Conference for Creative Associations of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia in Riga

Riga, 7/06/2019

Conference of Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian Creative associations took place in Ryga, on 7th June 2019.Lithuania was represented by Kornelijus Platelis,( Lithuanian Association of Artists),Elzė Gudavičūtė ( Lithuanian Theatre Creators Association), Antanas A. Jonynas, (Lithuanian Writers Union), Rasa Matulevičienė ( Association of Lithuanian Literary Translators),Edita Radvilavičiūtė-Utarienė (Lithuanian Artists Union),Dainius Radzevičius ( National Association of Creative Journalists),Jonas Rudzinskas ( Professional Folk Artists Association), Jonas Staselis (Union of Lithuanian Art Photographers), Audronė Žigaitytė-Nekrošienė ( Lithuanian Musicians Union)


 10:00 Introductory words by Latvian hosts.

10:15 – 12:45. Presentations about state of culture policy in 2018/2019

with a focus on 1 specific topic.

10:15 – 10:45. Latvia – How “Law of Creative Persons” and

Support program worked in 2018 & 2019. Inga Brūvere

and Haralds Matulis.

10:45 – 11:00. Questions and informal discussion on Latvia.

11:00 – 11:30. Lithuania – Recent changes in Lithuanian Culture policy and artists in the changing environment. Dainius Radzevičius.

11:45 – 12:00. Questions and informal discussion on Lithuania &


12:00 – 12:30. Estonia – Writers and Artists salaries system.

12:30 – 12:45. Questions and informal discussion on Estonia.

12:45 – 13:00. General questions – what can we learn from each other?

14:00 – 14:30. Presentation on Nordic Council projects by a speaker from

Nordic Council. (Ginta Tropa, Nordic Council Riga).

14:30 – 15:00. Presentation on Baltic Culture Fund by a speaker from

Baltic Culture Fund. (Katrin Seppel, Eesti Kultuurkapital).

15:00 – 15:15. Informal talks & coffee break.

15:15 – 16:00. 3 parallel workshops.

15:15 – 16:00. Successful culture lobbying: parliament, media,

general public. Case Study. Lithuanian participant Dainius Radzevičius, Rasa Matulevičienė, Jonas Staselis.

15:15 – 16:00. Cooperation on Baltic level. Do’s and Don’ts.

Case Study. By Jonas Rudzinskas, Edita Radvilavičiūtė-Utarienė, and Kornelijus Platelis (Lithuania)

15:15 – 16:00. Financing system of Estonian theaters, and what we can

learn from it. By Kirsten Simmo, Estonian Theatre Union. Lithuanian participant Elzė Gudavičiūtė, Antanas A. Jonynas, Audronė Žigaitytė-Nekrošienė.

16:00 – 16:30. Sharing insights with other groups.

16.30 – 17.00 Conference results, conclusions and future plans.

It’s no news that Estonia finances culture and art more than two other countries. Actually, they finance their Kulturkapital projects in a similar way to Lithuania, it’s about 17 million euro, but they have less population. And the main thing is that a significant part of support comes from the programs of Estonian ministry of culture which they didn’t get rid of as our ministry did. What is more, Estonians give 13 million through Kulturkapital to investment programs, which in other two countries are financed from the budget and EU support programs.

Another type of support for Estonian writers and artists is average monthly salary which is paid by Culture ministry for three years (In 2018 it was 1310 euro including taxes). This project was started in 2014 and every year 5-6 salaries were paid to new creators. Funds received do not have to be accounted for. Artists can devote to creative work, buy necessary tools and materials. They can travel and study. It is planned to expand the list of arts. Nevertheless, discussions about the expediency of such support take place in our society. Artists should have this in mind and not give arguments to the critics. In comparison to Estonians we also have some advantages: Estonian art creators do not have social security program, that’s why social and health insurance is their own business, though artists are supported who don’t get any other income except for their creative work. And the above mentioned salary does not abolish entitlement to such support.

The amount of Latvian Kulturkapital is 10 million euro. 700 thousand euro of which is support to administration of non – governmental organizations.

Working language – English. We attach summaries of the reports.

It was stated that this meeting was beneficial for all three countries and it is appropriate to do it every year.

Kornelijus Platelis

konferencija Rygoje 1






 Many Lithuanian art creators of different generations have established reputations for themselves, not only locally  but also internationally, particularly since the beginning of the millennium. During this period, established several new art creators associacions and all of tham  have appeared alongside existing  ones.  Public and artists initiatives have promoted dinamism and encouraged variety. These initiatives of associations are currently supporting and developing of creators  and sometimes by government. Make approaches and practices , while also laying down guidelines for new processes and cooperation on an international level.

Moments of change that reveal new prospects and challenges in the midst of a complex process of transition are very exciting, and afterwards  the time to change and to be changed inevitably arrives again. Contemporary art makers in Lithuania has been marked  by this transformations. In the last 20 years there have been several turning points, brought about by changes  in international politics and the countrys internal cultural policy.

Good example of cooperation is  European Council of Artists activity. ECA was an important interdisciplinary umbrella organisation of artists associations  in a 25 European countries , and was based  in Copenhagen. I remember that moment, when Kjeld Lofting comes to LMKA and discussed about the future activities of ECA. We decided to join the group of establishes. ECA aimed to raise the level of awareness for artists concerns  among political and administrative representatives of the European Unijon. It intervened all over Europe wherever artistic expertise is demanded and decisions relevant to the arts are being made. For example, ECA addressed Estonian government supporting Estonian artists associatinion who was asking to allocate 2% of budget of buildings for pieces of art. The ECA also sees itself as a platform for artistic  dialogue  and exchange in the different disciplines. It organizes conferences and expert talks on topics like ,,Artists mobility – aspiration or reality?“, ,,Networking in the Enlargement Process“or ,,Artistic careers and higher art Education in Europe“.  In 2006 in Berlin  ECA organised the conference ,,Rights and wrongs – the UNESCO convention on the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions –one year after”.

