The Liechtenstein Cultural Foundation took over responsibility for state cultural promotion in 2008. From 2009 to 2015, it had to adopt austerity measures with a gradual reduction of the state contribution by 31.8 per cent – from CHF 1.8 million to CHF 1.2 million. As a result of the cuts, funding for projects and the development of artists is increasing – a positive trend for the Foundation. In 2020, the state contribution was just under CHF 1.6 million.
The fact that about one third of the funding goes to music each year reflects the tradition of community music activities in clubs and associations (see 1.2.5). Broad-based promotion is intended to affirm Liechtenstein’s appreciation of the intensive cultural commitment of the population. The state shows its support for artistic development in an international context by means of funding for excellence.
The Foundation also launches its own projects, which are intended to give artists a platform. One focus of the Foundation is the art collection documenting contemporary artistic creation. In 2011, it comprised 360 objects of visual art; in 2020, it was around 700.
The COVID-19 pandemic has posed substantial challenges for cultural creators, cultural enterprises and cultural associations in Liechtenstein since March 2020. In order to support Liechtenstein’s culture in a reorientation towards virtual formats and to compensate for a lack of income, Parliament approved an additional CHF 500,000 for the Liechtenstein Cultural Foundation at the end of 2020, another CHF 500,000 in May 2021 and a further CHF 250,000 in February 2022. To date, Liechtenstein has supported cultural creators to the tune of CHF 1.25 million in order to enable them to emerge from the pandemic safely.
The Liechtenstein Art Museum bridges the gap between contemporary art and the world of the Old Masters. For the 300th anniversary of Liechtenstein, masterpieces from the 15th to 19th centuries from the important collections of the Prince of Liechtenstein entered into a dialogue for the first time with works of art from the 20th and 21st centuries from the collection of the Art Museum. The conversational and thematic juxtapositions across the centuries and generations distinguish the profile of the Art Museum. The museum’s collection – at the same time the State Art Collection of the Principality – also earns its profile through three-dimensional works of art: sculptures, installations and objects. Arte Povera and Post-Minimal Art constitute the main elements in terms of content.
In 2014, the country cut the budget for art purchases from CHF 628,223 (2012) to CHF 200,000. By contrast, in 2019 and 2020, Liechtenstein had set aside CHF 300,000 each for this purpose. In view of the limited acquisition funds, the Liechtenstein Art Museum is adding to existing artists’ positions in the collection.
The Liechtenstein National Museum (LLM) with its long collection history (since the end of the 19th century) documents the history, art, culture, customs, industry, nature, environment and philately of Liechtenstein, also as it relates to its neighbouring countries and the Princely House. The LLM’s activities are based on the cultural area of the Alps, Europe and the globalised world, with the Principality of Liechtenstein at its core. It is a challenging task to maintain a balance between a museum with a national dimension and an internationally recognised national museum. Between 2013 and 2015, the state contribution was cut by around ten per cent. In 2014, this was CHF 2.4 million, but in 2020 it is restored to CHF 3 million.
Music education and making music together are the core tasks of the Liechtenstein Music School. Its comprehensive music education reaches out to a wide variety of groups in Liechtenstein and the region: from toddlers to seniors, from beginners to the most gifted, from classicists to rockers. The programme aims to promote musical development on a broad basis, culminating in excellence. With the “International Master Classes”, the Music School in Vaduz gives musicians from all over the world a platform for meeting renowned artists of our time from the fields of classical music and jazz. The Music School, too, had to cut ten per cent of its budget between 2010 and 2015. In 2020, the state contribution was back to around CHF 6.6 million.
The Liechtenstein School of Fine Arts (founded in 1993) has been a foundation under public law since 2002. Liechtenstein followed the trend across the EU towards the independent establishment of institutions for the education of all inhabitants in the visual arts. The objective of the school is to contribute to the aesthetic and cultural education of the general public in Liechtenstein and the region. At the same time, it is a meeting place for artists and art lovers. The Liechtenstein School of Fine Arts is financed by contributions from the state (50 per cent), municipalities (25 per cent) and sponsors, as well as school fees.
According to the law of 2009 (LGBl. 2009 No. 368), the Liechtenstein National Library sees itself as a public library and offers users free access to media. In its role as national library, it collects all publications from Liechtenstein and about Liechtenstein and safeguards them for future generations. As a scientific library, the National Library supports researchers, students and learners, especially in their work on Liechtenstein topics. Based on the Library Strategy 2025, the National Library aims to increasingly address the needs in a time of technological and social change. One of its objectives is to be a guide in the diversity of information. It had a total inventory of around 330,000 media in 2020.
The Liechtenstein Adult Education Foundation sees itself as a source of inspiration and a central platform for continuing education. Starting in 2015, it became clear that adult education can play an essential role in responding to the refugee situation in Europe. Liechtenstein has been offering continuing education vouchers co-financed by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union since 2017. This way, the country also supports financially weaker people with language or computer courses in order to promote social and economic development as well as integration and to overcome cultural barriers. The state contributed just under CHF 1.3 million in 2019 and just under CHF 1.6 million in 2020.
As a member of the EEA, Liechtenstein has participated in EU education programmes since 1995. The first phase was completed by the end of 1999, the second phase by 2006. Through its participation in the third generation of EU education programmes, Liechtenstein created the Agency for International Educational Affairs (AIBA), which is affiliated to the national administration, in 2007. The National Agency manages the EU Erasmus+ programme (2014–2020, 2021–2027) and oversees regional and international programmes such as the International World Cup, the EEA Grants Programme, the eTwinning programme as well as the National Qualifications Framework Liechtenstein (NQFL) to ensure international comparability of educational qualifications (see 1.4.2). In 2014, the state contribution amounted to CHF 615,000; in 2020, it was CHF 909,000.
AIBA’s key partner in the implementation of the EU programmes is the non-profit association aha – Liechtenstein Youth Information. The country entrusted aha-Liechtenstein with the management of the National Agency for the EU programme Erasmus+ Youth in Action in 2000. For the fifth generation of the EU Erasmus programme, AIBA takes over all programme areas starting in 2021 in order to benefit from administrative synergies.
The University of Liechtenstein meets the challenges of a constantly changing world by providing education and training, research as well as knowledge and technology transfer. It provides decisive momentum for the country and the region in terms of entrepreneurship, finance, business law and business informatics, as well as in the fields of architecture and planning. For example, in 2015, architecture students at the university developed concepts for the future of the Austrian Alpine landscape “Maiensäss Montafon”. Another group of students developed new scenarios for old-age living in the Liechtenstein village of Eschen. Interdisciplinary architecture and economics students designed innovative solutions for the energy-efficient refurbishment of houses in the “Energy City” of Vaduz.
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