6. Cultural participation and consumption
Last update: February, 2015
Although there are many programmes on civic participation, citizenship and consolidation of the civil society carried out by international organisations (UNDP, UNICEF, Soros Foundation, Eurasia Foundation, Swedish Agency on International Development, DFID etc.) and local NGOs ("Contact" Centre, IDIS "Viitorul", NGO Social and Rural Initiative, Ars Dor Association etc.), they do not refer explicitly to the promotion of participation in cultural life.
Last update: February, 2015
The rates of participation have steadily decreased from 1991 to 2000, the main reason being the severe decline in personal income (over 90% of the total population has focused their interests on basic survival). In the same period, most of the cultural institutions have shifted from full state-funding to partial self-funding. This means they had to concentrate more on fundraising (by leasing their premises), while performances and audiences were only second priorities.
Since 2001, audience figures have slightly increased. This can be explained by the increase in the number of institutions, e.g. in the case of museums (from 66 in 2000 to 112 in 2013) and libraries (from 1 372 in 2001 to 1 380 in 2013), as well as by the diversification and improvement of their cultural services.
The number of visits to national museums increased by 11.6% (201 800 visits in 2013) as compared to 2012 (174 400 visits). The number of visitors increased thanks to museum programmes dedicated to the International Museum Day and European Night of Museums. The museums organised 137 exhibitions of their own collections dedicated to different events in the national history and culture, 1 963 guides, 460 scientific, educational (conferences, symposia, seminars) and cultural-educational activities.
The number of visitors to public libraries in 2013 was 827 100; the number of virtual visits was 2 965 400 and increased significantly (58.4%) compared to 2012 (1 871 600).
In 2013, 44 books were published, with a circulation of 55 000 copies. The number of books in public libraries increased in 2013 to 403 000 units, including 350 100 units in Romanian.
During 2013, national libraries conducted scientific activities and edited a number of publications: bibliographies, promotional editions, specialised periodicals, analyses, more than 20 titles. The national library has circa 20 000 users.
The activity of National Libraries covered both their direct responsibilities, as well as organising more than 100 national and international activities, such as: the International Book Fair for Children and Youth, IV-th edition of the International Poetry Festival "Grigore Vieru" (location Chişinău - Iaşi), XXIII-rd edition of the Literary Contest "The fountains of wisdom", the National campaign "Children of Moldova read a book" and the XXII edition of the International Book Fair which was attended by more than 300 publishing houses with 6 000 book titles. There were over 150 book launches.
The National Book Chamber organised various cultural and scientific activities, and registered 2 366 titles; the archive reached 10 069 pieces. Also, 6 issues of the national bibliography of Moldova were published.
84 171 cultural-artistic events were organised and conducted in the regions (including 31 834 for children and teenagers), attended by 10 466 600 spectators (including 3 680 600 children and teenagers).
2 998 performances were presented in 2013, with 4.5% more than in 2012, 46 new stagings, 526 tours held in the country, 11 tours abroad, with a total number of 478 400 spectators. There were also 112 charity concerts and performances, 137 visual art exhibitions, book salons and fairs.
Despite a slight economic stabilisation in the Republic of Moldova, the financial possibilities of the population are quite modest. Most spectators cannot afford the cost of a ticket which are sometimes equal to their monthly salary (for example, the average salary in the cultural field is 1 350 MDL, while a ticket to the famous Spivakov's chamber orchestra in Chisinau cost around 2 000 MDL (EUR 125) in 2009.
Annually, there are over 30 national and international festivals, contests, fairs and about 65 329 local cultural activities in the Republic of Moldova with an audience of over 9 000 000 people.
Table 6: Cultural participation rates, 2006-2013
|Theatres and concerts||626 000||614 000||599 000||515 000||522 000||520 000||568 000||478 400|
|Museums||540 100||542 400||542 400||531 000||950 000||957 217||828 693||821 319|
|Libraries||9 800 700||9 222 650||9 780 500||7 210 240||8 253 700||8 591 900||7 888 000||8 271 000|
Source: National Statistical Bureau, Ministry of Culture, 2013.
Please find the available information on this subject in 6.2.
Last update: February, 2015
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.