About us

Traditions have the right to develop


Our association of ethnocultural centres and organisations ECHO aimed at heritage preservation unites ethnocultural centres, cultural and public institutions of Karelia with enterprising people in order to develop areas in which they operate. The main objective of the organisation is to preserve and popularise cultural customs of Karelian peoples via a network of ethocenters, situated in various parts of the Republic.

Our primary lines of action can be listed as following:

  • to examine, analyse and summarise the modern-day experience, as well as ways and methods regarding preservation and development of ethnocultural heritage;
  • to assure accessibility of information concerning ethnocultural heritage for general public;
  • to assist the members of the association in the access to best latest Russian and international practices in preservation and development of ethnocultural heritage;
  • to facilitate the development of promising techniques as regards to ethnocultural heritage;
  • to accommodate experience exchange regarding preservation and development of ethnocultural heritage between members of the Association, as well as local and international professionals;
  • to develop international cooperation;
  • to preserve and safeguard the identities, cultures, languages, and traditions of Russian Federation.

Our Association’s efforts are funded through grants, donations and entrepreneurial activity.

Association ECHO is in partnership with the regional ministries of Karelia, non-profit organisations, and the business community.


Our team and experts


Svetlana Kolchurina
Expert in sustainable development of territories through culture 

Svetlana does it all. She is the head of Association of Ethnocultural Centres and Heritage Preservation Organisations «ECHO», founder and producer of a line of projects relating to creative industries «Mainstreaming Karelian handicraft: from tradition to trend», instructor in the unconventional education programs in the field of culture, head of the «Rural Labs» project, which strives to develop rural territories with the help of culture.


Elena Manukova
«Rural Labs» educational programs manager 

Elena was a full-time student of management at the Karelian branch of RANEPA from 1998 to 2003. Having graduated, she now applies her education to managing our projects.


Yulia Litvin
Expert in ethnocultural practices. Yulia is a junior researcher at the department of ethnology of the Language and Litrature institute in the Russian Academy of Sciences Karelian Research Centre 

Her area of expertise lays in ethnography and history of Karelians in XIX c., more specifically women’s lives in the period, when traditional social institutes were reformed and modernised. Believes that ethnocultural centres turn to elements of celebratory culture of Karelian peoples, reconstruct certain episodes of life-cycle rituals, such as birth, marriage, and burial. However, the symbols hidden in the ceremonies and rituals can easily go unnoticed. Moreover, recent times illustrated the success of interdisciplinary approach, that exposes new sides to the history of the every-day, specifically women's entrepreneurship in the context of Karelia.


Elena Bagaeva
Head of «Karelika» travel agency, expert in rural and ethnic tourism 

Elena has 39 of working in tourism, during which she worked as a tour-guide, guide-interpreter, tourism manager, and as head of a company. She has personally devised and carried out many a unique route across Karelia: «In the footsteps of Lönnrot», «Runic villages», «A white whale song», «Wilderness of the White Sea», «Observing a Ladoga Seal», «Karelian Petroglyphs», and many others. From 2012 to 2014, Elena managed the 'Rock Art Bridge' project under the program of cross-border cooperation ENPI CBC Karelia.


Ekaterina Logvinenko
Senior scientist of the exposition department at the «National Museum of the Republic of Karelia», expert in public museum spaces 

Ekaterina has been a senior scientist at the National Museum since 2001. Her direct responsibilities include creating and putting together expositions and exhibitions, writing articles, as well as designing and giving guided tours, lectures, and workshops. She is the creator behind over 10 permanent exhibitions of 4 departments at the National Museum of Karelia, along with 4 multimedia programs. Her blog «Insightful things» on the «Petrozavodsk speaks» website has been running since 2012. The blog stands at 70 articles, concerning the history of Karelian household items. She also is an active moderator of the National Museum group on Vkontakte. Ekaterina’s areas of expertise include: history of Petrozavodsk in XIX c., museum history, Petrozavodsk architecture, Karelian ethnography, and Karelian traditional costume.


Eugenia Makkoeva
Designer, expert in mainstreaming of traditional handicraft 

Eugenia has been drawing for as long as she can remember. She went to art school №1 in Petrozavodsk and studied under Viktoria Zorina, a magnificent Karelian artist. She then went on to study at Saint-Petersburg State University of Culture and Arts at the department of World Culture with the major in art history. The university provided her with theory galore, but Eugenia quickly realised the need for practical experience. She craved experience, and she did everything to receive it. From 2014 to 2016 she worked on a creative project «Shake_pear», aimed at designing contemporary souvenirs with original artwork that featured Karelia and Petrozavodsk. From 2016, she was the designer for the «Sun project» chain, which includes a restaurant, a cafe, a bowling alley, and a night club. Being employed there gave her the much-desired experience. Eugenia is always on a learning path. She acquires knowledge through various courses, Google deep-dives, and being a great listener.


Valentina Silkina
Interior designer. Expert in mainstreaming of traditional handicraft 

Valentina graduated from art school, then subsequently from PetrSU with a degree of a civil engineer, and The International Slavic University with a major in environmental design. She has over 7 years of working with projects under her belt. Valentina believes that beauty can save the world, providing the rescue mission is carefully planned. Knows colour theory like the back of her hand.