6. Cultural participation and consumption
Last update: February, 2020
Two of the four main objectives of the Lithuanian Cultural Policy Strategy 2030, adopted in 2019 by Lithuanian Government, are targeted to the accessibility of culture and cultural participation. The first objective is to strengthen the cooperation between the state, municipal and non-governmental sectors, reducing cultural exclusion and inequalities. The objective has to be achieved by accomplishing three tasks: to ensure leadership and proportionality of performed functions within the network of cultural institutions; improve the quality and efficiency of the performance of cultural and art institutions by optimally distributing services across their networks; and to ensure the sustainability of cultural human resources and their equal distribution. The second objective is to stimulate creation and participation in culture. It also comprises three tasks: to develop and foster talents by providing the appropriate conditions for creation in different artistic fields; promote the equal accessibility of high quality and various forms of culture for diverse social groups; and promote the participation in diverse creative activities by lifelong development of cultural competencies.
The third goal of the Lithuanian Cultural Policy Strategy 2030 links the issue of cultural participation to the development of civil society and critical thinking of people. The tasks of the goal are the following: to strengthen the immunity of citizens and institutions to information threats and their civic activity and knowledge; strengthen people's critical thinking ability and understanding of cultural phenomena; and develop national awareness and cognition of tangible and intangible heritage of modern society.
Before the adoption of the strategy in 2019, the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture already implemented some measures to increase the accessibility of culture and cultural participation. The newest measure is free admission to museums. Since the beginning of 2019, under the initiate of the Ministry of Culture, permanent exhibitions of national and state museums can be visited free of charge every last Sunday of the month. This regulation does not apply to private museums.
In 2018, the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, launched a programme for schoolchildren called Cultural Pass (Kultūros pasas). The aim of the measure is to improve access to cultural and educational projects and events, develop cultural awareness and experience of schoolchildren by providing appropriate cultural and artistic services. The measure provides each pupil with a "cultural passport" worth 15 EUR per school year that could be used for visiting performances, concerts or exhibitions offered by various cultural organisations and selected by expert groups according to the needs of different age groups and other criteria. Depending on the age group, the pupil attends cultural and artistic events either with their class or individually. The range of services that can be chosen per year depends on the price of the service. In 2019, pupils of all age groups were involved in the project. The Lithuanian Ministry of Culture allocated to the measure a total of 4.808 million EUR.
In 2011, the Ministry of Culture approved the “2012-2020 Programme for the Development of Regional Culture”. The purpose of the Programme is to establish priority areas of regional cultural development and create conditions for cultural access and dissemination by making the regions more attractive for local communities, investors and tourism.
Since 2008, following the example of the contest of European Capital of Culture, the contest “Lithuanian Capital of Culture” has been organised. Under this programme, the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture organises a contest and selects one Lithuanian town (with the exception of the capital Vilnius) each year as the Lithuanian capital of culture. The town is selected after experts evaluate the Capital of Culture projects submitted by the municipalities. The contest is organised every three years and cultural capitals for three consecutive years are announced as a result. Selected projects receive partial financial support from the Ministry of Culture. The programme seeks to promote the cultural activity and creativity of the residents of Lithuanian regions, develop culture, arts, and creative industries, and expand access to culture. Each nominated municipality implements cultural programmes, organises music, theatre festivals, exhibitions, provides educational workshops for children and young people. In general, the project has vitalized the activities of local communities, schools, arts and culture institutions, stimulated cultural participation and became an important factor for local and regional development.
In 2015, another competitive project – "The Minor Lithuanian Capital of Culture" – was initiated and started by the Ministry of Culture and the community of Naisiai village. The Minor Lithuanian Capital of Culture competition is announced and organised by the Union of Rural Communities of Lithuania. It is a project that stimulates small villages to be involved in cultural life and creative processes.
In 2006, in order to promote reading and help improve reading skills, The Lithuanian Ministry of Culture approved the Reading Promotion Programme. 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 Reading Promotion Programme for 2019 – 2021 provides 8 measures (events, conferences, workshops) aimed at modernisation and accessibility of reading environments, development of reading promotion competences of cultural workers and educators, enhancement of reading abilities of schoolchildren and formation of a positive attitude towards reading.
