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Georgia/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and debates  

4.2.1 Conceptual issues of policies for the arts

Cultural policy has been gradually formed and developed depending on the domestic and international situation.

Until August 2008, culture was not really a feature of foreign policy. In the common context of intensification of centralisation, culture was perceived as a tool of domestic policy aimed at demonstration of the adherence to traditional values, on the one side, (strengthening of priorities in cultural heritage), and as a globalisation instrument, on the other side. The corner stone of the globalisation policy is education, in particular creative education. The Ministry of Education and Science has carried out radical reform of the education policy in a very tough way, while the Ministry of Culture and Cultural Heritage - which lacks its own concept and vision - obeys the directives of the Ministry of Education and Science, which is more powerful both from political and financial aspects. As a result, in the sphere of creative education, problems are aggravated by clashes and conflicts of traditional methods with new ones.

At the same time, the political establishment thought that sports were the more effective instrument of PR on the international scene and inside the country, which resulted in the integration of these two spheres in one ministry in 2005. Such integration turned out to be ineffective institutionally and the financing of culture often suffered.

The shift in policy following the Russian-Georgian military conflict helped to focus on the promotion of culture as a facility for building a positive international image of Georgia. Consequently, this is reflected in the financing of culture (in spite of the war and world crisis, financing of culture has been growing year after year) and in 2010 – in changes of infrastructure when the Ministry was divided into two bodies – the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Sports.

Culture has benefited in the post-war situation which has stimulated the joint efforts of different ministries and authorities aimed at the achievement of their objectives.

In 2011-2014, the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection and Ministry of Foreign Affairs will have joint strategic priorities and therefore attention will be paid to the effective involvement of UNESCO in the issues of cultural heritage protection and education in the Georgian territories occupied by Russia.

The coalition "Georgian Dream" which has won the parliamentary elections in October 2012 has formed the new cabinet of ministers. Respectively, the new leadership of the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection has started to develop a new strategy and new concept of cultural policy.

During the period after the Parliamentary Elections of 1 October 2012, the parliamentary committee for science, education and culture of the new government initiated debates on a new draft theatre law. The new law was discussed at the round tables arranged by the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia and the Georgian media.

The Law on Professional Theatres was adopted in 2013 and appeared to be a hasty response to the Law on State Theatres of 2006.

The new law considers strengthening the position of art directors as the 2006 Law on Public Theatres mainly belittled the competences of art directors and vested sole authority in the public theatre managers compared to the Law on Public Theatres from 1999.


In “Cultural Strategy 2025” Specific Тasks are respectively developed (See new strategy document “Cultural Strategy 2025” (01.07.2016)

Architecture, Audiovisual sector, Design, Literature & Publishing, Music, Performing arts and Visual arts issues are located in Chapter III: Sector-specific Tasks.


  • Promote architecture as a complex discipline bearing cultural, creative and aesthetic value;
  • On the one hand ensure its institutional and legal position within the cultural sector and on the other hand consider it as a cultural resource in economic and construction policies;
  • Introduce a synchronised policy of spatial planning and cultural heritage protection - consider the principles of integrated conservation and energy efficiency; create environmentally-friendly architecture and apply new technologies;
  • Follow the principles of good governance when architecture intervenes in the cultural landscape and engage experts, professionals and interest groups in the decision making process; Improve legal and administrative regulations and empower law enforcement in regard to issues connected to spatial planning, relevant expertise and standards and licensing of architects;
  • Ensure private sector motivation (by introducing competitions, awards and other mechanisms) in order to achieve higher architectural standards of the built environment;
  • Help Georgian architects to participate in international architectural competitions and events and promote their participation in experience-sharing programmes at foreign agencies

Audiovisual sector

  • Develop services and professions entailed by the production, post-production and distribution of audio-visual content;
  • Develop regulatory mechanisms for the audiovisual sector (e.g. box office transparency, designation of age limit, dubbing quality, etc.) by employing best international practices (EU Directive on Audiovisual Media Services);.
  • Promote Georgia’s convenience as a filming location and facilitate international co-production by developing necessary infrastructure, legislation and system of incentives (cash rebate, tax rebate, credit incentives, insurance etc.);
  • Establish the national cinema reserve in order to preserve and organise the film heritage and ensure the public’s accessibility to the Georgian and world cinematography;
  • Facilitate the development of multifunctional cultural-educational centres and/or of appropriate cinemas and alternative means of screening (e.g.: mobile cinemas) for the purpose of ensuring film screenings;
  • Considering the importance of visual and audio effects for audiovisual industry in general, facilitate the mobilisation of necessary human and technical resources - elaborate professional training programmes and the system of incentives, ensure access to appropriate facilities and equipment etc.;
  • Foster the development of the multi-media and games industry by promoting new business models and simplifying the ways for the internationalisation of the games industry (on-line platforms, international networks, etc.).


