Until 2004, the state supported artists through art unions. During the Soviet period, indirect support to artists was available in the form of space for studios and low rent for shops, distribution of tools and materials etc. This type of indirect support is no longer available.
At the state level, the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection provides funds for competitions for professionals working in several fields (e.g. theatre, film, publishing, music etc), for general cultural actions (reproduction, transmission etc.) and extra cultural actions (education, IT etc.). The Presidential National Programme provides support to folkore, music seasons / events and ballet arts (in 2009 this programme amounted to 25 890 000 GEL). For more information on the budget breakdown, see chapter 7.1.3.
There are no special programmes to provide pensions or health contributions for freelance artists.