Support to arts and culture for fostering activities related to cultural diversity
- To encourage the mobility of artists and other cultural professionals as well as of the artistic work in general both at European level as well as at international level.
- To project the important contribution of culture in the process of social cohesion in disadvantaged groups (economic migrants, people with special needs, minority groups, marginalized people, etc.)
- To empower the role of Civil Society in the sphere of cultural policy-making
- To strengthen bi-communal and intercultural dialogue in order to enhance mutual understanding and solidarity.
- To integrate culture in external policies as a vital element in International Relations both in respect to our European partners as well as in respect to third neighbouring countries.
- To protect cultural diversity and to strengthen intercultural dialogue by laying special emphasis on the promotion of bi-communal co-operation.
A more rational approach to funding has been developed with the formulation of certain funding programmes since 2004 by defining eligibility criteria and clearer objectives including cultural diversity amongst these objectives.
It is implemented through funding programmes for the various art sectors (i.e. music, literature, theatre, etc.). These programmes refer to activities that take place in Cyprus as well as to activities that take place abroad. In the framework of the existing funding programmes, cultural co-operation amongst Cypriot artists to respective cultural operators and artists from abroad is promoted. In this framework, certain events are supported by the Ministry of Education and Culture such as the Ethnic Music Festival, "Cyprus in Action - Youth Music Encounters”, which is a youth music camp that unites young people from Europe and the Mediterranean. Furthermore, in the field of cinema a number of festivals that are organised under the auspices of the Ministry of Education and Culture aim to showcase to Cyprus audience, a diverse mix of productions from various different countries (i.e. International Cyprus Film Days , Cyprus International Short Film Festival, etc.). The International Cyprus Film Days aims to contribute to: (1) the development, promotion and mobility of the art of film making in Cyprus and the wider area; (2) screen the work of filmmakers from across the world and to introduce their work to the Cyprus public; (3) serve as a hub for films from the three neighbouring continents of Cyprus. The Cyprus International Short Film Festival aims to accentuate the independence of short films as an art form and to create a special environment and audience for them. By presenting an interesting variety of international short film productions, it offers its visitors a diverse forum and serves as a popular meeting point for filmmakers and audiences from both Cyprus and abroad.
In addition to the above, literary translations from Greek to foreign languages are subsidised as well as the translation and the publication from Greek into Turkish and from Turkish into Greek. Moreover, the Ministry published an anthology of short stories by Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot authors, with the objective to foster, through literature, communication and solidarity amongst the two communities. Additionally, travel grants are provided to artists so as to facilitate access and participation to cultural events abroad. The Ministry of Education and Culture through such events as is the Biennial of Young artists of Europe and the Mediterranean, Venice Biennale, MIDEM International Music Fair, promotes creativity and intercultural dialogue while at the same time showcasing the rich and dynamic contemporary cultural creation of Cyprus to a broad audience.
Moreover, innovative modes of cultural expression (avant-guard and experimental ways of expression) are promoted. In this framework, certain events have been supported by the Ministry of Education and Culture. In addition to the above, through the funding programmes, artists' mobility is fostered either in the form of travel grants or in the form of promoting co-productions and cultural co-operation. Additionally, European Dance Festival showcases works from the international contemporary scene. More specifically, European Dance Festival, is an initiative aiming at the best possible and most complete briefing of the public regarding European contemporary dance.
Furthermore, through co-operation with leading international museums and institutions for the presentation of individual and group art exhibitions abroad, mobility of artworks is also supported and promoted.
Apart from the above, the Ministry of Education and Culture through institutional and financial support to certain initiatives aims to strengthen the third sector and reinforce cultural interventions in society by private not for profit organizations. In this context support is provided to the Foundation of Cyprus Symphony Orchestra or even to the newly established Foundation for Children and Young People which amongst others promotes music performances for migrant children and young people.
As stated earlier on, in Cyprus there are religious groups (Armenians 0.3 %, Maronites 6 % and Latins 0.1 %) that receive a substantial amount of support by the Ministry of Education and Culture for their cultural activities. Through the funding programme of the Ministry of Education and Culture, support is provided to Armenians. More specifically, the Armenian Cultural and Educational Society of Cyprus "Hamazkayin" receives annual support for various initiatives such as the SIPAN Armenian Folk Dance group. Maronites also receive support from the Ministry of Education and Culture both for their cultural as well as for their educational activities. In the context of the newly established Maronite cultural centre at the village of Kormakitis in the Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus, support is going to be provided for the operation of a folkoric museum which is going to display a collection of items representing the local culture and the daily life of the residents of the village in the past century. Kormakitis village is one of the traditionally Maronite villages in Cyprus.
Challenges identified in the implementation of this measure : One of the major challenges regarding the implementation of the above described policy measure relates to the fact that there are no monitoring and evaluation procedures with respect to the impact of this policy intervention.