  • Raise awareness of policymakers, the representatives of business sector and general public about design as an interdisciplinary sector comprising arts, innovation, creativity and technology and about its importance in cultural, social, economic and environmental dimension;
  • Create integrated platforms for designers, researchers, technicians, engineers and entrepreneurs in order to develop and deliver joint innovative products;
  • To accomplish the development and international promotion of the national design sector, empower various sorts of design companies (e.g. spatial, fashion, industrial) and strengthen their international competitiveness (e.g. develop business skills, create new business models, facilitate participation in local and international competitions; support design and fashion festivals, etc.);
  • Support the research and the use of intangible cultural heritage and national themes and elements (e.g. traditional costume, ornament, carving, embroidery, etc.) in the design industry. 

Literature and Publishing

  • In order to develop the reading habits/skills and literacy of the public, particularly among children and youth and promote literature in general, work with different organisations (e.g.: the National Parliamentary Library, the Writers’ House, the Literature Museum, the Service Development Agency, etc.) and support special projects and events (e.g. artistic evenings, literature competitions, book festivals, mobile libraries, meetings with writers, etc.);
  • For the protection and development of the national literature, including literary heritage, set up necessary mechanisms and a convenient environment to create, publish and translate new works and also make them accessible; introduce residency programmes for the Georgian writers;
  • Support participation in international events, such as festivals, exhibitions and competitions (e.g. the Frankfurt Book Fair) in order to develop and ensure international promotion of the Georgian literature;
  • Sustain the teaching of creative writing at all levels of education and encourage the development of literature studies and criticism;
  • Support the development of children's literature (including illustrated and interactive publication) through special funding mechanisms (special projects, competitions, etc.);
  • Support the translation of Georgian literature into other languages and vice-versa; provide training programmes for the translators of Georgian literature and develop professional networks of translators;
  • In order to ensure the development of print distribution networks, study local market and in accordance with international best practices, elaborate measures for encouraging book quality control and incentives for publishers and distributors;
  • Facilitate the production and distribution of different types of (cultural, scientific and technical) literature in order to support publishing companies;
  • Taking into consideration innovative approaches and new technologies, elaborate special training programmes, in order to develop, distribute and promote e-books.


  • Improve legal and administrative regulations in order to develop a coherent and continuous system of music education: develop professional performing skills and thinking in parallel with general education and practice in mastering (the instruments) from basic education to higher education;
  • Improve the quality of education (determine teaching standards and methodologies, ensure their implementation into practice, especially in the regions, etc.);
  • Support the development of a favourable study environment (musical instruments, study materials and scores, etc.) in music educational institutions;
  • Collect, document, publish, and promote the artistic heritage of national professional performers and composers;
  • Support and promote national composers (e.g. encourage the integration of new pieces of work into the repertoires of national music companies, encourage critical studies of music, organise thematic competitions for revealing best new musical compositions, etc.);
  • Support different events, festivals, competitions and master classes in the sphere of music, especially classical music, in order to ensure professional development of national composers and music performers, facilitate the participation of Georgian musicians in various international events (competitions, festivals, residency programmes, etc.);
  • Support the development of music industry (record labels, sound recording studios, production companies, distribution networks, etc.) by developing new business models, new technology, appropriate professions and services, supporting merger and coproduction of networks and clusters, enforce the protection of intellectual property, develop incentives, etc.

Performing arts

  • Improve legal and regulatory framework of the performing arts sector in order to raise administrative effectiveness and quality across the sector;
  • Support the development and popularisation of the national dramaturgy (e.g. consider the integration of new works by contemporary Georgian playwrights into the repertoire of national theatres, introduce thematic competitions in order to reveal outstanding new plays, encourage performing arts criticism, etc.);
  • For advancing the professional level of performing arts, facilitate the organisation of different events, festivals, master-classes, also support the participation of the Georgian actors, directors, playwrights, choreographers, etc. in international events (competitions, festivals, residencies and etc.);
  • Improve educational standards and teaching methodologies, legal and administrative regulations for instructors’ licence and certification procedures in order to develop continuous and adapted system of choreographic education;
  • Facilitate the betterment of learning environment (study equipment and other materials) in the institutions of choreographic education;
  • Support the development of circus art by ensuring that circus education is adequately represented in the wider system of professional education and by providing access to necessary facilities.

Visual arts

  • In order to allow the development of an effective visual arts education and improve its quality, advance legal and administrative regulations of visual arts education, designate teaching standards and learning methodologies, etc.;
  • Support the development of the institutions of visual arts education (provide work inventories and study materials, etc.);
  • Create and develop the system of visual arts schools in order to develop professional skills and thinking;
  • Deliver special incentives (e.g. thematic projects, competitions, awards) to encourage artists;
  • Support the development of corresponding business models and business skills for the personnel of galleries, curators and arts consultants in order to promote visual arts and stimulate dynamics of domestic art market;
  • Facilitate the organisation of periodic events, arts residencies and galleries and encourage the participation in international projects in order to raise the interest of international artists and curators towards Georgia;
  • Create a multifunctional facility of culture - the museum of contemporary art, in order to ensure national and international promotion of visual arts, its protection and demonstration.

Chapter published: 13-02-2019

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