Syria/ 8.4 Amateur arts, cultural associations and civil initiatives  

8.4.1 Amateur arts and folk culture

The non-professional cultural activities in Syria were renowned for their good quality, particularly during the 1960s and 1970s. Many art assemblies and associations were formed comprising of the most prominent and famous Syrian artists,  and despite the fact that these activities largely declined due to a number of factors one of which is the emergence of art academies, the activities of armature artists in the fields of theater, plastic arts, and music are still of significance value until the present day.

Theater level

Amateur bands linked to MOC are still active in a number of governorates and an amateur theater festival was launched in 2006 by MOC, this festival was originally launched in Al-hasakah, and moved to Idleb in the year 2007, then moved to Damascus in the year 2008, then to Tartous in 2009 and to Aleppo in 2010 in its fifth period. This festival played a key role in bringing amateur activities to light, in addition to the same role played by college theater (its twenty-fourth period was in Tartous in 2011).

Fine arts level

Fine arts centers affiliated to MOC (15 centers in most governorates), played a key role in developing the skills of amateur Fine artists of all ages (no degree is needed for enrolment and only an artistic skill is required) and to open the way for them to work and produce.


The effectiveness of these centers is evident through the good standard shown by the graduates in the exhibitions they stage, which proves their ability to compete with academic artists. Students in these centers study for two years and are awarded official art certificates issued by MOC after successfully presenting a graduation project.

Music level

Institutes affiliated to the Youth Organization play a vital role in spreading amateur music education, particularly amongst children and teenagers, stage concerts for them and encourage them to pursue academic education. 

Chapter published: 09-05-2016