MOSCOW, September 20 (Itar-Tass) —— A country which strives for modernization and innovations must not ignore the role of culture, Mikhail Shvydkoi, the Russian president’s envoy for international cultural cooperation, said on Thursday.
No innovation development is possible is the country without nurturing the cultural environment, he said. “Now it is high time to understand that culture, as a system of values and a developing system, influences all economic processes,” he told a news conference at Itar-Tass that was dedicated to an international cultural forum Culture and Development to be held in Ulyanovsk on September 27 through 28.
It will be the second such forum in Ulyanovsk. The forum will yield suggestions how to form key conceptual approaches to the development of the state’s cultural policy, Shvydkoi noted.
“The forum’s business program will be dedicated to the discussion of cultural aspects of the development of the modern man, the role of culture in changing the appearance of cities and territories, its contribution to economic modernization,” Shvydkoi said. He stressed that innovations have a great influence on the development of the humanitarian environment, and scientific achievements and new technologies often outpace humanitarian development.
Shvydkoi praised the Ulyanovsk region authorities and its governor Sergei Morozov for their keen interest to problems of culture, which plays an important role in human life and in the life of the entire country. He called that at the initiative of the Ulyanovsk region governor Ulyanovsk implemented a pilot project “CIS Capital of Culture” last year. Now, in his words, Ulyanovsk positions itself not only as an industrial centre but also as a city with vast cultural heritage, and these monuments help “both to nourish cultural traditions of the city and to attract more tourists.” The city, he stressed, has all the grounds to be called a capital of culture, since it is “the best venue for such a forum.”
Key events of the forum’s business program are planned for September 27 and 28, according to adviser to the region’s governor and director of the foundation “Ulyanovsk – A Capital of Culture” Tatiana Ivshina. Invitations to take part in the forum have been sent to speakers of both houses of the Russian parliament, Valentina Matviyenko of the Russian Federation Council and Sergei Naryshkin of the State Duma, Russian president’s envoy for international cultural cooperation Mikhail Shvydkoi, director of the Moscow-based Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts Irina Antonova and other acclaimed specialists in the area of culture and cultural policy.
The first such forum was held in Ulyanovsk in 2011 and the forthcoming one is to continue its traditions. “It is important for us to provide a platform to bring together representatives from different-level authorities, men of culture to discuss most topical problems facing the cultural community,” Ivshina said. “It is likewise important to hear what journalists, men of science and education think about the development of culture. This is the only way to formulate proposals on the country’s cultural policy.” According to Ivshina, the Ulyanovsk region governor is pursuing a policy of consolidating partnership between all the structures involved in the formation of the cultural policy, such as the State Duma, the Federation Council, the ministry of culture, public organizations, cultural centres operating both inside and outside Russia.
“We want our contacts with partners to evolve into long-term relations,” she stressed. Within the forum’s framework, governor Sergei Morozov will meet with executives of the National Theatrical Festival Golden Mask to sign an agreement to organize guest performance of the Golden Mask winners in Ulyanovsk in 2013. “We are set to begin cooperation with Vladimir Spivakov’s foundation for the support of gifted children. The city administration will sign an agreement with the Spivakov foundation, and, probably, with the Togliatti-based Youth Symphony Orchestra of the Volga Region,” she said.
Apart from that, more than 40 cultural events will be held in Ulyanovsk in September within the forum’s framework. It is expected that the Novosibirsk State Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet, the Igor Moiseyev State Academic Folk Dance Company, the Youth Symphony Orchestra of the Volga Region, and other companies will give performances in Ulyanovsk.
The forum’s program also includes an international assembly of artists Plastovskaya Autumn, the 3rd nationwide conference on city planning, an international meeting of Russian-lanuage teachers from CIS and Baltic states, the Days of Germany in Russia, a joint project with the Goethe-Institut, and a number of other events.
The forum will sum up the results of the international contest entitled “Ulyanovsk – a Youth Capital of Europe.” “This contest helped to find gifted young people and give them a chance to realize their intellectual potential. It was very important for us,” Ivshina said. “Among the finalists are 13 projects. They are very different. They are not purely cultural projects but rather are linked with various processes going on in the city and in the country.” Among their topics are ecological problems, aspects of the youth government, problems of the housing and the utilities sector, some projects are dedicated to improving people’s law knowledge, she noted. “It is important to support them, since our task is to create conditions for their implementations,” she stressed. All finalists will be awarded a trip to Helsinki. “The Finnish capital is this year’s European Student Capital, so this trip will give these young people an opportunity to meet their like-minds and, probably, to adopt something from them,” Ivshina noted. In her words, her city has sufficient potential to take part in many European cultural programs and projects.
The Ulyanovsk forum is expected to yield a new association that will unite people of culture, Ivshina said in conclusion.