3. Cultural and creative sectors
Last update: February, 2020
In 2018, the Lithuanian Register of Cultural Property contained information about 16 400 immovable cultural heritage objects (individual and complex objects and cultural heritage sites) and about 4 000 movable cultural properties. The register is constantly updated and revised. More than 8 000 cultural heritage objects are on the list of state protected cultural heritage objects approved by the Minister of Culture, and 2 298 cultural heritage objects are declared national cultural heritage objects by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania (including 150 buildings).
Table 7: Number of state protected cultural heritage sites and national cultural heritage objects in 2015–2018
|State protected cultural heritage sites||8 085||8 117||8 139||8 189|
|National cultural heritage objects||2 297||2 297||2 297||2 298|
Source: Lithuanian Museums Database
According to the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, the State is responsible for the protection of Lithuania’s monuments of history and art as well as other cultural monuments and property. The purpose of protecting cultural heritage in the Republic of Lithuania is its preservation and transfer to future generations.
Legal acts of the Republic of Lithuania distinguish between immovable and movable cultural heritage. The protection of immovable cultural heritage is guaranteed by the Law on Protection of Immovable Cultural Heritage (1994). This law defines cultural heritage as “the cultural property inherited, taken over, created and transmitted from generation to generation and significant from the ethnic, historical, aesthetical or scientific point of view”.
The legal act regulating the protection of movable cultural property is the Law on Protection of Movable Cultural Property (1996). Movable cultural property is defined in this Law as “material creations and other objects which are movable based on their designation and nature, hold cultural value and are listed in the State inventories of movable cultural property”. Immovable and movable cultural property is inscribed in the State Register of Cultural Property.
The heritage policy in Lithuania is shaped and implemented by the Ministry of Culture, the Department of Cultural Heritage, the National Commission for Cultural Heritage, and municipalities. The Ministry of Culture organises state administration for protection of movable and immovable cultural heritage and is in charge thereof. The Department of Cultural Heritage performs the functions of the protection of immovable cultural heritage and movable cultural properties assigned to it by laws and other legal acts; these functions include maintenance and management of cultural properties, maintenance of accounting and control of cultural heritage, as well as presentation of cultural heritage to the society; the Department also contributes to the formation and implementation of national policies in the area of protection of cultural heritage.
The Department is a founder of the state-funded institution the Centre of Cultural Heritage, which collects and accumulates information on cultural heritage as well as conducts historical and physical research; another state institution, Monuments of Lithuania, responsible for maintenance of cultural heritage is also subordinated to the Department. In 2020, this institution will be reorganised in the Cultural Infrastructure Centre, a new institution that will perform the functions of the Monuments of Lithuania as well as act as a commissioner of the reconstruction and modernisation works needed for the cultural objects and other institutions under the Ministry of Culture. Currently, each institution commissions these works by itself. In general, the reorganisation aims to make the system of heritage protection more effective and transparent by the separation of the control of heritage protection from the function of heritage management, as well as to save budget appropriations and to reduce the cost of the contract works.
The National Commission for Cultural Heritage is the expert and adviser to the Parliament, the President of the Republic and the Government regarding national policy issues on the protection of immovable cultural heritage. The activities of the Heritage Commission are regulated by the Law of the National Commission for Cultural Heritage (2004). The main mission of the Heritage Commission is to participate in the formation of a policy and strategy for the protection of cultural heritage, to inform the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania, the President of the Republic of Lithuania and the Government of the Republic of Lithuania about the problems regarding heritage protection, and to prepare draft legal acts related to heritage protection.
Municipalities of the Republic of Lithuania also take part in the heritage policy. They have the heritage protection divisions that perform certain functions for the protection of immovable cultural heritage provided for by law; they also issue the sets of conditions for designing protected structures and structures in the territories of protected objects as well as at protected sites, organise the approval of design documentation for the aforementioned structures as well as grant permits to build, reconstruct, repair or demolish the aforementioned structures in accordance with the procedure laid down by the legal acts of the Republic of Lithuania.
Despite this extensive institutional system for the protection and management of heritage, heritage policy is the most challenging area of cultural policy in Lithuania due to the insufficient funding and frequent changes in legislation. For example, between 2004 and 2014, the Law on the Protection of Immovable Cultural Heritage was amended and supplemented 7 times and a total of 16 amendments and editions were drafted. Such frequent changes to the Law make the implementation of this Law as well as its alignment with other laws very complicated.
In 2019, the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture commissioned a study on the cultural heritage protection processes and compatibility of heritage protection laws. The report of the study presents an analysis of laws regulating the protection of cultural heritage and the provision of services, analysis of international documents related to the protection of cultural heritage as well as an analysis of the functions of the institutions involved in the cultural heritage administration process. The findings of the study reveal the inconsistency between the concepts used in the main Lithuanian heritage protection Laws and duplications of functions performed by the Department of Cultural Heritage, municipalities and Directorates of Protected Areas. Thus, as a conclusion, the study recommends a range of legislative changes and the overall revision of the model of the Lithuanian cultural heritage protection.
The Lithuanian Cultural Policy Strategy 2030 states that Lithuanian cultural heritage policy has long been focused on regulation and control, and paid little attention to communication about the importance of heritage and traditions, and to the raise of awareness about it among heritage managers and the public. There are systemic issues in the administration of cultural heritage protection and a lack of state attention to effective heritage management, measures of preservation of intangible cultural heritage, ethnic cultural phenomena, dialogue with communities and investors, involvement of all segments of society in heritage actualisation decisions.
Lithuanian museum infrastructure consists of national, state, municipal, departmental and private or non-state-owned museums. According to the data of the Ministry of Culture, in 2019, there were 104 museums in Lithuania that submitted reports to the Ministry of Culture: 4 national, 15 state, 56 municipal, 22 departmental, and 7 public institutions/non-state-owned museums. 16 museums, including 4 national and 12 state, fall within the purview of the Ministry of Culture. According to the data of the Lithuanian Department of Statistics, in 2018, all these museums together stored 7 569 200 exhibits.
Table 8: Number of exhibits stored in museums in 2018
|Type of museums||Number of exhibits|
|Number of exhibits in national museums||2 167 577|
|Number of exhibits in state museums||2 686 334|
|Number of exhibits in municipal museums||2 177 372|
|Number of exhibits in departmental museums||484 091|
|Number of exhibits in non-state-owned museums||53 808|
Source: Lithuanian Museums Database
During 2018, Lithuanian museums were visited by 5 026 217 visitors. Compared to 2017 (4 152 393 visitors), the number of museums visitors increased by 21 per cent and compared to 2016 (3 981 126 visitors) by 26 per cent.
