Supervisors of Song and Dance Festival can apply for subsidies from March

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The Song Festival held in 2019. Source: ERR

Outgoing Minister of Culture Tõnis Lukas (Isamaa) has signed a regulation ensuring support for the managing teams of participants in the Estonian Song and Dance Festival (Laulupidu). The Estonian Folk Culture Center is to deal with the application rounds, and the first of these will be accepted from March 1.

"So far, it has been self-evident that the supervisors prepare the dancers, choirs and orchestras alongside their main job, for a notional salary, based on a sense of mission," Lukas said.

"I hope this is an opportunity which is occurring now, to motivate both the younger and current supervisors and then the tradition will continue in its known quality."

"We all know that the fundamentals of the Song and Dance Festival is a viable working team, a motivated and educated supervisor," Director of the Folk Culture Center, Kalle Vister, said.

"The wage compensation measure, which the center will be mediating, is the first important step toward popularizing the position of a supervisor of a work team, and especially among young people. At the same time, the measure can only work when the local governments and work teams come along with it," Vister said.

The amount of the compensation measure totals €2.7 million

When paying the supervisor compensation, the participation of a choir, folk dance group, folk music ensemble, wind instrument, symphony, symphony or string orchestra in youth or general Song and Dance Festival prior to the application will be taken into account.

The supervisor must have a valid professional certificate in order to receive support. There will also be four information days for applicants on the topic of the support measure with pre-registration and Zoom meeting - the first on January 26 at 1 p.m., the next at the same time on February 10 and 25 and March 2, 2021.

In 2019, the Ministry of Culture commissioned a study from think tank Praxis, which revealed that young people are not motivated by the profession of instructing at Song and Dance Festivals, because it is not paid work and does not provide unemployment and health insurance protection. The analysis also showed that more than half of the current supervisors will soon be retiring, making some teams therefore unsustainable.

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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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