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Georgia/ 8.1 Support to artists and other creative workers  

8.1.3 Grants, awards, scholarships

A special programme of state awards in literature, art and architecture (2 878 800 GEL in 2005), as well as a programme for the support of gifted children and teenagers, now operates in Georgia.

Art workers awards are as follows:

  • Order of Honor; and
  • Medal of Honor.

These awards are given for exclusive achievements in various fields of culture and art. The candidates are nominated bythe Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection. Decisions on awards are made by the State Committee for Honor Awards at the President's Administration.

The following awards are given by the Committee for State Awards in literature, art and architecture:

  • Shota Rustaveli State Award (once in three years); and
  • State Award of Georgia (annually).

Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection gives the following awards in drama and music – for vocal ensembles, opera and Estrada singers and folklorists.

In addition to the State Awards, there are awards given by the Union of Theatre Workers – K. Marjanishvili Award and S. Akhmeteli Award (every 2 years); by the Artists' Union – the award for the best piece of the year, the prize for the best gallery of the year; by the music society – Z. Paliashvili award (every 4 years) and the S. Tsintsadze award for the best music ensemble (every 4 years). 

Notable awards instituted by private organizations

  • “Saba” - an annual literary award was founded in 2003. The founders of the award are TBC Bank and Pen Center. “Saba” is awarded in the following nominations:
    • The best novel of the year;
    • The best poetic collection of the year;
    • The best prosaic collection of the year;
    • The best play of the year;
    • The best literary debut of the year;
    • The best literary criticism of the year;
    • The best essay and documentary prose of the year;
    • The best Georgian translation of a foreign piece;
    • The best foreign translation of a Georgian piece;
    • The best e-book.

The winners of the “Saba” prizes are awarded for their special contribution to the development of literature and are also given cash prizes. The premium fund consists of 52 thousand GEL, which is awarded to the winners by TBC Bank.

  • “Duruji” – this annual theater prize was initiated and supported by businessman Lasha Papashvili in 2008. The number of nominations is variable. In the 2016-2017 season “Duruji” was awarded in the following nominations:
    • The best directing work - the amount of this prize is 12,000 GEL;
    • The best actress - the amount of this prize is 2000 GEL;
    • The best actor - the amount of this prize is 2000 GEL;
    • The author of the best-selling Georgian play - the amount of this prize is 2000 GEL;
    • The best scenographer (artist) - the amount of this prize is 2000 GEL;

The special prize established by the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia – to the best young director – amounts to 10,000 GEL. This amount should be used for the direction of a play in the next season. The age of the director nominated for this award must not exceed 35 years.

Mobility supporting state structures

  • Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection - has a small travel grant program for artists.
  • Ministry of Education and Science – in 2014 the International Center for Education was established, which awarded 482 academic scholarships in 2014-17 for Georgian citizens willing to study abroad (including 7 scholarships in arts in the year 2017).

Strategic documents supporting entrepreneurship

  • Cultural Strategy 2025” - In Goal 1.1 in the context of awareness raising and auditory development, as an example of an instrumental approach is given ´the elaboration of mechanisms for promotion of the creative industries´, such as “creative incubators” and start-ups. In Goal 6.2. – the foundation of the State Promotion Program “Creative Georgia” is determined. Also ´implementing special programs for development of business skills in the culture sector and creative skills´, and in the business sector: support for creation of “creative incubators”, which will offer a special space and relevant services to creative industries, including start-up businesses.

Entrepreneurship Support Programs

There are no state programs directly supporting entrepreneurship in the field of culture, but an indirect support instrument has been created:


  • Eastern Partnership Program “Culture and Creativity”. Within the framework of the program the educational activities are implemented in the context of culture and business correlation: “Nine Business Ideas of ​​Georgian Youth (TEAMLAB GEORGIA 2016)”. This practical workshop was conducted by the European Union and Eastern Partnership Program “Culture and Creativity”, as well as by the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia. The workshop involved 35 thousand students from different universities - designers, business managers, engineers and artists.


  • LEPL ´´Creative Georgia`` was created in 2017; this is a legal entity of public law (LEPL) under the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia, the subject of activity of which is the promotion of commercialization and sustainable development of innovative ideas in the cultural and creative sphere.
  • LEPL Georgian Innovations and Technologies Agency, Technopark; Founded in 2014. Among other directions it promotes the development of creative industries.
  • Startup Georgia” – the Innovative Business Promotion Program was founded by JSC Partnership Fund in 2016. Its purpose is to support the development of start-up businesses in Georgia. The program was jointly prepared by the Partnership Fund and the Georgian Innovations and Technologies Agency. “Startup Georgia” is part of economic reform, which is one of the components of the Government’s 4-point plan (economic reform, education reform, spatial arrangement, governance reform). Projects in the cultural sphere are promoted to small extent.
  • Agency “Produce in Georgia” is one of the first state agencies in Georgia, the main purpose of which is to improve the entrepreneurial environment, develop the private sector, promote export and attract investments; it has created the program of film industry promotion program “Shoot in Georgia”. The program enables local and international producers interested in filmmaking to make a film or other audio-visual products and to refund qualified expenses up to 20-25%.
  • LEPL “Children and Youth Development Foundation” was created in 2000. The aim of the Foundation is to support children and youth unions, to promote youth initiatives, finance their planned projects, arrange and implement activities. The Foundation activities is an integral part of the state youth policy and along with other priorities it promotes the youth cultural and social entrepreneurship initiatives.

Non-governmental Sector initiatives for promoting entrepreneurship in the field of culture

  • International Center for Arts, founded in 1995, is one of the strongest multi-profile NGOs in the field of culture in Georgia contributing to the development of the cultural industry; The Center has founded:
  • In the year 2013 – the social enterprise “Istoriali” (LLC). The objective of the enterprise is to transform a cultural resource into economically sustainable products - creating jobs for local artisans, increasing their income, introducing economic approaches in the traditional craft sector. Transferring traditions from generation to generation on the one hand, and on the other hand, popularizing Georgian culture through the revival of cultural heritage monuments,
  • In the year 2015 - N(N)LE “Association of Traditional Handicrafts”. This is a member-based organization that cares about the preservation and future development of traditions of Georgian traditional crafts and decorative-applied art. The aim of the Association is to promote the viability of traditions and the cooperation among the masters, organizations and supporters working in this field.
  • In 2015, in cooperation with the National Agency of Cultural Heritage of Georgia, the “Traditional Handicraft Master” title award of the Traditional Crafts Association of Georgia was founded, which is awared annually in various specific categories.
  • The Center for Strategic Research and Development of Georgia was founded in 1995. One of the activities of the center is social entrepreneurship, in which various projects are financed, including traditional cultural industry projects.

Chapter published: 13-02-2019

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