Lithuanian Council for Culture
Lithuanian Council for Culture (hereafter - the Council) was established in 2013 and it is a state institution under the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania. The Council operates under the Law on the Council of Culture and the Law on Culture Support Foundation. The Law became an instrument to separate the role of the Ministry of Culture as a cultural policy forming institution from the cultural policy implementation functions, which fall under the Culture Council. The Culture Council was established with the view to reform cultural governance and develop cultural self-realisation.
The Council co-funds cultural and artistic initiatives, allocates grants, organizes statistical analysis and coordinates research of culture and the arts. This enables the Council to contribute to the develpment of national culture, as well as to to promote public initiatives of cultural expression. The Council, too, supports presentation of Lithuanian culture and the arts abroad, presenting outsanding examples of creativity and strengthening cohabitation and cooperation between different states, nations, minority and ethnic groups. In its operation, the Council creates opportunities to promote accessibility of diverse cultural expressions, art works, educational initiatives and more.
In short, Lithuanian Council for Culture is responsible for implementation of national policy falling under the competence of the Ministry of Culture, development and dissemination of culture and the arts, and provision of meaningful and understandable data on culture and the arts.
The Council has the following key functions: providing co-financing to culture and arts projects, based on the cultural experts' recommendations; administrating the Culture Support Fund: awarding grants, providing scholarships and other financial support to culture and art research; monitoring and analysing projects; participating in and implementing EU and other countries' financial support programmes and administrating the financial support funds provided for the culture sector; cooperating with state and municipal agencies and institutions. The fields of activities supported by the Council include architecture, archives, circus, fine arts, photography, cinema, museums, cultural heritage, literature, music, dance, interdisciplinary art, folk art, theatre art and amateur art projects.
In 3 years period (2014-2016), the Council has funded more than 6500 initiatives. Among those: research projects, ranging form statistical data analysis to more abstract initiatives aimed at art's impact on human well-being or integration of different minorities groups into cultural ecosystem; artist's residence projects, where Lithuanian organizations are organizing local infrastructure in order to nurture the creativity and curiosity of the residents; the Council supports artist's associations, providing a much needed framework for the organizational aspect of the day-to-day operation in the cultural field; the Council is also responsible for the support of the most renowned Lithuanian festivals providing the audience with an example of excellence and dedication to the particular form or genre of art; other funding programmes include promotion of reading, publishing, development of cultural industries sector, improvement of professional skills for both arts organizations and its employees, and many more.
The decisions of the Council are taken by the Meeting of the Council Members, a body consisting of 11 elected members (including a Chair) for a four year tenure by the principle of diversity in terms of areas of culture and
The Council was established as a means to reform the Lithuanian cultural policy model by developing a self-regulative sector. In doing so the administration of public funds allocated to culture and the arts is expected to become much more accessible to the general population and more efficiently run in terms of developing a clear and widely accepted decision-making process and articulation of strategic goals to the public.
It must be noted that there were no interim period for the Council to prepare to implement its functions.
The Council administrates an annual budget of approximately 15 000 000 EUR.