Between 7 and 9 February, Yekaterinburg hosted a workshop for the members of the Timchenko Foundation’s three-year Cultural Mosaic of Towns and Villages programme, who are themselves expected to organize a grant competition this year.
The workshop, which took place in the Uralian capital, was attended by 30-plus people from all over Russia — representatives from the teams that won the competition called “Cultural Mosaic: Affiliate Network 2018-2020”, as well as the local organizers of the Cultural Mosaic programme.
In late 2019, the teams of the winning projects reached the final round of support under the three-year Cultural Mosaic programme, and this spring they themselves will organize the Little Cultural Mosaic competition in Russian provinces. Little Cultural Mosaic premiered in 2018 and is part of the federal programme called “Cultural Mosaic of Towns and Villages”. The purpose of the competition is to provide funding and backing for the sociocultural projects of enterprising residents in the provinces who seek to change their towns and villages for the better. What is unusual about Small Cultural Mosaic is that it is organized and co-organized by town and village teams that only recently were themselves entrants in the Timchenko Foundation’s grants competitions and are well aware of what their homelands need.
In Yekaterinburg the workshop attendees learned about the ways to organize and run a competition, tools for following up on initiatives and solutions for information support of projects. ”The workshop taught me many important nuances that will help us make the Little Cultural Mosaic competition a success in the Shpakovsky District, says Tatiana Andryushchenko, leader of the Leading Network project (Spakovsky District, Stavropol Krai). — For example, we now have to re-register the non-profit, and at the workshop the high-calibre experts of Cultural Mosaic told us about the right way to do this and what requirements we need to comply with”.
On 9 February the workshop attendees visited the town of Kyshtym (Chelyabinsk Oblast) and learned about the Usadba Byuro [Manor Bureau] project whose team brought together Kyshtymians in order to give a new lease of life to the old town and save their cultural heritage. ”We told our guests and colleagues about the project, about our liaison with our partners, the administration and the media, about the initiatives that spin off from the project, and introduced them to an interactive sightseeing map and our augmented reality solutions, which the guests appreciated most of all, says Alina Shmarina, leader of the Manor Bureau project. — Colleagues shared their visions of how we should grow the project, invited us to visit them in order to learn about their projects: the meeting was a success and, I think, of mutual benefit”.
Yelena Konovalova, head of the Culture programme at the Timchenko Foundation, notes that both the workshop in Yekaterinburg and the project teams’ forthcoming grant-making experience are yet another contribution to the development of small communities.
“In 2018 we made a success of the first Little Cultural Mosaic competition, which was co-organized by the participants in the three-year Cultural Mosaic programme — the sociocultural development centres in their homelands. We believe this makes it possible to get a better estimate of the local community’s requirements and provide a grant directly to the proactive residents. Such a joint effort gave the project teams grant-making experience. This will be the competition’s third year, and this time around it will be organized by new teams, who we think also represent potential drivers of strategic growth in small communities. That is why we do our best to provide our project developers not only with a grant but also with training and expert advice”, said Yelena Konovalova.