Table 9: Number of museums visitors in 2014–2018
|Number of museums visitors (in thousands)||3 757||3 896||3 981||4 152||5 026|
|Average number of visitors per museum (in thousands)||36.1||37.5||38.7||41.5||50.3|
The policy of museums in Lithuania are shaped and implemented by the Ministry of Culture, the Council of Museums and the Lithuanian Council for Culture. According to the Law on Museums, the Ministry of Culture outlines the strategy of the activity of national and state museums, prepares programmes for the implementation of the strategy and submits them to the Government or, at the Government’s discretion, to the Minister of Culture for approval; prepares drafts of legal acts regulating the activity of museums and submits them to the Government or the Minister of Culture for adoption; coordinates the activity of Lithuanian museums, their participation in cross-border museological programmes; checks how objects stored at museums are accounted for and protected; provides funds for the key programmes of museum activity, restoration and scientific research; appoints, through a public competition, and dismisses the directors of national and state museums whose owner’s rights and obligations are implemented by the Ministry of Culture; appoints, through a public competition, and dismisses the deputy directors – chief curators – of national and state museums whose owner’s rights and obligations are implemented by the Ministry of Culture; arranges the professional development of museum curators and restorers; at the order of the Minister of Culture compiles the list of paid services provided by museums within the competence of the Ministry of Culture. The Council of Museums acts as an expert and consultant on issues related to the formulation and implementation of museum policy.
The Lithuanian Council for Culture provides funding for projects of museums. In 2018, the Council allocated 1 321 167 EUR for 138 projects of museums.
In 2015, the Minister of Culture approved the Strategic Guidelines of Museum Development in 2015-2020. The document was drafted by a working group comprised of representatives of the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Education and Science, the Education Development Centre, the Faculty of Communication of Vilnius University and Lithuanian museums. The document includes five strategic orientations of museum development: 1) to develop contemporary museum exhibitionsshaping historic awareness, encouraging participation of the society in the cognitive process as well as representing national history and heritage; 2) to strengthen educational activities of museums based on engaging, inclusive, creative teaching and learning principles with the synergy with formal, non-formal and in- formal education programmes, life-long learning and meeting the needs and expectations of different groups of the society; 3) to pursue more efficient collecting, accounting, storing and promotion to the public of museum collections; 4) to enhance accessibility, quality and marketing competitiveness of the services rendered and products provided by museums; 5) to encourage and consistently pursue the building of skills and enhancement of qualification of the museum staff.
The Lithuanian Cultural Policy Strategy 2030 states that museums, libraries, archives, i.e. “memory institutions”, can actively contribute, through traditional and modern means of communication, to the development of citizens' values and critical thinking, as well as to ensuring their meaningful leisure. Success factors of the activity of memory institutions are the quality of content and its communication. There are positive changes in the activity of Lithuanian museums during the last 3 years, as the number of museums visitors increased by 26 per cent. However, some of the museums’ expositions are still static, they do not reflect changes and actual issues of the society, do not encourage active cognition and therefore do not meet the quality requirements set for a modern museum. In addition, this part of the cultural sector faces a specific challenge by developing its audience, since it is this part of the population who says that the main reason for not attending museums is the lack of interest.
Last update: February, 2020
The Lithuanian state archives system consists of the Office of the Chief Archivist of Lithuania and 9 state archives. The state archives are divided into two groups: central archives and regional archives. There are 5 central archives: the Lithuanian State Historical Archives, Lithuanian Central State Archives, Lithuanian State Modern Archives, Lithuanian Special Archives, and the Lithuanian Archives of Literature and Art.
The Lithuanian State Historical Archives is the main repository of records for the Lithuanian history from the 13th century up to the declaration of the Independence of Lithuania in 1918 (civil registry and vital records up until to our days). The records of state institutions, religious communities, popular organisations and families that are maintained in these archives also reflect the history of Russia, Belarus, Poland, Ukraine, Latvia and other countries.
The Lithuanian Central State Archivespreserves records of state, local government, enterprises, religious communities, popular organisations, other non-state institutions and individuals, dating from 1918 until 1990. The division of Sound and Image is the main repository of audiovisual heritage in Lithuania. It preserves moving pictures since 1919, photo negatives and positives since 1850s, sound recordings since 1950s, and videotapes since 1988 until the present day.
The Lithuanian State Modern Archives exercises control over records management in major state institutions (the Parliament, Office of the President of Republic of Lithuania, Chancellery of Government, ministries and departments, etc.) It also accumulates and preserves documents of state institutions, popular organisations and individuals, dating from 1990; provide institutions with consultations on the organisation of records management, administration and preservation of documents.
The Lithuanian Special Archives preserves records of the former Lithuanian SSR division of KGB, USSR, dating 1940-1991, records of the Lithuanian SSR Ministry of Interior dating 1944-1990 and records of communist and socialist organisations, dating from the 19th c. until 1991, that witnessed the genocide of the Lithuanian people.
The Lithuanian Archives of Literature and Art preserves and accumulates records belonging to state institutions, popular organisations and private persons, reflecting the development of culture and art in Lithuania. Most records are from the 20th century. Several documents in fonds of private persons are dated from 15th century.
The 4 regional archives preserve documents of regional state, municipal, non-state institutions and individuals of corresponding region.
Table 10: State Archives Activity Indicators for 2018
|Indicator||Value (in units)|
|Number of state archives||9|
|Number of employees in archives||425|
|Number of paper documents in archives||1 0274 469|
|Number of film documents in archives||9 549|
|Number of photo documents in archives||417 229|
|Number of audio documents in archives||25 157|
|Number of video documents in archives||5 928|
|Number of electronic documents in archives||146|
|Number of digitalised documents in archives (units per year)||47 071|
|Number of visits of document readers (per year)||31 301|
According to the data of the Lithuanian Department of Statistic, the number of written requests in archives remained relatively stable over the last 5 years.
Table 11: The number of written requests in archives in 2014–2018
|Number of requests in archives||31 100||29 500||30 100||25 900||31 300|
The policy of archives is shaped and implemented by the Ministry of Culture, the Office of the Chief Archivist of Lithuania, the Council of Archives and the Lithuanian Council for Culture. The Law On Documents And Archives (1995) define the functions of the Ministry of Culture as follow: “the Ministry of Culture shall: 1) shape a national policy in the field of management and use of documents and archives; 2) shape a film heritage protection policy and coordinate the creation of a state film chronicle according to target appropriations of the state budget as well as to the description of the procedure for creation of a chronicle, set by the Minister of Culture; 3) participate in the shaping and implementation of national policy in the field of management and use of European Union documents and archives; 4) coordinate preparation and implementation of strategic planning documents in the field of management and use of documents and archives; 5) upon the instructions of the Government implement part of the rights and duties of the owner of the Office of the Chief Archivist of Lithuania and of the state archives; 6) fulfil other functions related to state administration of documents and archives as set out by legal acts”.
The Office of the Chief Archivist of Lithuania is a government agency, which participates in the shaping of national policy in the field of management and use of documents and archives, and implements this policy and supports the Chief Archivist of Lithuania in carrying-out of state administration of the field of documents and archives.
