Amateur Arts Festival

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Amateur Arts Festival


An amateur arts festival, which consists of exhibitions and a series of concerts and other types of performances, is a celebration of the achievements of amateur artists. The first such festival was the First Workers’ Music Olympiad, which was held in Leningrad in 1927; 6,000 persons participated in the festival’s brass bands, folk-instrument orchestras, and combined chorus. In the late 1920’s similar music festivals were held in Georgia, Tadzhikistan, and other republics.

The First All-Union Olympiad of Workers’ Amateur Art, which was held in 1932, was the first festival to celebrate the successes of amateur theater and helped to promote the theaters of working youth. The olympiad also included musical performances (instrumental music and choruses).

Later amateur arts festivals included the International Olympiad of Revolutionary Theaters of 1933, whose participants included troupes from Great Britain, France, Germany, and Switzerland, as well as members of amateur theaters and agitation brigades of the USSR. All-Union exhibitions of amateur representational art were held in 1937 and 1974, and All-Russian exhibitions of amateur representational art were held in 1967 and 1973. The All-Russian Festival of Village and Trade Union Amateur Art of 1945 celebrated the work done by amateur artistic groups to serve both the front and the rear during the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45.

Other amateur arts festivals included the All-Union Festival of Village Collectives of 1947–48, the All-Union Festival of Workers and Office Employees’ Amateur Art of 1950–51, and the All-Russian Festival of Amateur Village Art of 1963–65 (with about 21,000 participants). The All-Union Festival of Amateur Art Dedicated to the 50th Anniversary of the October Revolution was held in 1966–67; approximately 11 million persons, from 600,000 amateur groups from all the republics of the USSR, took part in the festival. In 1972–73 krai, oblast, and republic festivals dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the formation of the USSR were held.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.