Initiating thematic years
One of the measures for introducing various cultural landscapes in order to value cultural richness and access to culture is to organise thematic years. This is a sector leaded initiative with an aim to place one field of culture under the spotlight and use that focus throughout one calendar year. The role of Estonian Ministry of Culture is to announce thematic years, find leading partner for the activities and provide financial resources to implement the initiatives.
Estonian Ministry of Culture has announced thematic years since 2000, the first thematic year was the Year of Estonian Books. 2005 was the Year of Art with the aim to draw the society's attention to the role and possibilities of art in Estonia. In 2006 Estonia celebrated 100 years of professional theatre and thus the idea was to extend the event and introduce local drama in a long-term programme. Using the same model 2007 was introduced as a Year of Design, 2008 as a Year of Architecture, 2009 as a Year of Museums and 2010 as a Year of Reading. In 2011 Tallinn was together with Turku the European Cultural Capital. In 2012 Estonia celebrated the 100 years of film-making, so 2012 was nominated as a Year of Film. As the concept of the thematic years became well accepted and popular there were number of ideas in the waiting list for the period 2013-2016. 2013 became a Year of Cultural Heritage (http://www.parandiaasta.ee/), 2014 a Year of Sports (http://www.liigume.ee/) and 2015 a Year of Music (https://www.facebook.com/muusika2015/). 2016 was announced as a Year of Maritime Culture (http://merekultuur.ee/?lang=en) and 2017 will be a Year of Children's and Youth Culture.
Launcing thematic years allows different cultural sectors to come up with different and innovative initiativies in order to promote their field of culture througout one year. Throug close co-operation with other sectors and institutions thematic years help to illustrate the horizontal and crosscutting nature of culture.
Approximately 200 000 euros is allocated for each thematic year in the yearly budget of Estonian Ministry of Culture. Additional financial resorces are made available by giving a special focus to the projects' applications submitted under different measures.