In terms of art financing Georgia suffers from severely restricted funds and the situation for individual artists remains difficult. Since the Rose Revolution in 2003 a reshaping of arts and cultural funding has meant that all state funding to arts unions has been stopped.

The Ministry of Culture and Cultural Department of Tbilisi City Council does, however, support large scale projects such as the country's first participation in the Venice Biennale in 2007 (and subsequently in 2009); as well as Artisterium (now in its second year), and Georgian participation in the Transkaukazja Festival in Poland.

The presence of international cultural organisations provides some support to the sector: for example, the Soros Foundation/Open Society Institute recently started a cultural programme in Georgia. Offices of various other institutes (Goethe Institut, British Council, Centre Culturel Français and others) are also present in Tbilisi.

The Eurasia Foundation has supported art market development but there are few funds that lone artists can apply to directly.

There has, though, been an increase in opportunities to develop international projects, particularly with Eastern Europe, through funds such as the Step Beyond programme from the European Cultural Foundation.

And, in 2008, realising the country had a shortage of curators, art managers and critics, the government provided funding for 130 graduate students to spend some time studying at leading institutions in the west.

This article is from the Artlaw Archive of Henry Lydiate's columns published in Art Monthly since 1976, and may contain out of date material.
The article is for information only, and not for the purpose of providing legal advice.
Readers should consult a solicitor for legal advice on specific matters. Artists can get free online legal information from Artquest.