Of course, the authorities must work closely with the public on shaping cultural policy. No matter how good the ideas, they cannot work unless they have people’s support. This process should involve not only cultural figures themselves but also NGOs, the business community, patrons of the arts, and of course academics, economists, culture studies specialists, historians and political analysts. We must not sink into conservatism and rest upon our rich heritage alone. We must keep moving forward, set new cultural standards and make use of new experience, including world experience.
It is also important to make our culture policy objectives as clear as possible. Above all, they must be clear for our public, for our young people. We must create an environment in which it will be the norm, a way of life and vital demand for the young generation to have all-round education and be at home with classical and modern art, music and literature. Here, we need to work seriously on promoting and supporting fundamental art. It is the same as in science: fundamental research is costly and does not bring immediate returns, but without it scientific thinking and progress come to a stop.
Overall, I think the time is ripe to substantially rethink our culture policy and the state and municipal culture management system in general. Unfortunately, the practice of leaving culture to survive on the leftovers is very hard to eradicate. Culture is typically seen as just a ‘sub-branch’ of the social sector. It is perhaps very difficult to break this stereotype of treating culture as just entertainment, but we must do this. Our culture policy has to give culture the place it deserves (Vladimir Putin).