Chile/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates  

4.2.3 Cultural/creative industries: policies and programmes

On the basis of growing links between artistic creation and the industrialised production of creative activities, the National Council for Culture and the Arts has adopted conceptual definitions that reflect the new conditions of the economics of culture. CNCA recognises the double nature of cultural and artistic activity both as a symbolic and an economic process, and in view of this, assumes the concept of creative industries for the development of cultural policy.

The concept of creative industries seeks to broaden the recognition of activities related to the creation, production and distribution of cultural goods and services, and which are traditionally denominated cultural industries (such as the publishing, phonographic and audiovisual industries). Under the creative economy paradigm, the link between culture and economy is recognised on a broader spectrum, to include any artistic or cultural activity, be it performing arts or goods produced individually, including, in addition to the arts and cultural industries, areas such as architecture, design, and advertising (UNESCO, 2006). In this redefinition of the economic sector of culture it is necessary to underscore the importance of intellectual property and copyright as a device for the commodification of symbolic production (Palominos et al, 2009), which has been affected by the new forms of exchange promoted by the accelerated technological developments (CNCA, 2011b).

UNCTAD (2008) delivers a synthesis of the discussions relating to the creative industries. According to the definition provided by this organisation, creative industries present the following characteristics:

-        They are cycles of creation, production and distribution of goods and services that use creativity and intellectual capital as primary input.

-        The constitute a group of activities based on knowledge, focused on but not limited to the arts, which potentially generate income from commercial exchange and copyright.

-        They include tangible products and intangible artistic or intellectual services with creative content, economic value and market objectives.

-        They are at the meeting point between the craftsman and the services and industry sectors.

-        The constitute a new dynamic sector in the global economy.

On the other hand, cultural and creative industries not only activate the economic development of communities and nations, stimulating economic growth and jobs creation, but also contribute decisively to the democratisation of symbolic repertoires and the construction of identities (Martín-Barbero, 1987; Sunkel, 2006; UNESCO, 2006).

The development of cultural or creative industries is a major part of Chilean cultural policy. The second objective of the document Cultural Policy 2011-2016 is “making visible and supporting cultural industries as a motor for development” (CNCA, 2011a), promoting a dozen strategies articulated around aims such as supporting research on the productive chains, strengthening the creative industries, and promoting the circulation of cultural goods and services. 

The National Council for Culture and the Arts implements a model of support to the arts and creative industries which operates based on the distribution of resources through contestable funding, which are administrated by sector-specific councils specialising in different areas of the creative industries cycles, in addition to supporting the arts, including:

-        Council for the Promotion of National Music. Its Executive Secretariat administrates the Fund for the Promotion of National Music.

-        Council for the Arts and Audiovisual Industries. Its Executive Secretariat administrates the Fund for Audiovisual Promotion.

-        National Council for Books and Reading. Its Executive Secretariat administrates the National Fund for the Promotion of Books and Reading.

-        Executive Secretariat of the National Fund for the Development of Culture and the Arts. Contrary to the above councils, its work is not focused on a specific creative industry, but rather focuses on disciplines traditionally associated with the world of arts, supporting processes of industrialisation of these areas.

These organisations develop tools to support the creation, formative processes, and other initiatives such as international conferences and seminars, to benefit the different cultural agents of the country.

Regarding research, it is necessary to point out that currently the Research Department of the National Council for Culture and the Arts is developing the first Mapping of Creative Industries at the national level. Adopting methodologies from previous initiatives developed by organisations such as DCMS (1998 and 2001), the British Council (2010) and Nesta (2013), the Mapping of Creative Industries collects and systematises information from different public and private organisations regarding productive chains and the performance of the artistic and creative sectors in the national economy.

Chapter published: 28-12-2013