Mobility of art creators whether  for work , for  increace kvalification, research, co-production or participation in a residency or exchandge  programme. Can become an integral part of the regular practice. Our associations cooperation support and complement the actions of our members to reduce barriers to mobility.

konferencija Rygoje 2




Recent changes in Lithuanian Culture policy and artists in the changing environment

In 2013, after the reform of culture and arts projects funding system the Lithuanian Council for Culture was founded – an institution for implementation of culture.

One of the most important first political efforts to change the concept and direction of cultural policy in order to democratize and strategically strengthen cultural policy was realized by separating cultural policy formulation and implementation functions and establishment of the Lithuanian Cultural Council. It has been argued that this has led to a arms length management model in the cultural sector.

In 2017, with the participation of 43 European countries, the Cultural and Democracy Indicator (IFCD) is a very clear link between culture and democracy. According to the economic value created by the cultural sector, Lithuania is ahead of most European countries. However, Lithuania lags behind the average of other European countries in terms of accessibility and equilibrium of cultural activities and services, which in turn also affects the activity of civil society in Lithuania.

Government attitude towards culture

March 13, 2017

The plan for the implementation of the Government Program approved by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania also covers a wide range of areas.

At that time, Liana Ruokytė-Jonsson, former Minister of Culture, highlighted three priorities: the strategic role of culture in public policy and life, the quality and accessibility of cultural services in the regions, and the reform of cultural management and funding.

In order to consolidate culture as strategically important for the life of the state, it was planned to prepare a Law on the Fundamentals of Lithuanian Cultural Policy, which will clearly regulate and consolidate the state’s obligations to culture. It was also planned to prepare a Law on Patronage, which would enable new sources of funding for culture and thus become a catalyst for culture. The plan also provides for the preparation of the Lithuanian Culture 2018-2030. strategy and a system for monitoring and analyzing culture and art.more importantly a more sustainable format.

Strategic financing directions in 2019–2021
The Lithuanian Council for Culture (LCC) that started its operations last June approved its strategic financing directions for 2019–2021. In view of the overall development of culture in Lithuania and its social climate, also with reference to the findings of the recent years’ studies in the area of culture, the LCC identified diversity, education and the accessibility of culture as its key strategic directions for financing.

Strategic objective: Incorporating culture into an open society and the well-being of the population

DIRECTION I: A balanced and integrated cultural policy

DIRECTION II: Creative personality and a strong identity society

DIRECTION III: A culture that creates economic value

Strategic cultural policy purpose: “Inclusive culture for an open society and for the well-being of the population.”

  1. Quality cultural services for Lithuanian residents are available evenly regardless of their place of residence.
  2. Cities act as vibrant cultural foci. Their dynamic cultural life contributes to the attractiveness of the regions.
  3. People working in the cultural sector and those who create culture are rewarded for their work. The jobs in the sector are competitive, creating opportunities for creativity and professional development.

Cultural activities involve the population, provide opportunities to develop their cultural and creative abilities, and enrich their personality.

Cultural activities reinforce public solidarity. Society actively participates in public discourse, preserving, memorizing and actualizing its history, creating and strengthening the identity and traditions of multicultural Lithuania.

Cultural activities involve people of different ages and sexes and people from different social groups.

The use of cultural resources is envisaged in other sectoral policies, creating added value in them.

Culture 2030: Lithuania cannot guarantee the transmission of the most outstanding works to future generations

Lithuanian museums are not financially capable of consistently collecting the works of contemporary art creators, so the state cannot guarantee the transmission of outstanding cultural and artistic works to future generations, according to the culture policy strategy “Culture 2030”. It was prepared by the Ministry of Culture.

According to the Ministry, private business support, patronage may be implemented to solve the problem, but the state has to concentrate its resources and remove regulatory obstacles to support private sponsors.

Culture 2030

Attention is drawn to the problem of attracting sponsors (private individuals). Compared to Western states, the level of charity, including cultural patronage, remains low in Lithuania.

According to the Ministry of Culture, the funds of the sponsors of state performing arts institutions in 2017, compared to 2015, decreased by 23%. This decrease is partly due to the new restrictions on alcohol advertising launched in 2017.

Culture is less interested in men and seniors

The aim is to involve people in different cultural activities – different age, gender and different social groups – to create conditions for fostering cultural and creative skills.

According to the ministry, participation in cultural activities and consumption of cultural services has been steadily decreasing among older population groups, women are engaged in creative activities and use cultural services more often than men.

Requirements are high – salary is exceptionally low

Another aim is a decent wage and appropriate conditions for workers and creators in the cultural sector. According to the data of the Ministry of Culture, the average salary of Lithuanian cultural workers is the third lowest in the European Union after Romania and Bulgaria.

According to the data of the Department of Statistics, 20,000 Lithuanian residents work in the cultural sector, of which 13,000 work in the subordinate institutions of the Ministry of Culture, other ministries and municipalities. This means that more than a third of cultural workers work in non-governmental organizations private sector.

“Comparing wages of Lithuanian public sector cultural workers with other areas of public sector services, lower wages are only for guardians (non-medical services) specialists and postal couriers, that is, only in areas where the required qualification is minimal. The majority of cultural workers are subject to the highest standards of professional excellence (performers of national concert venues, theater actors, museum and librarians), ”noted in the Culture 2030 strategy, adding that poor remuneration has a major impact on the attractiveness of jobs in the sector and has a negative impact on culture. quality of service, promotes the outflow of creative resources from the country.

