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Estonia/ 8.4 Amateur arts, cultural associations and civil initiatives  

8.4.2 Cultural houses and community cultural clubs

The role of community cultural centres is rather unclear at the moment. During the Soviet regime they were mostly maintained by collective farms and state-owned employers. The privatisation of the economy and agriculture in the early 1990s caused some of the cultural centres to be closed down while others were turned over to the municipalities. Local governments have varying economic resources and are not always able to maintain the buildings and furnish them with activities. That means that the cultural centres have been forced to become economically more self-reliant and to introduce higher fees for participation in their activities. They have often adopted the legal form of a foundation or a non-profit association. There is a tendency of establishing "cultural factories" (clusters established in previous factory buildings and run by non-profit organisations, which are transformed into working and performing places for artists, musicians, craftsmen, printing houses, recording studios, etc.), to meet better the needs of interdisciplinary arts and engage young audiences. Two cultural factories, Kultuurikatel and Cultural Factory Polymer in Tallinn, are both in their initial phase of development and have been generously supported by the City of Tallinn. Two other cultural factories are planned for Tartu and Viljandi.

As mentioned in chapter 8.3, the state-initiated programme to renovate schools located in historical manor buildings supports the re-creation of multi-functional centres for local cultural life. The practice of creating official co-operation between friendship municipalities in Estonia and the Nordic countries has provided Estonian local governments with new ideas and often with material support.

Chapter published: 13-10-2014

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