As a result of the world pandemic declared by the World Health Organisation, it has become necessary to gradually restrict mass cultural and sports activities in Georgia. After the declaration of a state of emergency, museums, theatres and other cultural institutions have ceased to function (receiving visitors).
During the state of emergency, in order to provide access to cultural services for those staying at home, art institutions under the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia have started the mass online campaign #stayathome #cultureforyou. 24 organisations under the Ministry (including museums, theatres, ensembles and other art organisations) have joined the campaign.
Despite the current situation, the Ministry has maintained and prolonged deadlines for up to 16 open call competitions aimed at supporting cultural organisations and individual artists.
❖ A weekly calendar of cultural events has been created by the Ministry (From March 27th onwards, the International Theatre Day), which is actively shared on the Ministry’s, as well as art organisations’ websites and official Facebook pages with the hashtags #stayathome and #cultureforyou.
- Within the framework of the mentioned campaign, folklore ensembles (3), musical centres, Tbilisi State Conservatory and the Georgian National Opera Theatre uploaded recordings of unique video concerts of Georgian and foreign artists on their web/facebook pages (20 concerts per week);
- Tbilisi theatres (7), as well as regional theatres (7) provide unique archival recordings of performances, as well as modern performances (30 performances per week);
- The State Youth Theatre and State Puppet Theatre provide 2-3 online performances daily for young viewers;
- The state funded Writers House uploads recordings of the meetings with writers and writers’ works online (7-10 events per week);
- The Georgian National Film Centre shows recent achievements of Georgian cinema and modern Georgian films (5-7 events per week).
The aforementioned activities evoked great interest among society. It is noteworthy that one of the folklore concerts aired in the beginning of the campaign was viewed by 50 000 people. Online performances of Georgian theatres (especially performances for children) have been received with great interest both in Georgia as well as among Georgian diasporas abroad.
❖ The cultural heritage direction is also integrated in the campaign #stayathome #cultureforyou:
- Museums operated via online platforms;
- Virtual tours are available for interested persons about the artifacts and the museums;
- Online access to educational programmes of museums is provided;
- A TV project by the National Museum (History told by exhibits) and Georgian History – A programme cycle by the Arts Palace.
- The National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation provides online access to sites with 3D versions, as well as video-clips of restored cultural sites;
- Within the framework of Cultural Heritage Preservation State programme, the process of rehabilitation (restoration, conservation, reconstruction) of cultural heritage sites already under reconstruction is still ongoing. Also, preparatory procedures (including procurement procedures) for rehabilitation of more than 30 cultural heritage sites are underway. It should be noted that in the current year, it is planned to finance up to 60 cultural heritage rehabilitation works by the largest donor in this field – the Cartu Fund;
- A few days ago, despite the current situation in Georgia and the rest of the world, intangible cultural heritage Traditional Georgian Feast (Georgian Supra) was nominated for the world intangible cultural heritage list.
On March 30th, the project Tele-school was launched by the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports in cooperation with the Georgian television channel First Channel. The project allows all students, regardless of having access to the internet, to follow interesting lessons in all subjects defined by the National Curriculum, among them lessons of fine and applied arts and music.
All museums and museum-reserves are reopened from 20 June with the following rules:
- One visitor per 5 m2 is allowed in exhibition halls;
- The number of visitors per group with the service of a guide should not exceed 10 persons;
- Social distance between people should be maintained in open areas as well;
- Visitors should wear face masks in closed areas;
- Audioguides should be disinfected prior after each use;
- Only 3 persons at the same time are allowed in museum shops;
- Ensure natural ventilation (if possible) of premises as well as daily cleaning;
- Use low speed air ventilation.
All other institutions related to entertainment, leisure and creativity will be reopened from 6 July with the following rules:
- Ensure the functioning of a single/common entrance/exit in the buildings;
- Ensure thermo-screening at the common entrance to the building;
- Ensure one visitor per 5 m2;
- If there are more than 10 people present during rehearsals, ensure a minimum of 2 meters distance between performers;
- Duration of rehearsals should not exceed 2 hours;
- Ensure availability of personal makeup sets per actor;
- Avoid using the same costume for various actors;
- Ensure disinfection of premises, facilities and equipment used during each rehearsal/performance;
- In closed areas, visitors should wear a face mask;
- Ensure social distance of 2 meter between people in open areas.