FNI Report 11/2014. Lysaker, FNI, 2014, 41 p. In Norwegian.
This report presents the result of the evaluation of BarentsKult, a funding mechanism for collaborative art projects in the Barents Region. In light of the program’s funding criteria and declared goals, the evaluation team concludes that BarentsKult has been successful, and recommends that it is prolonged. This positive assessment is based mainly on information obtained in interviews with project participants and program officials, as well as reviews of project documentation. BarentsKult has contributed to the creation of innovative art projects and the establishment of cross-border networks between Norwegian and Russian artists. More importantly, the program has helped enhance the professional standards of art companies, theatres and festivals in Northern Norway. While arguing that the program has functioned well, the report does point to some problem areas. Firstly, BarentsKult’s ambitions to contribute to cultural innovation while at the same time securing stable employment within the regional culture sector might be conflicting. Secondly, the report predicts that the geographic constraints in the program will collide with the growing ambitions of an increasingly sophisticated culture sector in Northern Norway. To ensure continued relevance, the program might have to broaden its geographical scope, to comprise Moscow as well as allowing Swedish and Finnish participation irrespective of Russian input.