Ministry funds world’s Latvians to keep up culture

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To sustain the tradition of song and dance festivals as well as ensure the accessibility of Latvian professional culture and the arts among Latvians living abroad, the Ministry of Culture Friday announced on its webpage that the World Federation of Free Latvians (PBLA) will receive €73,000 from the Ministry’s budget to administer this work.

The World Federation of Free Latvians will provide support to Latvian organizations abroad for the administration of song and dance festivals in the host countries and for preparation of the repertoire and programs. About €30,000 from the funding package will be dedicated to support for the song and dance festivals.

In addition, PBLA will ensure that culture and the arts remain accessible in centers of the Latvian diaspora abroad, hosting and informing the community about cultural events – concerts, guest performances, exhibits and lectures. About €43,000 has been designated for this purpose.

The PBLA is supposed to organize these activities under the auspices of the Culture Ministry funding package by December 9, 2015 in any countries with significantly active Latvian diaspora communities, but primarily in Europe, North America and Australia.

The PBLA was formed as a global organization in 1955 out of five associations of exiled Latvians in Europe, Canada, the United States, Australia (later to include New Zealand), and Brazil (later all of South America).

Until the collapse of the USSR, the PBLA lobbied world governments and the United Nations against recognizing the Soviet occupation of the Baltic states.

Now, even after more than twenty years of restored national independence, the PBLA has continued to operate in the interests of Latvia and Latvians around the world, for instance contributing greatly toward Latvia’s membership in NATO and other world organizations and supporting many democratic political, cultural and educational initiatives.

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