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Lithuanian Council for Culture: Invitation to submit projects in support of Ukraine

7 March 2022
Lithuanian Council for Culture: Invitation to submit projects in support of UkrainePhoto by Elena Mozhvilo on Unsplash

The Lithuanian Council for Culture expresses its support and encouragement to Ukrainian cultural organisations and artists currently fighting for the freedom of their country. In response to the Russian-led war in Ukraine, the Lithuanian Council for Culture has already announced that it will not fund Russia-related cultural projects, even if funding has already been allocated, and has urged project promoters to change their activities or participants. In addition, other measures to support Ukraine are planned, as well as initiatives aimed not only at isolating Russia, but also at helping Ukraine and involving people fleeing the war.

No funding will be provided for activities related to Russia and Belarus

The Lithuanian Council for Culture has received an appeal on behalf of the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation and other cultural organisations and institutions asking for support and solidarity with Ukraine. “For decades, cultural institutions and creators linked to the Russian government have been used for imperialist propaganda, hybrid warfare and the embellishment of Putin’s criminal regime. This must stop now! Please help Ukraine by ending all cultural cooperation with the Russian Federation,” the appeal reads. It also asks for the organisation of cultural events in support of Ukraine’s struggle for freedom and the signing of a petition.

“Since the beginning of the week, we have been in contact with the Latvian and Estonian cultural foundations, with whom we jointly administer the Baltic Culture Fund. Our position is identical, concrete and united, which is something I have missed when dealing with a global, international network of funding institutions of this type. All three Baltic cultural funding bodies are cutting ties with the Russian Federation, stopping funded projects, and refusing to invest their own countries’ money in new ones. The only window left for discussion is a window for proactive opposition, including the appeal circulated by the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation,” said Asta Pakarklytė, Chair of the Lithuanian Council for Culture.

In the context of Russia’s war in Ukraine, the Lithuanian Council for Culture has already expressed its position in the first days of the invasion that artists and performers from Russia are not welcome in Lithuania. “Since Russia’s military actions are being reinforced by Belarus, the members of the Lithuanian Council for Culture have decided that the same principle will apply to the latter,” said Ms. Pakarklytė.

Therefore, the Lithuanian Council for Culture continues to actively encourage promoters of funded cultural and artistic projects who have planned cooperation activities in the territories of the Russian Federation or Belarus or with citizens of these countries to change their plans and the participants, partners, and directions of their ideas and actions, and to adjust their plans for activities. These provisions apply both to project promoters who have already signed funding agreements and to those who are still planning to sign them.

Invitation to submit Ukraine-supporting initiatives

In addition, members of the Lithuanian Council for Culture note that the second competition for funding for this year’s arts and cultural programmes opened on 1 March. It also invites applications for Ukraine-supporting initiatives and projects involving Ukrainians who had to temporarily leave their homes in Ukraine to seek refuge in Lithuania following the outbreak of the military aggression of the Russian Federation in the form of cultural or artistic activities. Applications are welcome until 30 March (inclusive).

“In order to accelerate action, the Lithuanian Council for Culture invites cultural organisations to submit various ideas for supporting, involving and cooperating with Ukraine and its people to the already announced funding competitions. In the longer term, the Lithuanian Council for Culture will consider the introduction of targeted programmes and additional priorities in preparation for the next funding competitions,” said Ms. Pakarklytė.

Members of the Lithuanian Council for Culture: Chair, musicologist Asta Pakarklytė, national minorities’ representative Dainius Babilas, actress Dr. Elzė Gudavičiūtė-Puskunigė, theatre critic Vaidas Jauniškis, musicologist Jūratė Katinaitė, historian Dr. Rimvydas Laužikas, sculptor and filmmaker Deimantas Virgilijus Narkevičius, architect Rolandas Palekas, literary scholar Dr. Dainius Vaitiekūnas, cultural manager Rita Valiukonytė, ethnologist Dr. Aušra Žičkienė.

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