The Council on Archives is an expert institution advising on the issues related to the implementation of the Law On Documents And Archives and assigned to the competence of the Minister of Culture. The council acts on a voluntary basis.
The Lithuanian Council for Culture finances projects submitted by archives on the competitive basis. In 2018, the Council allocated 133 900 EUR for 18 projects of archives.
The libraries operating in Lithuania are divided into State libraries, the founders of which are State institutions, municipalities and other organisations, and non-governmental libraries established by non-governmental enterprises, non-governmental organisations and natural persons.
In 2018, the network of Lithuanian libraries covered 2 402 libraries.
Table 12: Number of libraries by type in 2018
|Types of libraries||Number of libraries|
|National library – Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania||1|
|Special library – The Lithuanian Library for the Blind||1|
|County public libraries||5|
|Municipal public libraries||1 236|
|Libraries of science institutions||4|
|Libraries of museums and other cultural institutions||17|
|Libraries of special literature (medical, technical, etc.)||25|
|Libraries of higher education institutions||40|
|Libraries of schools||1073|
According to the data of the Lithuanian Department of Statistic, the number of libraries has been gradually decreasing over the last 5 years.
Table 13: The number of libraries in Lithuania in 2014–2018
|Number of libraries||2 563||2 549||2 505||2 453||2 402|
The services offered by Lithuanian libraries to the general public may be divided into three groups: 1) traditional services of which the main goal is to preserver written heritage and to promote reading, to create conditions for self-education and self-creation of the society, and to develop creativity and imagination; 2) electronic library services which encompass the digitisation of cultural heritage, the creation of digital local information databases (organisation by involving the interested communities), the development of information competencies of residents, and other library services rendered by electronic means; 3) public area (community centre) services which encourage residents to communicate, participate in civil and educational events, initiate projects, and independently form opinions.
Despite the variety of services provided, the number of registered users of libraries has been gradually decreasing over the last 5 years.
Table 14: Number of registered users of libraries in Lithuania in 2014–2018
|Number of registered users of libraries (in thousands)||1 274||1 249||1 213||1 206||1 162|
The policy of libraries in Lithuania is shaped and implemented by the Ministry of Culture, the Council of Libraries and the Lithuanian Council for Culture. The Ministry of Culture defines the strategy on the development of libraries founded by the state or municipalities; prepares and finances strategy implementing programmes; carries out administration of the provision of public services by libraries, the rights and obligations of the owner whereof are implemented by the Ministry of Culture; draws up and coordinates documents governing library activities, as well as approves them in accordance with the procedure established by legislation; commissions and finances scientific research; coordinates the activities of libraries founded by the state or municipalities, as well as their involvement in cross-border programmes; finances acquisition of documents of county and municipal public libraries; etc.
The Minister of Culture is consulted by the Council of Libraries, which takes part as an expert and consulting institution in resolving matters of library policy formation and implementation. The Council is composed of 11 members – representatives of library practice and science who are delegated by the professional community of libraries and the Minister of Culture.
The Lithuanian Council for Culture finances projects submitted by libraries on the competitive basis. In 2018, the Council allocated 615 420 EUR for 121 projects of libraries.
As it is stated in the Lithuanian Cultural Policy Strategy 2030, the network of libraries is the densest network of Lithuanian cultural institutions and the services of libraries are very popular in small towns and villages, where other cultural services are less accessible. The strategy provides that, with their experience and competences, libraries can become coordinators of public media and information literacy education, active participants in teaching / learning, capable of combining its different forms, integrating media and information literacy education in formal and non-formal learning.
Furthermore, it is stated in the Strategy that archives and libraries have valuable experience of data collection and processing and can engage in strategic activities of the management of information resources. They can unite the activities of the business enterprises and science institutions, develop and provide advanced information analysis and research services. The main priority of the work of archives, according to the strategy, is to increase access to the National Archives’ documents stored in the State Archives and to stimulate public interest in them.
In addition to that, the Strategy notes that archivists and librarians, as well as the vast majority of cultural workers in Lithuania, are subject to the highest standards of professional excellence, but average wage of Lithuanian cultural workers is the third lowest in the EU (after Romania and Bulgaria). Comparing the wages of the cultural workers with wages in other areas of public sector services, lower wages are paid only for care (non-medical services) specialists and postal couriers, i.e. in those sectors where the required qualification is minimal. Thus, one of the key challenges of the implementation of the strategy is to ensure the sustainability of human resources in public cultural sector.
Last update: February, 2020
The theatres in Lithuania are divided into state-owned, municipal, private or non-governmental, and amateur theatres. Lithuania has 13 state theatres, including 8 drama theatres, 2 puppet theatres and 3 musical theatres. Three theatres were granted the status of National Theatre, namely, the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre, the Lithuanian National Drama Theatre and Kaunas National Drama Theatre. According to the data of Lithuanian Department of Statistics, in 2018 there were 37 private theatres in Lithuania.
State-run theatres operate in all the larger Lithuanian towns and cities (Kaunas, Klaipėda, Panevėžys, Šiauliai, Marijampolė, and Alytus). All state-owned theatres are provided with their own premises (buildings). They have the legal form of budget institutions (see chapter 4.1.9) and are financed by the Ministry of Culture and municipalities. The Lithuanian Council for Culture finances their educational projects.
Private or non-governmental theatres finance their activity from their own income; they can also apply for funding from Lithuanian Council for Culture and funds of municipalities. During the last two decades, some Lithuanian private theatres, e.g. theatre company “Meno Fortas” founded by one of the most famous Lithuanian theatre directors Eimuntas Nekrošius, and theatre of Oskaras Koršunovas, became well-known not only in Lithuania, but also abroad. Despite the uneven competition with state theatres, as the latter receive direct funding from the Ministry of Culture, Lithuanian private theatres became very popular and have doubled the number of their visitors over the last 10 years*.
Table 15: The number of theatres and their visitors in Lithuania in 2009–2018
|Number of national and state theatres||13||13||13||13||13||13||13||13||13||13|
|Number of private theatres||28||27||26||26||26||26||24||24||39||37|
|Number of visitors of national and state theatres (in thousands)||646||587||594||625||645||659||719||753||767||709|
|Number of visitors of private theatres (in thousands)||295||271||256||233||407||564||735||526||628||643|
*In 2017, the Ministry of Culture changed the rules of granting the status of a professional theatre and because of that the number of private theatres significantly increased in 2017. The largest number of visitors of private theatres, however, was achieved in 2015, i.e. before the change of the rules.
Lithuania has three public musical theatres: the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre with a professional classical ballet troupe, the Kaunas State Music Theatre, and the Klaipėda State Music Theatre.
