Kulturpolitik refers to state provisions and support for all forms of art, including the fine arts, performing arts, music and literature.
According to the German constitution, artistic and cultural support in the Federal Republic of Germany is determined by the German Länder. Article 5 in the constitution states, “Art and science, research and teaching are free”, implying the constitutional right to freedom from governmental intervention. At the same time, the state is responsible for maintaining German cultural heritage, for the development of arts in Germany and for general ongoing cultural support.
The merging of Europe and a Kulturpolitik that is increasing globalized constitute important new challenges.
Article 30 of the German constitution delegates national responsibilities and competencies to the German Länder. Cultural and educational jurisdiction constitutes the heart of the so-called “Kulturhoheit der Länder” (cultural sovereignty of the Länder).
In this way, the German constitution is linked with historic structures, such as those existing under cultural federalism of the Weimar Republic. Even before Weimar, however, countless German federal states and republics founded a wealth of cultural institutions. Thus, the cultural sovereignty of the German Länder represents a historic and independent cultural tradition. These developments are especially relevant to the period of National Socialism, where art and culture were abused for propaganda.
In the overall structure of public policy, Länder have generally delegated to cities, provinces and communities responsibility for their own cultural endeavors.