Last update: February, 2020
The Lithuanian Ministry of Culture commissions representative surveys of Lithuanian population (15 years and over) about the participation in culture and satisfaction with cultural services since 2013. The survey is carried out each 4 years. Currently, data of the surveys of 2014 and 2017 are available. The questionnaire used in the surveys has been prepared within the full scope of the cultural participation questionnaire of the ESS-net Culture.
There are publicly available data of the survey Special Eurobarometer 278: European Cultural Values of 2007 and Special Eurobarometer 399: Cultural access and participation of 2013. The questionnaires of Lithuanian surveys of Participation of the Population in Culture and Satisfaction with Cultural Services of 2013 and 2017 involve questions about the causes of non-participation in culture from the questionnaire of Eurobarometer Survey 2007 with additional questions relevant for the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture.
According to the cultural consumption data of the surveys of 2014 and 2017, there were no significant changes in figures of both years while comparing data on the level of culture and arts branches. The biggest decrease in consumption (-4.6) was in the branch of artistic performances. However, the attendance at live performing events did not decrease, and the difference between the figures of both years was due to a decline in viewing or listening to recordings of artistic performances.
Table 32: Persons (≥15 years) who have consumed cultural products during the last 12 months in Lithuania in 2014 and 2017, pct.
|Persons (≥15 years) who in the last 12 months..., pct.||2014||2017||Difference|
|1. have visited, viewed or listened to artistic performances||89.7||85.0||-4.6|
|1.1. have visited artistic events||57.5||61.4||3.9|
|1.2. have viewed direct broadcast outside home of artistic performances (for example, outdoors, at a cinema, public library or any other place)||32.7||31.2||-1.4|
|1.3. have viewed or listened to recordings of artistic performances||79.3||70.0||-9.4|
|2. have consumed products of visual arts and crafts||47.9||50.4||2.5|
|3. have visited cultural heritage sites (museums, galleries, exhibitions, cultural monuments, archives)||72.6||71.0||-1.6|
|4. have read books and press||97.1||96.3||-0.9|
|5. have used library services||38.3||35.3||-2.9|
|6. have viewed films and videos||89.0||91.4||2.3|
|7. have listened to the radio, watched television or used the Internet||99.7||99.8||0.1|
The comparison of the data about the consumption of state founded cultural activities and activities without large public subsidies shows that the latter are more popular, and figures demonstrate a slight increase in their consumption in almost all categories except reading of periodic publications and watching TV. The biggest increase (by 3%) of the consumption in the group of state funded activities is in the categories of theatre attendance and monuments visiting.
Table 33: People who participated in or attended a certain cultural activity during the last 12 months in Lithuania (in % of the population, in 2007, 2014, 2017)
|Activities heavily subsidised by the state||2007||2014||2017|
|Dance (ballet or modern dance)||20.0||8.0||8.0|
|Concerts of classic music||-||12.0||14.0|
|Activities without large public subsidies|
|To read books not related to the profession or studies||64.0||63.1||66.3|
|In paper format (Usually use)||-||62.0||64.0|
|In digital format (Usually use)||-||15.0||21.0|
|Directly on the Internet (Usually use)||-||-||-|
|To listen to music (Usually listen)||-||-||-|
|In a computer or directly on the Internet||-||-||-|
|To read periodic publications (Usually read)||-||88.2||86.7|
|Directly on the Internet||-||37.0||39.0|
|To watch videos (Usually watch)||-||88.0||91.0|
|Directly on the Internet||-||45.9||49.5|
|To watch television (Usually watch)||-||97.7||96.6|
|Directly on the Internet||-||25.0||30.1|
|To listen to the radio (Usually watch)||-||80.4||81.3|
|Directly on the Internet||-||18.7||22.2|
|To play videogames (Usually play)||-||-||-|
|To use computer for entertainment or leisure (Usually use)||-||-||-|
|Internet for entertainment or leisure (Usually use)||-||62.9||71.1|
Sources: Participation of the Population in Culture and Satisfaction with Cultural Services (ESS-net Culture methodology), 2017 full survey, LT, Special Eurobarometer 278: European Cultural Values of 2007
Data about the participation of the population in cultural activities are available from the surveys commissioned by the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture in 2013 and 2017 and two special Eurobarometer Surveys of 2007 and 2013. However, questionnaires of the two Eurobarometer Surveys are slightly different, e.g. the questionnaire of 2007 did not include separate questions about the designing of webpages and playing an instrument, handicraft activities are put in one category with visual arts in the questionnaire of 2013 and distinguished in the one of 2007. Nevertheless, according to the data of 2013, 2014, and 2017, the most popular cultural activity in Lithuania was painting and drawing, and the percentage of people involved in this activity is close to the EU average of 2013.