The function of distribution of professional musical culture in the country and abroad has been performed by 7 state concert performers and agencies. The National Philharmonic Society of Lithuania unites 5 musical performance groups: the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra, Lithuanian chamber orchestra, Vilnius String Quartet, Čiurlionis quartet, and The Ensemble Musica Humana. Other music organisations, established and financed by the state are the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra, the State Philharmonic Society in Kaunas, including the internationally renowned Kaunas State Choir, Lithuanian State Wind Instrument Orchestra “Trimitas”, the National Folk Song and Dance Ensemble “Lietuva”, the State Choir “Vilnius”, and the State Chamber Choir “Polifonija”. Besides their direct activities, these institutions, as well as the other non-governmental organisations are engaged in the organisation of international professional art festivals and different contests in Lithuania.
All mentioned theatre and music organisations are financed by the Ministry of Culture, the main political actor in field of performing arts. According to the Law on Professional Performing Arts (2004), the Ministry of Culture shapes policy of performing arts, drafts laws and other legal acts, promotes international cooperation between professional performing arts institutions and their participation in transnational cultural cooperation programmes, coordinates and controls the activities of state-owned theatres and concert organisations, etc.
The Minister of Culture is consulted by the Council of Professional Performing Arts. The Council performs the functions of an expert and consultant on issues of policy development and implementation of Lithuanian professional performing arts. It is composed of representatives of the Association of Lithuanian Performing Arts Organisations and of professional organisations that work in the field of performing arts.
The role of the municipalities in the field of performing arts policy is also defined in the Law on Professional Performing Arts (2004). Municipalities plan and monitor the activities of municipal theatres and concert institutions, coordinate the participation of municipal theatres and concert institutions in international cultural programmes, and ensure participation of municipal theatres and concert institutions in non-formal education programmes.
Performing arts organisations can apply for funding at the Lithuanian Council for Culture. In 2018, the Lithuanian Council for Culture allocated 2 880 150 EUR for 242 music projects, 1 481 566 EUR for 157 theatre projects, 742 156 EUR for 50 dance projects, 116 280 EUR for 11 circus projects. Grants in each of the four areas of performing arts were given for the following activities: 1) professional creation and its dissemination in Lithuania and abroad; 2) events; 3) accumulation of information (archiving, documentation) and its dissemination; 4) publishing; 5) professional criticism and analysis; 6) networking and mobility; 7) co-production.
The private and non-governmental performing arts organisations can also apply for funding from a special programme of the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture. The funds of this programme are used to finance the rent of the premises where the professional performing arts institution operates; the maintenance of the infrastructure of the premises; the bookkeeping services and to cover the wage costs, including taxes, of staff employed by a professional performing arts institution.
In 2018, the National Audit Office of Lithuania carried out the audit of the state theatres and concert organisations in order to evaluate the efficiency of their operation. The audit report states that professional theatres and concert establishments receive approximately 40 million EUR from the state budget each year. 97 per cent of these funds are allocated to 20 establishments which fall within the area managed by the Ministry of Culture, namely to national and state theatres and concert establishments. However, their funding is not tied to their performance, as the national theatres and concert establishments are not subject to any specific individual requirements. Audit results have also demonstrated that the network of professional performing arts establishments funded from the state budget has remained fundamentally unchanged for a great number of years, and that national cultural policy is currently being formulated without any crucial information on the performance of all of the relevant establishments. This leads to a lack of substantiated data on the pursuit of the goals of professional performing arts institutions, and whether the funds are being deployed in the most purposeful manner.
The Lithuanian Cultural Policy Strategy 2030 takes into account the audit findings and argues the need to formulate clear criteria for assessing the performance of state and national performing arts institutions that would be tied with their status. The status of the “national arts institution” implies not only the exclusive quality of the activity and leadership, but also a special role in the implementation of state priorities. The strategy also notes that the current Lithuanian system of national and state arts organisations can provide services of high quality but does not ensure effective dissemination of art and culture. Therefore, the system will have to be revised and changed in the coming years in line with the expectations of modern society and the possibilities of the country.
Last update: February, 2020
Lithuania has two national museums of fine arts, a network of galleries established by the State, municipalities, non-governmental organisations (creative unions and public organisations), higher education institutions, and galleries established at private initiative. According to the data of the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture, there are currently over 50 galleries functioning in Lithuania, but the number is likely to be much higher.
The Lithuanian Art Museum has 9 divisions that work as separate galleries or museums in Vilnius: Vilnius Picture Gallery, National Gallery of Art, Clock and Watch Museum, Museum of the Radvilas Palace, Vytautas Kasiulis Art Museum, Pranas Domšaitis Gallery, Museum of Applied Arts and Design, Palanga Amber Museum, Pamarys Gallery. Founded in 1933 as Vilnius City Museum, the Lithuanian Art Museum is currently the biggest national establishment that preserves, investigates and displays pieces of art of historical and artistic value. The exhibition halls of the museum display Lithuanian and foreign works of fine and applied art and feature temporary exhibitions of Lithuanian and foreign artists. The museum also has a collection of the national folk art.
Established in 1921, the M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art has turned into one of the oldest and largest art museums in Lithuania. The Museum has 11 divisions that operates in Kaunas: M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art, M. Žilinskas Art Gallery, Kaunas Picture Gallery, A. Žmuidzinavičius Creations and Collections Museum, Devils Museum, Historical Presidential Palace of the Republic of Lithuania, A. and P. Galaunė House, L. Truikys and M. Rakauskaitė Memorial Museum, J. Zikaras Memorial Museum, V. K. Jonynas Gallery, M. K. Čiurlionis Memorial Museum.
The main state institution of contemporary art in Lithuania is the Contemporary Art Centre established by the Ministry of Culture. The Centre is one of the largest contemporary art venues in the Baltic region, it hosts a diverse programme of exhibitions and events dedicated to contemporary art, aiming to enrich the cultural life of the city and the local and international discourse on contemporary art.
Visual arts and crafts are also featured in galleries and exhibition centres of creative unions. Lithuanian Artists’ Association (LAA) has 1402 members that belong to the sections of Sculpture, Ceramics, Graphics, Watercolour, Textile, Painting, Applied Arts, Scenography, Monumental Art, etc. LAA has established 7 galleries in Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda and Panevėžys and set up 5 divisions of production: Ltd “Vilnius art” (Vilniaus dailė), and non-profit organisations LAA’s Publishers “Artseria”, the Centre of Sculpture and Stained Glass, the Centre of Vilnius Graphic Arts, and the House of Artists (“Dailininkų namai”) in Palanga.
Lithuanian Photographers Association has about 300 members. It runs four galleries in Vilnius, Kaunas and Klaipėda. The professional Folk Artists’ Association has about 2000 members and runs a gallery and antique shop in Vilnius.
