COMPENDIUM CULTURAL POLICIES AND TRENDS IN EUROPE
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Georgia/ 8.2 Cultural consumption and participation  

8.2.1 Trends and figures

For the past 27 years (1990-2017) systematic research and polls in the sphere of culture have not been held in Georgia due to the extremely dramatic and dynamic political life aggravated with the socio-economic crisis. The exception was the sociological research carried out on focus groups for the Conception of Development of Culture and Tourism in Tbilisi, held by the Fund for Culture Salvation under the order of the Service of Culture and Sports of Tbilisi Municipality in 2004.

As the research was targeted only at the detection of specific urban trends, nationwide data on participation of various social groups, distinctive by gender, age or educational level, in cultural activity, is not available.

Data on culture from the State Department for Statistics is not useful either as in the majority of cases cultural information was compiled with education or recreation, entertainment or even religion. The differential indicators in the sphere of culture cannot be separated.

Unfortunately, in 2004-2005 the amount of statistical data on culture has further decreased.

In November 2007, the newly designated Prime Minister of Georgia announced the need to separate the State Department of Statistics from the Ministry of Economic Development, and on granting sovereignty to this Department, because in the majority of cases the data submitted by the Department was embroidered to conform to the ministry's policy. As development of culture is not among the priorities of the policy implemented by the Ministry of Economic Development, the statistical data on culture for 2006-2007 "dissolved" in the data on education or the data on the social sphere.

However, the general trends of participation are as follows: the trends of cultural participation, which had been constantly growing since 1995, reached a peak in 2003. In 2004-2005 participation figures have stopped growing and have decreased in some spheres. In general, the trend of participation is much lower than in the 1980s.

There are many reasons for the low figures: living standards are lower; comparatively lower range of cultural services, in some cases obsolete (as in museums and libraries) and some have disappeared (e.g. cinemas which don't operate and there has been almost a total stoppage of film production). In 2007, state assistance in the cinema sphere is still insignificant – 1 477 073 GEL (1.9% of the budget of the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection); there is no real film production in Georgia.

During the past ten years the number of public libraries in Georgia reduced from 8 000 in 1990 to 2 160 in 2004. This decrease is most notable in the regions. However, for the last five years, the situation has stabilised to some extent.

Due to serious financial problems museums, archives and libraries are not able to maintain their infrastructure, to purchase new displays, publications, equipment etc. At the same time, for the past ten years the number of professional theatres has increased, although this increase took place at the expense of small theatres such as "Sardapi" or mobile troupes based on enterprise principles.

A decrease in visitor numbers was caused by the closing for repair of the largest academic theatres, on the one side, as well as the radically reduced average family income – only 1.8% of family incomes have been spent on culture, education and recreation jointly, with culture receiving 0.6%.

According to the data of 2016, the share of culture in household expenditure is 1.1%.

Source: UNESCO “Culture for Development Indicators (CDIS) for Georgia”, 2017; EU-Eastern Partnership Culture and Creativity Program; the Ministry of Couture and Monument Protection 2017 Report.

Table 19: Data on cultural participation in Georgia, 2000, 2005-2011

Number

2000

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

Public and universal libraries(quantity in units)

2 208

2 056

1 726

672

824

---

---

---

Book lending (in million copies)

31.1

28.3

20.7

---

17.3

---

---

---

Museums (quantity in units)

101

111

137

139

126

112

118

183

Visitors of museums (in thousand)

376.6

301.0

472.6

446.4

436.2

616.2

730.1

705.1

Theatres (quantity in units)

37 

41

46 

46

45

42

44

45

Spectators of theatres (in thousand)

508.2

256.0

343.6

437.8

394.3

468.6

359.9

404.2

Source:  State Department for Statistics of Georgia.

Table 19 a: Data on cultural participation in Georgia, 2005-2017

Publishing of Books, Magazines and Newspapers 2005-2010

  2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Number of copies, mln. 0,3 2,4 2,8 1,9 2,1 2,2

Annual circulation of magazines and other periodicals, mln. copies

 1,1 3,4 16,2 19,2  23,2  25,9 
Number of newspapers, unit  88  209 181 221  199  225 
Of which daily ... 13  15  15  12  14 
2-3-times in a week¹)  ... 17  15  17 
Weekly  ...  59  50  57  12  17 
Twice in month  ...  34  25  32  19  29 
Monthly  ...  45  46  70  121  126 
Once in every 2-3 month  ...  13 
Single Publishing  ...  10  11 
Annual Publishing  ... 
Irregular Publishing  ...  18  14  10  12  11 
Single circulation, mln. copies  0,4  0,8  0,5  0,7  0,5  0,8 
Annual circulation mln. copies  17,9  35,9  33,3  33,2  35,1  46,7 

 1) in 2006-2008 years 2-4 times in a week. Source: Ilia Chavchavadze National Parliamentary Library of Georgia

Publishing of Books, Magazines and Newspapers 2011-2017

  2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Number of copies, mln. 2,8 2,8 3,1 3,1 3,1 3,1 ...

