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Lithuanian Council for Culture enters a decade of activity

23 November 2022

Ten years ago, the Lithuanian Council for Culture (LCC) was established by the Government resolution of 21 November, when the Law on the LCC that had been adopted a couple of months earlier came into force. Over the course of the decade, the LCC ensured the development and dissemination of art, the implementation of cultural programmes, the awarding of grants to creatives, and cultural research and analysis, while also providing expert proposals on cultural policy issues.

“I’ll admit, I’m not sure which specific date to regard as the birthday of the Lithuanian Council for Culture. It took 15 years for the idea to turn into action. After an intensive legislative process, the Lithuanian Council for Culture was registered with the State Enterprise Centre of Registers on 10 January 2013. In theory, it would be customary to consider this event to be the birthday of the legal entity, but in practice, there were no managers for another four and a half months, so I would consider the start of the Council’s activities to be 31 May 2013, when the Government appointed the chairwoman and 10 council members,” commented Asta Pakarklytė, who is the current chairwoman.

The Regional Councils for Culture Forum 2022. Photo by Vytenis Budrys

More than 24,000 applications funded over the decade

In its first 10 years of operation, the Lithuanian Council for Culture experienced various changes and challenges, and actively contributed to the vitality of culture and art. Over nine funding cycles, the LCC received approximately 63,500 applications, funded more than 17,000 organisation projects, and awarded nearly 7,000 grants. Through its allocation mechanism, it has invested a total of over EUR 173 million in state funds into public welfare and the diversity of experiences, the development of art, and cultural practices.

The activities of creatives and projects funded by the LCC have contributed to the multifaceted development and dissemination of art, the strengthening, accessibility and attractiveness of the cultural field for the country’s residents, as well as sustainable cultural development in Lithuania. The funded projects include Sun & Sea, the world-renowned opera that won a Golden Lion at the 58th Venice Biennale, Kintai Arts, an art residency and event space in Kintai that presents the uniqueness of the Pamarys region, and the Anykščiai Arts Incubator cultural projects that are enriching the city of Anykščiai, to name a few.

“Applications and projects are like blood and oxygen for the Council, but the Council wouldn’t be able to function without the other critical parts that pump and test this blood. First and foremost, this is the administrative staff, which never numbered more than 30, and then there are the experts and council members, who, together with the beginning of the regional model, there have already been more than 900 of since the establishment of the Council”, said Ms Pakarklytė.

Contemporary opera-performance “Sun and Sea (Marina)” by Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, Vaiva Grainytė, Lina Lapelytė, The Albany Teatre, London, Photo by Ellie Kurttz 

The LCC not only funds projects – it also conducts cultural research

“The Lithuanian Council for Culture not only funds creative ideas – it also conducts cultural research and analyses on the impact of funded programmes and so on. The Division of Monitoring and Analysis was formed in 2017; using both internal and external competences of specialists, its team implements the research plan of the LCC and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania. It reflects ambition and a long-term vision – large-scale research is carried out to evaluate the population’s participation in culture and satisfaction with cultural services, or to analyse the creative, economic and social situation of creative professionals. At the same time, we don’t forget to regularly assess the public’s attitude towards the LCC and so on. The team also performs analysis of the internal application administration and evaluation processes, which helps LCC employees and Council members make data-based decisions,” said Director of Administration Rūta Stepanovaitė.

         Remote discussion "Cultural Statistics in Lithuania". Photo by Vytenis Budrys

LCC to invite the cultural community to get a better look at its activities

On 31 May 2023, the Lithuanian Council for Culture will be inviting members of the cultural community to participate in the LCC forum in order to thank them for their active involvement in improving the LCC model. And until then, stories conveying the history, activities and behind-the-scenes of the Council will be published, and there will be presentations of monitoring and analysis of the cultural and artistic processes that the LCC has carried out.

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