In 2009, Lithuanian Art Gallerists’ Association organised the first visual arts fair – “ARTVILNIUS'09” – that became the greatest annual event dedicated to the contemporary visual arts in Lithuania. ArtVilnius takes place in the Exhibition and Congress Centre LITEXPO and every year has over 23 000 visitors, with about 65 art galleries from a dozen or so countries participating (Germany, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, the Netherlands, Russia, Italy, and France). The applications of galleries wishing to participate in the art fair are reviewed and selected by a jury made up of art critics and art market experts, thereby ensuring the professionalism of the galleries at the fair.
Creative unions of visual arts and crafts, individual artists and their organisations can apply for funding to Lithuanian Council for Culture. The Council has special funding programmes for visual arts, traditional arts and crafts, combined arts and interdisciplinary arts. Funding in each of these programmes are given for the following activities: 1) professional creation and its dissemination in Lithuania and abroad; 2) events; 3) accumulation of information (archiving, documentation) and its dissemination; 4) publishing; 5) professional criticism and analysis; 6) networking and mobility; 7) co-production. In 2018, the Lithuanian Council for Culture allocated 1 357 437 EUR for 130 projects in the visual arts programme, 863 680 EUR for 146 projects in the traditional arts and crafts programme, 1 449 017 EUR for 157 projects in the combined arts programme, 838 405 EUR for 62 projects in the interdisciplinary arts programme.
The Lithuanian Council for Culture also awards grants for individual artists. Grants (up to 3600 EUR) of this programme are allocated for activities that improve professional skills. In 2018, the council awarded grants to 85 visual artists, 66 interdisciplinary artists, 21 photographers, and 23 folk artists.
Municipalities fund visual arts through their programmes. For example, the second large Lithuanian city Kaunas implements a programme “Kaunas Highlights” that invites artists to submit new ideas in sculpture, design object, work of fine art and light installation. Participants can choose to decorate any place in Kaunas City with their works. The requirements for projects are uniqueness, individuality, originality and overall harmony with the environment. Kaunas City Municipality funds up to 100 per cent of the implementation costs of the project. Submitted projects are assessed by a commission that chooses the winners of the contest. The programme started in 2016 and until 2019, 39 works of visual arts have been funded.
Last update: February, 2020
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||-||-|
Last update: February, 2020
According to the data of the Lithuanian Department of Statistics, in 2018 the number of publishers who have published at least one book, brochure or booklet was 514, although the number of publishing houses that actually operate in the Lithuanian publishing market is around 50. The Lithuanian Publishers Association, established in 1989, unites currently 43 active publishing houses as well as NGO’s mostly concentrating on specialised publishing.
Table 17: Number of titles of books and brochures by type and year
|Books and brochures by purpose||2014||2015||2016||2017||2018||Total by purpose|
|Scientific literature||311||352||277||257||215||1 412|
|Literature of law||20||20||21||12||11||84|
|Educational literature for pupils||200||321||263||355||265||1 404|
|Educational literature for students||176||175||145||113||97||706|
|Informative literature for children||78||66||106||110||109||469|
|Popular literature||858||800||830||778||832||4 098|
|Fiction for adults||926||919||879||920||818||4 462|
|Fiction for children||414||418||457||376||415||2 080|
|Total each year||3 292||3 575||3 272||3 191||3 075||16 405|
The International Vilnius Book Fair is the major event of Lithuanian books publishing industry. The Fair has been organised since 1999 and during the twenty years of its existence became the biggest and most important book fair in the Baltic States. It gives a possibility to evaluate the whole publishing market of Lithuania and the neighbouring countries, and to get to know new names of the literary world. The Fair is also the main meeting place of publishers, authors and readers. Over 500 cultural events are held annually during the four opening days, the Fair attracts more than 60 000 visitors. The main accent of the Fair is on books and cultural events, as well as on the possibility for authors to interact with their readers.
The publishing industry is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, the Lithuanian Council of Culture, and the Lithuanian Culture Institute.
The Ministry of Culture implements the National Literature Programme that was approved by the Lithuanian Government in 2014. The programme seeks to promote the creation of fiction and literature of humanities, as well as its critical reflection and dissemination in Lithuania and abroad. One of the tasks of the programme was to form the Council of Literature, an advisory body operating under the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, acting as an expert and consultant in formulating and implementing the policy of literature and its dissemination. The Council was established in 2014.
In 2018, the Ministry of Culture approved the Reading Promotion Programme for 2018–2024. The Programme supports various reading promotion initiatives and projects, the election of the “Book of the Year” (organised by Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania), the “Top 12 Most Creative Books” competition (organised by the Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore), and the event “Lithuania Reads” (coordinated by the Lithuanian Publishers Association) organised on 7 May, the Press Recovery Day.
The Lithuanian Culture Institute implements Translation Grant Programme that supports the translations of the Lithuanian literature into foreign languages; provides information about Lithuanian authors to foreign publishers, publishing and translation houses and organisations; organises presentations of creations of Lithuanian writers at international book fairs, creative symposiums, and other events. The funds from the Ministry of Culture have been used for publishing about 30 books of Lithuanian authors in foreign publishing houses annually, and for the organisation of translation workshops and seminars for the translators of Lithuanian literature into foreign languages every two years.
The Lithuanian Council for Culture supports literature and publishing through its programmes designated to fund the creation of literature and publishing of original and translated literature of humanities. In 2018, the Council allocated 1 206 208 EUR for 178 projects of literature and publishing, and awarded 43 individual grants for translations, creative writing and publishing.
Part of the Lithuanian publishing industry is the printed and electronic press. However, according to the data of the Lithuanian Department of Statistics and the media research company KANTAR, there is a steady decline in publishing and reading of printed media. According to the data of 2017, at least one issue of a periodical was read by 74 per cent of 15-74 years old Lithuania's population, i.e. 3 per cent less than in 2016. The share of loyal readers (average audience) also fell by 1 per cent and was 62 per cent in 2017, thus the overall readability of the press compared to 2016 decreased. In 2017, Lithuanian residents read newspapers for an average of 12 minutes and magazines for an average of 13 minutes a day, compared to 2016, these figures did not change. Weeklies remain the form of periodicals that reach the biggest share of audience, with an overall audience of 60 per cent in 2017. The audience of the dailies declined with 2 per cent, up to 33 per cent.
Table 18: The statistics of Lithuanian printed media industry in 2014–2018
|Number of newspaper titles||239||222||216||207||188|
|Annual circulation of newspapers||108 538||97 650||93 162||84 409||79 304|
|Number of periodicals titles||549||550||566||541||527|
|Annual circulation of periodicals||55 091||52 461||50 080||46 399||42 746|
The financial support for printed and electronic media is allocated by the Press, Radio and Television Support Foundation. The Foundation implements 4 funding programmes related to the press industry 1) periodicals of culture and art; 2) national periodical press; 3) regional periodical press; 4) the internet media. The projects submitted for funding have to address the issues of art and culture, media literacy and public information security. The foundation also supports the subscription of the printed press of libraries.
