From December 2006 to December 2007, the Cultural Policy Programme of the Soros Foundation-Moldova, in cooperation with the European Cultural Foundation, is implementing the Pilot-Project “Visions on Cultural Policy for Moldova: from changes to viability”. The project represented the first phase of a three-year Pilot-Project of the European Cultural Foundation, carried out in partnership with the Soros Foundation-Moldova: “Reinforcing Moldova’s Development Capacities by Strengthening its Cultural Sector”.
The project aims at drafting some initial policy visions and concrete practical measures for cultural development in Moldova; setting up a task force comprising cultural managers and decision-makers who will promote the current needs and interests of the cultural sector and advocate for them at all relevant policy levels; developing training and capacity building programmes and tools / services gradually serving all relevant stakeholders in Moldova’s cultural sector; building up a group of culture professionals as local trainers / consultants / experts who will develop and implement future training and consulting programmes in Moldova which, among others, shall serve the professionalisation of cultural managers dealing with strategic planning, organisational development, fundraising, etc.
In order to achieve these objectives, the Soros Foundation Moldova has organised 5 Round Tables on the main cultural sectors: Performing Arts, Literature, Visual Arts, Cultural Industries and Houses of Culture. The experts (one for each of these sectors) have elaborated specific key- subjects for debates:
- current situation in the field of (the 5 sectors);
- protection and development of national patrimony. Preservation of cultural identity;
- state versus culture;
- financing of culture. diversification of funds’ sources;
- decentralisation of cultural action and ensuring equal access by the population to cultural values; and
- role of cultural action in solving community issues.
In June 21-22, 2007, an international conference was held on “The Cultural Policy of the Republic of Moldova in the transition period: Experience, Provocation, Viability, Prospects”. The Conference gathered together artists, managers of the main cultural institutions, decision-makers in the field of culture from all over Moldova and representatives of the European Cultural Foundation and other international organisations, as well as the cultural secretaries of foreign embassies in Moldova. The participants discussed the reports and papers prepared by Moldovan and foreign experts on issues identified during the previously organised round tables. At the end of the conference, the participants were divided into four workshops, where they discussed and drafted the main instruments, measures and strategies to be promoted within a forward-looking cultural policy for the Republic of Moldova.
In 2009, within the 3rd phase of the project, the book “Vision on Cultural Policy of Moldova: from changes to sustainability“ was published. The book was largely inspired by the present Compendium of Cultural Policies Project (Moldova), since the author of the Moldovan profile was also a member of the group of experts. The book paves the way for the capacity building process in the cultural sector of the Republic of Moldova and reflects the results of a series of activities carried out within the multi-year project. The book was disbursed free of charge within the first Cultural Congress in the Republic of Moldova which took place in December 2009.
The Congress united most art and culture workers in Moldova, representatives of central and local authorities, and all NGOs active in the cultural sphere. It was organised by the Centre of Cultural Policies, in collaboration with the Soros Foundation Moldova, and with the financial support of the Swedish Agency for International Development (SIDA) and the European Cultural Foundation.
Starting from the premise that the cultural sphere must represent a national priority, the Congress adopted a Resolution that demands the following:
- implementing cultural policies in conformity with the cultural process from the country, as well as from the region;
- creating premises for the development of contemporary art as a means of promoting and affirming the national culture;
- supporting the artistic education infrastructure;
- ensuring transparency in the elaboration, management and distribution of the budget designed for culture;
- facilitating access to cultural and artistic goods. Encouraging citizen participation in cultural and artistic processes;
- supporting artists in implementing the Declaration on the Status of Artists;
- supporting art associations and unions. Restoring cultural activity and infrastructure in rural areas;
- creating autonomous art, theatre and concert companies; organizing fine art exhibitions, screening of high quality films of artistic value in localities, as part of an educational state programme;
- including artists and craftsmen in regional programmes of cultural, social and economic development and supporting their activity from various budgets; and
- creating a Cultural Fund that will consist of budgetary and extra-budgetary funds designed for cultural and artistic projects.
It was decided at the Congress to organise an annual meeting within the cultural sector, thus in December 2010, the 1st General Assembly of Art and Culture Professionals will be held.
In October 2011, the presidents of the artists’ unions and representatives of several cultural institutions and political parties signed the Convention on the support and development of culture in the Republic of Moldova – “Culture 2015”.
This convention aimed at modernisation and integration of culture from the Republic of Moldova into the international circuit. The Convention foresees actions supporting employees from the cultural sphere and boosting cultural life of the country over four years, during which the future Parliament will be active.
One of the first actions to be taken under the Convention was to create an advisory board composed of renowned professionals from the cultural field. This council would be report to the Parliamentary Committee on Culture, Education, Research, Youth, Sports and Mass-Media, with the aim of prior consultations on draft laws in the cultural field.
Convention “Culture – 2015” provides for:
- approval of laws on cultural funds, artists’ unions and the status of the artist;
- developing a programme of restructuring and modernisation of cultural houses and libraries from the Republic of Moldova, which will be provided with computers and Internet access;
- launching the Centre of training for employees in the cultural sphere; and
- launching a programme on mobility support of the cultural products from the country and digitisation of the cultural heritage of the Republic of Moldova.
An important action for implementation of the Convention is amending the legislation and setting the wage level of employees in the cultural field at the same level as those in the educational field.
Until today laws on creating the National Culture Fund were not amended, the training centre for employees has not been created, financing of culture remains similar to the centralised Soviet model, the decentralisation process runs slowly, while dialogue with civil society from the cultural field is practically missing.