Murmansk Region is the extreme northwestern area of Russia and one of the youngest constituents of the Russian Federation. Its 75-year history is closely related to development of the Russian High North.

The large-scale development of the area began in the early 1900’s. However, by that time the chronicles of the Kola Peninsula already had many pages.

One of the vivid testimonies is petroglyphs – rock engravings by ancient people – found on the shore of Lake Kanozero and dating back to IV–II BC. For a long time the Kola land has been populated by the Saami – the indigenous people of the North and, in XV–XVI Pomors’ settlements began to emerge.

The traditions of the ancient Pomors and Saami identity were complemented by the modern trends and enriched with the talents and experience of the people who arrived in the Kola High North from every corner of the vast Russia.

Today, the culture of Murmansk Region is rich and versatile: 11 museums including branches: Murmansk regional Museum of Local History, the Atomic Icebreaker «Lenin» Museum, 3 theatres (among them - the oldest puppet theatre in the country), 168 libraries, over 70 palaces and houses of culture and folklore centers, 59 schools of primary esthetic education, a college of arts and other cultural facilities.

852 monuments of history, culture and archeology, among them 96 objects of cultural heritage under government protection, including 9 objects of cultural heritage of federal value. There are unique archeology objects – stone labyrinths near the White and the Barents sea, rock drawings. The monuments of wooden architecture of the XVIIth century could be considered as the most significant:  Nikol’skaya church in the village of Kovda and Uspenskaya church in the village of Varzuga.

The cultural sphere includes creative associations of writers, artists, theater workers, cinemas, historical and architectural monuments, folklore crafts and trades and many other aspects.

Professional art of the Region is represented by the Drama Theater, the Puppet Theater, the Philharmonic  Society, the Navy Theater, and the Navy Song and Dance Ensemble.

The Kola land is an inexhaustible source of various cultural initiatives. It was in Murmansk, where, at suggestion of the Regional Department of the Union of Writers, in 1986 the Day of Slavic Written Language and Culture was held for the first time in many decades, giving a revival to this celebration in Russia. Later, the Day of Slavic Written Language and Culture became a national holiday.

For more than 25 years artistic teams from the Kola High North have been implementing cultural projects in the framework of the unique Barents Euro-Arctic Cooperation. In 2012 the Region celebrated 25 years of cultural cooperation with Finnmark County, Norway. Celebrations of the annual Finnmark Culture Days in Murmansk Region and Murmansk Region Culture Days in Finnmark have become a good tradition.


Murmansk Regional Palace of Culture and Folk Arts named after S.M.Kirov
Murmansk Regional Library for Children and Youth
Murmansk State Regional Specialised Library for the Visually Impaired
Murmansk State Regional Universal Scientific Library
Murmansk Regional Drama Theatre 
Murmansk Regional Puppet Theatre
Murmansk College of Arts
Murmansk Museum of Regional Studies
Murmansk Regional Philharmonic
Murmansk Regional Arts Museum

Murmansk Regional Palace of Culture and Folk Arts named after S.M.Kirov

The first cultural and educational institution of the Kola Peninsula is currently a regional cultural heritage site. Each year, it hosts over 500 events, 150 of them being for children under 14. The Culture Centre implements socially significant projects, actively develops its international cooperation and pursues and develops new forms of social and cultural projects using new information technologies.

Svetlana Vasilevna Vagaitseva: Director of the Murmansk Regional Palace of Culture and Folk Arts named after S.M.Kirov

3, Ul. Pushkinskaya, 183038 Murmansk
Phone/fax: +7 8152 47 66 04

Murmansk Regional Library for Children and Youth

The biggest specialised library for children and youth to the north of the Arctic Circle and of the best Russian libraries was founded in 1968. The library collection includes over 309,000 documents on various media: 254,664 books, 688 periodicals, 15,955 audio and video materials and 6,250 electronic issues. There 22 sections and 4 museums in the library. The library is visited by over 33,000 readers.

