Amateur arts and folk culture
Selected cultural institutions are responsible for implementing state cultural policies in the field of popular (mostly amateur) arts. The National Centre for Preservation and Promotion of Intangible Cultural Patrimony, subordinated to the Ministry of Culture, has the function to ensure application of protection policies in the regions. The Centre supports the viability of intangible cultural heritage and its transmission to the younger generation through concrete measures, by registering its elements, and preserving information on various modern media.
The Centre’s specialist staff, assisted by regional experts, are involved in the implementation of a number of cultural projects: “Artistic Handicrafts Revival”, “Inventory of Folk Dances”, Parade of summer folk costumes, National Festival of Ie, XXVII-th edition of the Festival-Fair of Potters “Iurceni-2014”, “Women – preserving and continuing traditions”, “Traditional Moldovan Band”, National Festival- Contest of the folk songs performers “Maria Dragan”, etc.).
In the Republic of Moldova over 2 900 people work as crafts and therer are 47 craft centres that promote pottery, wood and stone processing, weaving, embroidery, knitting, weaving with natural fibres, etc.
The outstanding event of 2013 is considered to be the enrolment of the traditional winter habit “Male groups singing carols” into the Representative List of Human Intangible Cultural Heritage – the first element of the cultural heritage of the Republic of Moldova being accepted to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
On 10 August 2013, the II-nd edition of the National Festival of Ie (women’s folk blouse) was held in Moldova, which was attended by 25 craftspeople from the country who manufacture traditional folk costumes. In the frames of the Costumes Parade on the National Holiday “Independence Day of the Republic of Moldova”, 37 amateur artists participated from all districts of the country.
In addition, the National Centre for Preservation and Promotion of Intangible Cultural Patrimony carries out a bi-annual assessment of “model” artistic groups. This is a large-scale initiative co-ordinated and funded by the Ministry of Culture, together with District Culture Offices, District Centres responsible for the conservation and enhancement of folk art, and municipalities. It is a means of monitoring the situation in the fields of amateur arts (music, dance, traditional clothing manufacturing, and theatre), identifying the difficulties to be tackled, and supporting and promoting quality artistic groups.
In the Republic of Moldova, there are 3 972 amateur arts formations, including 798 “model” formations, among which there are 234 folk bands, 87 theatres, 69 folk music orchestras, 61 popular dance ensembles, etc. Although they have no special legal status, they are protected by legislation referring to the development of socio-cultural activity such as the Law on Education, Law on Children Rights, Law on Public Associations, etc. Most of these amateur groups are managed by Cultural Houses.
Cultural houses and community cultural clubs
The network of cultural institutions in the regions constitutes 1 232 houses of culture, located in villages and towns. Of these institutions, 519 houses of culture need capital repairs, only 347 are heated during winter, 136 are in a poor condition, 12 were privatised, and 10 were fully leased. In this regard, during 2013 capital and current repairs were carried out on 200 houses and homes of culture out of 1 232, amounting to 55.97 million MDL. During 2013 in the regions, 84 171 cultural-artistic events were organised and conducted (including 31 834 for children and teenagers), which were attended by 10 466 000 spectators (including 3 680 600 children and teenagers).
Cultural houses were built as special projects for producing cultural events, each having concert halls with 200 – 1 000 seats and rooms for rehearsals for artistic (mostly amateur) groups. Most of the cultural houses situated in rural communities include rooms for public libraries.
Although in some houses of culture there are just a few activities organised, the expenses provided by the local public authorities for the maintenance of these buildings in the rural areas are 6 times higher than for those in the cities, thus wasting community resources. Houses of culture must become centres for cultural services in the community, while their funding must be secured on a project basis and depending on the cultural activities provided. In order to provide quality services to the community, houses of culture need major investment in human capital to manage these institutions, greater autonomy in management of resources and available space, liberalisation in terms of creating public-private partnerships, etc.
The Ministry of Culture is only involved in monitoring their activity.
The State Programme “Moldovan Village 2005-2015” envisaged MDL 300 million for the capital renovation of 118 Houses of Culture. In 2007, 12 Houses of Culture were renovated in different districts of Moldova. The share of investment projects within this programme amounts to approximately MDL 135 million. Problems appear because of local councils which re-direct the funds toward other areas that are considered to be of bigger concern.
The funding sources of houses of culture are the local budgets, which are complimented with allocations from the central budget, calculated per capita, at 5 MDL (EUR 0.3) for each community resident. It is obvious that this funding is extremely insufficient and unequal. This method of calculation impedes, from the outset, the localities with a small population.