Latvia to support Roma Festival with 50,000 euros

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Latvia's government agreed November 5 to allocate 50,000 euros from the state budget to support the staging of a Roma cultural festival this year.

The money formed part of 1.3 million euros re-allocated to various cultural and educational institutions from the state budget.

"In order to continue the tradition since 2015 of organizing an annual Roma cultural festival in Latvia, promoting social cohesion and intercultural dialogue, changing the public's prejudiced attitude towards the Roma and breaking the established stereotypes through art and culture, the government decided to support the Roma Association to organize an international Roma culture festival "ROMA WORLD 2019" in 2019," a statement from the cabinet office said.

€50,000 will be provided "for its technical and artistic support, event management and publicity," the statement said, adding that "the festival serves as an important tool for changing public perceptions, according to a 2019 SKDS survey of public attitudes towards different ethnic groups."

The Saeima has yet to make a decision on the redistribution of this funding.

Other projects to receive funding include €675,000 towards the cost of EU-backed modernization work at Liepāja Secondary School of Music, Art and Design, and €588,893 towards the cost of transfering the collections of the Latvian National Museum of Art (LNMM), the Latvian National History Museum (LNVM), the Museum of Literature and Music (RMM) and the Riga Film Museum (RKM) to a newly built museum repository at Pulka Street 8, Rīga.

The Roma Cultural Center website contains more information about the Roma communiity in Latvia, though as yet contains no information about when and where this year's festival will take place. Last year's event took place Deptember 21 and 22, 2018 at the VEF Cultural Center in Rīga.

Below is a promotional video for the 2016 event.


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