The issue of cultural and creative industries appeared in the Lithuanian cultural sector in the 2000s. The definition and classification 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 Municipality of Vilnius City gave a right to use the old building complex of typography in the city centre to several performing arts NGO’s as well as individual artists. The building was named the Arts Printing House (Menų spaustuvė) and became the first infrastructural complex for creative industries in Lithuania.
In 2007, the Minister of Culture approved the first Strategy of Support and Development of the Creative Industries. The strategy defined the creative industries as activities that are based on the individual’s creative abilities and talents and whose purpose and outcome is intellectual property, and which can create material wealth and workplaces. According to the strategy, the creative industries included crafts, architecture, design, film and video production, publishing, visual and applied arts, music, software and computer services, advertising, radio and television programming and broadcasting, advertising, and performing arts.
In 2008, the National Association of Creative and Cultural Industries was established. Its aim is to support cooperation between artists, culture and art organisations, NGO’s, businesses, science and educational sectors; support their participation in regional and international networks and workshops; and stimulate the creative and cultural industries in Lithuania. The association organises an international conference WHAT’S NEXT? that brings creative professionals and innovators together to share the latest ideas, methods and skills. The conference takes place in Vilnius, Arts Fabric “Loftas”.
In 2009-2013, the Lithuanian Ministry of Economy implemented the programme of the development of the network of arts incubators funded by the EU structural funds. During the programme, the Ministry invested 22.24 million EUR and a total of 12 incubators were established. However, the 2017 study Ecosystem of Arts Incubators in Lithuania revealed a range of obstacles preventing their effective activity.
In 2009–2011, the capital Vilnius participated in the EU INTERREG IVC project “Creative Metropoles: Public Policies and Instruments in Support of Creative Industries” that was implemented in 11 European cities. Through exchanging experience and good practices, this project aimed to strengthen the capacity and effectiveness of public support to unlock and support the economic potential of the creative economy. In 2010–2013, the third largest Lithuanian city Klaipėda participated in the EU project “Development and Promotion of Creative Industry Potentials in Medium-Sized Cities of the Baltic Sea Region” that promoted the valorisation of creativity to advance innovation-oriented development in the partner cities. The objective of the project was to create and apply good practices in the public sector, to promote the creative industries as a growing economic sector and basis for innovation.
The other project “Development in the Transfer of Knowledge and Innovations and the Amplification of Researchers Competencies in the Domains of the Creative Industries and Design” was implemented between May 2012 and August 2014. The partners and participants of the project were the Vilnius Academy of Arts, the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, the National Association of Creative and Cultural industries and the Lithuanian Association of Graphic Design. The project was funded from the Lithuanian state budget and the EU structural assistance funds. The primary target of this project was to supply the professionals that work within the creative industries with the option to strengthen their practical skills. It resulted in 23 foreign conferences, 8 internships abroad, 19 training events, 17 creative workshops, and over 40 lecturers. More than 200 researches from European countries and nearly 350 representatives and participants were involved in the project.
In 2012, the Lithuanian Parliament adopted the long-term national strategy Lithuania 2030. The strategy reflects a national vision and priorities for development as well as guidelines for their implementation by 2030. It is stated that the vision of Lithuania is a country with creatively empowered population, and its progress is in the hands of responsible, creative and open-minded people. The implementation of the vision is guided by progress-relevant values, like openness to different views, positive initiatives, dialogue, cooperation, and innovations; creation and implementation of new ideas, treating challenges as new possibilities of building success and responsibility for actions taken, morality, and active concern not only individually, but also regarding the environment, community and the country at large. In order to implement Lithuania’s Progress Strategy Lithuania 2030, the Government adopted the National Progress Programme 2014-2020, one of the tasks of which is to promote the development of the cultural and creative industries, with arts and culture related innovations, cross-sectorial development of these innovations and cultural export.
In accord to this Programme, in 2015, the Minister of Culture approved the Development Directions of the Policy of the Cultural and Creative Industries in 2015–2020. The document changed the definition of cultural and creative industries, presented in the Strategy of 2007. It defined the cultural and creative industries as intersectoral economic activities based on creativity and intellectual capital, producing tangible products and intangible intellectual or artistic services that have creative, cultural or economic value. The sectors belonging to the CCI are classified according to the UNCTAD Creative Economy Report 2008. The document established four main directions of the development of the policy of cultural and creative industries: 1) promotion of creative abilities of all social groups of Lithuanian society; 2) use of the potential of CCI by creating an environment that enhances the quality of life, fosters creativity and citizenship; 3) stimulation of the growth of the economic value and export of CCI sectors; 4) promotion of the innovations in all CCI fields.
Table 16: Key indicators of Lithuanian Cultural Industries
|Cultural employment (% of total employment)||3.8||4.0||4.0||3.6||3.7||4.0|
|Number of cultural enterprises||6 872||9 019||10 195||10 957||–||–|
|Persons employed per enterprise in culture and in total services (average number)||5.6 5.6||– –||– –||– –||– –||– –|
|Value added at factor cost|
|– Book publishing||0.11||0.07||0.07||0.07||–||–|
|– Motion picture, video and television programme production, sound recording and music publishing activities||0.1||0.09||0.12||0.13||–||–|
|– Programming and broadcasting activities / News agency activities||0.15||0.14||0.17||0.15||–||–|
|– Architectural activities||0.29||0.32||0.3||0.28||–||–|
|– Specialised design activities||0.05||0.05||0.06||0.07||–||–|
|– All cultural sectors||1.75||1.68||–||–|
|Exports of cultural goods as a percentage of total exports (all countries of the world)||0.39||0.56||0.39||0.42||–||–|
|Imports of cultural goods as a percentage of total imports (all countries of the world)||0.23||0.3||0.27||0.28||–||–|