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20 - 22 May 2020

© European Capital of Culture Forum 2020

Culture in the Time of Corona

When confronted with any crisis, the vital importance of culture and arts is revealed. Against the backdrop of the tragic economic and social catastrophe, we are witnessing the resilience and ability of the creative sector to adapt quickly. We have seen the world’s most powerful cultural institutions fall and the creators lose their jobs overnight. This did not prevent the emergence of numerous art projects uniting the international community, which inspired a spark of optimism and a sense of communion for those isolated at home. We have seen the value of digitisation of art and cultural treasures (this trend was given high priority in cultural policy in recent years), when the attendance of websites of cultural institutions has instantly increased hundreds of times. The pandemic which made the world stop has inspired cultural creators to look again at their mission, to create alternative strategies of action, educational and dissemination tools that have helped those isolated at home gather together for common discotheques and have brought culture directly to the courtyards of the quiet audience standing behind the apartment windows.

What’s next?

It is predicted that the cultural sector, the habits of our participation in culture and our social life will inevitably change, but will it really happen and how? How can cultural and artistic creators prepare for the challenges of the future? What skills and innovations could be used to do so? How can international cultural cooperation be preserved when the European Union suffers from fragmentation caused by political battles?

Forum goes online

The organisers of Kaunas – European Capital of Culture 2022 transfer the annual forum of the European Capital of Culture to the virtual space and, together with the Creative Europe Desk in Lithuania, initiate a discussion bringing together European artists, cultural creators, private and public sectors, aimed at exchanging views on cultural innovations and the future.


May 20
15:00 (EEST) The Role of Culture Defeating the Crisis

Today the future of many cultural creators is being jeopardised, yet progressive examples of cultural actions and adaptation provide hope that we are capable of getting over this critical time, also becoming stronger and more resilient. This session is about the experiences of the cultural sector developed in a critical situation and the opportunities that have emerged. What is the real significance of culture in an emergency situation – is it a high-priority public interest and why? What insights on culture were triggered by the confrontation with the present crisis? How do European cultural creators and organisers experience quarantine and its consequences?

May 21

Financing culture in the economy of uncertainty In the previous years, the Culture Supporters’ Forum discussed the practical ways and sources of funding. We did communication and financing according to the well-established models of operation, the improvement of which worked consistently, with a light rhythm. Since 2019, cultural organisations in the entire world found themselves living in uncertainty, which, after the closure of airlines and tourism services, has gradually touched the internationalness of culture and its public funding strategies in the global programmes and funds.

Can cultural organisations already see opportunities for forming a new face of the services provided by the Lithuanian cultural organisations?

From the middle of March in Lithuania and even earlier in Europe, all sponsors of culture – be they programmes or funds representing the public programmes, had to review their ways of action, their priorities, rules of project administration, and even the future.

10:00 (EEST) Culture in the measures of management of the economic crisis // This session will run in Lithuanian.

To what extent will the global economic and social crisis become an opportunity? How have Lithuania’s key funding institutions adapted to the new environment? What concrete measures have been taken and how does this affect the normal financing model and context? These questions will be elaborated in the morning session on May 21 together with the representatives of the Lithuanian Council for Culture, Invega, as well as Lithuanian municipalities.

15:00 (EEST) Local or international? Shifting priorities in public funding for culture

During the session, we will learn about the practice and opportunities offered by the special European Cultural Foundation, the perspectives of the Creative Europe programme, and what issues and choices are being considered by international mobility programmes – the Nordic Culture Point, ASEF, etc.? Generally speaking, how are we supposed to deal with and what can we expect from the internationalness of culture?

22 May 

15:00 (EEST) Culture in the Post-Pandemic Future. Retooling

In times when it is hard to think about anything else but the crisis, let us focus on the future. Life has changed. Everything is changing. Most agree – nothing will be the same as before. Or will it? What changes will last? What will the post-pandemic world look like? What is and will be the New Normal? Artists have always been the super sensitive predictors of worlds of the future, envisioning new realities, spaces, and cosmoses which traverse the past, the present and the future – the omnivirtual, the post-apocalyptic, the surreal… Or is it all real?

What is next? Textile factories are making masks, automobile plants are producing respirators, perfumeries are making disinfectants. Will we all need to adopt new models to survive? What are the possible retooling scenarios for arts and culture?

Sponsors: Kaunas City Municipality, Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, Kaunas District Municipality

Organiser: Kaunas 2022

Co-organisers: Creative Europe Desk Lithuania, Lithuanian Culture Institute


Further Information

–> here


Contact details
Marija Pulokaitė