New European Bauhaus Workshop in Lithuania

During the workshop different cultural actors, cultural practitioners, policy makers, researchers were looking for the links between the New European Bauhaus (NEB) initiative and Lithuanian cultural sector. Workshop was dedicated to examine which areas of culture can best contribute to the goals of the NEB and how best to do so. The most appropriate areas of intervention were identified during the interactive discussion,  possible solutions to the challenges of the cultural sector in the context of NEB ; barriers to the involvement of the cultural sector in the NEB ; and ways to ensure wider involvement of different cultural fields. Participants shared their knowledge about existing cultural initiatives and practices that contribute to the implementation of NEB priorities, and developed new ones that could do so in the future.

The most appropriate areas of intervention that the cultural sector can contribute to or initiate are cultural education, site surveys, social inclusion and joint decision-making, art in public spaces, urban gardening, mobility of cultural services and products, post- industrial space conversion, local tourist routes, Heritage Empowerment and activation within the communities, science-art connections, co-creation spaces, small towns as future initiatives for the EU, smart rural development, knowledge of the living environment, connections between art residencies and local communities.

Recognizing that NEBs can also contribute to addressing local cultural challenges, the main ones have been identified: diversification of funding sources, access to culture, sustainability of initiatives, heritage conservation, recovery of the cultural sector after a pandemic, cultural entrepreneurship, and audience development.

The main potential obstacles to the involvement of the cultural sector in the NEB have been also identified: bureaucratic mechanisms, segmentation of culture into sectors, regardless of the nature of the indent, individual initiatives, lack of artists able to work with communities, lack of science-art cooperation, lack of “green” skills and awareness in cultural communities.

In order to foster participation in the cultural sector the following ways to encourage it were identified: analysis of target audiences and their needs, refinement of existing problems and communication, promoting bottom-up initiatives, cross-sectoral cooperation, promoting dialogue between artists and communities, and pilot initiatives.

Regarding the integration of NEB and the field of culture, the horizontal nature of culture and the potential to combine different fields and disciplines, the role of culture as systemic thinking were emphasized. The change itself, fueled by the NEB, is a cultural action, and the most relevant specific cultural areas to achieve the NEB’s goals are: sensory design, urbanism, community arts, memory institutions, co-creation and storytelling, architecture, cultural heritage, food culture, and interdisciplinary art .

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