Increasing the number of cultural offerings in the periphery will encourage
Israelis to live outside of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem – and improve the local
quality of life in towns outside of the center of the country, Culture and
Sports Minister Limor Livnat (Likud) said last week, upon unveiling a new
program being launched by the ministry.
Livnat said that “Providing a
Stage” (notnim bamah) would be the ministry’s flagship project, and will invest
NIS 70 million over the next two years in developing the cultural offerings in
the periphery.RELATED:Amid controversy, Ariel theater opens with sold-out show'Promises to strengthen health service in periphery unkept'2,500 families make move to Galilee or Negev in 2010
The project includes an annual NIS 11m. investment in
developing “new quality projects,” by sending leading figures in the Tel Aviv
theater, dance and music scene to cities in the periphery – where they will work
with local artists to create a more vibrant local scene.
According to the
ministry, some of these initiatives include sending people from the Cameri
Theater to Ofakim and Kiryat Shmona; and representatives of the Habima National
Theater to Sderot in the South and Ma'alot-Tarshiha in the
Livnat said these theater directors, dance instructors and
musicians will live in these communities and help cultivate local talent to
develop a local arts scene.
This portion of the plan also includes living
subsidies for artists who move to these areas, and scholarships for students
from the periphery who pursue studies in the arts.
Livnat said that much
of the impetus behind the plan is the desire to give residents of the periphery
cultural offerings that will reduce their need to go to Tel Aviv for
“We must deal with not only the geographic periphery, but
also the cultural periphery, and work on how we can enable all the residents of
Israel to enjoy the country’s cultural offerings – but also to create a local
culture of their own,” Livnat said. “Other than work, people decide where to
live based on education and the leisure offerings.
They want their
children to have a good education and they want to have good opportunities for
how to spend their free time. If these areas lack any cultural opportunities,
then people won’t want to live in them – even if they are making a good income
The plan also includes NIS 11m. per annum in improving cultural
institutions in the periphery – a plan that includes a NIS 1.5. upgrade in Arab
cultural institutions, and a further NIS 1m. for cultural development in
the Druse community.
Another NIS 13m. per year will go towards
subsidizing cultural offerings in more than 100 local authorities.
program “will give those who have the desire to take part in creative activity –
and have something to offer the ability to do so without having to run off to
Tel Aviv,” Livnat added. “They can instead explore their creativity in their own
Livnat lamented what she said was the state’s “erasing of
non-Sabra cultures – especially the Sephardi and Mizrachi ones.
today a large Ethiopian community that we don’t see culturally, but which has a
desire to be creative.
They have so many things to say, to create and no
one hears them or gives them a place to contribute. I see a large Druse
community – people who contribute to the state, serve in the army, want to
create culturally, but aren’t given the opportunity.”