In the course of the last 10 years almost all of the major cultural institutions have re-named themselves either “National” or “Centres” without, however, radically changing their status, other than by acquiring impresario rights and a degree of autonomy in the management of their buildings and halls. Similarly, all arts associations ceased being organisations promoting state programmes and became voluntary associations of artists (writers) united primarily by professional interests rather than artistic or conceptual goals.
In the period from 1995 to 2000, university and scientific libraries, the National Library, and the National Children’s Library were equipped with hardware and software (Integrated Library System TINLIB). These libraries set up local area networks, bibliographic and specialised databases containing over 700 000 records. Funding for the computerisation of libraries (with a few exceptions) and for other eligible projects in the scientific and cultural fields has been provided by the Soros Foundation of Moldova.
During the last 15 years, the Soros Foundation Moldova was the main sponsor of culture and arts in the Republic of Moldova. It supported the cultural sectors through different programmes, grants, honourable premiums, scholarships etc. In the last couple of years, the Foundation has re-oriented its activity towards policy making. Therefore, artists no longer have funds in this sector. On the other hand, the Soros Foundation brings to Moldova new perspectives. For example, the Foundation’s Cultural Policy Programme is developing strategies for the changes to and viability of the cultural sector in Moldova. Through the training and workshops organised within this specific Programme, the cultural agents are trained on how to apply and collect funds from international organisations and also state institutions.
The yearly expenditure provided by Soros Foundation in the field of cultural policies development constitutes 90 000 USD.