Introductory Remarks at Meeting with Participants in the Crescendo Festival of Russia’s Young Stars 2005-02-15 18:59:40 The Kremlin, Moscow President Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, I am very happy to see you. I would like to greet you all, everyone who is taking part in this first festival of Russia’s young stars. I am sure you have a very busy tour schedule, but the fact that you have come to Moscow and are performing here at Moscow venues is very pleasing and very important. I hope that it will also be pleasing and important for you too, as I think, or rather, I know, that this is a real test for you. Our viewers and listeners are every bit up to our performers – they are people who greatly appreciate art, know and love it, and their opinion is worth a lot. I would like to congratulate you on your previous successes and I hope that many more creative successes still lie ahead for you. I wish you this in all sincerity. You are no doubt aware that the state, in recent years at least, has been paying increasing attention to the performing arts. You no doubt know about the presidential grants given to creative groups. I would like to inform you that we have decided to increase the number of those receiving these grants so as to include people performing folk music and choreography groups. In this way six additional groups will receive grants. We will continue paying federal scholarships to talented children and we will also look for other ways to support people who have dedicated their lives to the arts. That is all I wanted to say for a start. I would be happy to listen to your thoughts on how you see your place in art and how you see the situation with art in our country. Perhaps you have some thoughts, some proposals on organising this work and additional support from the government. Thank you.