Table 34: People who have carried out artistic activities in Lithuania in the last 12 months by type of activity, in % of total population, period 2007, 2013, 2014, 2017
|Type of activity||2007||2013||EU27 in 2013||2014||2017|
|Painting or drawing||8.0||7.0||10.0||8.0||10.0|
|Other visual arts||8.0||7.0||10.0||3.0||3.0|
|Designing web pages||-||2.0||8.0||3.0||4.0|
|Playing an instrument||-||4.0||8.0||6.0||6.0|
Sources: Participation of the Population in Culture and Satisfaction with Cultural Services (ESS-net Culture methodology), 2017 full survey, LT, Special Eurobarometer 278: European Cultural Values of 2007, Special Eurobarometer 399: Cultural access and participation of 2013
With regard to the causes preventing the population from participation in cultural life, the most common personal reasons mentioned are the lack of time (47% and 45% of the respondents in 2014 and 2017 respectively indicated this as an obstacle), lack of interest (25% and 28% of the respondents in 2014 and 2017 respectively) and poor health (20% and 17% of the respondents in 2014 and 2017 respectively).
More than a half of the population of Lithuania has mentioned at least one problem of the supply and accessibility of cultural services. The most common problems indicated include an overly high price (37% and 36% of the respondents in 2014 and 2017 respectively) and poor accessibility of such services (“difficult to arrive” mentioned 16% of population in 2014 and 2017). The third place took limited choice and lack of information that are mentioned by 10% of population in 2017. Only 6% of population blamed poor quality and 5% inconvenient opening hours of cultural institutions.
In general, the main reasons for not participating in cultural life are personal (lack of time and interest, poor health) and that they did not change over the last 10 years.
Table 35: Reasons of non-participation in culture in 2007, 2014 and 2017, pct.
|Lack of time||47.0||47.0||45.0|
|Lack of interest||24.0||25.0||28.0|
|Difficult to arrive||-||16.0||16.0|
|Lack of information||10.0||8.0||10.0|
|Poor quality of cultural activities in your area||17.0||6.0||6.0|
|Inconvenient opening hours of cultural institutions||-||4.0||5.0|
Sources: Participation of the Population in Culture and Satisfaction with Cultural Services (ESS-net Culture methodology), 2017 full survey, LT, Special Eurobarometer 278: European Cultural Values of 2007.
Last update: February, 2020
Table 36: Household cultural expenditure by expenditure purpose, 2012, 2016
|Items (Field/Domain)||Household expenditure (in million EUR and percentages) per month||Average per capita expenditure (EUR) per month|
|I. Books and Press (Newspapers, books and stationery)||202.1||-||198.3||-||1.57||2.44|
|II. Cultural Services (Recreational and cultural services)||454.2||-||781.6||-||0.49||3.57|
|Cinema, theatre and others||-||-||-||-||0.35||-|
|Museums, libraries, parks and similar||-||-||-||-||0.04||-|
|Photographic services and other||-||-||-||-||0.10||-|
|III. Audiovisual equipment and accessories||327.6||-||304.9||-||2.54||3.76|
|Support for recording image, sound and data||-||-||-||-||0.01||-|
|Audiovisual equipment and accessories||-||-||-||-||2.51||3.74|
|IV. Subscriptions of television, information processing||-||-||-||-||1.66||-|
|Rental and subscriptions of radio and television||-||-||-||-||1.66||-|
|Subscriptions of radio and television||-||-||-||-||1.66||-|
|Rental of cultural equipment and accessories||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Information Processing and Internet||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Material for information processing||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Mobile and Internet services||-||-||-||-||-||-|
Last update: February, 2020
According to the data of the Lithuanian National Cultural Centre, in 2018, there were 158 cultural centres and about 500 of their branches and subdivisions that are located in urban and rural territories of Lithuania, with 2915 amateur art groups, 886 studios and clubs that have in total 52 819 participants. Children's and youth groups comprise 36 per cents of all amateur arts groups, and young participants comprise about 38 per cents of all participants.
