Culture minister: Engagement with events one way to achieve integration

Minister of Culture Heidy Purga (Reform).
Minister of Culture Heidy Purga (Reform). Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Greater engagement with Estonian cultural events might be one way integration could be achieved in respect of people from other countries and cultures who have moved to Estonia, Minister of Culture Heidy Purga (Reform) says.

Appearing on the opening broadcast of this season of ETV show "OP", Purga said that integration should be a two-way process, involving, among other things, cultural events like concerts, festivals, and other places where a universal language is on offer. "This has proved the most organic way to do it," the minister said.

Purga was first prominent as a DJ, long before becoming culture minister. She told "OP" that while she has little time to perform nowadays, this coming November, she will be taking part in a "Rave for Ukraine" event, to be held at nightclub fabric London, in Farringdon.

The culture ministry has a wide remit, including not only quintessentially cultural bodies such as the National Opera and Ballet, but also integration, as noted, and even sport.

This means that the planned state budget cuts will eat into the culture budget for next year; of this, Purga said that as of the time of speaking, nothing had been approved at governmental level, though she and her team were revising costs – just as other ministries have been doing.

"The goal is not to rock the boat too much. Even if you take away a little amount of funding, this still affects someone, so it's always a painful decision," she went on.

Of the cultural events of the summer, the minister referenced music festivals in Pärnu and elsewhere, and the Viljandi Folk Festival, where she also performed.

She also praised two theater productions, "Kotka tee taeva all" put on by the Saueaugu teatritalu (farm theater) near Haapsalu, and "Giselle," staged by the Von Krahl theater.

Purga also said that dialogue between the Riigikogu's Cultural Committee and the Cultural Endowment Fund (Kultuuripkapital) was ongoing and active, while the desire to prresent the necessary bill on day one of the fall Riigikogu session, startign enxt week, was present, she said.

This bill would enable the utilization of Kultuuripkapital funds for the long-awaited new ERR TV house, whose €65-million funding has been mired for several years, since a design was chosen for the facility.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Rasmus Kuningas

Source: 'OP' presented by Owe Petersell.

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