Private and municipal theaters to get a fifth of activity support

Tartu Uus Teater.
Tartu Uus Teater. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Minister of Culture Piret Hartmann (SDE) on Wednesday signed a directive authorizing the ministry to pay local government and private theaters 20 percent of this year's state activity support.

Secretary General Tarvi Sits admitted that the ministry is late announcing the results of the private and municipal theaters' activity support round of applications, and that it apologizes.

Sits added that the ministry asked theaters whether they would like to get a fifth of their forecast activity support sum for this year early to meet their financial obligations. All except Tallinn City Theater do.

The ministry plans to reopen and amend parts of the Performing Arts Institutions Act.

"Theaters agree that the new law was necessary and the theaters' financing system requires reform. We are planning another theaters and application rounds audit to analyze how better to manage them from a technical standpoint. We want to start application processing sooner and make longer-term decisions in the future. We must also do better at sticking to deadlines we've set ourselves," Sits said.

Municipal and private theaters were looking at €3.7 million in 2023, which sum Minister Hartman hiked by €850,000 in January to cover the budgets of theaters which received less funding from the expert committee in charge of allocating support.

Theater experts said that the minister put the expert committee on the spot, and that the money is really being spent on the ministry's administrative incapacity, adding that some theaters that were allocated extra funding should be left in the cold.


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Editor: Mirjam Mäekivi, Marcus Turovski

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