The informal arts education presupposes the involvement of children in artistic practices following personal choice. It is provided through a large network of educational institutions; their slight decrease in number is much less than for the younger generation, which reduced by 13 % since 2003.
Table 15: Informal educational institutions: number of educational settings and students, 2000-2008
Settings within the Ministry of Education and Science system|
Settings within the Ministry of Culture system (arts, music, choreography schools):|
1 284 500
1 280 900
1 336 100
1 381 600
Source: Gosudarstvenny komitet RF po statistike: Rossijsky statistichesky yyezhegodnik, 2009. (State Committee of the RF for Statistics: Russian Statistical Yearbook, 2009, Moscow, 2010). Moskva, 2010, p. 234.
Among the diversified range of informal arts education settings, there are Houses (centres) for children and youth creativity, Clubs within the Houses of Culture, community centres, ethnic clubs, Centres for Aesthetic Formation in museums, educational centres in various cultural institutions, Sunday Schools, Studios and Circles in general schools and pre-school institutions, Leisure Centres for children and youth, and others.
Folk arts and crafts centres, arts workshops and other entities promoting early professional orientation are also very popular today. That type of training in the arts supports family traditions, contributes to long-standing consistency of folklore and folk arts, and inputs to the preservation of the cultures of the Russian people. E.g. the project on distant teaching of traditional crafts of the Russian North (see http://remeslodo.ru/) is developed by the Children’s School of Folk Crafts in Archangel, in co-operation with the Lomonosov Pomorsky State University. The crafts are learned as a type of a hobby while the training is carried out through e-mailing educational materials, interactive communication, and sharing photos.
Educational activities for children and teenagers are also well established in museums, many of which work out targeted programmes for children and adult audiences, establish educational centres, organise exhibitions, shows for families and children, etc. The “Museon” Centre for Aesthetic Formation of Children and Youth of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts (Moscow) is famous for its education programmes, as well as the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg. The latter has a specialised Centre, Department for Museum Pedagogy, and a Gymnasium founded in 1989.
The main objectives of arts education for disabled children and teenagers are to acquaint them with cultural, ethical and spiritual values, as well as to ensure their harmonious development in the world of culture and the arts. Mastering the arts provides for developing various cognitive skills, raising personal self-assessment, achieving creative self-expression and uniting individuals into communities.