Valentina Pavlovna Makhaeva: Director of the Murmansk Regional Library for Children and Youth (regional state-funded culture institution)

30, Ul. Burkova, 183025 Murmansk
Phone: +7 8152 44 30 48

Murmansk Regional Drama Theatre

The Murmansk regional Drama Theatre is the larges theatre of the Kola Peninsula. It was founded on the basis of a branch of the M. Gorky Leningrad Big Drama Theatre in 1939. Its formative stage coincided with World War II. For many years, the theatre performed at the S. M. Kirov Culture Centre stage and moved to its own building in 1963. Sultan Nazirovich Abdiev, an Honoured Arts Worker of the RF, has been the main director since 1997. Natalia Innokentievna Avdeyeva is the art director. There are 39 artists in the theatre’s troupe, 3 of them being Popular Artists of the RF and 6 of them being Honoured Artists of the RF. Each year the theatre has 6–7 premieres. There are 30 stage plays for children and grown-ups adapted from Russian and international classics and by modern playwrights in the repertoire. The theatre organises the International Theatrical Festival “Polaris.”   

Tatiana Ivanovna Veshnyakova: Head of the Murmansk regional Drama Theatre (state institution of culture)

49, Pr. Lenina, 183038 Murmansk
Phone/fax: +7 8152 40 24 03
Box office: +7 8152 47 25 19

Murmansk College of Arts

The Murmansk College of Arts plays an important part in artistic education of children and youth. The institution was founded on the basis of the Murmansk College of Music founded in 1958. The College Head is V. B. Vozny, an Honoured Arts Worker of the Russian Federation.

The aims and objectives of the college are training professional performing musicians and musical education of Murmansk Region residents.

The educational and musical traditions established in the 1960s are maintained by instructors T. D. Krylova, S. M. Shor, V. I. Bednyak, A. Y. Gerner, N. K. Bogoslovskaya, T. F. Belyaeva, O. A. Pavlova etc. 60% of the training team of the institution is its alumni.

To many students, the Murmansk College of Arts was a step on the path to professional art and a wider creative life. They became renowned musicians not only in the Murmansk Region and Russia but also abroad: Honoured Artists of the Russian Federation A. Tsymbal and V. Marinich – soloists of the Northern Fleet ensemble of singing and dance; T. Chernikova – artist of the Osipov National Russian Folk Instruments Orchestra; V. Rodionova – art director of the vocal ensemble Kajaros (Finland); T. Pavlovskaya and E. Nikitin – soloists of the Mariinsky Opera and Ballet Theatre (Saint Petersburg); S. Drobyshevsky – soloist of the Minsk Opera Theatre (the Republic of Belarus).

Vladimir Borisovich Vozny: Director of the Murmansk College of Arts (state regional secondary professional education institution).

The Murmansk College of Arts trains for the following qualifications:

- “Instrument performance” with specialisations in “Piano,” “Orchestra String Instruments,” “Folk Orchestra Instruments”;

- “Choral Conducting”;

- “Variety Music Art” with specialisations in “Variety Show Instruments,” “Variety Singing”;

- “Music Theory”;

- “Acting” with a specialisation in “Drama Theatre and Film Actor.” 

14, Ul. Vorovskogo, 183038 Murmansk
Phone: +7 8152 45 63 89
Fax: +7 8152 45 15 26

List of permanent creative groups at the institution:

- Chamber choir “Amadeus” (art director: V. M. Ivanov);

- Choir of spiritual music (art director: T. N. Chernaya);

- Chamber ensemble “Adlibitum” (art director: T. F. Belyaeva);

- Brass band (art director: G. P. Bogoslovsky);

- Orchestra of Russian folk instruments (art director: A. Y. Gerner);

- Variety ensemble (art director: E. V. Voronova);

- Academic Choir (art director: V. M. Ivanov).

Murmansk Museum of Regional Studies

The Murmansk Museum of Regional Studies is the oldest culture institution on the Kola Peninsula founded on 17 October 1926. It is active in collecting, storing and popularisation of the Murmansk Region cultural heritage. The museum collection contains over 160 thousand items including 17th century icons, a handwritten books collection including the oldest one – “Lives of Solovetsky Monastery Founders Zosima and Savvaty,” 1548; a collection of core samples from the Kola Superdeep Borehole, a herbarium of rare and endemic plants.

Khimchuk Elena Pavlovna: Director of the Murmansk Museum of Regional Studies (state institution of culture).

