Our application assessment is based on the cultural policy objectives and the regulations governing the grants.
We prepare our decisions through:
Peer review groups
The Swedish Arts Council has peer review groups with experts from different art fields, performing quality assessments of the applications. The groups are appointed by our board.
Our objective is for the groups to reflect the societal diversity, for example through gender, age, ethnic and cultural affiliation, as well as geographic representation from the whole country. It is important that the groups have knowledge in the field that they reviewand in areas such as equality, LGBTQ, children and youth, availability for people with disabilities, as well as international and intercultural issues.
Some make decisions regarding recipients of grants. These groups are all within literature.
Other groups are advisory, they give proposals regarding grants and how the subsidies are to be distributed. Our Director General make the decisions. We have 14 reference groups within different art fields.
Our administrators participate in the group meetings. They are highly qualified in the art field, as well as in cultural policy issues, and are responsible for assessing the applications, based on applicable criteria.
A member can participate in a group for four years, at the most. Each year, if you have expertise in an arts field, you can appoint yourself as a member, and be included in the selection when a spot opens.
The cultural collaboration model
Without comparison, the largest part of our grants is allocated to regional cultural activities, and distributed through the cultural collaboration model. This entails that the regions and county councils included in the model receive subsidies directly from us. Then, they are distributing the grant to regional cultural institutions and operations. Since 2013, all counties and regions in Sweden, except Stockholm, are part of the model.
Each region and county council designs a culture plan, describing its ambition and development areas for the regional culture.
Our assessments regarding allocation of the operational grants to the regions are based on the culture plans. In addition, we collaborate with the collaboration council including the Swedish Arts Grants Committee, the National Library of Sweden, the County Councils, the National Swedish Handicraft Council, Riksteatern, the Swedish National Heritage Board, the Swedish National Archives, and the Swedish Film Institute. Based on this, our board of directors make decisions regarding the distribution of the grants.
For around 20 of our grants, the Swedish Arts Council’s senior advisors, with special knowledge regarding the different grants and art forms, give decision proposals to the Director General.