Table 19: Results of the funding competition of the Press, Radio and Television Support Foundation of 2018
|Programme||Number of submitted projects||Number of supported projects||Amount allocated||Subscription funds||Amount allocated along with subscription|
|Periodicals of culture and arts||36||33||545 000||95 985||640 985|
|National periodical press||42||34||212 800||27 728||240 528|
|Regional periodical press||117||89||614 500||17 928||632 428|
|National radio and television broadcasting||48||33||394 740||0||394 740|
|Regional radio and television broadcasting||62||39||248 500||0||248 500|
|Internet media||121||73||429 000||0||429 000|
|Total||426||301||2 444 540||141 641||2 586 181|
Source: The Annual Report of Press, Radio and Television Support Foundation, 2018, pp. 10.
In general, the Lithuanian publishing and press policy of the last 10 years is directed to the promotion of reading, creation of national literature and dissemination of Lithuanian literature abroad. From these three directions, the Lithuanian Cultural Policy Strategy 2030 emphasises the promotion of reading. The Strategy states that it is necessarily to support a positive public attitude towards reading, to develop culture of reading and to strengthen pupils' reading abilities through creative promotion of literature and books.
Last update: February, 2020
There are three main institutions that shape and implement Lithuanian film policy: the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, the Film Policy Council and the Lithuanian Film Centre.
While shaping and implementing the national cultural policy in the field of cinema, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania performs the following functions laid down in the Law on Cinema: 1) forms national film policy and prepares drafts of laws and other legal acts in the field of cinema; 2) analyses the trends of cinema development in the Republic of Lithuania and in foreign countries, initiates and drafts strategic planning documents in the field of cinema (concepts, strategies, programmes), and carries out the monitoring of implementation of these documents; 3) upon the assignment of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania or the Prime Minister, represents the Republic of Lithuania in foreign countries or international organisations; within its competence and in accordance with the established procedure maintains contacts with respective foreign institutions and international organisations and, in accordance with the procedure provided for by the Republic of Lithuania Law on International Treaties, concludes and implements the international treaties; 4) coordinates and controls the activities of the Lithuanian Film Centre under the Ministry of Culture.
The Ministry of Culture is consulted by the Film Policy Council. The Council is a collegiate and advisory institution under the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, functioning on a voluntary basis and dealing with the issues of the Lithuanian film policy. Its goal is to address the key film policy issues and provide the Minister of Culture with proposals and conclusions concerning the strategic planning and measures of strengthening the field of cinema, development programmes and their aims and reached outcomes, state funding, preservation of film heritage, the drafting and/or improvement of legal acts governing the field of cinema, as well as other film related issues pointed out by the Minister of Culture.
The Lithuanian Film Centre is a state institution established in 2012 under the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania. The functions of the Film Centre are defined by the amendment on the Law on Film (2002) of 2011. According to the law, the Film Centre: 1) participates in the formation of State film policy; 2) implements State film policy and exercise the functions entrusted thereto in accordance with the Law and other legal acts; 3) organises film project tenders for State funding; 4) gives advice to film producers concerning the preparation of film projects; 5) allocates State funding for film projects; 6) exercises control over the use and reporting of State funding; etc.
According to the data of Lithuanian Film Centre, in 2019, in the Lithuanian film industry there have been working 57 film production companies, 10 professional associations, 3 organisations that defend rights of the creators working in audiovisual sector and copyright in general, 1 incubator of audiovisual arts, 3 local film offices, 11 film distributors, 28 cinemas, and 17 other companies that provide services of post-production, film montage, casting, camera rental, search for filming locations, sound recording and subtitling. Lithuanian and foreign films are featured in 16 Lithuanian film festivals.
Table 20: Facts and figures of Lithuanian film industry 2014–2018
|Average admissions per capita||1.11||1.13||1.29||1.44||1.53|
|Total number of admissions*||3 234 595||3 330 518||3 668 370||4 060 159||4 265 414|
|Gross Box Office (in EUR)||14 378 587||15 391 806||17 724 516||20 392 625||22 444 111|
|Lithuanian films gross box office (in EUR)||3 333 829||2 126 232||3 463 809||4 536 088||6 250 538|
|Average ticket price (in EUR)||4.29||4.62||4.83||5.00||5.26|
|Total number of cinemas||28||28||27||27||26|
|Domestic films market share, %||23.18||13.81||19.50||21.47||27.9|
|European films market share, %||13.90||17.80||8.50||14.00||11.8|
|US films market share, %||60.28||65.48||71.50||64.62||58.7|
|Other countries films market share, %||2.64||2.91||0.50||0.94||1.6|
|Total number of national premieres||14||10||13||11||21|
|Total number of national feature films produced||8||11||21||15||28|
|Total number of films distributed||261||290||291||309||351|
Source: Lithuanian Film Centre
* Excluding festival admissions
After the restoration of independence in 1990, the Lithuanian film industry was one of the smallest in Europe. During the first decade of independence, only 20 domestic films were created, while during the second decade about 60 films. The situation changed with the establishment of the Lithuanian Film Centre in 2012 that became the main institution of the implementation of film policy.
Table 21: Total budget of Lithuanian Film centre in 2015–2019
|Budget of Lithuanian Film Centre (in EUR)||3 073 737||3 519 000||4 619 000||6 423 000||6 431 000|
Source: Lithuanian Film Centre
Positive impact on the Lithuanian film industry was made by the Film Tax Incentive that came into effect in January 2014 as a new policy measure to foster local and foreign film production in Lithuania. The incentive is regulated by the Article 172 of the Lithuanian Law on Corporate Income Tax (2001) which supplemented the Law with the provision about the reduction of taxable income due to funds granted free of charge for the production of a film or a part thereof (see chapter 4.1.4). Due to the incentive, in the period between 2014 and the end of 2017, investors in Lithuania provided funds for the production of 68 films, including 22 national films, 23 co-production films and 23 foreign production films. In total, over 8.5 million EUR was invested in film production in Lithuania during this period, 1 million EUR (11.2%) for national films, almost 2.8 million EUR (32.8%) for co-productions, and almost 4.8 million EUR (56%) for foreign films.
After these two political steps – the establishment of the Lithuanian Film Centre in 2012 and the introduction of the tax incentive in 2014 – the production of domestic films increased in Lithuania by almost 50 per cent compared to the period of 2009–2011.
Table 22: Domestic films produced in 2009–2018
Source: Lithuanian Film Centre
Radio and Television
According to the data of the Lithuanian Radio and Television Commission, in 2018, there were 107 media companies in Lithuania. 26 of them broadcasted TV programmes, 6 broadcasted TV online only, 27 re-broadcasted TV, and 41 broadcasted or re-broadcasted radio (see chapter 2.5.3 for more about media policy and content).