Step by step

This year, the earnings of cultural workers, on the basis of increased funding and wage increases due to tax changes, will rise by an average of 88 euros. This is what the Ministry of Culture says.

Next year, wages of culture and art and social workers should rise by 15 percent. This was reported at the end of January by Vice-Chancellor Deivid Matulion. As a result, it was agreed by a government commission led by it to discuss a strategy for increasing public sector wages.

In 2014-2020, Lithuania received LTL 469.4 million. EU investment. Although there were interinstitutional agreements and expectations to attract funding not only for the modernization of infrastructure but also for cultural content (soft activities through other public policy areas).

This has led to systemic problems not being addressed in a complex way. There was not enough investment in the training of employees and promotion of cultural entrepreneurship, lack of investments in the strengthening of art and science relations, innovative solutions improving the quality of cultural services.

Creative associations belonging to the Lithuanian Association of Art Creators often feel marginalized by government institutions. However, we are concentrating our members and working creatively. The formation of Lithuanian cultural policy does not always take into account the expectations and problems of creative unions, and their representatives are often not invited to participate in important meetings, which discuss issues important to those organizations.

The unions that unite artistic creators today are modern, presenting contemporary art trends, but also preserving the historical and traditional heritage of an organization seeking to improve the status of an art creator in a variety of ways and with rational means.

Dainius Radzevičius




Theatre in Lithuania

By Elzė Gudavičiūtė

Lithuania has 13 performance venues funded by the state: 8 drama theatres, 2 children theatres and 3 music theatres. Three of these theatres  are given the status of national theatre. Over the past ten years, we saw a rise in the establishment of many independent initiatives, private theatres and public institutions providing space for performing arts.

In 2016, a new law governing Professional Performing Arts of Lithuanian Republic was introduced, which is a heavily edited version of the 2004 law for Theatres and Concert Halls. This law says that state theatres can acquire two different legal statuses: budget institution or public institution. Other theatres in Lithuania are owned and run privately, but also have the legal status of a public institution. The funding for theatres in regulated by the law of Professional Performing Arts.

Lithuanian ministry of culture is responsible for the shaping and implementing the politics of professional performing arts.

Our national theatres are run as budget institutions, established by the government, and this establishing function is implemented by an institution authorised by the government (ministry of culture). State theatres can be run as both, budget and public institutions.

Every three to five years, the artistic programmes of national theatres are approved by the ministry of culture, and theatres have to produce a yearly report. The work of national theatres is observed, analysed and evaluated by the ministry of culture.

The law states that the government funds are used to cover the expenses of artistic programmes of national theatres, including wages and acquiring assets. Each national theatre manages this budget independently. However, the ministry of culture, through approving the artistic programme of each theatre season, is indirectly involved in national theatre’s budget management.

The law also specifies the government funding principles and sources: funding is used to carry out artistic programmes approved by the establishment; further funding, to support relevant artistic programmes, can be acquired by other theatres and concert halls through the special call-outs by the ministry of culture and municipality councils. The main source of funding is the National programme of the ministry of culture.

State and municipal theatres are governed by the same funding principle as national theatres – the money is provided to fund the artistic programme of each theatre season. Regarding the exact amount of funding to support the state theatre as a budget institution, the mMinistry of Culture is involved directly as the administrator of funds.

According to the law, state theatres, municipal theatres, public institutions and other theatres can get state or municipal funding to support relevant artistic programmes by taking part in the special call-outs by the ministry of culture and municipality councils.

Educational programmes at national and state theatres in Lithuania are funded by Lithuanian Council for Culture.

Lithuanian Council for Culture was established in 2013, after the reform of the funding system of cultural and artistic projects. This Council is a budget institution, financed by the Lithuanian government. The Council is owned by the government, the owner duties and obligations are fulfilled by the ministry of culture.

The Council funds cultural and artistic projects; gives scholarships to artists; monitors cultural and artistic projects; gives advice to the executors of cultural and artistic projects.

Since 2014, Lithuanian Council for Culture used 8 320 334 euro to fund 843 theatre projects.

Twice a year, Lithuanian Council for Culture organises funding call-outs for performing arts projects and their dissemination. Applications are evaluated by a comittee of experts and results are approved by the members of the Council. The Council is able to give 80 per cent of the funding asked for the project, the rest has to be secured through the project partnerships or other supporters. In 2018 the Council used 1 481 566 euro to fund 157 theatre projects.

Successful representation of the cultural sector: parliament, media, society

In 2013, after the reform of culture and arts projects funding system the Lithuanian Council for Culture was founded – an institution for implementation of culture.

One of the most important first political efforts to change the concept and direction of cultural policy in order to democratize and strategically strengthen cultural policy was realized by separating cultural policy formulation and implementation functions and establishment of the Lithuanian Cultural Council. It has been argued that this has led to a arms length management model in the cultural sector.

State support is a guarantee of survival

The Law of the Republic of Lithuania on the Status of Art Creator and Art Creator Organizations establishes the right of the art creator and the creator organizations to state support.

The Lithuanian Association of Art Creators, together with the Ministry of Culture, after a long discourse, found a solution that helps to ensure the minimal state funding of creative unions. This has resulted in a change in the strategic creativity program of Artist Organizations, funded by the Culture Council. This program remarked that only state-recognized organizations of art creators, which implement the main objectives of the organisation’s activities as laid down in its statutes, are eligible for state funding, and create preconditions for the dissemination of national art and international cultural cooperation, shaping the overall artistic development of the country and promoting the mobility of artists and promoting the mobility of artists. creativity.

20 thousand euros and more

Artist organizations claiming state support are guaranteed that an organization receiving the required program evaluation will receive at least a minimum of 20,000 euros in support for its strategic program.

