Cultural Connections

Musings about my experiences, art, and life in Mongolia and beyond.

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Location: Ulaanbaatar, Tuv aimag, Mongolia

Native Chicagoan currently teaching in Mongolia.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Arts Council of Mongolia

Arts Council of Mongolia at Five, and It’s Just the Beginning…
(originally published in the UB Post January 2008)

The Red Ger Art Gallery, Arts Education Programming, Arts Advocacy and training, Cultural Heritage and preservation, are just a few of the projects initiated by the Arts Council of Mongolia (ACM), which celebrated its fifth year anniversary in December 2007.

According to Ts. Ariunaa, Executive Director of the Arts Council, 2008 will see the ACM continue to build on its foundation of programs and partnerships while developing new ones. It will continue such programs as the small grants program for artists, the Monastery Mapping project, and the “I Can Do It” program. Future plans include a Korean-Mongolian arts residency program, an after school arts education program at the Red Ger Gallery, preservation of the Chojiin Lama Temple with funds from Xanadu Mines, the development of a new TV show, “Arts Puzzle” that discusses issues relating to the Arts and Society, and the development of a master plan for Mongolian arts and culture with government ministries.

Recognizing the importance of art, culture and heritage in the development of a free, open and economically vital society, the ACM’s mission is to promote the development of Mongolian arts and culture. It was founded in 2002 with initial funding from the Soros Foundation and has gained the support of business, civic and arts leaders and citizens. It has established partnerships across the globe with similar cultural institutions in the U.S., Central Asia, Southeast Asia, Japan and Korea.

An Advocacy program is being established to promote policies and legal structures and partnerships with various local and international agencies to support the arts and cultural development. Forums have been held addressing important issues of cultural policy, financing, and tourism. Another goal is to raise awareness of the arts through media.

The Arts Council has been instrumental in increasing arts awareness and the importance of the arts throughout the Mongolian community through their arts education programs. These programs have also promoted creativity, critical thinking, the development of life skills, particularly for vulnerable and disadvantaged youth. Some of the programs have included: the Rainbow Horses project, the “I Can Do It” program, and the “My History, My Culture” TV series.

The Cultural Heritage program was established to preserve Mongolia’s rich cultural heritage. The program aids in preservation, education and promotion of Mongolia’s culture. It has provided support and education to many of Mongolia’s museums and has initiated a “Monastery Mapping” project.

A gala celebration and awards ceremony was held in early December at the Khan Bank Theater. Five awards were given to members of the arts and culture sectors who have been leaders in the promotion and preservation of the arts and cultural heritage.
Those who received awards included: Mr. Altangerel Zundui for restoration of of Danzanravjaa’s famed Khamryn Monastery; The State Morin Khuur Ensemble; Ms. Sergelen Bold of the State Opera and Ballet Theater; Ms. Byambasuren Davaa for her film, “The Weeping Camel”, and People’s Artist, Mr. Jantsannorov Natsag.


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