Due to the scarcity of resources (both on the part of the population and the state), the promotion of cultural participation is limited to specific points in several selected programmes for underprivileged social groups (children, disabled and retired persons), as well as religious and ethnic communities. Nevertheless, cultural participation, especially in depressed rural areas, is undermined by general social frustration and disintegration. Development of local cultural initiatives is faced with expectations within the local community from external leaders, actors and resources.
Support for participation is most successfully realised within the context of globally recognised programmes (e.g. anniversaries), important festivals (theatre, film, music, etc.), regional projects and special events. Although there is no explicit policy linking participation in cultural life to the broader issues of social development, one can see the connections in e.g. annual “Day of a City” festivals that recently became popular all around the country and during which local and regional authorities organised rich cultural programmes promoting local values and achievements.
There are programmes aimed at developing particular types of cultural activities or halting their decline. The Federal Agency for Print and Mass Communications, together with the Russian Book Union, has proposed the National Programme for Support and Development of Reading, which is aimed at advancement of reader’s competence and re-establishment of reading as a mainstream activity, especially for the younger generation. The programme proposes analysis of reading preferences, promotion of reading in the mass media, competitions and festivals organised all over the country.
Special screening programmes devoted to film history are popular in big cities that have special cinemas working in co-operation with the archives. In Moscow, the “Illusion” cinema theatre represents collections of the State Film Fund of the Russian Federation, which organises annual festivals of archive films. Related project are also developed in the regions, e.g. the media socio-educational project “Perm Cinemathèque” (see http://www.permcinema.ru) is intended to acquaint the audiences of the city of Perm with masterpieces of world cinema and its history, and to use cinema as an educational tool. The Project was launched by the “Permkino” State Film Centre and provides for widening access to world cinema and enriching regional culture. The organisers believe that it can also serve to support the dialogue of cultures and to improve the social and cultural climate including prevention of ethnic and cultural conflicts. These goals are to be attained through the “Embassy Cinema Programmes”, round tables on “Finno-Ugric World”, “Turkic World”, and others.