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Wednesday 18.10.2017 | Name days: Rolanda, Rolands, Ronalds, Erlends
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Publishing house manager: culture funding did not put out the «fire of needs»

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Janis Oga

Additional funds that were agreed upon by the government on June 10 did not put out the «fire of needs» in the cultural sector, said Janis Oga, manager of the Mansards publishing house, in an interview to Latvian Radio.

The State Culture-capital fund oversees the cultural sector and its allocated amount of 500 000 LVL from the state budget is insignificant, Oga says. This is the pettiest amount of funding since the founding of the fund in 1998.

Oga notes that with budget amendments the «fire of needs» is not and will not be put out for at least three or four more years. Right now, it is important to restore the previous level of funding of the culture-capital fund, to relieve the Ministry of Culture from funding it.

As an example of an imbalanced funding Oga mentions the Latvian National opera, this is just as big as all other theatres are together. He does not deny that the opera’s administration can attract funds from sponsors, but «it is necessary to find ways for them to also pay taxes». Oga revealed that he plans to discuss the proportions of funding of different literature sectors during his meeting with Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis on Wednesday, July 11. «Literature is currently an orphan in terms of funding – there can be no talk of development, only survival,»- Oga says.

Oga believes that only way to resolve this situation in the cultural sector is making culture accessible to all Latvian residents, which has not been ensured until now; it is important to ensure sufficient funding for the restoration of library collections; and ensure accessibility to latest literature for young people. «Not one «light network» is currently connected any schools,»- Oga adds.

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