A socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of nationwide and international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, youth, sporting, and cultural events.

The Roscongress Foundation is a socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of nationwide and international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, youth, sporting, and cultural events. It was established in pursuance of a decision by the President of the Russian Federation.

The Foundation was established in 2007 with the aim of facilitating the development of Russia’s economic potential, promoting its national interests, and strengthening the country’s image. One of the roles of the Foundation is to comprehensively evaluate, analyse, and cover issues on the Russian and global economic agendas. It also offers administrative services, provides promotional support for business projects and attracting investment, helps foster social entrepreneurship and charitable initiatives.

Each year, the Foundation’s events draw participants from 208 countries and territories, with more than 15,000 media representatives working on-site at Roscongress’ various venues. The Foundation benefits from analytical and professional expertise provided by 5,000 people working in Russia and abroad.

The Foundation works alongside various UN departments and other international organizations, and is building multi-format cooperation with 173 economic partners, including industrialists’ and entrepreneurs’ unions, financial, trade, and business associations from 78 countries worldwide, and 179 Russian public organizations, federal and legislative agencies, and federal subjects.

The Roscongress Foundation has Telegram channels in Russian t.me/Roscongress, English – t.me/RoscongressDirect, and Spanish t.me/RoscongressEsp. Official website and Information and Analytical System of the Roscongress Foundation: roscongress.org.

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Made in the Arctic: Grants as a Driver of the Creative Economy in the North
15 June 2022
09:30—10:30
KEY CONCLUSIONS
Creative projects are helping to achieve sweeping objectives on an ad-hoc basis

When we think of a project, we ask ourselves how it would change the lives of the people involved. And if something changes, then what will it be important to do? The worst thing is for a project to fade into the background, for its existence to be neither here nor there, and for nothing to really change in terms of life in the region and the creative economy. It is vital to build a team and community around you which will scale things up around the project each year — Philip Abryutin, Artistic Director, Program Director, Golden Raven International Arctic Film Festival.

First of all, it’s important to ask yourself why you are working on a particular project. And once you answer that question, you understand what you’re doing and to what ends, and you can move forward. That’s my first observation. The second thing is working out what objectives this project encompasses. These objectives should not be developed on an ad-hoc basis, and should not be wedded to the business environment, because the business environment can change from one day to the next. If we put real values at the heart of a project – the kind that have always worked, and will continue to do so – then it will have legs and potential — Natalya Agakhanova, Director, Krasnoyarsk Foundation for Support and Development of Art named after Dmitry Hvorostovsky.

Grants provide genuine assistance, and applicants should not be reticent in asking for them

When you work on your own and rely solely on your own strengths, you won’t be able to bring a large project to life. Grants help scale things up. They make projects more visible, more significant, — Svetlana Soldatova, Director, Producer, Northern Character Producer Center.

There’s no need to be afraid – it’s vital to act. Nothing is impossible. And with proper support and desire, everything is feasible — Vladimir Sobolev, Head of Student Groups, Headquarters of the Youth Labor Teams of the Arkhangelsk Region, All-Russian Youth Public Organization "Russian Student Teams".

In terms of what we – government bodies – should focus on, I would highlight initiatives which we sometimes fail to notice. We see things from a strategic point of view. It’s important to take advantage of all available grants so that current projects are able to get support and develop further. We should make sure that each project becomes visible and doesn’t go by unnoticed — Oksana Svetlova, Minister of Culture, Arkhangelsk region.

I really like the fact that young people have the chance to develop, and that they aren’t just sitting and waiting for something. We hear this when we offer them support... Now they have the chance to genuinely show what their projects are about. We take a look at these initiatives afterwards and realize that if something has taken off, then more can be done with it... When I’m in the region, I always implore people to give something a go, to try, and then afterwards we will absolutely provide our support as a local authority — Svetlana Soldatova, Director, Producer, Northern Character Producer Center.

Cultural projects should aim to promote prosperity in the regions

We set out to address the main thing – improving life for the better by looking at quantity and quality. Now, there is a lot behind this statement. First of all, the most important thing was to make sure that people in Chukotka were enjoying a better quality of life with each passing year, including as a result of our ambitious cultural project — Philip Abryutin, Artistic Director, Program Director, Golden Raven International Arctic Film Festival.

Culture is a driver of economic growth. That’s because unless people enjoy a certain quality of life, there is no way of achieving progress with any other initiatives. Basically, people need to feel comfortable with where they live and enjoy their work. I think that this is the key rationale behind efforts to develop culture — Natalya Agakhanova, Director, Krasnoyarsk Foundation for Support and Development of Art named after Dmitry Hvorostovsky.

