7.3 Status and partnerships of public cultural institutions
In Armenia, as in other former Soviet Republics, most of the cultural institutions underwent changes in structure and legal status. Under the authority of the Ministry of Culture, part of these institutions made changes in their internal regulations, while others conferred the right to make those changes to the Ministry of Culture as an authorised body. Since 2002, museums, libraries, and theatrical-concert organisations have been reorganised into state non-profit organisations. Large cultural organisations were awarded "National" status (National Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre, National Gallery of Armenia, National Library, National Television, National Book Chamber). The State Academic Theatre, named after Sundukyan, was not awarded national status, although it continues to be at the forefront in comparison with the other theatres. There have not been any budgetary reductions in the state organisations; on the contrary, there is a tendency for growth. In some institutions, separate projects access programme grants from different funds, as well as using the incomes received from their own services.
The Ministry of Culture continues to finance the state cultural institutions, which, in their turn, are free to cooperate with any local and foreign donor organisations.
The Armenian Diaspora institutionalised structures (traditional parties, cultural unions, etc) and individuals are a financial source for cultural institutions. The local sponsors contribute mainly to popular culture and show business.
A number of NGOs, CJSCs and funds established in recent years have begun regional and international cooperation in the cultural sphere. They obtain assistance from the state and international organisations. In Armenia, NGOs were and still remain active participants in cultural life. Approximately 900 NGOs are registered in the cultural sphere, which makes up 33% of all registered NGOs. In the Marzes, there is 1 cultural organisation per 1 334 residents (the total population in the Marzes is 2 116 300, while the total number of cultural organisations is 1 586).