Priit Raud, the director of Kanuti Gildi SAAL graduated in 1991 from the Tallinn Pedagogical Institute with a degree in dance teaching and cultural work, back when he was a student of Mait Agu. Raud has made a significant contribution to the development of Estonian dance art both locally and internationally, ensuring that it evolves, remains visible, and provides opportunities for the new generation to discover, showcase, and grow themselves. He does not draw boundaries between genres, instead he values ideas, their freshness and significance.
Mait Agu Stipend was handed out for the 25th time this year. The second laureate is Roosmarii Sarapuu, a fourth-year student in the choreography program at TLU BFM. She is an exemplary student and a creative explorer, with her choreographies gaining recognition in contemporary and traditional dance contexts. Sarapuu has participated in various international and local projects, such as BodySoundDivision, Made in Estonia marathon, I. Jõela's production of "Giselle", among others. Sarapuu said that she plans to continue her studies and the scholarship received as part of the prize will support her future education.
According to Oksana Tralla, the curator of the choreography programs at TLU BFM, laureates were selected based on both, their contributions and versatility. "In recent years, we have increasingly followed the principle of "experienced" and "newcomer," therefore it is a great joy to bring together two generations and compare creative goals. It is especially gratifying that this time we managed to go beyond genre definitions because, in the end, dance is dance, and essentially we are all pursuing the same thing," she stated.
Established in 1999, the goal of Mait Agu Stipend is to support talented students and choreographers. The prize is awarded once a year on October 1st, Mait Agu's birthday, to a student, graduate, or creative collective who has distinguished themselves through creative or theoretical work, been successful and active in their studies and participated in various dance-related projects. Among others, the stipend has been awarded to Janek Savolainen, Külli Roosna, Maria Uppin-Sarv, Helena Pihel, Sveta Grigorjeva, and Elo Unt in previous years. Mait Agu stipend is given out with the support of the Cultural Endowments Folk Culture endowment.