This is a very important achievement of the Lithuanian art creators’ organization, which allows all members of the artistic organization to live.

Art-makers can get direct support from paid taxes

Lithuanian residents can allocate up to 2 percent of their paid income tax (GPA) to artists who have artistic status. This tax-free allowance must be used only for artistic creation and must be accounted for. Wishing to receive such support, state-recognized art-makers are required to obtain the status of a beneficiary from the Ministry of Culture.

Amendments to the Law on Charity and Support initiated by the Ministry of Culture have been in force since 2017. They were very much supported by the Lithuanian Association of Art Creators. Therefore, for the first time in 2018, residents were able to allocate up to 2% of paid personal income tax (PIT) to art creators. The Ministry of Culture actively promoted and promoted this program.

Project for a Youth of South Eastern Minority Communities of Lithuania LIVING FREELY
The Main Idea:  To counterbalance foreign propaganda which is being used for:

Encouragement of distrust, disappointment in Lithuanian State of distrust,

Distortion of the facts Lithuania’s history.

Planned activities:

Art creation sessions which would raise an interest in a native country, its history, culture and people.

Lectures -discussions . Sensitive history topics may be analyzed, which are often presented with bias during infowhich are often presented with bias during info-wars, for example the World War II, 13th of January, a partisan movement and the World War II, 13th of January, a partisan movement and others.

Dainius Radzevičius



Culture policies facts on Latvia

How big culture budget in Latvia:

2017:  181 mio EUR,

2018:  191 mio EUR

2019: 165 mio EUR, from that:

52 mio culture education

41 mio cultural heritage

33 mio proffessional arts – theatres, museums, etc.

10 mio Culture Capital Foundation – creatives, NGOs

Political situation, parties, place of culture in priorities and funding.

National party (Nacionālā apvienība). 13 of 100 MPs.

Since 2011 resides over Ministry of Culture.

Market democracy / liberal politics. No socialdemocrats in Latvia.

Russian party (Saskaņa) in opposition.

 Ministry of Culture. What 3 priorities.

culture minister: Dace Melbārde, since 2013.

100 years Latvia. Dance and Song Festival.

Culture for schools program. Infrastructure. Salaries.

Forms of dialogue / cooperation between organizations and ministry.

Culture Alliance – Creatives, NGOs, state culture institutions.


Funding for culture organizations, grants for individual creatives.

only through Culture Capital foundation

«Program for NGO’s administrative support»: 700 000 eur.

creative grants: ~ 800 000 eur; average grant ~ 1000 eur.


Latvia. Law of Creative Persons, and Support Program.

By Inga Bruvere.07.06.2019

The Support Programme for creative persons

The law applies to professional artistic creativity / production in architecture, design, theatre, music, visual art, dance, literature, cinematography and scientific activity in these spheres.

Creative Persons in definition of this law are individuals, if they meet these 4 requirements:

  • is a member of the Professional creative organization (PRO);
  • it creates or performs a work of art in the culture spheres defined in the scope  of this law;
  • has published author work in last 3 years, according to definition of Copyright Law;
  • the person gives input in professional art and culture development, and it is approved by a PRO of this culture sphere.

If individual is not a member of any Professional creative organization, he/she submits an application for evaluation.

Types of grants and criterias

The creative person has temporarily lost the necessary income to support continuous creative practice:

  • The creative person is working age (up to the age of 63)
  • The gross income for the last three months does not exceed EUR 967.50 (monthly income does not exceed 75% (EUR 322.50) of the minimal monthly salary)
  • The person has been creatively active for the past 3 years.

The amount of grant: EUR 430 per month for up to 6 months. The maximum amount of scholarship EUR 2580.

The person has temporary incapacity to work:

  • The creative person is working age (up to the age of 63)
  • The person has suffered temporary incapacity to work (doctor’s note)
  • Irrespective of income level
  • Upon requesting and whilst in receipt of the scholarship the person has not entered any contractual or other permanent employment relationships

The amount of grant: proportional to the number of sick days (up to 10 days).

Criteria whereby a retired person needs to cover the daily living costs (partial payment for short-term medical expenses and utility bills):

  • The person is recipient of the state retirement pension (including early retirement) or service pension
  • Irrespective of income level

The amount of grant: EUR 430 per months for up to 6 months. The maximum amount of scholarship EUR 2580.

Next time can apply when 1 year has passed from the last support grant.

    2018 Amount



(I – V)



1. Advice 353 - 700 -
2. Creative Person Status 52 - 60 -
3. Types of grants        
3.1. Period without income 4 26230 23 61920
3.2. Short illness 1 186 6 651
3.3. Medicine and communal expenses for pensioners 85 18746 264 219198
  TOTAL: 45162   281769

More about:


Nordic-Baltic mobility programme for Culture


  • Established in 2009
  • The Nordic and Baltic Ministers for Culture have agreed to promote mobility as an important instrument to strengthen the conditions for cultural and artistic cooperation in the Nordic-Baltic region
  • Decision of the funding is decided by the Nordic and Baltic Ministers for Culture
  • Funded by the participating countries (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Greenland, Faroe Islands, Åland)


The main focus of the programme is to support mobility for artists and professionals and to enhance artistic and cultural collaboration in the region.

For this purpose, the programme has three modules:

  • Mobility funding for individuals and small groups
  • Funding for short-term and long-term networks
  • Funding for artist residency centres

Project example – mobility funding

“Northern Lights Expedition”

Who? Latvian composer Ēriks Ešenvalds

What? A travel to Tromsø to visit folklorist Hauan Marit Anne and Prof. Ola Graff, Tromsø Museum, a representative of Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra and Kjetil Skogli, a master in Aurora Borealis’ photography for a multimedia project “Northern Lights: folklore, science and video in music constellations”.

