The honorary title of Culture Bearer is a way for the City of Tartu to recognise people and collectives in Tartu for their remarkable cultural achievements in the preceding 12 months, or people and collectives whose work and activities have contributed significantly to the creation of cultural values in the city.
Everyone is welcome to nominate candidates for honorary titles. When selecting a winner in the culture-friendly company category, only proposals from cultural organisations are taken into account. The winners are chosen by a broad-ranging committee established under the order of the Department of Culture of Tartu City Government which is made up of pre-eminent experts in different fields of culture.
The winners of the honorary titles awarded for creative achievements in the previous year are announced during a formal ceremony taking place at the beginning of the new year.
Honorary titles are awarded in 10 categories in an effort to recognise and support the diversity of culture.
Culture Bearers 2018
- The international student festival Gaudeamus 2018, a grand festival that has earned a great deal of positive attention, was awarded the title of Tartu Cultural Event of the Year.
- Tartu New Theatre was recognised as the Cultural Organisation of the Year for its entrepreneurial, successful and outstandingly creative year.
- Edward von Lõngus was recognised as the creator of the Work of the Year, for the unique art experiences offered on the streets of Tartu and at Tartu's new art auction, as well as in the capitals of 13 European countries through the project (R)estart Reality.
- The title of Folk Culture Bearer of the Year was awarded to conductor Riho Leppoja for his heartfelt work, over a long period of time, involving the development of choir music in Tartu and across Estonia, and the directing of the Tartu Youth Choir.
- Toomas Koitmäe, Director of Development for the Estonian Sports and Olympic Museum, was recognised as the Young Culture Bearer of the Year for his bold ideas and execution of projects that have attracted attention.
- Marika Goldman, former producer at the Vanemuine Theatre, was declared Culture Organiser of the Year for her heartfelt work and outstanding professional activity in promoting Tartu’s cultural life.
- The Kogo Gallery was named Newcomer of the Year for the opening of a new, modern art exhibiting gallery, and its active work and ambitious exhibition programme.
- The creators of the Nostalgic Tartu Facebook Community were named Culture Communicators of the Year for their recognition of the culture and history of the City of Tartu.
- Hotel London was awarded the title of Culture-Friendly Company of the Year for its important and continued support for the self-improvement of dramatic performers from the Vanemuine Theatre.