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Estonia’s leading cultural organizations demand pay rises to support the sector | New

By on September 7, 2022 0

In the public letter, representatives of major Estonian cultural organizations point out that while the average gross salary in Estonia for the second quarter of 2022 was €1,693, the figure for those in the cultural sphere was only €1,302. “Grants in the cultural sector have long lagged behind rising operational costs. The lack of resources is also having a ripple effect on our existing partners, whose services we have no choice but to forfeit,” the letter states. stress.

Culture is the engine of the Estonian economy and society, contributing to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) to the same extent as other sectors, the letter says.

“We consider it imperative to increase the salaries and operating subsidies of the cultural sector during the next budget negotiations. We are ready to discuss with the government and justify the needs of the cultural sector. After all, the agreement current coalition underlines that in times of crisis, special attention should be paid to the sustainability and accessibility of Estonian culture,” the letter explains.

The appeal has been signed by more than 30 of Estonia’s leading cultural institutions, including Arvo Pärt Center, Estonian Film Institute, Estonian Center for Contemporary Art Development, Eesti Kontsert, Estonian Choral Society , Estonian Art Museum, Estonian National Museum (ERM), Tallinn Music Week and Station Narva festivals, Tallinn Dark Nights Film Festival (PÖFF) and Vanemuine Theater.

The full text of the letter is reproduced below:

“There is not a single person who is not touched by culture. The number of visitors to (Estonian) museums in 2021 alone was 1.7 million – more than the entire population of Estonia. Estonia.

As representatives of the cultural sector, we are the employers of the organizations entrusted to us as well as the partners of many creative professionals and small businesses. Unfortunately, current salary pressures outweigh the desire (of many) to remain in the (cultural) industry, making it increasingly difficult to motivate highly qualified experts, with many years of training, to remain in the sector. cultural. According Statistics Estoniathe average gross monthly salary in the second quarter of 2022 was €1,693, compared to €1,302 in the cultural sector.

Grants in the cultural sector have, for a long time, lagged behind rising operational costs. The lack of resources also has a ripple effect on our existing partners, whose services we have no choice but to forego. Cultural organizations large and small are active and important guardians of our communities and promoters of regional lifestyles, as cultural institutions and events involve hundreds and thousands of service providers from all over Estonia.

Culture is the engine of our economy and our society. The creative economy contributes to (Estonia’s) GDP in the same way as other sectors. The contribution made (by culture) is of the same order of magnitude as, for example, the construction sector, and significantly higher than that of the energy or agriculture sectors. Yet, at the same time, the cultural sector is almost five times larger than the amount of money funneled to it through the Ministry of Culture.

The cultural sector preserves, nurtures and interprets our common values ​​and makes them accessible to the public, skillfully linking the past to the future. It is also the country’s most important partner in promoting cohesion and integration. According to President Alar Karis, culture is the only value on which we as a people can fully rely. “Estonian culture, music and theater came long before our statehood. Or more precisely, it was culture that started it all. If we think of today, Estonian culture is the only thing that The one thing that cannot be sold or traded,” President Karis said.

We consider it essential to increase the salaries and operating subsidies of the cultural sector during the next budget negotiations. We are ready to discuss with the government and justify the needs of the cultural sector. After all, the current coalition agreement stresses that in times of crisis special attention should be paid to the sustainability and accessibility of Estonian culture.”

The letter was signed by the following institutions: Arvo Pärt Centre, Estonian Ballet Association, Estonian Association of Performing Arts Institutions, Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Estonian Film Institute, Estonian Film Industry, Union of Estonian Composers, The Estonian Interpreter’s Union, The Estonian Jazz Union, The Estonian Contemporary Art Development Center, The Estonian Cinema Association, Eesti Kontsert, The Estonian Choral Society, Art Museum of Estonia (KUMU) , The Estonian Association of Art Historians and Curators Estonian Artists’ Union , The Estonian Maritime Museum, The Estonian Music Council, The Estonian Center for Traditional Music, The Estonian National Museum (ERM), The Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, The ‘Estonian Dance Agency, The Estonian Association of Dance Art and Dance Education, The Estonian Theater Union, Jazzkaar Festival, Fo rum Cinemas, The Ida-Viru Creative Cluster, Artis Cinemas, The Union of Art Institutes, Music Estonia and The Live Music Estonia Museum Council, Pärnu Music Festival, The Estonian National Opera, The Tallinn Music Week and Station Narva festivals, Tallinn Dark Nights Film Festival (PÖFF), The Tartu Artists’ Union, The Vanemuine Theatre, VLG Films OÜ and Von Krahl Theatre.

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