Sociology of culture has established knowledge about the social processes in the production, valuation and consumption of cultural objects and the arts. However, public spending on culture is predominantly studied in political science and political economy. Therefore, the aim of this article is to add a sociological view to existing political and economic examinations of public funding of culture and arts. This is pursued by concentrating on the determinants of public cultural expenditures, which we consider as comprising not only political (party ideology, electoral cycle, direct democracy) and economic (central locations, spatial spending patterns) but also social factors (population's structure according to education, income, age). This interdisciplinary approach is based on the idea that cultural policy is located at the intersection of political decision-making, cultural production, and cultural consumption. Empirically, we study cultural expenditures and their determinants for the 26 cantons of Switzerland from 1977 to 2010 based on hybrid panel regression models. Our results show that the Swiss cantons exhibit strikingly different patterns of cultural expenditure. Consistent with our main assumption, they are shaped by social, political and economic-geographic variables. Yet, the interplay of these variables differs between classical cultural expenditures and public funding of sports and leisure.