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Society of Cultural Patrons

Founded in conjunction with Tchertkoff Memorial and Cultural Foundation, the Society of Cultural Patrons was established to promote the preservation of cultural monuments is Russia.

I. INTRODUCTION

Russia, as the target country for this proposed project was not randomly chosen. There are two major factors that make project, in this country so appropriate and indeed almost inevitable.

The first factor is the national tradition of cultural patronage, deeply rooted in Russia’s over-1000 year history. Unfortunately for the arts, and indeed the entire course of Russian cultural life, this tradition of patronage of the arts was interrupted by the political events of 1917 and the advent of the Communist Regime. The Society of Cultural Patrons intends to revive this invaluable tradition!

The second factor is the incredibly rapid transformation of the political and economic situation in Russia which began with the breakup of the Soviet Union and continues to this day. Russia represents an enormous emerging market with undreamed of business opportunities. Cultural life, however, has been terribly neglected in the race for economic prosperity.

If both Russian and American entrepreneurs can unite, we will have enough influence to positively influence the current situation. Russia, awakened from its 74-year slumber has become much more selective and now is the time for long-term commitments, serious ideas and dedicated people.

II. PROJECT BACKGROUND

The concept of establishing a humanitarian, non-profit organization to support Russian culture and enhance cultural relationships between Russia and the U.S. was developed by the President of Tchertkoff Memorial and Cultural Foundation, Nicolai S. Tchertkoff.

It began with a single task: rescue the historically significant Saltykov-Tchertkoff mansion, located in the heart of Moscow, from an attempt by its then leaser-holder, LogoVAZ Corporation, to convert this architectural masterpiece into a commercial office building.

The Tchertkoff Memorial and Cultural Foundation, founded in 1993, concentrates its efforts on restoration of the mansion as well as the preservation of Russian culture in general.

Both the Foundation and its founder soon gained recognition and support at all levels of Russian society – from representatives of the Russian scientific and cultural communities to government officials and business leaders.

The Foundation strove to persuade LogoVAZ to renovate the mansion in order to fulfill its obligation under Russian law, which requires occupants of architectural monuments to renovate such structures within a two-year period. Efforts of the Foundation were widely publicized in newspapers, magazines, radio and television programs.

As a result of the publicity created by Tchertkoff Memorial and Cultural Foundation, the future of the Tchertkoff Mansion and Library has become a public issue. The power of public opinion had once again proved to be strong. The President of LogoVAZ, Boris Berezovsky, was forced to reconsider his plans for building additional stories for rental office space, which included flattening the roof and changing the entire look of the the entire structure.

In recognition of the Foundation’s activities, Mr. Tchertkoff was made an Honorary Academician of the Academy of the Russian Encyclopedia of the Russian Academy of Science.

On December 20, 1996, Tchertkoff was invited to address the Committee on Culture of the State Duma (Russian Parliament), on behalf of the Foundation, thus becoming the first private foreign citizen to do so. As a result of his speech, the Foundation gained the necessary support from the Duma and the Minister of Culture, who pledged his assistance in resolving the situation with the Moscow City Government. This event was covered by CNN, with follow-up articles in the London Times and New York Times, as well as other newspapers.

III. PROJECT OBJECTIVES

The Society of Cultural Patrons works to:

Establish a strong and influential group of Russians and Americans, whose primary purpose is to support cultural projects in Russia;
Identify projects pertaining to the restoration of cultural monuments, art and history within Russia which require financial and professional assistance;
Develop and implement such target projects;
Raise and maintain sufficient funds in order to bring identified projects to fruition;
Promote awareness of the need for preservation and restoration of monuments of history and culture left by history’s most prominent families;
Organize cultural events: exhibitions, concerts, workshops, seminars, conferences to maintain and promote awareness of the Society’s activities;
Promote cultural education and exchange programs between the two countries; and
Publicize Society Activities in Russia, the United States and other countries.