While many countries have been deemphasizing the importance of culture by slashing arts budgets, Brazil has just announced a unique policy expansion from the well-known "Bolsa Familia" program--a stipend for culture. Under this program, workers who earn up to 5x the minimum wage are eligible to receive 50 real (25 USD) per month for cultural expenses such as movies, books, museums, music, DVDs, etc.
The program has already been passed in Congress and approved by President Dilma Rousseff, and will probably begin later this year. As a result, Culture Minister Marta Suplicy projects a spending surge of nearly $3.5 billion in Brazil's culture sector.
This program fits nicely with Brazil's recent efforts to increase its education investment, which has been significant but still lags below the OECD average.