There is a tradition of active public debates in Georgia, especially in the context of a polarized political environment. Culture often becomes a victim of political mainstreaming. At the same time, the importance of the social aspects of culture is largely understood and voiced by the professional community and the non-governmental sector.
The potential for significant social impact of culture is manifested in the development of cultural tourism and urban planning, creating a new habitat, especially in the historic part of cities.
The heavy interventionist urban policy in Georgia since the 2000s has become an important topic of public debates. The intensity and purposefulness of the debates have in some cases yielded positive results (for example the public and expert monitoring of the restoration-rehabilitation project of the Tbilisi ancient district – Gudiashvili Square).
A positive example of ensuring informed, transparent and participatory processes for the development of a policy of cultural expression diversity are the meetings organized by the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection in the process of creating the Culture Strategy in 2015-2016. Both the state and 36 NGOs that signed the Memorandum “Creating a Culture Policy Together” actively supported the informed policy-making process. As a result, the issues of equal access to culture and the social aspects of culture have been reflected in this document.
An important place in the Culture Strategy 2025is allocated to the equal access by different groups to culture. “2.1. Objective: Culture is made accessible to all, including the communities in mountainous regions, municipalities adjacent to the state borders, occupied territories and across the dividing lines of occupied territories.”
The correlation of culture with social welfare and intersectoral cooperation is also reflected in the Third Goal of the Strategy: “Goal: Culture and creativity help other key areas to contribute in a wider sense to the State’s sustainable development and social well-being.
Objective: Regular cooperation among cultural professionals, public, civil and private sectors brings about more effective decision-making and problem-solving methods and results in a better quality of life.”
Other documents which more or less reflect the aspects of the cultural impact of culture, serve this goal as well:
- The Georgian National Youth Policy Concept for 2020 – 2030 (7054-rs; 24/07/2020) in addition to various educational and social areas, includes support for youth cultural and creative activities (in frames of interest groups, clubs, hubs and summer camps).
- State Strategy for Civic Equality and Integration and Action Plan for 2015-2020 (1740; 01/09/2015) addresses the issues of preserving the culture of ethnic minorities and promoting a tolerant environment.
- The Law on Innovations (N5501-II dated 22.06.2016) is aimed at creating an environment conducive to the creative industries.
- The Georgian Tourism Strategy (2015) is a document focused on greater socialization and commercialization of cultural infrastructure, cultural heritage sites and cultural services.