Jordan/ 7. Public institutions in cultural infrastructure  

7.3 Status and partnerships of public cultural institutions

There are collaborations between NGOs and international cultural representatives / centres, as well as local government bodies, the Ministry of Culture and the Municipality of Greater Amman. Some private companies and banks have shown some involvement with the arts and cultural sectors, their activities range to include funding exhibitions within the commercial sector, as well as workshops, festivals and performances.

The issue of private sector involvement was brought up in a meeting on “Corporate Social Responsibility” in 2006, a forum hosted by the Municipality of Greater Amman in an attempt to bridge the divide between NGOs functioning in the cultural industries and the private sector. Under the pretence of national responsibility as well as tax-free initiatives for arts and culture funding, the private sector is encouraged to support the sector. Interest has increased since then, but a focus on social development functioning in less privileged areas receives more funding than organisations working solely in the arts even if those activities are geared towards the less fortunate.

Overall, the definition of supporting the arts is still a very premature one. Private companies are unaware of the importance of their involvement in support of arts and culture, or the repercussions of their lack of support either. Ideas such as funding, patronage, philanthropy v partnership and sponsorship as understood in the marketing sense of the word, are not clear in the approach of private donors. This may be attributed to several issues, one of which is a general lack of appreciation, definition or understanding of arts and culture, and hence a reluctance to support particular activities in contemporary arts and culture. With this ambiguity towards an understanding of arts and culture, many companies find it easier to fund culture through organisations and activities that involve child and youth development.

Chapter published: 04-05-2016