The Georgian folklore consists of the customs, ritualistic or household activities, songs, dances, folk tales, jokes and myths preserved among residents of various villages, communities and conveyed to generations through verbal sources. The Georgian folklore is very rich - in particular, musical folklore, mythology, ritualistic dances, the Georgian crafts. Three main genres are identified in the Georgian musical folklore: labor (songs related to individual and collective labor), epic (songs about folk tale and myth heroes and their adventures) and household. 15 original musical dialects are identified in the Georgian musical folklore by regions of Georgia: Kartl-Kakheti, Khevi, Mtiuleti, Tusheti, Pshavi, Khevsureti, Racha, Svaneti etc.
"Art-Gene", the annual festival of the Georgian folklore and creativity has been holding in Tbilisi and various regions of Georgia since 2004. Basis for the festival was laid on the initiative of the rock musician, Zaza Korinteli ("Zumba"). The festival hosts music performers, as well as masters of the folk crafts and applied arts. Traditionally, the festival opens with a concert held in Tbilisi Museum of Ethnography and covers more and more areas over the time. For example, the closing ceremony was held in Pantiani in 2019.
Introduction and promotion of the Georgian folklore, preservation of the Georgian gene, reviving the forgotten culture, preservation and conservation of the authentic folklore – genetic art, introduction and contacting local talents.
Musicians, artists participate in the event and present their new works. Concerts with participation of musical performers invited from various parts of Georgia are held within the framework of the festival. Traditionally, the national choreographic ensemble "Sukhishvilebi", the group "Chveneburebi", "Niaz Diasamidze and 33a", "Prani" etc. participate in "Art-Gene" festival. However, this festival is not only a concert. Creative pieces of art of are exhibited and sold, Georgian wine and traditional dishes are tasted at "Art-Gene" festival.
Experiential and interactive activities
The event is held with participation of the community which by its talent and creativity preserves the natural, authentic folklore – genetic art which is cared for by people. The purpose of the festival is relations with regions and preservation of intangible cultural heritage in the country. It is attended by many locals and arriving visitors, who become familiarized with local cultural events, unknown pieces of art. The festival discovered many local "genes" and introduced them to Georgia.
This festival is held on various locations and follows a preliminarily designed program. Experimental approaches are used and joint pieces of work are demonstrated onsite, according to the interest.
Main features and services that attract public
Locations of the festival represent an attraction. A very natural and creative environment is created. The guests stay after the concert and travel in the regions of these sounds.
The festival closing concerts in Tbilisi are interesting where people from various parts of Georgia arrive and participate in the festival program together with the national ensemble "Sukhishvilebi".
Key partners and supporters
The festival is held with the support of the Ministry of Culture which actively cooperates with "Art-Gene". The festival is funded by the state, as well as various donor organizations.
Participants, local community and customer segment
Musicians and other artists in various regions. However, the festival became more wide-scale and recently, farers producing traditional products, dishes and wine, organizations supporting preservation and conservation of the Georgian intangible culture are presented at the event.
Communication and dissemination channels
Information about the festival is disseminated via Internet and TV. It is broadcasted by the central TV channel and various broadcasting companies. The festival has been held for more than 15 years and is recognizable by residents of regions.
Specific elements and features
Managerial and organizational specifics
The event is held in agreement with the local community members and does not serve commercial goals.
Students arrive in regions on their own. Sometimes, municipal transport is provided with the assistance of the local government.
Liaison with other activities and events of the Black Sea Basin region
The festival performances – music, dance, traditional clothes, dishes etc. say a lot about the culture and ethnography of regions. Inclusion of the festival in tourist routes is interesting in terms of folklore path and/or ethnic tourism.
Image Sources: www.artgeni.ge