Domestic programmes of radio, television and other sectors of Lithuanian audiovisual industry are promoted through the Press, Radio and Television Support Foundation. The Foundation implements three funding programmes related to the audiovisual industry: 1) national radio and television; 2) regional radio and television; 3) the Internet media (see chapter 1.2.2 for more about the Press, Radio and Television Support Foundation).
Table 23: Fund allocation of the Press, Radio and Television Support Foundation in 2016–2019
|National radio and television broadcasting||Regional radio and television broadcasting||Internet media||Total|
|2019||Number of projects||37||40||75||152|
|Amount allocated (in EUR)||406 980||197 000||414 090||1 018 070|
|2018||Number of projcts||33||39||72||144|
|Amount allocated (in EUR)||394 740||248 500||429000||1 072 240|
|2017||Number of projects||34||40||71||145|
|Amount allocated (in EUR)||403 081||206 000||431 252||1 040 333|
|2016||Number of projects||33||43||60||136|
|Amount allocated (in EUR)||408 269||210 000||421 537||1 039 806|
Last update: February, 2020
There is no systematic policy on the music industry in Lithuania. The Lithuanian Ministry for Culture shapes and supports only national or state music organisations that are seen as a part of the performing arts sector (see chapter 3.3 for more information). The popular music industry and its value chain are not analysed, shaped or supported by any state institution. Nevertheless, there are some important public initiatives that aim to systematise the information about the Lithuanian music industry and disseminate it abroad. One of them is Music Information Centre Lithuania (MICL). The Centre was set up in February 1996 as the information and publishing branch of the Lithuanian Composers' Union. In 1998, it became a member of the International Association of Music Information Centres. From 2001, the centre has been functioning as a public body (its founder being the Lithuanian Composers' Union) that realises recordings of Lithuanian composers and publishes the scores of their work, accumulates and updates information on them in a database, catalogues and archives their compositions.
In 2006, the Centre began to implement the project Music Lithuania that was aimed to represent the Lithuanian music industry at international music expos. Since then, the Centre organises Lithuania’s national stands at international music industry expos, disseminates and promotes compilations of music, coordinates concerts of music by Lithuanian composers and performers abroad, as well as presents information on various musical genres on its website.
The online database of MICL contains information on Lithuanian composers, songwriters, improvisers, sound artists and performers (with more than 400 profiles with catalogues of compositions and / or a discography). The Manuscripts Archive consists of the scores and individual instrument parts of orchestral, chamber and choral classical and contemporary works by Lithuanian composers (with almost 6 000 original manuscripts or copies of them). The Sound Archive consists of classical and contemporary music by Lithuanian composers (more than 7 600 unreleased recordings and about 2300 releases). The Library holds published scores (almost 5 000 works), as well as books, periodicals, photographs, etc.
The other public organisation of Lithuanian music industry is the Lithuanian Music Business Association that was established in 2015. It unites several companies of management and event organisation from the music industry and seeks to encourage and support cooperation between their members in order to achieve common goals in the fields of education, export and lobbying. The main project of the Association is an international showcase festival and conference on innovations and new opportunities in the music industry (“What’s Next in Music?”), organised annually together with Arts Fabric “Loftas”.
Despite the lack of the systematic policy of the music industry in Lithuania, there are a huge number of music composers and performers that take part in 45 regularly occurring music festivals. Lithuanian cities and villages regularly host about 15 classical music festivals, 10 jazz, 8 folk, 7 pop rock and 5 electronic music festivals. Some of them are partly funded by municipalities, the Lithuanian Council for Culture or private sponsors.
Lithuanian municipalities have orchestras, jazz bands and folk ensembles that are financed on regular basis. Music projects are regularly funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture that also has a grant programme for individual music performers and composers.
Table 24: Funding of music projects and individual grants for music performers and composers by the Lithuanian Council for Culture in 2014–2019
|Number of funded projects||334||268||247||270||241||273|
|Allocated amount (in EUR)||2 775 327||2 302 688||2 098 090||2 614 510||2 875 350||2 804 040|
|Number of individual grants||50||60||83||70||84||59|
|Allocated amount (in EUR)||114 000||127 300||132 240||181 070||197 100||185 800|
Last update: February, 2020
Design policy in Lithuania is shaped and implemented by two Ministries: the Ministry of Economy and Innovation and Ministry of Culture. The Ministry of Culture supervises various cultural initiatives of the design sector and copyright. The Ministry of Economy and Innovation is responsible for design export and the growth of small and medium sized enterprises.
The financial support for design sector is provided by several institutions. The Council for Culture provides funding for various projects of design and other design related initiatives, such as publications, events, education, and festivals. It also supports small and medium sized enterprises of design. The Ministry of Economy and Innovation funds design through its programmes and agencies, e.g. Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology (MITA). MITA is a national innovation agency and provides free of charge services for clients from business, science and public sectors, interested in possibilities to develop strong cooperation relations with international partners and get financial support for research and innovation projects. There are also other organisations that finance design projects, e.g. Lithuanian Business Support Agency, public institution Enterprise Lithuania (“Versli Lietuva”), and financial institution INVEGA.
As the sector of design gets funding from various institutions and falls under several programmes, it is impossible to calculate the total amount of funding. In 2018, the Lithuanian Council for Culture allocated 240 396 EUR for 34 projects of design and awarded 23 individual grants for designers.
Despite various financing sources and two Ministries that are concerned with design, Lithuanian policy of design is not systematic and has been quite neglected for a long time. Until 2015, Lithuania had no strategy of design policy, although there were some “bottom up” initiatives aimed at preparing such a strategy. For example, in 2008, Vilnius Academy of Art commissioned the study The Complex Development of Lithuanian Design that was conducted by the international design research team Mollerup Designlab. The study provided the development plan of Lithuanian design sector for seven years that was presented to the Ministry of Education. However, the plan was not adopted.
In 2014, the Design Innovation Centre of Vilnius Academy of Art made the feasibility study of the development of Lithuanian design sector. One of the recommendations of the study was a proposal to establish national Design Council, whose long-term activities would include the maintenance of the communication between public authorities, business companies, design agencies, and educational institutions, as well as consultation about the design policy.
In 2015, on the basis of the above-mentioned study, Lithuanian Ministry of Culture adopted the Guidelines of the Development of the Architecture and Design 2015-2020. The document establishes five development guidelines: 1) to strengthen informal education in architecture and design, and to increase literacy of the general public and professionals in architecture and design; 2) to develop the science and knowledge transfer by promoting innovation in architecture and design; 3) to strengthen cooperation between different sectors of society; 4) to increase the visibility of design in society and to raise the awareness of the influence of design on the social and economic development of the country and its impact on innovation; 5) to increase the visibility of architecture in society and to raise the awareness of the influence of architecture on the sustainable urban development, quality of life, environmental protection and the economy.
