The budgets of many existing cultural organizations include earned income. Is that a general rule or an exception? Can culture sustain itself or is it a myth spread by supporters of 'commercialism'? And, on the other hand, is creativity solely a culture’s prerogative or are we in a position today to talk about creative business, creative management, etc?
One thing is obvious: creative products successfully sold on certain markets can create a counterbalance to the raw-material economy. And this will benefit not only culture which will receive additional sources of income but also business, as well as regional and local authorities in solving development issues.
This was the foundation for building the British method of cultural (or creative) industries development which, starting in 1998 has become a priority of the British government policy and is being widely spread in other countries of the world. At the same time, cultural industries include a wide range of undertakings of creative nature: from traditional arts, crafts, music and theater to design, fashion, video-, audio- and multimedia products.
The policy of supporting creative industries which is generally realised on regional and local levels, assumes interest to creative resources, providing aid to various creative groups at the stage of their initial development, using creative potential of the population of the cities undergoing economic crisis.
The current program is carried out in partnership with regional and municipal authorities and with attracting leading Russian and British experts and consultants. It is aimed at creating favorable conditions for development of entrepreneurial activity based on cultural and creative resources.
The program presupposes identification of territory’s creative potential, creation of pilot sites and shaping favorable conditions for their activity, organisation of territorial agencies on creative industries’ development, creation of education systems, business and marketing consulting for entrepreneurs in cultural sphere.
The first seminar in the framework of this program, 'Identification of the Territory’s Cultural Resources', took place in June 2003 in Petrozavodsk. Among its participants were representatives of several Russian regions, such as North-West, Povolzhye, Syberia, and Central Russia. In November 2003, the results of territory mapping were presented at the seminar in Arkhangelsk for further identification of creative industries potential.
The 'Creative Industries' project was supported by the Eurasia Foundation.
Main foreign partners of the programme are EUCLID and Comedia agencies.
The programme partners in Russia are the Ministries of Culture of Karelia and Gorny Altai Republics, Cultural Committees of Arkhangelsk, St. Petersburg, Pskov and Yaroslavl regions, Department of Culture of Izhevsk, Kirov and Surgut cities, as well as Center for Museum Development (St. Petersburg), 'Cultural Capital of Povolzhye' (Nizhni Novgorod), 'Union of Museum Workers' (Togliatti), Museum-Estate 'Yasnaya Polyana' (Tula region).