At the end of last year Ulyanovsk became the first and only UNESCO City of Literature. This event is no less important than the choice of our country as the venue for major sporting or political world-class event. The Ulyanovsk region has prepared an application and took part in this prestigious international contest on the initiative of the Governor of the Ulyanovsk region Sergey Morozov.
In Moscow March, 11 within the framework of the project implementation, the Minister of Arts and Cultural Policy Tatiana Ivshina and the Director of the Foundation "Ulyanovsk – the Capital of Culture" Galina Muromtseva conducted working meetings with key partners of the programme. Workshops were held with the Executive Secretary of the National Commission for UNESCO of the Russian Federation Grigory Ordzhonikidze; Chairman of the Russian Committee of the UNESCO Information for All Programme, President of the Interregional Library Cooperation Centre Evgeny Kuzmin; Director of Federal state budgetary cultural institution «Russian State Children's Library» Maria Vedenyapina; the General Director of "Pushkin Library" Nonprofit Foundation Marina Novikova; Deputy General Director of publishing house "AST-EKSMO" Maxim Lozovskiy.
As a result preliminary agreements were reached on support measures of the programme "Ulyanovsk – UNESCO City of Literature" from the part of the Russian Commission for UNESCO, inclusion of the programme activities of the Ulyanovsk region in major Russian and international projects, participation of the Ulyanovsk region in interregional and international book fairs and exhibitions, the organizers of which are the Russian Book Union and publishing house "AST-EKSMO", as well as the development of the reading promotion programme in the Ulyanovsk region as an experimental platform for the implementation of PPP (public-private partnership)projects in this direction.
"We discussed a variety of directions, closely examined a very extensive plan of your work. From the side of the Non-Profit Foundation "Pushkin library" we proposed the federal project "The Big Book - Meeting in the Province” to be implemented in the Ulyanovsk region this year. "The Big Book" is the main literary award in Russia, the winners of which come not only in regional centers. With the help of your specialists and our partners, writers will be able to reach the most remote corners of the region, to visit small towns and even rural areas, to meet with readers. We have been implementing the project for a long time with the support of the Federal Agency on Press and Mass Communications, which is why it has federal significance. I think it can contribute into your activities as of UNESCO City of Literature", – commented General Director of Non-Profit Foundation "Pushkin library" Marina Novikova.
"An important step in the positioning of the Ulyanovsk region as a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. We faced a huge interest from leading Russian organizations. The obtained status is the opportunity of equal partnership in the most serious and large Russian and international projects", pointed the Minister of Arts and Cultural Policy Tatiana Ivshina.
It is worth noting that the Foundation "Ulyanovsk – the Capital of Culture" as a development institution is the official partner of the Ministry of Arts and Cultural Policy of the Ulyanovsk region and the City Administration of Ulyanovsk on the promotion of the programme "Ulyanovsk – UNESCO City of Literature", and also coordinates international activities in the cultural sphere of the region.
UNESCO City of Literature is part of the Creative Cities Network, which was established in 2004. Its goal is to promote social, economic and cultural development of cities in developed and developing countries. The cities in the network promote their local creative environment in accordance with the objectives of UNESCO on cultural diversity preservation.
An important aspect of the status of "Creative Cities" is that the creative cities should facilitate public/private partnerships particularly by encouraging the entrepreneurial and creative potential of small enterprises and creative industries. Literature is just one of the categories of Creative Cities Network. Full list of categories include music, movies, media, gastronomy, crafts and folk art and design.
The status of "UNESCO City of Literature" belongs to the following cities:
- Edinburgh, Scotland (2004);
- Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (2008);
- Iowa City, Iowa, the United States of America (2008);
- Dublin, Ireland (2010);
- Reykjavik, Iceland (2011);
- Norwich, England (2012);
- Krakow, Poland (2013);
- Heidelberg, Germany (2014);
- Dunedin, New Zealand (2014);
- Granada, Spain (2014);
- Prague, Czech Republic (2014);
- Lviv, Ukraine (2015);
- Tartu, Estonia (2015);
- Ulyanovsk, Russia (2015).