Table 37: Number of cultural centres, amateur arts groups and participants in 2014–2018
|Number of cultural centres||632||637||645||645||654|
|Number of amateur arts groups, clubs and studios||3908||3877||3863||3841||3798|
|Number of participants||52823||56138||53106||52956||52819|
The activity of state and municipal cultural centres is regulated by the Law on Centres of Culture (2004). The Law distinguishes between state, municipal and other centres. State centres for culture have the legal form of a budget or public institution and are founded by the Ministry of Culture. Municipal centres for culture have the legal form of a budget or public institution and are founded by the municipal council. Other centres for culture are established by private persons or social organisations and can have various legal forms. The name of each centre for culture as an institution, regardless of its legal form, must include the words “centre for culture”.
State and municipal centres for culture are financed from the state or municipal budgets respectively. Other centres for culture are financed with their own funds. Centres for culture may receive state and municipal budgetary appropriations by taking part, according to the procedure laid down by legal acts, in competitions announced by the Ministry of Culture, counties, municipal councils for the implementation of appropriate cultural activity programmes financed from the state or municipal budgets. The Ministry and municipalities may additionally finance with their budgetary funds the activities of centres for culture pertaining to the organisation of state events.
The main functions of the centres for culture are the following: to create conditions for dissemination of ethnic culture; organise activities of artistic collectives of amateurs, workshops, and hobby groups; take care of preparation of artistic collectives of amateurs and their participation in song festivals, local, regional, national and international events; organise recreational, educational and other events; organise commemoration of national holidays, remembrance days, calendar feast days; take care of employment, artistic education of children and youth; organise events popularising ethnic culture, amateur art, to meet other cultural needs of the community; and create conditions for dissemination of professional art. Many cultural centres in Lithuania are established to provide meaningful leisure activities for young people, ethnic minorities or other social groups.
The main political body shaping the policy of cultural centres is the Ministry of Culture. The Ministry founds, reorganises and liquidates cultural institutions providing methodological assistance to cultural and art workers of centres for culture, helping to implement qualification improvement programmes for cultural workers; establishes a strategy of the development of centres for culture, finances cultural programmes and projects related to activities of centres for culture, which are important for the Lithuanian culture; draws up drafts of legal acts regulating activities of centres for culture and approves them in the prescribed manner; approves a list of positions of cultural and art workers of centres for culture; approves forms of statistical reports of centres for culture; organises qualification improvement of workers of centres for culture; approves regulations of assessment of cultural and art workers of state and municipal centres for culture, and supervises the assessment; approves criteria of granting of categories to centres for culture and lays down a procedure of accreditation of centres for culture, etc.
The Council of the Centres for Culture in an advisory body under the Ministry of Culture, which carries out the expert and consultant functions when resolving the issues concerning the shaping and implementation of a policy of Lithuanian centres for culture. The Council of Centres for Culture comprises 11 members. 8 members are appointed and recalled by the Association of Lithuanian Culture Centres and 3 members by the Ministry of Culture.
The Association of Lithuanian Culture Centres (ALCC) unites 96% of all Lithuanian culture centres. Its aim is to represent the interests of centres for culture and to ensure that their activities are accessible in Lithuania and abroad. ALCC is a member of the European Network for Cultural Centres. It also delegates 8 members to the Council of Cultural Centres under the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania. Members of ALCC take part in working groups, expert groups, funding programmes of the Seimas, the Government, the Ministry of Culture, and prepares projects of various normative acts. Members of ALCC are members of committees of the Lithuanian Association of Municipalities and take part in the election of the Lithuanian Council for Culture.
To encourage creativity among cultural centres and recognise the best achievements and work of cultural centres, the Ministry of Culture established three Prizes for the Best Cultural Centres of the Year. These prizes are awarded for active, creative and innovative activities over the past five years in fostering ethnic culture and amateur art, creating artistic programmes, expanding educational and recreational activities, meeting the cultural needs of the community and organising the spread of professional art.
In 2005, the Ministry of Culture established the Prize for Active, Creative Activities at Cultural Centres. The goal of the prize is to encourage professional activities among arts and culture employees at cultural centres and recognise their best achievements and work. Heads of cultural centres and arts and culture employees who work at cultural centres can be nominated for the prize.