Laureates of the Annual Awards of the Cultural Endowment announced

On 31 January the Annual Awards of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia were presented to the most preeminent experts in the fields of culture and sport at a gala at the theatre and concert hall of the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre.

In all eight fields represented at the Cultural Endowment of Estonia Grand Prizes and Lifetime Achievement Awards were announced, while the annual awards by the endowments of visual and applied arts, folk culture and audio-visual art were also presented – 42 awards in total. Each of the annual awards of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia amounts to 7,000 euros, the lifetime achievement awards 10,000 euros and the annual awards of the individual endowments 10004000 euros.

"All recipients deserve honour and recognition, I extend my compliments to all laureates," said Tõnis Lukas, the Minister of Culture and Chairman of the Board of the Cultural Endowment. "The Cultural Endowment is an Estonian success story, the best example of the fact that no one knows better what people in culture need than they themselves do and so, the endowments can make balanced decisions. This is why the founding principles of the Estonian Cultural Endowment do not need to be changed. However, as a country we do have to consider if there are obstacles that hinder private financial contributions to culture. Declaring donations to culture tax free could be a serious consideration for this government and this is an issue I intend to raise," added the Minister.

The gala of the Annual Awards of the Cultural Endowment was directed by Mirko Rajas. The evening was hosted by Katariina Tamm and Risto Vaidla, together with Kaspar Velberg, Ott Aardam, Anna Kristin Peterson, and the young musicians of the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre.

Grand Prizes

Visual and applied art

  • Kris Lemsalu – for an outstanding and powerful project representing Estonia at the 58th Venice Biennale and her captivating, current and internationally relevant artistic practice.

Audio-visual art

  • Film of the year 2019 – Truth and Justice
  • Tanel Toom, Ivo Felt

Music

  • Tõnu Kõrvits – a composer who had an exceptionally rich and versatile creative year, and whose (new) works, including Sina oled valgus ja hommik („You are the light and the morning”), were performed in numerous concert halls in Estonia and internationally.

Folk culture

  • Tiina Tael – for demarking Estonian parish limits and enriching landscape heritage.

Literature

  • Vaapo Vaher – for a new look into the history of Estonian literature and for the extensive research in Hiiumaa kirjanduse lugu (The story of literature in Hiiumaa), born out of love of his native home.

Physical fitness and sport

  • Malle Englas – for managing and supporting the field of sport.

Dramatic art

  • Alissija-Elisabet Jevtjukova, Paavo Piik, Paul Piik, Henrik Kalmet, Aivo Rannik, Marta Pulk – for realising and documenting the experiment by Kinoteater.

Architecture

  • Fuensanta Nieto, Enrique Sobejano – the Arvo Pärt Centre

Lifetime Achievement Awards

  • Mare Vint – Lifetime Achievement Award from the Endowment of visual and applied art – for unique and minimalist printmaking career of half a century, inspired by the quest for an ideal balance in images to counteract the chaos in the surrounding space.
  • Tõnu Kark – Lifetime Achievement Award from the Endowment of audio-visual art – to a man whose prolific career in film spanning decades has earned him the nickname "Pillar of Estonian film".
  • Neeme Järvi – Lifetime Achievement Award from the Endowment of music – to a conductor whose life's work has moved mountains.
  • Paul Bobkov – Lifetime Achievement Award from the Endowment of folk culture – for his extensive work and contribution to the field of dance.
  • Helga Nõu – Lifetime Achievement Award from the Endowment of literature – one of the most significant authors of the 1960s generation of Estonian literature, who kept our literature alive despite being forced to emigrate to Sweden, and who made remarkable contributions to it after Estonia regained independence.
  • Ervin Liebert – Lifetime Achievement Award from the Endowment of physical fitness and sport – a lifelong multifaceted sportsman, who worked as a coach for 58 years.
  • Mari-Liis Küla – Lifetime Achievement Award from the Endowment of dramatic art – for her invaluable contribution to the field of scenography in the second half of the 20th century and for establishing professional education in the field.
  • Leila Pärtelpoeg – Lifetime Achievement Award from the Endowment of architecture – the most knowledgeable expert on Estonian historical interiors.

