• Mg.art. Dita Pfeifere Latvian Academy of Culture, Latvia




Access to culture, Cultural centres, Vulnerable groups, Cultural policy, Cultural rights


In recent decades, the concept of access to culture has been increasingly highlighted on the international political agenda, gradually coming to the attention of Latvian policymakers, to state cultural policy documents, funding programmes, municipal cultural development planning documents and the daily work of cultural organizations. In the article, the issue of access to culture is analysed both in the context of cultural policy of Latvia and the legal regulation of cultural centres, and in the context of international cultural policy and cultural rights, which are represented by the documents developed by the UN, UNESCO and the European Union in the field of cultural rights, cultural protection and development.

The aim of the article is to evaluate to what extent the internationally and nationally determined political and legal framework regarding the promotion of access to culture for vulnerable groups is implemented in Latvian municipal cultural centres.

The research methodology: mixed research strategy, which involves both quantitative and qualitative data collection. The qualitative research methods are content analysis, including analysis of relevant literature, official reports and documents of state institutions, as well as secondary data analysis. An electronic survey of municipal cultural centres and cultural organizers was conducted to obtain quantitative data.

Findings: the outcome of the study shows that a number of specific issues must be addressed to improve access to culture for vulnerable groups in Latvia. Analysis of survey data shows, that cultural centres pay special attention to ensuring the availability of cultural services for the following vulnerable groups, which are the focus of this study: older persons, children and people with limited financial means. Whereas, minorities, persons with disabilities and migrants are involved much less in the activities of cultural centres. One of the most significant obstacles affecting the accessibility of cultural services in cultural centres is the accessibility of the environment, which is primarily important for people with disabilities; moreover, people with disabilities have very limited opportunities to access the content of events.



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