“Culture unites”. What do you remember about the Moscow Cultural Forum 2018

However, as the forum has shown in many examples, today’s rapid pace of development imposes new high demands on culture. Stimulating not only to combine different forms, but also to integrate with related areas. 

Space for communication 

At numerous presentation sites of the Moscow Cultural Forum this year, all seven areas of activity of institutions subordinate to the Department of Culture of the City of Moscow were presented. These are theaters, museums, houses of culture, parks and cinemas, as well as cultural and educational institutions: art schools and libraries. 

By itself, such a format already implies unlimited opportunities for getting to know new cultural phenomena and, of course, for communication and exchange of experience. In addition, in addition to stands and presentation sites, professional discussions, creative and business meetings, including with the participation of heads of relevant ministries and departments, took place in the halls of the Manege Central Exhibition Hall. 

So, in addition to the implementation of educational goals, the Moscow Cultural Forum, not least of all, sought to solve quite specific professional problems. In particular, a number of meetings within the framework of the forum ended with official cooperation agreements. 

Culture and show business – is it worth uniting? 

One of the first panel discussions of the forum was the meeting of the heads of Moscow houses of culture and cultural centers with representatives of show business. The discussion “Cultural Centers – the Future” was attended by Deputy Head of the Department of Culture of the City of Moscow Vladimir Filippov, producers Lina Arifulina, Iosif Prigozhin, artistic director of the Zelenograd Cultural Center and leader of the Quatro group Leonid Ovrutsky, artistic director of the Palace of Culture named after. THEM. Astakhova Dmitry Bikbaev, director of the Moscow Production Center Andrey Petrov. 

The format of the discussion, declared in the program as “Stars of show business VS Cultural figures”, would seem to imply an open confrontation between the two spheres. However, in reality, the participants actively sought to find common ground and effective ways of interaction and integration of commercial principles developed in show business into real practice in modern cultural centers. 

Interactive methods of presentation and representation 

The desire to unite, in the sense of making culture closer to the audience, in general, lies in the numerous projects that were presented by various cultural institutions within the framework of the forum at the Manege Central Exhibition Hall. 

The stands of Moscow museums abounded with all sorts of interactive programs designed not only to attract attention, but also to involve the public in active participation in the creative process. For example, the Museum of Cosmonautics invited people to listen to their own space radio. And the State Biological Museum presented the Transparent Science program, within which visitors can independently study the exhibits, observe them, compare and even touch them. 

The theatrical program of the forum included immersive and interactive performances for adults and children, and a professional discussion about virtual theater took place as part of the business program. The participants in the discussion were the director of the Taganka Theater Irina Apeksimova, the director of the Pyotr Fomenko Workshop Theater Andrey Vorobyov, the head of the ONLINE THEATER project Sergey Lavrov, the director of the Kultu.ru! Igor Ovchinnikov and actor and director Pavel Safonov shared their experience in organizing online broadcasts of performances, and Maxim Oganesyan, CEO of VR Ticket, presented a new project called Virtual Presence, which will soon start at the Taganka Theater. 

Through the VR Ticket technology, the creators of the project offer viewers who do not have the physical ability to attend the performances of Moscow theaters to buy a ticket for a virtual performance. With the help of the Internet and 3D glasses, the viewer, being anywhere in the world, will be able to virtually get to any performance of the Moscow theater. The creators of the project proclaim that this technology will be able to literally realize the words of the great playwright William Shakespeare “The whole world is a theater”, expanding the boundaries of each theater to a global scale. 

“Special” forms of integration 

The theme of integration into the cultural environment of people with disabilities was continued by presentations of various projects for people with disabilities. In particular, such successful inclusive projects as “Friendly Museum. Creating a Comfortable Environment for Visitors with Mental Disabilities” and the “Special Talents” project, an inclusive multi-genre competition, the winners of which spoke to the guests of the forum. The discussion was organized by the State Museum – Cultural Center “Integration”. 

The Tsaritsyno State Museum-Reserve presented the project “People Must Be Different” at the forum and shared its experience of interacting with special visitors at the meeting “Inclusive Projects in Museums”. And at the concert venue of the forum, a performance of the play “Touched” with the participation of people with hearing and vision impairments took place. The performance was staged by the Union for the Support of the Deaf and Blind, the Inclusion Center for the Implementation of Creative Projects, and the Integration State Medical and Cultural Center. 

Moscow Zoo – how to become involved? 

Surprisingly, the Moscow Zoo also equipped its presentation platform at the Moscow Cultural Forum. Among the projects of the zoo, which were presented to the guests of the forum by employees and volunteers, the loyalty program, the guardianship program and the volunteer program seem to be especially significant. 

As part of the Moscow Zoo loyalty program, for example, everyone can choose their level of donation and become the official guardian of a pet. 

Culture is wider than progress 

But, of course, with all the effectiveness and accessibility of the multimedia projects presented at the forum, for the viewer, culture is, first of all, contact with living moments of genuine art. Which still will not replace any technology. Therefore, the live performances of artists gave the most vivid impressions to the visitors of the Moscow Cultural Forum, of course. 

Honored Artist of Russia Nina Shatskaya, the Moscow Symphony Orchestra “Russian Philharmonic”, Igor Butman and the Moscow Jazz Orchestra with the participation of Oleg Akkuratov and many others performed before the guests of the Moscow Cultural Forum, performances and performances performed by artists of Moscow theaters were shown, and film screenings were held for adults and children. In addition, the Moscow Cultural Forum has become the central platform for the Citywide Night of Theaters campaign timed to coincide with International Theater Day.  

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