Before the “Culture Starategy 2025”, established in 2016, there was no clear coordinated or strategically developed governmental programme for the promotion of participation in cultural life, no state policy for extended civil participation, civic belonging, or development / solidarity in the civic community.
However, there are some projects financed from the Presidential Fund and arranged by the Youth Department of the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia. These projects are partially aimed at developing solidarity in the civic community, e.g. the annual project PATRIOT (which was introduced for the first time in 2005) involves the integration of youth from various regions in summer camps; it also facilitates intercultural dialogue between representatives of different nationalities residing in Georgia and with foreign student groups, namely from the Ukraine.
There are also some initiatives to promote the sale and distribution of season tickets by Zachariah Paliashvili State Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet and project “Dmanisi” of the National Museum – which is a summer camp for children on archeology.
Some activities organised by the state could be considered as promoting participation in cultural life e.g.:
- the systematic organisation of public holidays and concerts tied to political events such as the visits by the President of the USA, President of Ukraine, President of Latvia etc;
- national holidays such as the Day of Independence on 26 May, Rose Revolution Anniversary, New Year etc.;
- municipal and local holidays established during the socialist period (“Tbilisoba”), and new ones organised on the Rustaveli Avenue initiated by the Service for Education and Culture of Tbilisi Municipality in 2005.
These events form part of the regular cultural policy framework as they are financed from the reserve funds of the President and the government.
For the purposes of facilitation of active involvement in society, particularly youth in the field of protection of national heritage, the National Agency of Cultural Heritage Preservation of Georgia carries out the following programmes:
- Archeology – The journey from finding artifacts to their restoration;
- Methods of one of the first branches of craftsmanship;
- How our ancestors lived – history of their garments, jewelry, things used in daily life and weaponry;
- From the Pagan Times to Christianity – touring through the ancient capital of Georgia-Mtskheta; and
- History of Art- general introductory course about worldwide recognised archaeological, ceramic and photographic masterpieces.
To involve the public, in particular youth, in cultural life, the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia and the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia have launched a joint project “The Field Trip to Theatres” in January 2015. The large-scale project of the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia is aimed at getting school students interested in theatre. In the frames of the Project, all school-age children throughout Georgia will be able to visit theatres to examine the stage and technical spaces. The school students will learn about the theatre’s history and archives; they will attend rehearsals, meet with theatre directors and actors and will even enjoy a 50% discount on tickets. In the first phase the project involves 11 theatres subordinated to the Ministry. Step by step, the intention is to involve all Georgian theatres
“The Culture Strategy 2025” has specified the areas “Raising awareness” and “Promoting public access to culture”.
In 2015-2016, the state budget spent on promotion of cultural life of regions: in 2015 -13,578,357 GEL, in 2016 (plan) – 13,258,800 GEL; 37 legal entities of public law carried out more than 6,000 activities and attracted the audience of more than 200,000 people.
Implemented in 2015-2016:
- Regional festivals
- Promotion of regional theaters
- “Live Books”
- “Movie in Regions”
- “Movie at School”
- Tours of state theaters and musical centers in the regions
- Exhibitions in regions
- Promoting cultural life in the villages near the separating line of the administrative border
In 2017, the following programs were implemented in the strategic area “Raising awareness”:
- “Befriend the Heritage” – 100 members
- European Heritage Days – 17 municipalities, up to 2000 participants
- 100th Anniversary of Tbilisi Conservatoire – 4 conferences, 1 festival and 300 concerts
- “Night in Museum” – 74 museums, 53,883 visitors
- The Film Forum “See for the First Time in Bakuriani” for film experts, journalists and students
- 17 anniversary events (parties, publications, concerts):
- Nicholas Baratashvili’s Anniversary Year with UNESCO’s support
- Events dedicated to Ilia Chavchavadze’s anniversary.
- “25 Years of Independence – Georgian Cinematography” – study of the 25 years history of film industry
- Over 60 publications, editions, albums
- 48 national and international festivals held
- Performances in regional theaters – 17
- Theater tours in regions – 44
- Concerts of folk ensembles – 59
- Music concerts – 70
In 2017 in the strategic area “Development of Cultural Infrastructure and Facilitating Public Access to Culture” the following was implemented:
Integration of persons with disabilities
- Project “Inclusive Education in Georgian Museums”, 370 participants
- 10 projects involving 209 persons with disabilities – exhibitions, performances, concerts and other cultural events
Promoting ethnic minorities
- 13 projects
- 15 events within the framework of the program “Diverse Georgia”.
Activities in the regions along the separating line of the administrative border (Rukhi, Anaklia, Orsantia, Nikozi, Ditsi)
- Meeting with 9 writers
- 2 performances
- 5 film screenings
Promoting the involvement of internally displaced persons in the cultural life
Promotion of operation of 12 art schools in the areas of compact settlements of IDPs is underway. In these schools, 69 teachers are employed and 700 pupils are studying; Various circles are functioning in schools: felting, ceramics, painting, knitting, folk instruments and more.