Annual circulation of magazines and other periodicals, mln. copies

27,4 27,7 27,8 27,8 27,8 27,8 ...
Number of newspapers, unit 284 301 311 313 314 317 ...
Of which daily 12 14 14 14 14 14 16
2-3-times in a week²)  17 18 19 19 19 19 10
Weekly 49 49 51 52 51 51 52
Twice in month 24 25 26 26 26 26 12
Monthly 68 73 76 77 77 78 37
Once in every 2-3 month 35 38 39 39 39 39 12
Single Publishing 15 13 13 13 14 15 25
Annual Publishing 27 33 34 34 34 34 3
Irregular Publishing 37 38 39 39 40 41 51
Single circulation, mln. copies 0,1 0,1 0,1 0,1 0,1 0,1 ...
Annual circulation, mln. copies 51,5 57,4 60,4 60,4 60,4 60,4 ...

²) Ibid.
Source: Ilia Chavchavadze National Parliamentary Library of Georgia

Table 19 b: Data on cultural participation in Georgia, 2005-2017
Museums (Museum Unions) and Museum Reserves (unit) - 2005-2010

  2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Total number of museums 111 137 139 126 112 118
Of which:            
History/
Regional Studies
52 48 50 47 33 31
Literature Studies 2 3 3 2 2 2
Arts 14 24 21 21 18 22
Museum Reserve ... 9 6 6 10 10
Memorial 40 49 51 45 43 45
Others 3 4 8 5 6 7
Annual attendance, thsd. 301,1 472,6 446,4 436,2 616,2 730,1
Number of excursions 11837 15472 14875 20369 23022 27336
Number of exhibitions 366 429 556 549 608 617

Notice: 2009 includes also data of National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation of Georgia. Data from 2011 includes data on separate museums.

Museums (Museum Unions) and Museum Reserves (unit) - 2011-2017

  2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Total number of museums 183 188 191 193 207 219 241
Of which:              
History/
Regional Studies
61 61 60 60 60 60 69
Literature Studies 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
Arts 19 18 19 19 21 23 24
Museum Reserve 11 11 12 13 13 13 12
Memorial 73 78 78 79 84 90 96
Others 17 18 20 20 27 31 38
Annual attendance, thsd. 705,1 993,7 1100,9 1065,8 1335,9 1674,9 1910,0
Number of excursions 26696 33018 35850 39595 47676 51339 58274
Number of exhibitions 686 664 710 851 919 1008 1076

Table 19 c: Data on cultural participation in Georgia, 2006-2017
Professional Theatres

                       

unit

 

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

Total number of theatres

46

46

45

42

44

45

44

48

49

49

49

49

of which:

                       

opera and ballet

2

2

2

2

1

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

drama, musical comedy and miniatures

36

35

35

32

35

35

34

37

38

38

38

38

children and youth

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

puppet

6

7

6

6

6

6

6

7

7

7

7

7

Number of seat in the hall,   thsd (Includes rented)

14,2

13,8

13,5

12,7

12,8

12,4

12,5

13,3

14,5

13,7

16,0

15,9

Number of performances

2919

3458

3134

3711

3216

3654

3514

3871

4433

4724

4679

4827

o.w. Number of performances outside main scene

169

171

115

135

154

150

150

183

181

203

252

302

Annual attendance, thsd.

343,6

437,8

394,3

468,6

359,9

404,2

353,7

433,9

486,9

554,5

601,8

576,8

Average attendance per one   performance

118

127

126

126

112

111

101

112

110

117

129

119

Number of performances   during tours abroad

78

84

28

41

43

54

90

116

142

135

160

203

Table 19 d: Data on cultural participation in Georgia, 2006-2017
Data on Professional Theatres by Regions

Number of performances, unit

  2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Georgia,
Total
2919 3458 3134 3711 3216 3654 3514 3871 4433 4724 4679 4827
Tbilsi 1751 2152 1953 2294 2067 2342 2066 2384 2845 3102 3022 2916
Adjara AR 204 221 184 232 204 199 240 170 135 94 180 278
Imereti 443 469 390 391 410 460 519 614 649 630 620 648
Sameg-
relo-
Zemo
Svaneti
83 140 122 136 120 151 140 106 99 123 91 162
Samt
skhe-
Javakheti
157 177 229 287 180 233 225 280 284 298 265 301
The
remaining
regions*
281 299 256 371 235 269 324 317 421 477 501 522

Annual attendance, thsd.

  2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Georgia,
Total
343,60 437,8 468,6 468,6 359,9 404,2 353,7 433,9 486,9 554.5 601,8 576,8
Tbilsi 209,8 307,9 273,7 354,6 254,5 302,4 223,2 269,5 293,6 350,9 394,1 340,6
Adjara AR 19,2 18,6 19,0 22,1 20,7 20,1 19,0 25,4 20,9 18,0 21,1 30,6
Imereti 42,1 46,3 25,5 28,1 28,2 35,9 40,4 73,0 81,2 82,6 81,7 90,0
Sameg-
relo-
Zemo
Svaneti
26,8 28,7 28,2 20,9 17,2 13,2 14,7 19,0 19,5 13,1 17,7 21,2
Samt-
skhe-
Javakheti
13,5 14,2 17,2 18,6 21,2 18,2 15,7 20,7 20,0 20,0 16,0 22,6
The
remaining
regions*
32,3 22,2 30,7 24,4 18,1 14,4 40,8 26,3 51,7 69,9 71,2 72,0

There are some research studies and opinions on the monitoring of the participation of representatives of national minorities in the cultural life of the community, carried out by the Public Movement "Multinational Georgia" (http://www.pmmg.info). One of the recent efforts is the Alternative Report on Implementation of the Framework Convention of the Council of Europe on the Protection of National Minorities, but this report has not been published yet. No other information is currently available.


Chapter published: 13-02-2019

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