Taking for granted that public support is necessary for culture and the performing arts in general, as well as renewal of artistic languages in particular, the author focuses on the following points: a) the participants in the process; b) the criteria for and ways in which support is offered. Barbati describes the institutional battles for jurisdiction over the performing arts sector, highlighting the powerful tendency towards centralisation that has resulted. This in turn could jeopardize the plurality of artistic expression. Turning to the ways in which support is offered, the author highlights the fact that far more attention is being given to contemporary works than in the past, but she claims that the criterion of «subsidiarity» has not yet been adequately addressed. However, steps are being taken to achieve a better balance among public powers in the bill currently before Parliament.