In 2019, Lithuanian Design Forum Association carried out the feasibility study about the establishment of the coordinating institution of Lithuanian design sector. The study identified the main issues that hinder the development of efficient ecosystem of design: under-representation of the sector at various levels; ill-matched functions of design institutions; miscommunication between different design sectors; lack of cooperation and coordination of activities. Also, as it is stated in the study, Lithuania did not have a consistent Law on Design that would be appropriate for contemporary design understanding and improvement of design sector’s performance. Although, Lithuanian Parliament had adopted the Law on Design in 2002, the Law dealt only with industrial design of products and lacked the definition of design in up to date terms consistent with contemporary models of design activities. The study proposed to establish a single central institution responsible for coordinating the design sector – the Lithuanian Design Office.
In 2019, the first step towards the consistent design policy was taken - the Ministry of Economy and Innovation of the Republic of Lithuania and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania established a joint unit - the Design Council. The task of the Council is to contribute to the development of a long-term continuous design policy by submitting to the Minister of Culture and the Minister of Economy and Innovation proposals and recommendations on the issues concerning the strategic planning of design sector, programmes and measures of design development, priorities and sources of public funding for design, protection of design heritage, strengthening of international competitiveness of Lithuanian design industry, etc.
In 2001, Lithuania became a member of the Architects' Council of Europe (ACE) and began the process of organising its activities in compliance with European legislation on architecture and building policy. The activity of architects is regulated by the Law on Construction (1996), Law on Architects’ Chamber (2006) and the Law on Architecture (2017).
The policy of architecture is shaped and implemented in Lithuania by the Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Environment. The Ministry of Environment develops spatial planning, urban planning, architecture and construction policy, organizes, coordinates and controls its implementation as well as makes recommendations to municipalities in the field of architecture in the territories of municipalities. The Ministry of Culture protects and develops the immovable architectural, urban and ethno-cultural heritage. The most important political document prepared by the Ministry of Culture for architecture is the Guidelines of the Development of the Architecture and Design 2015-2020 (see above).
Lithuanian Council for Culture funds projects of architecture under its special programme. The Council provides funding for the following activities: 1) professional creation and its dissemination in Lithuania and abroad; 2) events; 3) accumulation of information (archiving, documentation) and its dissemination; 4) publishing; 5) professional criticism and analysis; 6) networking and mobility; 7) co-production. In 2018, the Council allocated 542 215 EUR for 33 projects of architecture and awarded 9 individual grants for architects.
The Architects' Chamber was founded in 2006. The objective of the Chamber’s activities is to ensure the transparency and quality of architectural activities, to oversee architect certification, recognition of qualifications, professional qualification development and compliance with professional ethics standards, to carry out monitoring of professional activities, to represent architects in dealings with state and self-governance institutions and other legal and natural persons at both the national and international level, to act as an expert in courts and other institutions on issues concerning the professional activities of architects, to satisfy and defend public interest related to architecture, and to resolve other related issues. In 2019, the Architects chamber had 923 members and 7975 architectural works registered in the Chambers’ database.
The Architects Association of Lithuania (AAL) (founded in 1924) is a voluntary NGO that unites the licensed architects of Lithuania. In 2019, AAL had 1081 members. The organization has 6 sections in 6 different cities.
At 22 November of 2019, Lithuanian Architects’ Chamber, AAL, Architectural Fond and International Kaunas Architecture Festival published a public letter appealing to the President, Prime Minister and other leading figures to establish the Lithuanian Centre of Architecture that is a necessary institution to implement Lithuanian national policy of architecture. The centre would document, collect, preserve, research and disseminated architectural works to the public and foreign visitors.
Last update: February, 2020
The Lithuanian tourism industry is regulated by the Law on Tourism (1998). The Ministry of Economy and Innovation of the Republic of Lithuania is responsible for the policy of the development of tourism, resort and resort area and the implementation of the functions of international cooperation in the field of tourism. The main objectives of the Ministry are as follows: to identify tourism development priorities, promote the development of competitive tourism products, reduce seasonality in tourism, and to increase the number of tourists visiting Lithuania. The Tourism Policy Division of the Ministry is responsible for international agreements in the field of tourism as well as for maintaining relations with diplomatic missions of foreign countries and the Republic Lithuania.
In 2018, the Lithuanian Government abolished the State Department of Tourism under the Ministry of Economy and Innovation and established a new public institution Lithuania Travel (VšĮ ‘Keliauk Lietuvoje’) that started to work on 1 January 2019. The reform was made with the aim to separate tourism marketing and control functions. The new institution Lithuania Travel carries out marketing and tourism promotion functions and is responsible for raising the awareness of Lithuania as a tourism destination and for the development of inbound and local tourism. Lithuania Travel is subordinated to the Ministry of Economy and Innovation. The function of the supervision of tourism service providers that was also performed by the Department of Tourism was transferred to the State Consumer Rights Protection Authority. The authority is responsible for the supervision of tour operators, retailers, tour package sellers and accommodation providers as well as for the representation of interests of tourists in the event of an insolvency or bankruptcy of the tour operator.
In 2016, the Lithuanian Government approved the Lithuanian Tourism Development Programme 2014-2020. The programme sets the goals, tasks and priorities of tourism development taking into account the principles of sustainable tourism. The strategic goal of the programme is to increase the competitiveness of the Lithuanian tourism sector. The programme emphasises that in order to maintain the flow of tourists, it is necessary to create competitive tourism products, expand tourism infrastructure, promote the export of tourism services to foreign countries, take effective marketing and communication measures, and raise awareness of Lithuania. The main tasks of the programme are to improve the development of tourism infrastructure and quality of services, the awareness and image of Lithuania as a tourist country, and to reduce the seasonality of tourism services.
The programme identifies four priority types of tourism: cultural tourism, business tourism, health tourism and green (eco) tourism. Cultural tourism is defined in the programme as tourism aimed at exploring the cultural environment, landscapes, cultural and natural heritage, traditions, local lifestyles, seeing the works of visual and performing arts, attending cultural events, and participating in entertainment.
Table 25: Number of tourists in Lithuania in 2017–2018
|2017||2018||Change, number of persons||Increase in 2017/18, %|
|Total||3 253 200||3 620 400||367 200||11.3|
|Citizens of Lithuania||1 669 400||1 875 700||206 300||12.4|
|Foreigners, total||1 583 800||1 744 700||160 900||10.2|
|EU member states||1 424 100||1 551 900||127 800||9.0|
|Non-EU states||933 600||1 043 100||109 500||11.7|
Source: Lithuania Travel
Table 26: Number of overnight stays in 2017–2018
|2017||2018||Change, number of overnight stays||Increase in 2017/18, %|
|Total||7 364 900||8 091 600||7 267||9.9|
|Citizens of Lithuania||3 933 700||4 354 800||4 211||10.7|
|Foreigners, total||3 431 200||3 736 900||3 056||8.9|
|EU member states||3 041 100||3 291 200||2 501||8.2|
|Non-EU states||1 895 100||2 102 500||2 074||10.9|
Source: Lithuania Travel