ISSUES
It can be difficult to unleash creativity in today’s world, but easy to forget about the most important thing

Once you move away from the central cities, you don’t see this kind of engagement. When we started work and the Foundation for Cultural Initiatives was established, we usually found ourselves urging people to apply for these grants. Now, thanks to the work of the foundation, we are seeing the emergence of more active people in the region. There remain inactive people – we need to encourage them, and we know which districts we should focus our efforts on — Oksana Svetlova, Minister of Culture, Arkhangelsk region.

Unfortunately, events can very quickly disappear under the glut of information that characterizes life today. Unless we make some kind of effort, unless we highlight the important things, unless we reiterate what is important right now, we risk simply missing things in this information flow that we shouldn’t. And this is what we are endeavouring to do with our project — Natalya Agakhanova, Director, Krasnoyarsk Foundation for Support and Development of Art named after Dmitry Hvorostovsky.

It has become difficult to draw young people to the regions and to employ their talents

I know that there are regions where people cannot yet fulfil this objective for themselves. They cannot find a place for young people – a point where student teams could come together. Student teams are actually a massive asset for young people in Russia, and are genuinely engaged in some of the most crucial projects. This powerful resource should of course be considered when planning projects in your area — Roman Karmanov, Chief Executive Officer, Presidential Fund for Cultural Initiatives.

Student teams work everywhere – from the Arctic to the Far East, and Arkhangelsk Region is no exception. There are a number of unique projects in the High Arctic which we worked on. And as for Arkhangelsk Region, we have broken some new ground when it comes to getting projects off the ground. We are home to the first nationwide medical team. I can also cite an important project involving Novodvinsk Fortress. We had a large construction project which encompassed all of Russia. Basically, student teams really do make a big contribution to the development of a region, and they get young people involved in projects which are important at both a regional, and national level — Vladimir Sobolev, Head of Student Groups, Headquarters of the Youth Labor Teams of the Arkhangelsk Region, All-Russian Youth Public Organization "Russian Student Teams".

SOLUTIONS
Government support to foster cultural projects is bearing tangible fruit

Last year we [the Arctic Open Film Festival – ed.] marked our 10-year anniversary. Over that time, the event has of course grown in scale. It is an international festival which brings together all films related to the Arctic. And thanks to our grant, we were able to improve the jury and focus more on the educational programme. We were able to bring the community together, and find the kind of young people we need more of, such as film directors and screenwriters. So, now we bring everyone together, and are able to teach them. Animation is one example of the kind of driver that is now in place. We were able to invite Soyuzmultfilm, which has already attended, and now, as a government body, we are planning to open a number of schools in cooperation with the animation studio. We now know that there is a demand for animation in the region, and we will work to develop this area moving forward — Oksana Svetlova, Minister of Culture, Arkhangelsk region.

If the work is organized in a strategic way at the regional level, then with each wave it will be possible to receive funds for further restoration. More events can then be held, and places that had fallen into disrepair can be further revitalized — Roman Karmanov, Chief Executive Officer, Presidential Fund for Cultural Initiatives.

In 2019, the regional government greatly supported our efforts. A bill outlining support for the film industry in Murmansk Region has been published, and a bill on rebates has entered into force in the region. In the latter instance, filmmakers who have a national film certification and who are filming in the region can benefit from a subsidy covering 30% of the money they have spent in the region. All this didn’t arise out of the blue – this kind of approach existed in other countries, and now this experience has taken root in Russia — Svetlana Soldatova, Director, Producer, Northern Character Producer Center.

Creative projects help boost tourism and contribute to regional economies

Despite the pandemic and all the problems associated with it, Murmansk Region welcomed 486,000 domestic tourists. This is an indirect result of our work – it’s not just about films, it’s about developing tourism. And I will cite another figure. We can say for absolute certain how much money filmmakers bring into the region due to the rebate programme. In 2019 we allocated RUB 5 million in rebates against a total of RUB 12 million spent in the region. However, 2021 tells an entirely different story. RUB 10 million was awarded in rebates against a total of RUB 60 million spent by filmmakers in the region — Svetlana Soldatova, Director, Producer, Northern Character Producer Center.

It is vital – including for the development of tourism – that we create living history and contemporary stories. We don’t want there to just be historical monuments saying that on such‑and-such a date, such-and-such happened. We need something interesting and relatable in terms of our modern lives. And this all includes merchandise and the service economy. Our ability to sell and present this will depend on the level of interest — Natalya Agakhanova, Director, Krasnoyarsk Foundation for Support and Development of Art named after Dmitry Hvorostovsky.