Annual Awards of the Endowments

Endowment of folk culture

  • Vaike Rajaste – Endowment of folk culture annual award in folk dance – for the idea and execution of XX Dance Celebration My Fatherland is My Love.
  • Peeter Perens – Endowment of folk culture annual award in choir music – for his extensive contribution to Estonian men's song and for his dedicated work as the artistic director of the Song Celebration My Fatherland is My Love, marking the 150th anniversary of the song celebration.
  • Juhan-Henrik Uppin – Endowment of folk culture annual award in folk music – for creative direction of Folk Music Celebration and for valuing and promoting folk music both on and off stage.
  • Urmas Veersalu – Endowment of folk culture annual award in craft – for keeping the himmeli tradition alive and for creating the largest himmeli in the world.
  • Rait Avestik – Endowment of folk culture annual award in amateur theatre – for his extensive research into amateur theatre and for documenting it in photography and in oral and written form.
  • The University of Tartu Museum – Endowment of folk culture annual award for museums – for high quality museological work on the exhibitions The University of Our Lives as part of Rahvusülikool 100 and the annual exhibition Estonia of Ideals.
  • Estonian Folklore Council – Endowment of folk culture annual award for collaboration and cultural management – for organising the folklore festival Baltica.

Endowment for visual and applied art

  • Merike Estna – for productive exploration of contemporary painting – by using various materials (without forgetting the canvas) and performative elements, the artist creates multifaceted spatial experiences and rituals of being together.
  • Sigrid Viir – artist with original signature style, whose work is as thematically current as it is artistically relevant in form. In 2019, this was once again confirmed by her extensive solo exhibition at the Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia titled False Vacationer.
  • Krista Leesi – textile designer and artist with a distinctive approach, who continues to enrich Estonian textiles with her clever unique objects as well as her practical limited editions.
  • Edith Karlson – her work is characterised by psychological tension and a love of surreal forms – for notable installations and objects in 2019 at the exhibitions When You Say We Belong To The Light We Belong To The Thunder and Do Come in, the Door is Open!
  • Mihkel Ilus – explorations in painting that deconstruct painting into its elemental parts through several of his exhibitions to create large-scale spatial experiences.
  • Tiina Sarapu – glass artist with a bold vision, her installations and sculptures place glass in the role of clearly organised space or emptiness, not merely reducing it to its material characteristics.
  • Killu Sukmit, Minna Hint– for the artist-run-space Kraam with its clear message and combining the strategies of art and activism.

Endowment of audio-visual art

  • Erik Põllumaa – camera operator of the year – for films Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway, Scandinavian Silence and Marju Lepajõe. Päevade sõnad (Words of the Days).
  • Vallo Toomla, Kaie-Ene Rääk – documentary of the year – Marju Lepajõe. Päevade sõnad (Words of the Days).
  • Priit Tender – animation of the year – Orpheus
  • Miguel Llansó Pinilla – bold experimental film of the year – Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway
  • Priit Võigemast – award for best actor for his role in the film Truth and Justice
  • Ester Kuntu – award for best actress for her roles in the films Truth and Justice and The Real Life of Johannes Pääsuke.
  • Anu-Laura Tuttelberg – best artist for film Winter in the Rainforest
  • Vladimir Loginov, Maksim Golomidov – special prize in documentary film for social sensitivity – Prazdnik
  • Oskar Lehemaa – special prize in short film for the horror film Bad Hair
  • Marta Pulk – young film maker award for the films A Year Full of Drama and Kodumaa karjed (Cries of the Homeland)
  • Mart Kessel-Otsa – supporting crew 2019, soundman, whose work in film goes seemingly unnoticed but whose absence we would notice immediately.
  • Jaan Riis – mission award 2019 for his extensive and consistent contribution to developing nature photography, teaching us through the camera lens to notice the world around us and ourselves in this world.
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