museums and other cultural bodies are not equipped with specialized fund-raising departments, and it is not rare to see a museum director not knowing how to go about wooing money from businesses. The Association for Business Support of the Arts (OMEPO) – a private organization that has done a great deal of good work in strengthening the ties between the worlds of the arts and business – has been out of operation since 1998, while journalists often fail to mention the name of an event’s sponsor, fearing it may be construed as «gray advertising.»