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LCC launches cooperation with Arts and Culture Norway

3 April 2024
LCC launches cooperation with Arts and Culture Norway R. Stepanovaitė, A. Pakarklytė, V. Budrio nuotr.

The Lithuanian Council for Culture has started a cooperation with Arts and Culture Norway (ACN). The two institutions intend to work on strengthening the status of individual artists and culture in the regions. Last week saw two remote team meetings. During this year, delegations from both countries will visit Vilnius and Trondheim, Norway. The Lithuanian cultural community will get the chance to meet the Norwegian representatives at the LCC’s annual forum in May this year. 

During the first remote meeting, representatives from Arts and Culture Norway – Senior Adviser at the International Cooperation Department Thea Breivik, Head of Art Economy and Innovation Sverre Fossen, and curator of grant programmes Ken Stebergløkken – introduced our team to the political, social, economic, and geographical aspects of Norway and the organisation’s activities. During the second meeting, LCC Chairwoman Asta Pakarklytė and Director of Administration Rūta Stepanovaitė introduced the Norwegians to Lithuania and the Council’s operating model.  

Arts and Culture Norway was established in 1965. It implements Norwegian cultural policy, follows the “arm’s length” principle, and finances the development of culture and the arts in the country through the Norwegian Cultural Fund. ACN’s budget for 2024 is €190 million, with a total national cultural budget of €2.1 billion. Up to 10% of individual applicants receive funding. While there are 11,000 applicants, it is estimated that the country may have approximately 30,000 artists. The institution has two offices, in Oslo and Trondheim, employing around 150 people. 

LCC’s budget for 2024 is €22,7 million, with a total national cultural budget of €431.2 million. The funding intensity for individual initiatives is around 40%. According to the Municipal Culture Index 2022, the Lithuanian cultural sector has around 8,000 organisations and over 11,000 artists. The Council is made up of 10 members and a Chairwoman, and the organisation has 32 administrative staff. The LCC has approximately 200 peer assessors registered in the database who assess the applications and make funding proposals to the Council. 

“Arts and Culture Norway and the Lithuanian Council for Culture have similar operating models. Organisations allocate funding to cultural and artistic projects on a selective basis, with the final decision taken by the Council members’ meetings. However, Norway, one of the world’s ten richest countries with a budget seven times larger than that of the LCC, faces similar challenges. For example, geographical distances between municipalities do not allow for balanced cultural development, and the topic of artists being dependent on public funding and, consequently, their creative freedom remains a controversial issue. The example of our Norwegian colleagues shows that their funding decisions focus on the most promising artists with the aim of supporting them for the longest possible creative period; meanwhile, the LCC awards grants to almost one in two applicants but for a significantly shorter period. We would like to thank the Norwegian team for the first introductory meetings. We are looking forward to meeting them in person and sharing experiences and best practices,” says Rūta Stepanovaitė. 

Bilateral cultural cooperation is funded by the European Economic Area (EEA) Financial Mechanism. The programme’s partner in Lithuania is the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania. 


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