Vilnius plays a very strong role in the country’s economic, social and cultural development. Unsurprisingly, cultural and creative industries in the city constitute half of all country’s creative industries. Smart solutions, development of high tech, innovative companies and overall cultural policy create favourable conditions to improve cultural competencies of the population, to promote cultural activities and improve overall experience of cultural life in the city.
In the last decade Vilnius has experienced a breakthrough in creative industries, which was endorsed by Vilnius Strategy of Cultural development of 2012-2020. Vilnius cultural policy is based on openness, democracy and multiculturalism – attributes that foster cultural inclusion and equality. City aims to ensure that local communities and different societal groups can equally enjoy a broad range of cultural events and services.
Vilnius Municipal Cultural Strategy for 2021-2030 envisages Vilnius city as a “Fluent City” that successfully encompasses vigor and sustainability and becomes a target cultural city – an Artistic City – in 2030.
– Ensuring equal access to cultural offerings for all audiences and different social groups
– Foster multi-culturalism and internationalization
– Apply innovative solutions in cultural heritage sites
– Ensure effective funding and systematic culture management.
Challenges for an inclusive cultural sector
Nevertheless, like many other modern European cities, Vilnius faces challenges that are going to be addressed by ACCESS project. Within the framework of the project Vilnius aims to identify the needs of local communities and different societal groups towards culture; to encourage de-centralization of cultural offerings and to use the opportunity to exploit the potential of smart solutions in fostering cultural inclusion. Vilnius devotes full attention on revitalization of peripheral areas with culture being a key driving force. However, a lack of cross-sectoral collaboration, openness to local communities and knowledge-sharing is still evident. ACCESS project will provide an opportunity to learn from best practice examples and contribute to the development of an open and culturally-empowered city.
Participation in ACCESS project is a unique initiative that aims to encourage the development of creative businesses, inclusion of local communities in cultural activities and reducing social and economic problems in the city. Vilnius is positive that knowledge-sharing and collaborative efforts to identify root causes to cultural problems within ACCESS network will help to ensure equal access to culture for all citizens in smart and innovative ways.