Just so we don't get too sentimental for communism, for every "folk" ensemble that was supported, fed, and otherwise cared for there were many more individuals who disappeared or were jailed or sent to the uranium mines just because of their art. These so-called "folk" artists that put on the state-sponsored shows were doing the equivalent of sending an American group with orders, under penalty of death, to sing "Turkey in the Straw" and "I Gave my Love a Cherry" and not much else. If one of them (the Soviets) had gone berserk and done something along the lines of a Woody Guthrie song he'd have been dead or glowing in a matter of hours, headed for Moscow in a diplomatic sack. I don't know as many Russians as I do Czechs, my wife's land of birth, but now-president Vaclav Havel spent years and ruined his health in prison for producing some great writing. So did many others. My own cousin. So regardless of how frustrating it is to be underappreciated for art or profession, I assure you we all are many times better off than if we had worked for Uncle Joe. Comparing him favorable to anything is extremely offensive to a lot of people.
Know of what you speak, Chet