The main source of grants and scholarships is the Cultural Endowment of Estonia (see chapter 1.2.2). The Cultural Endowment issues also annual awards in all eight sub-endowments.
In literature, the annual awards ceremony is held on the 14th of March (Native Language Day). The awards are handed out in eight different categories for books published in the last year: prose, poetry, dramaturgy, dissertation, children’s literature, translated Estonian literature and translated literature into Estonian.
The ceremony of the music endowments’ annual awards is held on the International Music Day, the 1st of October. The ceremony is organised together with the Estonian Music Council. Ten annual awards are being handed out for the most outstanding accomplishments in the field of music. The Estonian Music Council hands out three life-time awards.
The dramatic arts sub-endowment finances the awards handed out by the Estonian Theatre Alliance on the 27th of March (International Theatre Day).
The Cultural Endowments’ annual prizes in architecture, audio-visual arts, visual and applied arts, folk arts and sport are handed out every year in January at an annual award-gala. In addition to the sub-endowment’s awards each year, sub-endowments nominate one candidate for the grand award and one for life-time award, which are also handed out at the ceremony, but financed by the Board of Cultural Endowment.
The Cultural Endowment county expert groups give out annual prizes for outstanding achievements in different fields of culture and sport. Many local authorities have their own cultural awards and prizes as well.
According to the State Cultural Awards and Grants Act, the cultural awards of Estonia are designated for outstanding creative achievements in the field of culture. The award shall be designated to a natural person. Each year on the 23rd of February, three awards for long-term outstanding creative activity and five awards for outstanding works that have reached the public in the preceding calendar year will be solemnly delivered.
The State F. J. Wiedemann Language Award is granted each year to one natural person for outstanding merits upon study, organisation, teaching, promotion or use of the Estonian language.
The Kristjan Raud Art Award is the oldest annual art prize in Estonia: It has been awarded jointly by the Estonian Artists Association and the Tallinn City Government since 1973. The award is presented to artists, art historians or creative collectives for a work, art project or event that was made, exhibited or presented for the first time during the previous year. In exceptional cases, the award can also be awarded for artworks made in the past or for a life-long dedicated practice.
The cultural grants and scholarships of Estonia are designated to support cultural projects and creative initiatives that are essential from the perspective of the national cultural policy or to support study in foreign higher educational or research institutions. Twenty annual grants may be designated to a natural person, legal person or authority (see also chapter 4.2.1).
The Ministry of Culture annually awards Edward Wiiralt Scholarships to art students, the funds for which are collected from the fees for the use of artworks.
The Presidential Cultural Foundation was established in 1993 and centralises donations made by individuals, companies, organisations and associations in support of cultural, educational and research activities in Estonia. The foundation issues the Young Cultural Figure Award, the Young Scientist Award, the Young IT Scientist Award, Education Awards and Special Physical Sciences Award. The President of the Republic’s Folklore Collection Awards have also become a tradition, as has supporting the history-based research competition for students organised by the Association of Estonian Teachers of History and Social Studies.