International professional cooperation in the non-governmental sector proceeds through professional networks, cooperation projects and participation in international events. All these activities can compete for funding by participating in the Lithuanian Council for Culture funding programmes aimed at promotion of international cooperation or culture dissemination, such as “Cultural and Creative Industries: Networking”, “Strategic Funding of International Events”, and in the Lithuanian Culture Institute a “Study Visit Programme”.
Some Lithuanian NGOs organise long-term international events that, among other functions, serve as a hub for maintenance of international cultural relations and cooperation. The Lithuanian Publishers association, together with the Lithuanian Culture Institute and the Lithuanian Exhibition and Congress Centre LITEXPO organise the Vilnius Book Fair , which is the largest annual book fair in the Baltic states and hosts an international forum and discussion club of publishers, writers and other artists. The NGO Vilnius Festivals organise an international theatre festival Sirenos that hosts a Lithuanian Theatre Showcase. Sirenos is a member of the international network of theatre organisations, IETM (Informal European Theatre Meeting). The Lithuanian Art Gallerists’ Association organises ArtVilnius, which is the largest event of visual arts in Eastern Europe. Every year foreign galleries and museums take part in it and international projects of artists are presented.
Several of the main Lithuanian artists organisations and unions participate in international professional networks. The Lithuanian Association of Artists takes part in the International Association of Art (IAA) Europe. The IAA is a network of about 40 national member organisations within Europe, representing professional visual artists. The IAA supports international cooperation and artistic exchange, aims to improve the economic and social position of artists on a national and international level, cooperates with UNESCO and is engaged with other organisations concerned with the arts and culture.
The Architects Association of Lithuania is a member of the International Union of Architects, the Architects’ Council of Europe and the Baltic Architects Unions Association (BAUA). The International Union of Architects is an international non-governmental organisation recognised by UNESCO as the only architectural union operating at an international level. The Architects’ Council of Europe is a non-profit organisation founded in 1990 that aims to promote architecture in Europe, advance architectural quality in the built environment, ensuring high standards of qualification for architects, etc. The Baltic Architects Unions Association’s mission is to promote the growth of architectural practice in the Baltic States.
The Lithuanian Journalists Union is a member of the International Federation of Journalists and the European Federation of Journalists. The International Federation of Journalists organises collective action to support journalists’ unions in their fight for fair pay, decent working conditions and in defence of their labour rights; promotes international action to defend press freedom and social justice through strong, free and independent trade unions of journalists; fights for gender equality in all its structures, policies and programmes; opposes discrimination of all kinds and condemns the use of media as propaganda or to promote intolerance and conflict; and believes in freedom of political and cultural expression.
The Lithuanian Writers’ Union is a member of the Baltic Writers’ Council (BWC) (seated in the island of Gotland, Visby, Sweden) which unites creative organisations of writers and translators from Northern Europe. It is the most important organisation bringing together European writers’ unions. The Lithuanian Writers’ Union is also a member of the Three Seas Writers’ and Translators’ Council (seated in Rhodes, Greece).
The Lithuanian Association of Literary Translators is a member of the European Council of Associations of Literary Translators (CEATL), the International Federation of Translators (FIT), the Baltic Writers’ Council (BWC) and the Three Seas Writers’ and Translators’ Council (TSWTC).
The Lithuanian Association of Cultural Centres is a member of the European Council of Artists that promotes co-operation between artists in safeguarding their political and cultural position within Europe, with special focus on the policies of the European Union, the Council of Europe, UNESCO and other relevant organisations and on promoting the interests of professional artists in political, economic, judicial and social contexts.
The Lithuanian Composers’ Union is a member of the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM). ISCM is a premier forum for the advancement, dissemination and interchange of new music from around the world. Through ISCM, our members promote contemporary music in all its varied forms, strengthening musical life in their local contexts and making their music and its creators known to the world.
Many Lithuanian NGOs cooperate with their partners abroad through joint events, festivals, masterclasses, etc. The Lithuanian Professional Folk Artists’ Association cooperates with the Polish Folk Artists’ Association (Stowarzyszenie tworcow ludowych, STL), the Latvian Folk Artists’ Association, the Lithuanian High School in Hüttenfeld, Germany, Bialystok Crafts Centre (Poland), the Lithuanian Culture House in Puńsk (Poland), Saint-Egreve (France) Water-colourists’ Club, and Boxholm (Sweden) organisation Friends to Friend. The Lithuanian Designers’ Society maintains and develops international relations with the Latvian Designers’ Society, the Estonian Association of Designers and the Shenzhen design cluster. Activities include improving designers’ qualifications, strengthening community-based relations, building a network of national and international specialists, developing inter-institutional relations (professional development courses, conferences, seminars, creative workshops, residential activities and other events).