Photo: OMK-Uchastiye Charity Foundation Supervisory Board Chair Irina Sedykh (right) and Foundation General Manager Marina Mikhailenko.
The United Metallurgical Company (AO OMK, Moscow) has been named winner of a competition for corporate projects hosted by the People Investor Forum and sponsored by the Manager Association. The Art-Ovrag urban culture festival in Vyksa (Nizhniy Novgorod Region) won the Local Community Development category for effectively addressing both corporate and socially significant needs.
Art-Ovrag is co-sponsored by OMK and the OMK-Uchastiye Charity Foundation. The festival has been an annual event in Vyksa since 2011. It is part of OMK's systemic effort to develop the areas hosting the Company's facilities. Programs that make up Russia’s most extensive festival outside of Moscow are regularly attended by over 15,000 people.
Art-Ovrag is a unique instance of a culture project in Russia that develops an entire city. It is responsible for Vyksa building over 85 items of contemporary urban design and multi-purpose public centers. The festival includes a program for improving back yards and parks. New playgrounds and development spaces have also been built. The local museum's collection is being enhanced with items of contemporary art produced by Vyksa’s permanent art residence. In 2017, the Festival's toolkit added Europe’s largest mural made on the wall of one of the buildings at Vyksa Steel Works (AO VSW, an OMK subsidiary).
The panel of judges of the People Investor Forum’s competition for corporate projects noted the festival’s contribution to developing the economic potential of the Vyksa Municipal District: of small and medium-sized business in the fields of tourism and services, of the public infrastructure, culture, and sports through active solicitation of private and government investments. In particular, the 2018 project to re-build a park and the Vyksa embankment using the festival’s materials was granted 100,000,000 rubles for winning the Ministry of Construction competition for small towns and raised over 60,000,000 rubles from other sources.
Vyksa’s wealth of experience in developing the urban environment became the reason several projects were undertaken in this town in 2018 using funding from the Presidential Foundation. These were designed to expand the participatory design of public spaces in Russia’s small towns and to create in Vyksa a regional center of excellence for an accessible cultural environment.
It has also been pointed out that the festival helps build partnerships with businesses, the government, and the public in the region to address social issues. One of the festival's principal accomplishments is increased resident activity and an ever greater number of people engaged in urban development projects. Thanks to the town’s residents becoming involved in projects to upgrade the town's infrastructure, many developed the motivation to improve themselves, to build Vyksa up, and to preserve the urban environment they were creating with their own hands. An increase in volunteer and social projects has been recorded in town.
“OMK is ramping up its support in the social arena in its areas of operation investing in the most state-of-the-art industrial facilities, in preserving historical heritage, and developing contemporary culture. In particular, Vyksa is able to address many social issues as a result of the Company's systemic effort in sustainable development making the town more comfortable to live and self-actualize in. Vyksa has become one of the best examples of the advancement of a small Russian town. These days, it is known both as a town of steel makers and a town where residents and artists are building a new living and creative environment together. All of this has a positive effect on people’s living models and attitudes”, said OMK-Uchastiye Charity Foundation Supervisory Board Chair and Art-Ovrag creator Irina Sedykh commenting on the award.
The People Investor project was created and is being administered by the Managers’ Association as an ongoing annual event since 2008. During that time, the project has created an entire community of Russian business people that see a company's intangible assets, such as employees, accumulated knowledge, reliable partnerships, social goodwill, as a priority for the company to function in present-day circumstances. In the course of the 11th People Investor forum, representatives of leading companies will present projects in 5 major areas: personnel management, communication with partners and customers, development of local communities, environmental efficiency, and a healthy life style.