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The introduction of the concept of Cultural Centers is an important basis for future cultural growth in a society. It involves a system of state benefits which act on local level, such as facilitated bureaucratic procedures for all cultural activity, state grants for artists and their production, and even incentives for constructing culture-related buildings. After implementing this Policy, each city in the empire turns into a shining beacon for all culture-related activity.
This is the natural starter Policy if you intend to develop Culture seriously, and even pursue cultural victory. Even though cultural buildings aren't the main driver towards this type of victory anymore, they still have a very important role: without the presence of cultural buildings, and the Great Work slots they provide, you can't produce Great Works! Of course, the very presence of the buildings themselves isn't going to help you produce Great Works, so don't expect a sudden flood of art, music and poems. This will come later with other Policies in the tree, which are unlocked by this basic Policy.
A Cultural Center is any building, complex or institution that promotes the arts. In some cases, this means the sponsorship of museums and art galleries open to all. In some cases, cultural centers may offer donations to encourage the construction or operation of privately-owned venues for performance art, and may help in acquiring talent for civic orchestras, theaters, dance ensembles, and vocal groups.