Mobility programme network funding

  • Short-term network funding up to 1 year

max. amount 20 000 EUR (max. total 70 %)

  • Long-term network funding up to 3 years

max. amount 100 000 EUR (max. total 50 %)

  • Clear objectives and schedule
    The network should clearly define its overall objectives and create a set schedule. In this context it is advisable for the objectives and the ideas behind them to be innovative.
  • Quality and cooperation
    The networks should be started to plan artistic initiatives and/or to develop cooperation and new ways of working together. The network should create new contacts within its area of work and have contact with other networks.  New networks and cooperation with cultural diversity or between several different types of artistic and cultural bodies are prioritised in the assessment.
  • Information work
    The network should strive to make its work accessible to others and disseminate information about its results in a transparent manner.
  • The Nordic-Baltic dimension
  • promotes and increases contacts, communication and activities between the Nordic and/or Baltic countries
  • strengthens the Nordic-Baltic presence in cultural life in the Nordic region and Baltic states
  • strengthens understanding of similarities and differences between the Nordic and Baltic countries
  • increases knowledge of the Nordic and Baltic artists and their work

Project example

“Network of the Writers’ Unions of the Baltic Countries ”

Who? Writers’ Union of Latvia (LV)

What? To set up a regular exchange between the writers’ unions of the three Baltic countries in order to strengthen mutual cooperation within the Baltic region in the field of literature, fostering interest about each others country’s literature, encouraging the exchange and mobility of the staff

and authors; fostering translations, education of new translators, sharing experience on literary representation of authors, management, and issues of cultural policy.

Mobility programme artist residencies

  • Support for artist residency centres (up to 3 years), max amount EUR 50 000
  • Travel expenses, daily allowance and other direct costs which arise in connection with the residency stay of the artist(s)
  • 15 % can be administrative expenses
  • Not for individual artists
  • Residencies choose the visiting artists
  • The application should be for at least 2 artists
  • Residencies should facilitate exchange between the artist and the local community

Project example – artist residencies

“International Writers’ and Translators’ House”

The International Writers’ and Translators’ House is a multifunctional international writer’s and translator’s centre, which promotes the development of literature, encourages cross-cultural dialogue and introduces the Latvian literary process to international circulation. The main purpose of the residency is to promote literary co-operation within Nordic – Baltic region by supporting more authors and translators from the region, giving them common space and time for creative writing.

The Nordic-Baltic mobility programme for Culture: key figures

Total granted amount in 2017: 1 759 372 €

Applications in total 1060 of which 30 % were granted

Nordic Council of Ministers’ Office in Latvia

 Culture Adviser Ginta Tropa


Phone: +371 26362558


Baltic Culture Fund

Katrin Seppel

Eesti Kultuurkapital

Baltic Culture Fund promotes cultural cooperation between Baltic States, in order to strengthen the internationalisation of Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian culture through joint cultural events.

The Fund started operating 1 January 2019.

Budget ja coordination of the Fund 

  • Fund’s annual budget is 300,000 euros
  • Each Baltic country will contribute 100,000 euros to the Fund annually.
  • The Fund is administrated by national cultural endowments on a three-year rotation basis; the Cultural Endowment of Estonia is the first to coordinate the Fund’s activities.
  • Estonia – Eesti Kultuukapital (operating the Fund 2019-2021)
  • Latvia – Valsts kultūrkapitāla fonds (operating the Fund 2022-2024)
  • Lithuania – Lietuvos kultūros taryba (operating the Fund 2025-2027)
  • The working language of the programme is English
  • The Fund also accepts donations. The Nordic Council of Ministers donated 100,000 euros to the Baltic Culture Fund to organise joint cultural events of Baltic states in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden

Baltic Culture Fund supports:

  • professional events and projects in architecture, visual art, design, literature, sound art, performing arts, libraries, museums and archives. The Fund also welcomes interdisciplinary projects.
  • The Fund especially supports new and one-off cultural events outside the Baltic countries, such as concerts, exhibitions, festivals, performances, international events with a Baltic focus, and showcases and forums promoting the internationalisation of culture.
  • In exceptional cases, events in the Baltics can be supported if they have a very distinct international dimension with a Baltic focus.

Who can apply?

  • Only legal persons (organisation or institution) from Estonia, Latvia or Lithuania can apply
  • Each project must have one main partner and other partners from othe Baltic states
  • The allocation of the grants are limited between 25 000 and 100 000 euros
  • Grants are awarded once a year, the deadline is 20 May (to be changed)
  • Self- or co-financing at least 20% of the budget.

Expert committee

  • Applications are evaluated by a 6-member committee:
  • Representatives from Estonia:
  • Kai Lobjakas, art historian, director of Estonian Museum of Design and Applied Art
  • Ragnar Siil, expert on cultural policies and cretive intustries
  • Representatives from Latvia:
  • Maris Jekabsons, restorer, Chairman of SCCF Cultural Heritage branch
  • Aiva Rozenberga, (former) director of the Latvian Institute
  • Representatives from Lithuania:
  • Elona Bajorinienė, theatre critic, former head of Vilnius European Capital of Culture 2009, current Dean of Faculty of Theatre and Film at Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre
  • Lolita Jablonskienė, contemporary art critic and curator, current Head of National Gallery of Art

First results

  • 33 applications
  • 12 applications from Estonia
  • 12 applications from Lithuania
  • 9 applications from Latvia
  • The most applications we got were from the fields of visual art, also music and dance.
  • Altogether 2,002118,76 euros were applied for – budget 400 000

