1. Cultural policy system
Last update: September, 2019
The Cultural Policy Guidelines 2014-2020 "Creative Latvia" have set the following vision:
Latvia – a country with a rich and nourished heritage, a vibrant and diverse cultural life, creative people, creative industries with high export potential, and improving the quality of life for everyone.
To reach this vision, the following priorities have been outlined:
- preservation and development of cultural capital involving community members in cultural processes;
- a creative life-long learning and cultural education system oriented towards labour employment;
- cultural and creative industries with high export potential; and
- creative territories and accessibility of cultural services.
The Cultural Policy Guidelines 2014 – 2020 use the broad definition of culture that corresponds with the conclusions of the World Conference on Cultural Policies (Mexico 1982), the World Commission on Culture and Development Report (1995), and the Intergovernmental Conference on Cultural Policies for Development in Stockholm (1998). The definition is: “Within a wider sense, aggregate, form and type of all achievements of people and mankind, which pervades any human activity and existence. Culture incorporates socially recognised values, tolerance, external and internal orientation, beliefs, creative spirit and interests of individuals and the society. The language, folklore, customs, rituals, traditions, knowledge and education process, diversity and interest regarding other cultures, as well as contemporary product of creative work are the basis for preservation and development of culture. In a more narrow sense, culture is art, architectural, music, literature expressions and other creative expressions."
The cultural policy document stresses that the development of the society and the state, as well as the quality of life depends on diversity and richness of culture, its accessibility and participation of creative individuals.
Despite the all-embracing definition, the Ministry of Culture mainly
takes responsibility for the particular art fields, such as copyright,
architecture, libraries, museums, music, fine art, folk art, theatre,
literature and books, film arts, cultural education, and the protection of monuments
and archives. In recent years, there is a tendency to look at culture in a
broader context (development, economy etc.). Moreover, the Ministry of Culture
is also responsible for media policy and integration and society (though each
area having its own separate policies). At the end of 1990s, the concept of
cultural industries appeared first in the studies commissioned by the Ministry
of Culture and the concept has been also included in The Main Cultural Policy Postulates
of Latvia (1995). Later – the
Cultural Policy Guidelines 2006-2015 declared creative industries as a horizontal dimension that enlarges the scope of art, culture and cultural heritage sectors.
Perception of culture as part of broader development processes, including its role in regional development was also influenced by the necessity to develop new arguments for inclusion culture in international funding schemes, EU Structural Funds being one of the most significant in this respect.
A new mid-term cultural policy document "Creative Latvia" has been elaborated for the period 2014- 2020 that corresponds to the main planning documents at national and EU level.
The Latvian cultural policy model is centralised around the Ministry of Culture, which is the main institution formulating and co-ordinating state cultural policy. However, there have been some changes towards decentralisation and involvement of non-governmental organisations and the civil society in the cultural field. The Ministry of Culture has signed several agreements with non- governmental organisations (e.g. The New Theatre Institute of Latvia, Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art), delegating a number of specific functions. There are advisory boards or councils in most cultural sectors, which include culture operators, experts and representatives of other ministries, municipalities and non-governmental organisations, who actively participate in the policymaking process.
The economic crisis (2008-2010) has provoked new developments concerning the governance of cultural institutions. On the one hand, decentralisation processes have been speeded up. The Ministry of Culture is willing to hand over responsibility for amateur art, cultural education and some professional art institutions to municipalities. On the other hand, within the state administration there is a tendency towards centralisation e.g., several state agencies that were operating as arm's length bodies (National Film Centre, The State Authority on Museums) have been either integrated into the structure of the Ministry of Culture or transformed into budget institutions losing their autonomy.
The establishment of the State Culture Capital Foundation, which started operating as an arm's length body in 1998, was a major milestone in Latvian cultural policy and changed funding patterns in the cultural sector. The financing of cultural projects, which had previously been the responsibility of the Ministry of Culture was delegated to the Foundation. The budget for most of the national cultural institutions is distributed as subsidies from the Ministry of Culture.
During the 20th century, Latvia experienced several drastic metamorphoses. These include the creation of an independent state in 1918, two consecutive occupations during the Second World War and the regaining of independence in 1990.
During the first half of the 1990s, Latvia went through a transition
period from a totalitarian to a democratic society that brought forth crucial
social, political, and economic changes. These changes resulted in the
introduction of democratic processes, administrative reforms, liberalisation of
the economy and introduction of a free market, stabilisation of the new political and economic institutions through privatisation of
cultural enterprises, decentralisation of cultural processes and introduction
of new legislation.
