4.2.3 Cultural/creative industries: policies and programmes
The creative industries can be defined as an industry covering both the fields of traditional and modern art and culture from artistic creation to its distribution and commercialisation.
The issue of cultural / creative industries in the Lithuanian cultural sector appeared in 2000s. The content of the creative industries was discussed at a conference "Creative Industries: a European Opportunity" (2003) and during the forum "European Opportunity: Creative Industries for Regional Development" (2005), both held in Vilnius. In 2002 the Arts Printing House (Menų spaustuvė) was established in Vilnius and became one of the famous centres for implementation of international theatrical, contemporary dance, new circus, interdisciplinary and educational projects (see more: http://www.menuspaustuve.lt). The processes of privatisation and free market formation also influenced the current understanding of creative industries as a wide field of culture, art, entertainment, cultural services, etc.
In 2007 (renewed in 2009), the Strategy of Support and Development of the Creative Industries was approved by the Minister of Culture. According to the Strategy, the creative industries include crafts, architecture, design, film and video production, publishing, visual and applied art, music, software and computer services, advertising, Radio and TV programmes and broadcasting, and the performing arts. In 2007, the National Association of Creative / Cultural Industries was established.
The government programme for the year 2008 – 2012 listed the following priorities for creative industries: to increase the share of cultural industries in GDP; to elaborate the Strategy of support and development of creative industries by integration of art, science, training, business issues; to strengthen the infrastructure of the cultural industries sector; to stimulate financial investment in the cultural industries, including financial support of the Structural Funds; and to promote Lithuanian Film production. However, these important priorities for creative industries are omitted in the new government's programme for the year 2012-2016.
An Inter-Institutional Action Plan for implementation of the Guidelines for Alteration of Lithuanian Cultural Policy for the year 2012-2014 foresees the allocation of 800 000 LTL annually for Lithuania's participation in the Baltic and Northern countries network of creative industries. However, these important priorities of the previous Government are omitted in the new Government programme for the year 2012-2016.
In 2008, the Training Programme of Creative Industries was launched in Vilnius Gediminas University and aims to educate specialists in advertising, marketing, public relations, multimedia, TV, publishing and the communication sectors.
Over the past years, positive approaches to the creative industries were promoted in a series of international conferences and the publications of several research studies on the topic (e.g. "Creative industries in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania", 2010, 2011). In 2008, the study on "The Creative and Cultural Industries of Lithuania" revealed the situation and tendencies of the creative industries development in Lithuania. An international conference on the cultural and creative industries "Mainstreaming Culture" took place on 1 October 2012 in Vilnius with the aim of promoting efforts to mainstream culture in a variety of policy areas and to highlight the relevance of culture in relation to innovation, education, social, economic and environmental policy on the local and national level.
The National Association of Creative and Cultural Industries was established to support cooperation between artists, culture and art organisations, NGOs, businesses, science and educational sectors, and support their participation in regional and international networks and workshops, and to stimulate the creative industries in Lithuania. The art incubators became a popular form to develop arts and business joint activities.
In 2009, the Art Fair ("ARTVILNIUS'09") started in Vilnius and became the greatest annual event dedicated to the contemporary visual arts in Lithuania. The organiser of the Art Fair is the Lithuanian Art Galleries Association. 36 galleries from Lithuania and 14 galleries from abroad participated in "ARTVILNIUS'13". The Art Fair contributes to the development of the art market in the Baltic See region and increases the flow of foreign art collectors, curators, and tourists to Lithuania. It also promotes the development of the creative industries and generates economic and cultural added value for the country.
The Pilot project "Urban creative poles" is a European project (2011-2013) that promotes the valorisation of creativity to advance innovation oriented development in the partner cities: Zielona Góra (Poland), Tartu (Estonia), Klaipėda (Lithuania), Linköping and Ostsam (Sweden), Brandenburg and Cottbus (Germany). The objective of the project is to create and apply good practice in the public sector, to promote the creative industries as a growing economic sector and basis for innovation (see more: http://www.creativepoles.eu). The similar project "Creative metropolises: public policies and instruments in Support of Creative industries" was launched by 11 European cities, including Vilnius, and has a three-year programme. The project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the Norwegian funding through the INTERREG IVC programme.The project is expected to result in a more focused and efficient public support system for the creative industries The Final Report on situation analysis of 11 cities provides a comparative study on urban policies adopted to strengthen the economic potential of the creative economy. (see more: http://www.creativemetropoles.eu).