Oven-fresh results and remarks from the expert committee

  • 9 projects were supported, 6 +3 (in the Nordic countries)
  • Biggest grant amount 70 000 euros
  • Smallest 25 000 euros
  • Read the statute!
  • Projects don’t meet the criteria to organise an event outside the Baltics.
  • Exceptional cases weren’t supported – not exceptional enough
  • Not non-recurrent/new events
  • Too high expectations on management fees
  • Budget not clear or realistic


Financing system of Estonian theatre

Kirsten Simmo, Estonian Theatre Agency

Riga, 2019

Estonian Theatre Agency

Private foundation, founded in 1994

2 founders – Theatre Union and Association of Performing

Arts Institutions

Main objectives: dramaturgy, copywrights, info, statistics,

international relations, showcase draamamaa.weekend

Estonian cultural budget 2019

State budget € 11,2 billion

Budget of the Ministry of Culture € 251.3 million

For theatre € 32 million / 12,7%

In 2018: € 235,4 mil / € 38 mil / 16%

In 2017: € 217 mil / € 51 mil / 23,5%

Estonian theatre

1,16 million theatre visits per year (2017)

50 professional companies

559 productions / 204 new productions / 6713 performances

Theatres in 7 cities: Tallinn, Tartu, Pärnu, Viljandi, Rakvere,

Kuressaare, Narva

+ 500 amateur theatre groups

Theatre system

National Opera – Public Institution – National Opera Act

8 foundations (founded by state)

1 municipal theatre – Tallinn City Theatre (local government

support + Ministry of Culture support)

Private performing arts institutions (various forms of activity)


2011/ 2017

Theatres 34 / 47

Performances 5012 / 6713

Premiers 190 / 204

Theatre visits 1 mil  / 1,2 mil

Ticket cost (no VAT) 8 EUR / 11 EUR

Ticket revenue 8,6 mil / 11,7 mil


Ministry of Culture base support (1 a year, application round – budget, repertory plans) – 23 performing arts institutions

Cultural Endowment support (4 times a year)

Local government support (minimum)

Council of Gambling Tax (4 times a year, small sums,

children-youth, cultural diversity)

EU funds, co-productions, project support from the ministry



Various target groups

Theatre for young audiences

Regional accessibility (Theatre into the Countryside)

Internationalisation (Estonian Culture Abroad)

Estonian dramaturgy (Estonian Theatre Agency)

Financing in numbers

2011 / 2017

Ministry of Culture 18 /23 mil / 26 /51 mil

Cultural endowment 0,5 mil  / 0,4 mil

Local government 1,12 mil / 2,2 mil

Investments in 4 state theatres (full renovations 20 million


Examples (2017)

state / municipality / tickets, rents etc

Tallinn City Theatre 892 619 / 1,8 mil / 1,14 mil

Estonian Drama Theatre 1,94 mil / 0 / 1,31 mil

Tartu New Theatre 152 683 / 193 683 / 140 897

Principles for financing

Funding committee + Minister

budget / repertory plans/ audience numbers / influentiality /

artistic level / innovation / regionality

Foundations receive additional funding based on raise for

minimum wages for cultural workers + full coverage of

communal and investment costs

Subject to change – amendments to law

Criteria for financing

Artistic level (three last years)

Cultural importance

Regional coverage

Influentiality (theatre language, style etc)

Programme and budget (how realistic?)

Prognosis (audience numbers)

Additional programmes (youth, international co-productions,

workshops etc)

Cultural Endowment

8 endowments: literature, art, drama, architecture, film,

sports, music, folk culture

15 county expert groups

Budget of the Dramatic Art Endowment:

2018, 2019: 1,8 million (around 14% from total budget of CE)

Dramatic Art Endowment supports:

· experimental creative projects and productions;

· Estonian Theatre Union publishing and social activity, professional


· awarding of Estonian Theatre Annual Prizes;

· professional development, including visiting theatres, participating in projects

or productions and travel related to research work;

· participation of Estonian theatres in festivals abroad;

· festivals, including primarily drama festivals Draama, Baltoscandal, Treff,

Talveöö unenägu and SAAL Biennaal;

· organisation of master classes, residency, conferences etc. in Estonia;

· studies abroad – master`s studies of the best Estonian theatre and dance

specialties` students;

· co-financing of inviting visiting producers, artists, choreographers;

· development of Estonian drama literature and financing playwriting


· literary activity related to the introduction of Estonian theatre;

· creative people that have proved themselves in Estonian theatre;

· projects that promote performing art, productions that combine various types

of art etc.;

· recording and preservation of dramatic art.


Estonian Conservative People’s Party EKRE is in government

Amendment of the Performing Arts Institution Act

Funding of private institutions

Artistic level – how to be objective?

Lack of money – difficult choices (house of NO99, etc)


Opinion of conference organizers

Our summer started very productive. On the 7th of June the “3B Conference for Creative Associations – Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia” organized by us took place in Riga, Latvia. Creatives from Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia gathered to share their experience, best practices, and discuss culture policy issues in all three Baltic states.

Together we discussed the current situation and “good examples” in each country, namely, how the Law of Creative Persons has functioned in Latvia in its first two years and what benefits it has given; what have been the recent changes in the Lithuanian culture policy and how it affects artists; and about Estonian Writers and Artists salary system – an opportunity for a professionals at their creative peak to receive a salary for a specific period of time so they could dedicate themselves to creative work for a longer period of time plus, in comparison with a grant, get all social securities.

At the second part of the conference participants had the opportunity to hear about two great funding programs – Nordic-Baltic Mobility Programme For Culture by Ginta Tropa from NORDEN – Nordic Council of Ministers’ Office in Latvia and Baltic Culture Fund by Katrin Seppel from Eesti Kultuurkapital.

