The field of folk culture involves creative hobby activities that are based on folk traditions; heritage culture; intangible cultural heritage; study, preservation and recording of national and local cultural traditions; public culture events; activities of societies; courses and supplemental training.
- According to the database of the Folk Culture Centre, the total number of amateurs participating in permanent groups was 87,476 at the end of 2013.
- These amateurs are members of 2,772 institutions and organisations and they have 4,763 teachers.
- In 2013 there were 453 community centres in Estonia.
Song and dance festival tradition
Intangible cultural heritage
Valuable peculiarities of cultural spaces
Cultural space programmes
- Setomaa culture programme
- Kihnu Island cultural space programme
- Cultural heritage environment programme of the islands
- Mulgimaa culture programme
- Old Võru County culture programme
- Shore of Lake Peipus culture programme
- Viru County heritage culture programme
- to maintain the specialised database of folk culture;
- to maintain the list of Estonian intangible cultural heritage on the basis of the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, which Estonia joined in 2006;
- to organise application processes of folk culture grant programmes, which are financed by the Ministry of Culture;
- to organise trainings and courses on folk culture.
A state foundation, which is tasked with the organisation of both the general and youth song and dance festivals. The foundation handles the distribution of grants from the Ministry of Culture to groups participating in the preparations for the song and dance festivals.
ERKPN is an advisory authority established under the Ministry of Culture in 1997. The council consists of culture officials from all the county governments plus representatives from the Folk Culture Centre, the Ministry of the Interior, and the Ministry of Culture.
VKPN is a council of experts established under the Ministry of Culture in 2009. The main tasks of the council are to work out policy papers and protection measures for cultural heritage, to make respective propositions to the Ministry of Culture, and to approve the list of Estonian intangible cultural heritage together with the listed cultural goods.
Central associations of folk culture
- Estonian Choral Association
- Estonian Folk Dance and Folk Music Association
- Estonian National Folklore Council
- Estonian Folk Art and Craft Union
- Estonian Amateur Theatre Association
- Estonian Association of Cultural Societies
Regional and professional organisations
Important organisations from the viewpoint of cultural spaces – foundation SA Kihnu Kultuuriruum (culture space of Kihnu Island), non-profit MTÜ Mulgi Kultuuri Instituut (Institute of Mulgimaa Culture), and state institution Võru Institute.
- Võru Institute
A research and development institution founded in 1995 under the Ministry of Culture (state institution). The work of the institute concerns the historic Võru County and helps preserve the language and culture of the Võro people.
- SA Kihnu Kultuuriruum ja Mulgi Culture Institute
Umbrella organisations, which coordinate joint community activities in the field of heritage culture.
MTÜ Eesti Pärimusmuusika Keskus (Folk Music Centre)
Folk Music Centre is a national non-profit association, which distributes live folk music and supports hobby activities. It serves as an information centre and cooperation partner for Estonian music schools, civic societies, folk music groups, folklore groups, musicians and folk music amateurs. The centre manages an informal education school, the August Pulst Study Centre, and folk music database. The Ministry of Culture allocates activity support for the Folk Music Centre.
Adviser (Folk Culture)
Phone +372 628 2227