Culture ministry announces grants for theatres, regional performances

Tbilisi's Marjanishvili Theatre perform a production of William Shakespeare's 'As You Like It' in the mountainous province of Svaneti in the country's north in 2016. Photo via Mestia Municipality., 21 Jun 2021 - 18:56, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian-based theatre companies and cultural collectives aiming to bring performances and initiatives to the country's regions can enter grant competitions unveiled by the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Youth and benefit from financing for their ideas.

The troupes looking to stage shows in parts of the country away from capital Tbilisi, produce projects at their home theatres and have resources for touring, as well as authors of individual creative projects, are the subject of the five grants announced by the state body on Monday.

The first of the competitions aims to "activate cultural life and accessibility to culture in regions", referring to the Tbilisi-centric nature of shows, displays and projects created in Georgia, leaving other parts of the country lacking resources and incentives for artistic developments.

With a budget of 700,000 GEL ($221,000/€186,000), the grant is designed to be used for touring expenses, as well as organisation of concerts and festivals. Both individuals and cultural organisations are eligible for the competition.

A scene from a performance of the Tskhinvali Theatre company. The grants are designed to benefit productions and projects in regions of Georgia. Photo via Ministry of Culture, Sport and Youth.

The second entry has been launched with the goal of "activating creative exploration" at professional theatres in the country, including through staging new productions and discovery of "new forms, ways and means of expression" at the artist collectives. The section has a total funding budget of 200,000 GEL.

Theatres under the management of the ministry are the target of the third grant, with an estimated budget of 150,000. Around 30 theatre companies can apply for it to benefit in efforts to achieve sustainability and incentives in their creative process.

Tour projects will be financed under the fourth section, worth 200,000 GEL, with locals of Georgia's regions seen among beneficiaries of a resulting increase in tour shows and better promotion of stage art collectives in more remote parts of the country.

Finally, the fifth grant will be used to finance creative projects and initiatives for "self-realisation and expression", again with a focus on regional scope that includes locations near the administrative boundary line dividing Georgia's occupied regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) from the rest of the state. A budget of 90,000 GEL is set aside for the grant.

Theatres, individuals and artist collectives have until June 30 to submit their ideas and projects under these sections, with winners to be revealed until July 10.