The conference was finished with three workshops discussing different case studies – a successful culture lobbying by Mara Vaivode, the chairwoman of the board of Latvian Association of Architects; Dos and Don’ts of a cooperation of creative unions on a Baltic level by Kornelijus Platelis, Lithuanian Association of Artists (Lietuvos meno kūrėjų asociacija); and about benefits of the financing system of Estonian theatres by Kristen Simmo, Estonian Theatre Union (Esti Teatriliit).

Conference gave not only insights in the work of creative unions and general culture policies in all Baltic states, but also was a place of great networking between creative unions with collaboration opportunities on a Baltic level in the future.

In the conference met representatives from Lithuanian Association of Artists, Lithuanian Theatre Union (Lietuvos Teatro sąjunga), Lietuvos rašytojų sąjunga / Lithuanian Writers’ Union, The Lithuanian Association of Literary Translators (Lietuvos literatūros vertėjų sąjunga), Lithuanian Union of Journalists (Lietuvos žurnalistų sąjunga), Professional Folk Artists’ Association of Lithuania, Union of Lithuanian Art Photographers, Lithuanian Musicians’ Union, as well as Estonian Writers Union (Eesti Kirjanike Liit), Estonian Filmmakers Union, Estonian Journalist Union (Eesti Ajakirjanike Liit (EAL)), Estonian Visual Artists Union, Estonian Theatre Union, Estonian Dance Artists and Dance Educational Union together with the Council of Creative Union of Latvia, Latvian Composers Union (Latvijas Komponistu savienība / Latvijas Jaunās mūzikas dienas), Latvian Designers’ Society, The Artists Union of Latvia (Latvijas Mākslinieku Savienība), Latvian Association of Architects (Latvijas Arhitektu savienība), Latvia’s Theatre Labour Association (Latvijas Teātra darbinieku savienība), Latvian Writer’s Union (Latvijas Rakstnieku savienība) and Latvian Filmmakers Union (Latvijas Kinematogrāfistu savienība).

State Culture Capital Foundation (SCCF) of Latvia,
2018, annual budget: 10 762 157 EUR.

1. Grants for individual creatives
total, eur average grant, eur persons supported
1. grants for creative work 597 081 1022,00 584
2. creative projects abroad 124 130 364 343
3. student grants 95 734 1140 84
Total 816 945

Lithuanian Council for Culture (LCC)
2018 annual budget: 17 549 729 €

1. Grants for individual creatives
total, eur average grant, eur persons supported
1. grants for creative work 1 125 600 4557 247
2. educational grants
(festivals, conferences,
workshops, presentation
of works abroad) 375 150 1267 296
Total 1 500 750 543
3. support for culture
and art projects with
artists involved (applicants
are legal entities) 11 564 300 10 551 1096
legal entities

2. Social support program for creative persons

The total budget allocated for support program was 500 000 eur. Due to restrictions of income to apply, not all budget of support program was spent in 2018.

Support program for creative persons
eur persons supported
1. Support for no-income period 85 570,00 39
2. Short-term illness 186,00 1
3. Support for pensioners
(over 63 years old) 262 556,00 252
Total 348 312,00

The Support program was administrated jointly by SCCF and Council of Creative Unions of Latvia (CCUL).

The system is different. There is the Social Security Program for Art Creators in Lithuania administrated by the Ministry of Culture. The Program pays lacking amount of social and health insurance tax for those who do not earn 12 minimal monthly wages (MMW) during the year and provides a support for no-income period including a short-term illness of 1 MMW up to 3 months.

Support program for creative persons
eur persons supported
1. Support for no-income period 74 572 63
2. Social insurance 1 600 000 2516
3. Heath insurance 383 000 1318
Total 2 057 572

3. Support for administrative expenses of non-governmental organizations (NGO).

In addition to NGO projects supported in regular competitions, there is also a specific target-program “Support for NGO administrative expenses”. In year 2018, the total budget of this program was 1 065 755 euros, and in total 84 organizations were supported.

amount of support, EUR number of supported organizations granted, EUR
1000 to 10 000 euro 53 36 755.00
12 000 to 25 000 euro 24 404 000.00
30 000 to 70 000 euro 7 325 000.00
Total 84 1 065 755.00

From this program 7 creative unions also have received support, in total 138 000 euros – Latvian Association of Architects, Latvian Composers Unions, Latvian Designers Society, Latvian Filmmakers Union, Latvian Writers’ Union, Latvian Theatre Labour Association, Choreographers Association.

The system is different. 30 strategic organizations from the special list including 18 art creators’ organizations can use up to 60 % of their project financing for the administration and must get for their projects no less than 20 000 € per year. Other organizations can use up to 35 % of their project financing for the administration. I calculate here that all of them are using maximum.

amount of support, EUR number of supported organizations granted, EUR
Organizations with 60% 30 1 788 000
Organizations with 35% 1066 3 004 505
Total 1096 4 792 505