90, Pr. Lenina, 183038 Murmansk
Phone/fax: +7 8152 42 26 97

Murmansk State Regional Specialised Library for the Visually Impaired

The Murmansk library for the visually impaired is the only regional information centre for the fully or partially visually impaired. It was founded in 1967. The book collection is 73,000 items: “speaking,” Braille and flatbed books and periodicals. There are over 1500 readers. The library is equipped with state-of-the-art specialised technology: a Braille printer, a magnifying screen, a reading machine “Knigolyub” etc. The library includes automated workplaces for the visually impaired with Braille displays and sound software. There is a computer room where people with sight disabilities study new technologies including using the Internet. There is an extramural service for individual training and consulting at home. There is a centre for children “Enlightenment,” a creative workshop for children and parents and a club for elderly readers “Dialogue.” 

Natalia Vladimirovna Kireyeva: Director of the Murmansk State Regional Specialised Library for the Visually Impaired (state institution of culture).

26, Ul. Shevchenko, 183025 Murmansk
Phone: +7 8152 53 99 24
Phone/fax: +7 8152 53 99 31

Murmansk Regional Puppet Theatre

The Murmansk Regional Puppet Theatre was founded in 1933 in Kirovsk, Murmansk Region by a group of creative young people who had come from Leningrad. It was then called the Theatre for Little Spectators.

There are now more than 40 stage plays in the theatre’s repertoire: Russian folk fairytales, legends and lore of Sami, the indigenous northern people, fairytales of the Scandinavian neighbours, fairytales of the peoples of the world and the best plays by modern playwrights for puppet theatres. 

 There are 15 actors in the troupe. A lot of them have been working in the theatre for over 25 years.

Evgeny Vladislavovich Sukhanov: Head of the Murmansk Regional Puppet Theatre (state institution of culture)

21a, Ul. S. Perovskoi, 183038 Murmansk
Phone/fax: +7 8152 45 33 57
Box office: +7 8152 45 81 78

Murmansk State Regional Universal Scientific Library

The Murmansk State Regional Universal Scientific Library is the largest information and culture centre in the region providing the public with access to national and international information resources, preserving and developing the traditional book culture. The universal collection of the library consists of over 2.6 m storage units in printed, audiovisual and digital forms.

The library consistently develops its international and interregional library cooperation within the Barents Euro-Arctic Region and holds international, national and regional workshops, round tables and seminars. The library has received numerous Russian and regional awards.

Elena Vitalievna Sineva: Director of the Murmansk State Regional Universal Scientific Library (state institution of culture).

21a, Ul. S. Perovskoi, 183038 Murmansk
Phone: +7 8152 45 48 05
Fax: +7 8152 45 20 65

Murmansk Regional Philharmonic

The Murmansk Regional Philharmonic is one of the youngest in the country. In 1975, the concert and variety bureau that was successfully working in Murmansk was transformed into a regional philharmonic. Each musical season, billboards of the Philharmonic invite people to concerts of musicians, soloists and bands from Russia and abroad performing classical, jazz, spiritual, folk and mediaeval music. For more than 30 years, the Philharmonic has been engaged in public education. The Regional Philharmonic has been implementing major musical projects in cooperation with the Norwegian National Opera since 2000.

Viktoria Vladislavovna Chachina: Director of the Murmansk Regional Philharmonic (state institution of culture).

Decorated with the Order for Merit for the Fatherland II class

3, Ul. S. Perovskoi, 183038 Murmansk
Box office: 67, Pr. Lenina, Murmansk
Phone/fax: +7 8152 45 62 68
Box office: +7 8152 45 08 67

List of creative teams active in the institution

Philharmonic orchestra

Band "Legkie lyudi"

Band “Murmansk Classic Quintet”

Murmansk Regional Arts Museum

The Murmansk Regional Arts Museum was established in 1990.  Works of art were given to its collection from the Murmansk Museum of Regional Studies. The collection currently has 5 thousand stored items representing 18th–20th century painting, graphics including works of Leningrad artists and works of Russian artistic craftwork in the decorative and applied arts section. A collection of works by Murmansk artists makes up a significant part in the museum collection. A permanent exhibition “Russian Visual Art of 18th–20th Centuries” is present in the museum. The exhibition area is 787.9 m2; the storage area is 205.3 m2.  Over 60 exhibitions open each year visited by over 50 thousand people.

Olga Aleksandrovna Evtyukova: Director of the Murmansk Regional Arts Museum (state institution of culture).

13, Ul. Kominterna, 183038 Murmansk
Phone: +7 8152 45 03 85
Phone/fax: +7 8152 47 73 82