Georgia’s culture ministry has announced it will establish a national fund of culture to support financing of cultural projects, develop creative industries and contribute to Georgian artists’ participation in international platforms, as part of a large-scale reform of the cultural field.
The new body will take over some of the existing functions of state agencies while also providing for new approaches in financing cultural activities and projects.
Announcing its creation starting next year, the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia said the fund’s objectives would include:
For these and other objectives the fund, set to launch in January 2020, will command a budget of up to 50m lari (about $17m/€14).
Literary critic Irma Ratiani has been selected by Minister Mikheil Batiashvili to serve as the first manager of the newly created body, with a board involving public service professionals as well as local and foreign experts set to oversee “strategic directions” of the fund.
The establishment of the organisation is part of a “large-scale complex reform and systemic changes” in the field of culture, the ministry said.
Involving a reorganisation of cultural bodies for improved management, funding and execution of cultural projects and platforms, the reform takes into account recommendations by experts from European partner organisations.
The issue of the dissolution of the Writers House as a separate organisation had caused controversy among many creatives of the literary field in Georgia, with a campaign involving writers, translators and publishers protesting the ministry’s decision over the recent months.
The campaigners and a part of the public had been concerned by a prospect of a permanent dissolution of the Writers House, a venue with long and significant history for Georgian writers and literature, spanning back to the early 20th century.