Resources > Vladimir Potanin Foundation
27 Aug 2013

Vladimir Potanin Foundation

The Vladimir Potanin Foundation is one of Russia’s largest private foundations. It was established in 1999 by Russian entrepreneur Vladimir Potanin. The Foundation supports higher education, arts and cultural projects, and philanthropy development in Russia. The Foundation’s programmatic activities are addressed at current problems, aimed at having long-term impact, based on transparent and open competition, and led by independent Expert Committees in each area.

Through the grant-making process, the Foundation fosters the development of knowledge and professionalism, encourages volunteer activity and individual creativity, strengthens institutions, and elevates the development of philanthropy. The Foundation’s commitment to change is realized through programs in the areas of education and arts and culture that develop human capital, advance creativity and knowledge, strengthen educational and cultural institutions and promote collaboration between individuals and institutions.

The Foundation’s support of arts and culture programs is designed to strengthen cultural institutions through support of talented, innovative individuals, to promote a project-based approach to running cultural institutions, to increase the impact of cultural institutions on local communities, to stimulate cultural exchange and networking, to present unknown or under-researched aspects of Russian culture, and to open unknown museum collections to the general public. The Foundation believes that arts and culture play a very important role in society’s development and growth.

“A Changing Museum in a Changing World” program supports museum projects aimed at developing new educational museum programs, improving tourism technologies, enhancing museum research, promoting museum partnership programs, and developing community oriented projects. Through specially designed seminars and other activities, the program connects knowledge across Russian cultural institutions. Grant recipients receive an opportunity to participate in study visits abroad to enrich their own experience by learning best international museum practices. Each year about 400 museums across the country apply for grant support. Since its inception in 2003, the Foundation has provided support to 173 museum projects.

Another project, the “First Publication” Program, is designed to support publications of unique but under-researched museum collections. The program pursues preservation and opening of museum collections by making them known to the general public. It supports museum collaboration, research, and innovative approaches to presenting museum collections in printed form. Competition winners get an opportunity not only to publish their unique collections, but also to benefit from the work done by leading art historians, restorers, designers and editors. The books are distributed free of charge among libraries, cultural institutions in Russia and abroad, and museums themselves. Thematic cultural exhibitions are also part of this program.

And yet another initiative, the Hermitage Museum Individual Research Grants Program, is aimed at supporting high levels of professionalism, desire to continuous professional development, commitment to research and innovation, and creativity.

The Foundation also provides travel grants to stimulate international collaboration and exchanges, to conduct research outside Russia and bring back new knowledge, and to organize study visits to leading world museums. Since 2005, more than 700 staff members of the State Hermitage have received individual grants from the Foundation.

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