Summary from Estonia 2018

1. Endowment for Visual and Applied Art
pcs Amount total Maximum amount per grant Minimum amount per grant Average
Grants for projects /legal persons (without public entities) 140 660 817 4720
Grants for projects /legal persons (public entities) 85 459 948 80000 300 5411
Grants for projects /private persons 165 261 477 9000 100 1585
Scholarships 63 168 250 6000 300 2671
Targeted grants for creative work 220 171 152 2500 90 778
Awards 7 20700 3500 1750 2957
Supports for creative unions/organisations 20 371 100 80000 600 18555
TOTAL 680 1 742 344 2562
2. Endowment for Architecture
pcs Total amount Maximum amount per grant Minimum amount per grant Average
Grants for projects /legal persons (without public entities) 107 537 141,00 30 000,00 252,00 5 020,01
Grants for projects /legal persons (public entities) 79 265 614,00 24 240,00 170,00 3 362,20
Grants for projects /private persons 56 31 198,00 5 000,00 84,00 557,11
Supports for creative unions/organisations 5 355 580,00 131 200,00 29 400,00 71 116,00
Targeted grants for creative work 24 52 030,00 5 600,00 300,00 2 167,92
Other supports (medical, lifetime achievement support, jubilees, funerals etc) 36 24 600,00
Scholarships 28 43 562,00 2 500,00 150,00 1 555,79
Awards 46 62 599,98 12 000,00 200,00 1 360,87
TOTAL 381 1 372 324,98 3 601,90
3. Endowment for Film
pcs Total amount Maximum amount per grant Minimum amount per grant Average
Grants for projects /legal persons (without public entities) 266 1 860 740 6995
Grants for projects /legal persons (public entities) 58 84 905 20 000 400 3 691,52
Grants for projects /private persons 66 78 822 5000 128 1194
Scholarships 13 55 450 7 500 950 4265
Targeted grants for creative work 5 7 800 1 800 1500 1560
Other supports (medical, lifetime achievement support, jubilees, funerals etc) 73 21 760
Awards 14 25 000 2500 1000 1786
Supports for creative unions/organisations 21 132 197 15 000 180 6295
TOTAL 450 2 187 852 4862
4. Endowment for Literature
pcs Total amount Maximum amount per grant Minimum amount per grant Average
Grants for projects /legal persons (without public entities) 367 810 294 2208
Grants for projects /legal persons (public entities) 62 110843 5796 300 1788
Grants for projects /private persons 72 77215 3700 170 1072
Scholarships 47 265200 7000 400 5643
Targeted grants for creative work 135 153390 3000 300 1136
Awards 28 61796 2207
TOTAL 649 1 468 738 2263
5. Endowment for Music
pcs Total amount Maximum amount per grant Minimum amount per grant Average
Grants for projects /legal persons (without public entities) 403 806 732,00 30 000,00 100,00 2 001,82
Grants for projects /legal persons (public entities) 211 277 183,00 9 000,00 200,00 1 313,66
Grants for projects /private persons 179 118 253,00 3 500,00 90,00 660,63
Scholarships 591 353 087,00 8 000,00 50,00 597,44
Targeted grants for creative work 80 80 550,00 3 000,00 150,00 1 006,88
Other supports (medical, lifetime achievement support, jubilees, funerals etc) 34 12480,00
Awards 36 62 900,00 1 747,22
Supports for creative unions/organisations 82 307 520,00 32 000,00 200,00 3 750,24
KOKKU 1 616 2 018 705,00 1 249,20
6. Endowment for Drama
pcs Total amount Maximum amount per grant Minimum amount per grant Average
Grants for projects /legal persons (public entities) 149 721 701 71250 120 4844
Grants for projects /legal persons (public entities) 37 117 344 24000 334 3171
Grants for projects /private persons 125 107 863 9600 120 863
Scholarships 104 116 120 6000 250 1117
Targeted grants for creative work 343 532 307 3000 150 1552
Other supports (medical, lifetime achievement support, jubilees, funerals etc) 63 26280
Awards 31 55829,6 1801
Supports for creative unions/organisations 18 154 465 51600 595 8581
KOKKU 870 1 831 910 2106
7. Endowment for Folk Culture
pcs Total amount Maximum amount per grant Minimum amount per grant Average
Grants for projects /legal persons (without public entities) 623 1 037 707,00 9 000,00 70,00 1 665,66
Grants for projects /legal persons (public entities) 222 305 778,00 6 500,00 150,00 1 377,38
Grants for projects /private persons 92 63 474,00 6 500,00 60,00 689,93
Supports for creative unions/organisations 9 109 200,00 17 000,00 6 000,00 12 133,33
Targeted grants for creative work 50 44 200,00 2 500,00 200,00 884,00
Other supports (medical, lifetime achievement support, jubilees, funerals) 60 29 620,00
Scholarships 62 78 490,00 4 000,00 200,00 1 265,97
Awards 159 142 720,00 3 500,00 57,00 897,61
KOKKU 1 277 1 811 189,00 1 418,32
8. Endowment for Sports
pcs Total amount Maximum amount per grant Minimum amount per grant Average
Grants for projects /legal persons (without public entities) 613 1 680 391 74 000 100 2741
Grants for projects /legal persons (public entities) 67 25 410 6 000 100 379
Grants for projects /private persons 17 7 305 1 500 100 430
Scholarships 122 95 700 1 000 500 784
Other supports (medical, lifetime achievement support, jubilees, funerals) 129 60 750
Awards 13 36 650 3 000 650 2 819
Supports for organisations 47 596 300 74 000 1000 12 687
KOKKU 991 2 495 201 2518
9. Supervisory Board of the Cultural Endowment (interdisciplinary projects, miinimum 10 000 EUR)
TOTAL EUR 1 526 255,00
10. Traducta translation programme for translating and publishing Estonian literature abroad
Total 90 162 759,50
Translation grants (pcs) 50 90 438,10
Publishing grants (pcs) 40 66 321,40
11. Avatud Eesti Raamat (programme for translating and publishing philosophical literature into Estonian)
Total 133 676,00
Publishing grants (pcs) 28 64 495,00
Translation grants (pcs) 42 133 679,00
12. Hieronymus – (programme for translating and publishing classical fiction into Estonian, founded in 2018)
Publishing grants (pcs) 3 5 450,00
Translation grants (pcs) 9 42 153,00
13. County expert groups (15 counties)
psc Amount
Private persons 784 418 858
Public persons 3958 1 734 604
TOTAL 4742 2 153 462

konferencija Rygoje 3