This year, geography of the Culture Online Award has expanded, and the event has acquired an international status. Total of 452 projects were submitted from more than 20 countries: Russia, the USA, Qatar, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Lebanon, Greece and other countries. Compared to the debut year of 2020, the number of applications has increased significantly.

In 2021, cultural institutions use digital technologies not only to preserve and attract audiences online, but also to create unique and exciting projects. Completely different formats were presented for the award: virtual excursions and exhibitions, workshops and lectures via augmented and virtual reality, broadcasts of concerts and performances for audiences around the world without any limitations, projects using blockchain and NFT technologies. The largest number of applications was received for the “Best educational project” nomination, which received 140 projects.

“Last year, pace of transition to online format has accelerated significantly, and despite the cautious attitude of some people to the online environment, it is new technologies that have been helping cultural institutions to stay in touch with their viewers for a year and a half. Digitalization is just a stage of adaptation to a new reality, and I am glad that this year the number of applications for the international Culture Online Award has almost doubled,” said Elena Yuryevna Golovnina, Director General of Russian Culture Fund All-Russian Public and State Organization.

It is important to note that the award has acquired the status of an international project this year. Participants from Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Great Britain, Hungary, Germany, Greece, Denmark, Egypt, Italy, Kazakhstan, Canada, Qatar, Lebanon, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Serbia, Singapore, USA, Czech Republic and Switzerland sent their applications.

Active participation of regional cultural institutions is the positive trend of Culture Online in 2021. Cultural institutions from more than 50 regions of Russia presented their bright, authentic projects. Theme-based publics, online workshops and broadcasts dedicated to the general history of culture and art, as well as to local traditions, were held and what is important – in national languages.

Equally important is the fact that inclusive creative projects were also participating this year. The task of inclusion is to make people with special needs become the regular members of society, to allow them to lead full and interesting life, to help them establish contact with the outside world.

The list of the award finalists will be announced on November 12, 2021. The award ceremony will be held in an online format and will be broadcast on the Internet resources of the Russian Culture Fund and the award partners on November 15 at 17:00 Moscow time.