Latvia became a member of UNESCO in 1991, joined the European Cultural Convention of the Council of Europe in 1992 and became a signatory to the Berne Convention in 1995. The Memorandum of Co- operation between Latvia and UNESCO was signed in 1998.
Latvia submitted its application on accession to the European Union in 1995. This marked the beginning of considerable work to implement the necessary procedures and laws as part of the accession process. In 2004, Latvia became a member state of the EU. The first cultural policy document The Main Cultural Policy Postulates of Latvia (1995) outlined the most important tasks of state cultural policy for the first 10 years after regaining Latvian independence, i.e. not to interfere with the regulation of creative process, simultaneously ensuring favourable conditions and necessary resources for the development of cultural process and cultivation of creative initiative.
Last update: September, 2019
Organisational structure of the Ministry of Culture (2018)
Last update: September, 2019
The institutions that set the general policy guidelines, legislation and budget of the Republic of Latvia are: the Saeima (Parliament, 100 members voted every four years) and the Cabinet of Ministers (highest executive body of the country, formed by a Prime Minister invited by the State President). In 2019, there were 13 Ministries and 13 Ministers respectively in Latvia. As a result of reorganisation,
one ministry in 2011 has been closed down: the functions of the Ministry of Regional Development and Local Government have been taken over by the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Welfare.
Cultural policy in Latvia is the responsibility of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia, which organises and coordinates state culture policy, social integration policy and media policy. In addition, the Ministry is responsible for the development of cultural education in the country, including vocational education (music and art schools) and higher education in the field of art, culture and music.
The Ministry co-operates with municipalities and with non-governmental bodies, such as consultative councils, creative unions, foundations etc. The Ministry of Culture and municipalities share responsibility for co-operation programmes and financing in the cultural field in Latvia. The Ministry of Culture plays the most important role in the development of cultural policy and financing national art and culture institutions, and particularly taking responsibility about professional art.
The Ministry of Culture has the following areas of responsibility: copyrights and neighbouring rights, libraries, museums, music, fine art, folk art and intangible cultural heritage, theatre, literature, film art, cultural education, protection of monuments, archives, architecture, design, creative industries and dance. Since 2011, the Ministry of Culture is responsible for integration and the representative of the Ministry is included in the Council of the Social Integration Foundation. In 2015, the Ministry of Culture has established the Media Policy Unit undertaking the development of the media policy. The Ministry of Culture is also responsible for the operation of institutions and organisations in each of the respective sectors.
The Ministry has numerous subordinate institutions that implement cultural policy in certain sectors, such as: The National Archives of Latvia; the National cultural heritage administration; The National Film Centre of Latvia; The National Centre for Culture of Latvia; The Centre for Culture Information Systems.
The Ministry of Culture is directly financing a majority of national institutions in the field of culture, arts and cultural education. Meanwhile, cultural projects are funded by the State Culture Capital Foundation.
The establishment of the State Culture Capital Foundation, which started operating as an arm's length body in 1998, was a major milestone in Latvian cultural policy and completely changed funding patterns in the cultural sector. The financing of cultural projects which had previously been the responsibility of the Ministry of Culture was delegated to the CCF.
The projects submitted for funding to the CCF are evaluated by expert bodies, which report to the Council of the CCF. These bodies also monitor how the allocated grants are utilised. There are seven experts in each of nine cultural sectors, who are replaced every 2 years. The experts are nominated by governmental and non-governmental cultural organisations (5 experts) and the Minister of Culture (2 experts).
The goal of the CCF is to provide financial support and promote balanced development of creative work in all sectors of culture and art and to encourage the preservation of cultural heritage. It also facilitates the development of international relations and promotes Latvian art and culture worldwide. Until 2003, the CCF was financed from the excise tax imposed on alcohol (3%) and tobacco products (3%), as well as gambling and lottery tax. In 2003, the government decided to change how the CCF is funded and since 2004, it is funded directly by the Ministry of Culture. It is planned to return to the previous funding model from 2022 onwards.
The CCF announces project competitions several times a year in nine fields – literature; music and dance; theatre; cinematography; visual arts and photography; cultural heritage; traditional culture; design and architecture; and interdisciplinary projects.
There also is a Travel Grant Support Programme that enables individuals and groups to participate in short-term scientific, creative and study programmes abroad. The Lifelong Scholarship Programme of the CCF supports outstanding individuals in the cultural field.
