In Lithuania, the idea of societal impact of art (understood as a capacity of art to engage people in common processes of creative activity, enhance their cooperation and strengthen collective identity) is widely exploited at cultural policy of municipal level. In recent years, there have been many initiatives and projects aimed at community building and cooperation through common artistic activities. These projects are funded by municipalities and by the Lithuanian Council for Culture under the “Creative Initiatives of Communities” programme.
In 2012, the pilot project under the Ministry of Culture “Art for Human Wellbeing” started as a social experimental project to ensure co-operation between culture, health care and the social sectors. The Project’s aim was to pursue art activities, to complete the societal research study and to create an effective model of social partnership. Several hospitals and sheltered housing units were involved in the project as specific places for art education and social activities. The network of art health institutions was established, and the results of the project were published in a special report.
Since 2017, the Lithuanian Council for Culture implements the funding programme “Arts for Human Wellbeing”, aimed at strengthening the cooperation between cultural and artistic organisations and other sectors of society, and increasing cohesion between the fields of culture and health policy, culture and social policy. The programme funds pilot projects that focus on the availability of professional art in all categories of health and social service institutions, involve providers of services and users of services of these institutions in cultural activities, and develop new approaches and models of activity. Other activities funded by the programme are social innovations through creative projects (products, services and models) that create new models of social relationships and collaboration, apply new ideas and innovatively use existing mechanisms to solve social problems: population aging, social exclusion, etc. In 2019, the Council granted 70 000 EUR for 16 projects, in 2018 it granted 129 700 EUR for 29 projects, and in 2017, 129 700 EUR for 31 projects.