The event was attended by representatives of nine projects from eight Russian provinces that had completed a three-year cycle of engagement with the Timchenko Foundation’s Cultural Mosaic programme in 2018. The workshop was also attended by provincial experts tasked with helping the project developers hold local strategic sessions later on.
The workshop focused on strategic planning in sociocultural projects. The organizers were expected to teach workshoppers how to develop programmes for their strategic sessions and hold these in their rurals.
“The workshop became a kind of ‘assemblage point’ for me, where you could ‘pack in’ everything that we used to do intuitively and spontaneously on the team,” says head of Tulun.ru (town of Tulun, Irkutsk Region) Yulia Buldakovova. “A strategic session is a flexible and responsive mechanism with off-the-shelf, tried-and-true solutions, which, if used skilfully, can make big changes.”
Tulun is expected to soon see a strategic session focused on local growth and sociocultural progress in the town.
The workshop is now part of the Timchenko Foundation’s support programme for the graduates of the three-year Cultural Mosaic programme. It includes training events for graduate teams designed to improve professional competencies of the teams, teach building social partnerships for long-term strategic local growth and to promote proactivity among the locals.
Cultural Mosaic fine-tunes the model for establishing sustainable sociocultural development centres in small communities and supports project developers that have been with the programme for three years, which is an important part of the project.
Elena Konovalova, manager of the Timchenko Foundation’s Culture programme, notes that the foundation seeks not only to support the most successful sociocultural projects but also to help them reach an institutional level, become growth drivers for their communities. “We can see that Cultural Mosaic’s former project developers are becoming ‘change agents’ and are prepared to drive sociocultural development in their communities in a sustainable and professional way,” said Elena Konovalova.
Cultural Mosaic of Small Towns and Villages is a flagship of the Timchenko Foundation’s Culture programme. The project is designed to energize local communities through culture, thus promoting local growth.
We are convinced that the main driver of changes for the better in small communities is energetic, proactive people who care about the future of their homeland. Cultural Mosaic’s experience shows that: where initiatives to this effect take root and sprout, towns and villages get a new lease on life. We strive to support such people and communities.
Cultural Mosaic is designed for a three-year project supporting cycle. At each of the stages, the programme beneficiaries have two areas of focus: they develop their project and learn new management competencies. Cultural Mosaic holds competitions for foreign placements. Project developers are also invited to share their best practices. Cultural Mosaic has had a programme in place to support its graduates since 2019.
The programme was established in 2014; since then, the Foundation has sponsored 417 projects from 67 Russian states. The total grant money exceeded 220 million roubles.