Councils and advisory boards
The National Board of Culture is the most important advisory body to the Ministry of Culture. Its aim is to enhance balanced development of different cultural sectors.
In relation to policymaking and implementation, the Ministry of Culture must consult with non- governmental organisations to improve social dialogue. It carries out this role via boards and working groups; the boards have consultative functions and the working groups are created to solve specific tasks during the specified period of time.
Advisory councils to the Ministry of Culture include the Council of Literature and Publishing (since 2003); Latvian Music Council (2002); National Council of Theatres (2000); Latvian Film Council (2004); Visual Arts Council (2001); National Council of Museums (1998); National Library Council (1998); National Architecture Council (2009); the Council of Archives (2011), Dance Council (2013) and the Council of Digital Cultural Heritage. In addition, there are councils operating in the fields of national identity and integration (established in 2012), Roma integration (2012), integration of third country nationals (2013) and a committee of representatives of the minority NGOs. The Ministry of Economics established the Design Council in 2008, which currently operates at the Ministry of Culture. The Consultative Council for Creative Industries was established in 2011 (and re-established in 2014), but ceased to exist.
The Ministry of Culture is consulting with the associations of cultural operators on a regular basis. This dialogue intensified during the period of the economic crisis, and since then cultural operators have established several umbrella organisations. The Time for Culture association (2010), the Association of Contemporary Culture NGOs (2007) and the Council of the Creative Unions of Latvia established the Culture Alliance in 2009. In 2012, they signed a Memorandum with the Ministry of Culture about regular cooperation in cultural policy development and monitoring. This initiative was a unique model of direct participation by the non-governmental sector in public cultural policy development. Currently, three representatives of the Culture Alliance have been included in the National Board of Culture.
Last update: September, 2019
According to its Constitution (Satversme) Latvia is a unitary state, made up of four regions (Vidzeme, Latgale, Kurzeme and Zemgale), which are not administrative territories. Therefore, in Latvia there is no administrative division similar to federal states in the EU. According to the Regional Development Law (2002) 5 administrative units, one per each of 5 Planning regions, have been established. The Planning regions ensure the planning and co-ordination of regional development and co-operation between local government and other state administrative institutions. The Planning regions have taken over the coordination functions in the field of culture, thus substituting 28 regional cultural experts previously employed by the Ministry of Culture and executing the task of state cultural policy planning on a regional level. In this respect, the Ministry of Culture is collaborating with the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development.
Last update: September, 2019
At the end of 2008, the regional reform was finally adopted by the Parliament. Previously, Latvia had numerous small municipalities operating on two territorial levels of local administration. In 2008, there were 525 local governments operating at local or first territorial level (including 52 towns and 7 cities; 36 amalgamated local municipalities; 430 parishes), and 26 counties operating at regional or second territorial level. The aim of the reform that started 1992 was to reduce the number of administrative levels and to increase the capacity of local administrative units.
Since July 1st 2009, there are 110 local governments (counties) and 9 republican cities, instead of more than 500 administrative units.
By the end of the 2019, a new reform is to be presented to the Parliament with an aim to reduce the number of administrative units and to enable 36 municipalities to provide all necessary autonomous functions.
The Law on Local Governments (1994) defines the division of labour and responsibilities between the state and local authorities in providing services, including those in the cultural field. Section 15 of the Law on Local Governments defines the autonomous functions of local governments including the following: "to maintain culture and facilitate the safeguarding of traditional cultural values and the development of creative folk activity (organisational and financial assistance to cultural institutions and events, support for the preservation of cultural monuments, and others)".
Decentralisation in the field of culture is connected to the long and complicated process of regional administrative reform that was completed in 2009. Gradually, municipalities are developing their own cultural policies and are becoming more independent regarding the content and character of cultural life in the regions.
Last update: September, 2019
See chapter 1.2.2. about the role of the non-governmental actors in
the policy development and distribution of the funding.
The Ministry of Culture has signed several agreements with non-governmental organisations (e.g. The New Theatre Institute of Latvia, Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art), delegating a number of specific functions.
Last update: September, 2019
The Ministry of Culture in Latvia is responsible for art and heritage as well as for art education including higher education in cultural field. Other ministries are responsible for certain cultural institutions such as the Latvian War Museum, which is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Defence or the Museum of Nature, which is responsible to the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development.
The Ministry of Culture works together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on issues related to international cultural co-operation and with the Ministry of Justice on issues related to copyright legislation. It shares responsibility for cultural education with the Ministry of Education and Science.
