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Salaries of workers in cultural organisations remain lower than in education and health.

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Armenia/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates  

4.2.9 Employment policies for the cultural sector

In the cultural sphere, those employed work for state and community non-commercial organisations, private cultural organisations, and cultural foundations and are self-employed. In 2006, the total number of cultural employees and artists of state non-commercial cultural organisations, within the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture, was 5 231.

There are 34 theatres in Armenia, 16 within the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture, 11 are within the community jurisdiction and 4 are private theatres. There are 22 music organisations in Armenia: 11 within the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture, 4 within the community jurisdiction and 7 are private organisations. There are 16 dance organisations in Armenia: 3 under the Ministry of Culture, 1 under community jurisdiction and 11 are private organisations.

The number of employees in the cultural sphere, according to the various sectors, is listed below. The figures were obtained in 2006, and the statistical data have not been refreshed, or at least, the newest data are not available from the public sources.

  • library activity: total number employed is 2 511, 2 249 of whom work in the libraries under community jurisdiction;
  • museum activity: total number employed is 1 507, 394 of whom work in regional museums;
  • theatrical / concert activity: 443 employees;
  • music schools – 1 611 employees;
  • art schools – 735 employees;
  • drawing schools – 202 employees;
  • cultural houses and centres – 1 618 employees; and
  • other cultural organisations – 266 employees.

There is no statistical data yet relating to independent cultural workers. Some of these workers are calculable via their membership of creative unions; in 2006 there were 2 478 (Union of Composers and musicologists – 125 members, Union of Theatre Workers – 708 members, Union of Painters – 1 092 members, Union of Art of Dance Workers – 50 members, Union of Cinematographers – 171 members, Writers' Union – 332 members).

The average salary of workers in cultural organisations under Ministry of Culture jurisdiction is about 65 000 AMD; within community jurisdiction, it is even lower (the exact data is unavailable). Salaries in the cultural sector though still remain the lowest in comparison with other social spheres. In the education sector, a teacher's salary is 72 100 AMD, while in the healthcare sector the average salary is 68 196 AMD.

Today, cultural management skills are being obtained indirectly, rather than institutionally in Armenia. Several current cultural managers obtained their knowledge either independently or through different international organisations. Currently, cultural management is taught only in the Komitas Conservatory and in the Institute of Theatre and Cinema, whereas other cultural spheres are also in need of managers.

In accordance with the Culture Development Strategy of 2008-2012, the goals for personnel policy in the culture sphere are:

  • to re-staff the cultural sphere with highly qualified specialists;
  • to provide opportunities for the training and retraining of creative workers in order to ensure their competitive capacity in market relations;
  • to ensure the balanced distribution of specialists in the Republic; and
  • to involve new and modern professions (art managers, art producers etc.) in the culture sphere.

The following actions are stipulated to enhance the personnel strategy:

  • research into manpower needs and other services in the cultural sphere aiming to make an impact on market formation and specialist training;
  • to increase the income level of artists by means of state remunerations and the presentation of Armenian culture abroad;
  • equalisation of salaries for cultural sector public workers (libraries, museums, exhibitions, music and art schools, archives and clubs and culture centres) with similar professions, particularly to bring them into line with the average salary in the education sector;
  • to make administrative changes to support cultural centres of distant, bordering, high mountainous communities via the system of free education in higher educational institutes and schools (full compensation of tuition payment in the form of student grants provided by the state);
  • irrespective of the institute, staff in cultural organisations must be trained professionally, and their appointment must be made via competition; and
  • the establishment of a National Culture Institute attached to the Ministry of Culture whose key task must be the development of standards in cultural sector management, methods, methodologies, personnel training and raising the level of professional skills.

Chapter published: 22-05-2015

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