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 provided funds for competitions for professionals working in several fields (e.g. theatre, cinema, publishing, music, etc), for general cultural actions (reproduction, transmission, etc.) and extra-cultural actions (education, IT, etc.).
Up to 2012, the Presidential National Programme supported folklore, music seasons/events and ballet arts (in 2009 this programme amounted to 25 890 000 GEL).
There are no special programmes to provide pensions or health contributions for freelance artists.
The IV strategic area of the “Culture Strategy 2025”, adopted in 2016, is devoted to increasing Funding of Culture.
“Strategic Goals: The sustainability of cultural funding is safeguarded, diverse and transparent funding mechanisms are introduced and employment in cultural sector is attractive.
4.1 Objective: Culture is funded from all budgetary levels; from diversified sources – innovative funding and stimulation measures are introduced, there is greater motivation for the private sector to allocate funds for culture; funds are distributed transparently and efficiently.
4.2 Objective: The State helps the creation of employment opportunities for the specialists of culture and the arts; supports the provision of convenient working conditions for them and, considering the specifics of cultural professions, respectively develops social protection mechanisms”
However, there are still no changes: social safeguarding mechanisms have not been introduced, there is no diversification of financing, and there is no improvement in working conditions. In 2021, the State programme “Reduction of damage from COVID-19” amounted to 3 423 100 GEL.