The Ministry of Culture is cooperating with the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development and the administration units of the Planning Regions that are partly coordinating cultural policy on a regional level.
The Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of the Economics and the Ministry of Education and Science are responsible for the development of the creative industries. The Ministry of Culture cooperates with the Ministry of the Economy concerning the development of design policy.
In 2010, the Ministry of Culture took over responsibility for integration from the Ministry of Justice.
Last update: September, 2019
The most significant national cultural institutions are subordinated to the Ministry of Culture: 8 museums, 2 libraries, 3 higher education institutions and numerous secondary vocational culture education schools. Apart from that, the Ministry is a shareholder of the state capital companies (mainly theatres and orchestras).
A significant number of public cultural institutions is owned and run by municipalities, creating a dense network of public libraries, cultural (community) centres, music and visual arts schools.
The Cabinet Regulations “Procedure by which direct administration conclude and publish collaboration contracts, as well as allocate financing of the state budget to private persons for carrying out tasks of public administration and monitor the use of granted financing” was adopted in 2014. According to the State Administration Structure Law and these regulations, public authorities may authorise private institutions to perform tasks of public administration, by concluding a delegation contract or collaboration agreement. The total number of delegation and collaboration contracts had already exceeded 30. A part of these agreements is signed with associations and NGOs working in the contemporary culture and arts field.
Last update: September, 2019
Table 1: Cultural institutions, by sector and domain
|Domain||Cultural institutions (subdomains)||Public sector||Private sector|
|Number (2018)||Trend last 4 years (comparison to 2014) (In %)||Number (2018)||Trend last 4 years (comparison to 2014) (In %)|
|Cultural heritage||Cultural heritage sites (recognised)||8 984*||+2%|
|Visual arts||Public art galleries / exhibition halls||NA||NA|
|Performing arts||Scenic and stable spaces for theatre***||8||0||NA|
|Dance and ballet companies||1||0||NA|
|Interdisciplinary||Socio-cultural centres / cultural houses||556||-1%||NA|
|Other (please explain)||Art, music and dance schools on elementary school level||154||NA||5||NA|
|Art, music, design and dance schools on secondary school level||22||NA||2||NA|
Source(s): Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia; Annual Report of the Ministry of Culture, 2018; study on trends in cultural education, 2018
NA – Not available
* No distinction between public and private
*** Public theatre venues, include also companies
*** Public Radio and TV
**** 1 archive with 11 branches
Last update: September, 2019
See also chapter 1.3.1.
The Law on Cultural Institutions has been in effect since 1998. It defines the types of Latvian cultural institutions (state, local government, private), their legal status, commercial activities, and funding sources.
In 2004/2005, there was an ongoing major reform of the legal status of all state museums. In accordance with the Law on Public Agencies, museums were reorganised into state agencies to provide them with more financial and administrative independence.
In 2009, the government requested all the Ministries to decrease the number of state agencies by 50%, with the aim of reducing administrative expenditure. The Ministry of Culture had the largest number of state agencies under its supervision (including museums) – 17. As a result of the reform, several museums were consolidated; some state agencies previously operating at arm's length lost their autonomy (e.g. National Film Centre, The State Authority on Museums are to be transformed into budget institutions or incorporated into the structure of the Ministry).
In 2014, the Ministry of Culture launched the consolidation process of the vocational culture education schools (in the framework of the general reform of the vocational schools in the country).
In 2019, 13 educational institutions, 2 libraries, 8 museums, and 1 public foundation were subordinated to the Ministry of Culture.
In 2005, the legal status of the six state-founded theatres, the Circus of Riga and three important state music institutions was changed into state capital companies. In 2019, the Ministry of Culture was the holder of capital shares in 15 institutions (capital companies).
NGOs, foundations and artist associations established in the 1990s,
have already initiated collaboration between organisations in certain
professional art sectors, e.g. visual arts, music, and theatre, resulting in combined funding
sources from public,
local government, and the private
In 2008, a private sponsor in collaboration with the Latvian National Museum of Art launched a prize in visual arts named after the famous Latvian painter Vilhelms Purvītis.
The management of cultural heritage sites often is carried out involving private owners.
The poorly developed public and private partnership, and the underdeveloped patronage traditions are two of the main weaknesses of the cultural sector identified in the Cultural Policy Guidelines 2014- 2020 Creative Latvia adopted in 2014. It is intended to develop them in the framework of the implementation of the guidelines defining the attraction of private capital as one of the fundamental preconditions for the development of the cultural sector (in terms of public private partnership, patronage and other solutions to raise private capital).
