Sergei (33)
actor at the Chita Drama Theater

Natasha (40)

Founders of Chita Art Club.

There's no place for people to go in this town to do anything cultural anymore. Before, the government funded all kinds of theaters, concert halls, puppet shows -- there were plenty of interesting things to do.
There was a great cultural tradition in Russia. Even in the tsar's time, people would get together in salons and listen to music, or discuss books they had read. Not like now, where people get together and drink vodka until they fall on the floor.
Our idea is a place where people can come to see theater, or hear live music, and where children can come for special shows. We want to make a place where people can go and be comfortable, and see something cultural. The main problem has been how to get money.
I went to one businessman in town, the same guy who funded the Panama City motel just outside Chita. He has a lot of money -- all the materials for that motel were shipped from the US. Everything. Even the toilet paper. So I thought he might be able to provide some funding for us.

But he told me he's putting his money into building a Disneyland here. "There's not even a Disneyland in Moscow," he said to me, "but there will be a Disneyland in Chita."


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