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Vladimir Potanin— Philanthropist of the Year

Vladimir Potanin— Philanthropist of the Year

Vladimir PotaninPhilanthropist of the Year

Founder of the Vladimir Potanin Foundation is given the national philanthropy award, established to honor the Year of Culture in Russia.

On 23 December, 2014 in Moscow the awarding ceremony was held to grant the awards to winners of the national campaign Philanthropist of the Year to mark the 2014 Year of Culture in Russia.

The award was established by the Russian Ministry of Culture to honor the support of projects that have had significant impact on the development of arts and culture in regions of the country. In total there were 80 nominees selected by the regional departments of culture. Vladimir Potanin was nominated for his significant public activities as a founder of the Foundation, a General Director of the MMC Norilsk Nickel, and for his personal contribution to large-scale projects in the field of arts and culture.

It was the board of experts under the Ministry of Culture who announced the award laureates. The awards went to Vladimir Potanin, Gennady Timchenko, Victor Vekselberg, Oleg Deripaska, and Michail Gurtsiev.

— Names of Tretyakov, Ryabushinsky, Morozov, Mamontov, Nemirovich-Danchenko are familiar to all Russians. Many of us are aware of these philanthropists’ great contribution to culture of the country. Not many of Russians know what business they did, how much millions they earned, - said the Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky. – These people are recalled by their immense philanthropical contribution they had made. I hope the Year of Culture will play a crucial role in the development of philanthropy in Russia.

Support of cultural projects across Russia and promotion of Russian culture overseas is one of the priorities of the Vladimir Potanin Foundation.

In 2014 under the auspices of Foundation program First Publication three books were published: 16 guides to Russia museums Museum Guide 2014, Kargopol Journey: Seven routes across North Russian Land, The First World War: War and Myth, which united collections of woodcut and photo prints of the Rybinsk State Historical, Architectural and Art Museum, the National Museum of the Republic of Komi, and the Ivanovo State Historical Regional Museum.

In 2014 sixteen Russian museums – winners of the competition A Changing Museum in a Changing World – received the Foundation’s grants for their projects, the total sum amounting to RUB 20 million. The geography of the competition embraces the entire country: from museums of Borisoglebsk, Tomsk, Perm to the metropolitan State Darwin Museum and All-Russian Decorative Art Museum.

In 2014 the Vladimir Potanin Foundation launched a few projects in partnership with large museums; a grant was awarded to the Polytechnic Museum for the development of master-degree course in museum studies at the Higher School of Economics and to Kunstkamera for the project on the development of media learning environment.

With the Foundation’s support in June 2014 in Moscow the Museum Guide Festival was held (within the framework of Intermuseum International Museum Festival). In Washington DC at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts the Russian Lounge was opened.

Among other renowned institutions St. Petersburg Boris Eifman’s Ballet Theatre has also enjoyed Vladimir Potanin's financial support.

For more than a decade Vladimir Potanin has been vastly supporting the State Hermitage Museum. He chairs the museum’s Board of Trustees and is a co-founder of the Hermitage Endowment Fund.

This year for the tenth time on end 50 best museum staff members were awarded grants for their outstanding contribution to the development of the museum. Apart from that the Foundation awarded 22 travel grants to the staff to attend world workshops and conferences and to study in world-leading research centers. With the Foundation’s support a famous film director Margy Kinmonth produced a film The Hermitage Revealed: 250 years in the Making. The Russian premiere was held at the Moscow International Film Festival. The international film release has been very successful.

Special attention is being given to promote endowments and efficient fundraising technologies at arts and culture institutions. Vladimir Potanin’s personal contribution provided the ground for creation of the State Hermitage Museum Endowment Fund. In 2014 Vladimir Potanin made donations to the winners of the Endowment Growth Strategy Program, -- to the State Hermitage Museum Endowment Fund and to the State Museum Reserve Peterhof.

The Vladimir Potanin Foundation has been working in the field of arts and culture for more than 15 years, and the Year of Culture has been no exception.

There are two reasons for my interests around culture. Firstly, it is an international phenomenon. I always wanted people to know more about Russia, and culture is a great way to achieve this. Secondly, culture provides a counterbalance to my working life, full of pragmatism and stress. Culture represents an excellent medicine, as music, painting and literature contain the beauty itself, – says Vladimir Potanin.