Last update: September, 2019
The Ministry of Culture in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, diplomatic services, and different public institutions carries out international cultural cooperation.
The cultural policy document Creative Latvia 2014-2020 sets the following priorities in the field of international cooperation:
- to secure international cooperation and competitiveness in the cultural and cultural heritage sectors; and
- to establish a positive image of Latvia with the help of cultural diplomacy.
Latvia takes active participation in international organisations and networks, such as UNESCO, the Council of Europe, ICOMOS, ICCROM, ICOM, NEMO etc. Artistic mobility is also mentioned in cultural policy documents as one of the important aspects of international collaboration and it is secured with mobility grants from the State Culture Capital Foundation and participation in the Nordic-Baltic Mobility programme.
The Ministry of Culture has signed intergovernmental and inter-ministerial agreements and programmes with approximately 30 countries to encourage cultural exchange and co-operation between professionals working in the field of culture.
The Ministry of Culture has signed agreements with several non-governmental organisations (The Music Information Centre, The New Theatre Institute of Latvia, The Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art etc.), delegating to these institutions the organisation of Latvia's representation at big international events such as the Venice Biennial of Art, Venice Biennial of Architecture, San Paulo Biennial of Art, MIDEM, Frankfurt Book Fair etc.
The Ministry of Culture has also developed large bilateral
cooperation programmes – representative festivals: "L'éttonante
Lettonie" (Latvian Cultural Days in France, 2005), "En Printemps
(French Cultural Days in Latvia, 2007), German Cultural Month (2008), Latvian Cultural Season in Russia (2007-2008) and a Russian Cultural Season in Latvia (2008).
In 2014-2015, the priority of international cultural policy was Latvian culture as part of European cultural diversity. It was implemented through two major projects: Riga as European Cultural Capital in 2014 and cultural programme in the framework of Latvia as President of the European Union in 2015.
In 2018, Latvia celebrated its centenary, a wide range of celebration events and festivities are implemented through the years 2017-2021, including international events and public diplomacy activities.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs sets foreign policy priorities in its Annual Report (see the website of the Ministry). Culture is an integral part of foreign policy.
The Latvian Institute in accordance with the statutes carries out the following functions:
- participates in the creation of politics of Latvia’s identity and coordinates the implementation of it;
- creates network of partners (governmental and non-governmental institutions, private partners, experts and others) that cooperates with the Institute in Latvia promoting activities;
- organises Latvia promoting activities abroad and in Latvia.
Since the beginning of the 1990-ies, international cooperation is becoming stronger and more diverse and very fruitful contacts have been established with the Baltic and Nordic countries, as well as with several cultural representations of foreign countries (the British Council, the Danish Culture Institute, the Cultural Centre of France, the Goethe Institute, The Nordic Council of Ministers' Office, etc.). There are more than 30 embassies and several foreign cultural centres situated in Riga that are significantly enriching the cultural life of the country.
Municipalities have their own international culture cooperation activities mainly as part of cooperation agreements with partner cities or towns. International festivals play an increasing role in internationalisation of cultural life in cities.
Public financial support for international cooperation is available at the Ministry of Culture and the State Culture Capital Foundation. The Ministry of Culture finances some international cultural projects and supports the participation of Latvian cultural institutions and professionals in international organisations and programmes. Apart from these activities, the Ministry of Culture also secures co- financing for the projects supported by the EU programmes, thus supporting implementation of large projects in digitalisation of cultural resources, improvement of the cultural infrastructure, education, creative industries and cultural co-operation projects submitted by Latvian cultural operators to the EU programme "Creative Europe" etc.
Since 2009, the Baltic States are contributing partners to a Nordic-Baltic Mobility Programme for Culture. The Baltic States co-finance the programme according to their GDP per capita.
In 2018, the ministries of three Baltic States decided to establish the Baltic Culture Fund.
Other international cooperation projects are covered by different support schemes from the State Culture Capital Foundation on a competition basis. The Foundation supports the organisation of international projects as well as running the Travel Grant Support Programme that enables individuals and groups to participate in short-term scientific, creative and study programmes abroad.
Last update: September, 2019
Latvia became a member of UNESCO in 1991, and joined the European Cultural Convention of the Council of Europe in 1992. In 1995, Latvia became a signatory to the Berne Convention. The Memorandum of Co-operation between Latvia and UNESCO was signed in 1998. In 2004, Latvia became a member state of the EU.
In 2007, Latvia ratified the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. The responsible body for the implementation and monitoring of the convention is the Ministry of Culture.
Cooperation within the Baltic Sea region is awarded special attention. VASAB - Vision and Strategies around the Baltic Sea – is an intergovernmental multilateral co-operation of 10 countries of the Baltic Sea Region in spatial planning and development. It is guided by the Conference of Ministers responsible for spatial planning and development and steered by the Committee on Spatial Planning and Development of the Baltic Sea Region (CSPD/BSR), composed of representatives of respective ministries and regional authorities (Germany, Russia).
The European Commission adopted a Communication on the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region on June 10th 2009. This is the first time that a comprehensive Strategy, covering several Community policies, is targeted on a "macro-region". The Baltic Sea Region Programme funded projects that contribute to the implementation of the Strategy.
The Council of the Baltic Sea States is an overall political forum for regional inter-governmental cooperation. It includes an initiative in the cultural field – Ars Baltica that is an international cultural network (established in 1991).
The co-operation of three Baltic States constitutes the following institutional frameworks – the Baltic Assembly and the Baltic Council of Ministers. The parliamentary co-operation takes place within the Baltic Assembly, but all matters related to practical co-operation are being dealt within the format of the Baltic Council of Ministers. Some cultural initiatives take place within this official cooperation format (e.g. annual prize of the Baltic Assembly http://www.baltasam.org/). The programme of cultural cooperation between the Culture Ministries of the three Baltic countries (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia) are regularly renewed in accordance with the Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Culture between the Ministry of Cultures of three Baltic States (1994). The current programme is designed for the period 2019-2022 and proposes to continue such long-term joint projects as Baltic Museology Summer School and international chamber orchestra of three Baltic States Kremerata Baltica, and to foster collaboration with Baltic Film and Media School, Baltic Drama Forum, Baltic Dance Platform, Baltic Architects’ Unions Association etc.
Last update: September, 2019
Considerable international cultural co-operation is also undertaken in the non-governmental sector in Latvia. Individuals and organisations co-operate through networks, co-operation projects as well as through personal contacts.
During the last decades, a dozen non-governmental organisations have developed notable competence in international co-operation, being active in international networking, fundraising, collaboration and co-productions. In addition, large cultural organisations of a national significance have got involved in international cultural co-operation thanks to resourceful staff and participation in European networks.
Film institutions develop multilateral international cooperation, especially valuing partnership among Baltic countries. For example, in 2015 the Baltic film institutions - the Estonian Film Institute, the Latvian National Film Centre, and the Lithuanian Film Centre - signed an agreement to boost film co- productions and to organise joint events. For example in August, 2019 the Baltic Film Days too place to strengthen cooperation in cinema between the three Baltic States and to raise the audience’s knowledge of films by their neighbours.
The Baltic Sea Forum for documentaries took place for the first time in 1997 in Denmark; initially it was a Danish initiative for the Baltic countries, Poland and the western part of Russia. It continued to be a Danish initiative until 2001. At the beginning of this “second phase”, the Baltic Sea Forum was a travelling event through the Baltic countries, but since 2005, it always takes place in Riga.
Baltic Museology School (BMS) is organised in cooperation with the Ministries of Culture of all three Baltic countries. The BMS is a long-term Baltic States collaborative project in the further education of museum professionals, which runs a week-long educational programme annually focusing on one aspect of museum work and linking museum theory with practice.
The Latvian Literature platform was established in order to promote the recognition of Latvian literature and its distribution abroad, to ensure international cooperation among publishers, literary agents, writers, translators, and organizations working in the fields of literature and publishing. The Latvian Literature platform was created through a partnership of the three largest literary institutions in Latvia: the International Writers and Translators House, the Latvian Writers Union, and the Latvian Publishers Association. The International Writers and Translators House is in charge of the management and development of the Latvian Literature platform, as well as Latvia's participation in the London Book Fair – where Latvia was one of the Market Focus countries in 2018 – and other book fairs (Leipzig, Bologna, Frankfurt).
Numerous non-governmental organisations operating in the field of contemporary arts carry out international cooperation projects demonstrating outstanding managerial and conceptual capacities. Of particular note are The Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art (http://www.lcca.lv/), the New Theatre Institute of Latvia (http://www.theatre.lv/) and the new media centre RIXC (http://www.rixc.lv/). International festivals of different scales are important in the cultural life of Latvia.