The Baltic Culture Fund Issues Grants for 2020

Curated by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia, the Baltic Culture Fund has issued the grants for 2020 round of application. A total of 300,000 euros were allocated to joint cultural projects involving the Baltic countries. In total 8 projects were supported in the fields of performing arts, literature, architecture and design.  

In total 20 applications in the amount of 1,158,075 euros were submitted. According to Ragnar Siil, the head of the Baltic Culture Fund Expert Committee evaluating the projects, the overall diversity and quality of partnerships of the submitted projects was impressive. At the same time, many proposals this year were directed to events taking place in the Baltic countries. „It is stated in the Baltic Culture Fund Statute that only in exceptional cases, events inside the three Baltic States can be supported if they have a very distinct international dimension with a Baltic focus. The expert committee found, that in addition to projects planned for outside of the Baltics, there were few that managed convincingly justify organizing activities locally,” Siil added. Most of the supported projects’ activities are planned for 2021, which would hopefully allow the partners to implement the projects as planned despite the current global crisis.  

The budget of the Fund for 2020 was 300,000 euros, of which each Baltic State contributed 100,000 euros. 

55,000 euros were awarded to the Estonian Foundation NUKU, which, with the Lithuanian Vilnius Theatre Lele and ASSITEJ Latvian National Centre, will organize a theatre festival „Baltic Visual Theatre Showcase“, in order to open a gateway to international arena for the local theatre markets. The festival will take place in May 2021 in Tallinn.

“The Baltic Stories: Culture. Place. Identity”, a project that recognizes and popularizes new culture driven development projects in the Baltic States, received a grant of 25,000 euros. The project is led by Latvian Urban Institute and the partners are Estonian Linnalabor and NGO Lasnaidee, Lithuanian Performance Design Association and European Humanities University. The project takes place in the Baltic States and Finland (Helsinki). The launch of the visual publications and exhibition takes place from January to April 2021.

Another 25,000-euro grant was awarded to the joint performing arts project “Portable Landscapes“, program of talks, discussions and performances from the Baltic region involving Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art, Lithuanian MO Museum and Estonian Kai Art Centre. The project will popularize the contemporary art production and theory on recent art history through performances and talks in Stockholm, Paris and Berlin. The main events of the project take place from Autumn 2020 to Spring 2021.

With a grant of 45,000 euros, the VSIA Riga circs with the Lithuanian Arts Printing House and Latvian Estonian Contemporary Circus Development Center will increase the capacity of Baltic contemporary circus artists to tour internationally with the project “Baltic Circus on the Road”. The events will be organized in the UK (Bristol), Germany (Berlin), Sweden (Göteborg) but also in the three Baltic States. The performances in the Baltic States will start in July 2021 and tour in the above-mentioned countries until October 2021.

Academia Gustaviana Society from Estonia, Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art and Galerija Meno Parkas from Lithuania, present contemporary Baltic visual art and performing arts to international audiences and create new contacts on the Baltic Art festival “High Voltage” in Manhattan, New York. The grant in this case is 35,000 euros. The exhibition in New York will open in December 2020.  

Lithuanian Writers Union together with Estonian and Latvian Writers Unions will present and represent, as a mark of quality, the outstanding authors of the Baltic countries to the international community of readers, artists and publishers by concentrating the networking forces of literary organizations, publishing partners, writers and translators. The “Baltic Review” is a publication that will be presented in Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany in October 2021. The project received a grant of 40,000 euros.  

A joint project involving Estonian MTÜ NID, Lithuanian Design Forum and NGO Latvian Design Centre “Tactile Baltics” which will bring the Baltic design under one roof and make it internationally visible in London, was awarded 50,000 euros. The events will be presented on London Design Festival in September 2021.

NGO Estonian Centre for Architecture, Lithuanian Centre for Art and Education “Rupert” and Latvian Architect`s Office NRJA were jointly granted 25,000 euros for creating a networking platform for Estonian, Lithuanian and Latvian architects for “Baltic Cooperation in Venice Architecture Biennale 2020”.  Due to corona crisis, the biennale has been postponed to October-November 2020.

The aim of the Baltic Culture Fund, founded in 2018, is to promote cultural cooperation between the Baltic countries and strengthen the internationalization of Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian culture through joint cultural projects and events. Grants are awarded annually and the next deadline for applications is 20 February 2021.

The Baltic Culture 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, as well as showcases and forums promoting the internationalization of culture.

The Fund is administrated by the national cultural endowments on a three-year rotation basis; the Cultural Endowment of Estonia is the first to coordinate the Fund’s activities. Grant applications are evaluated by a six-member Baltic Expert Committee.


Kertu Saks

Cultural Endowment of Estonia
Suur-Karja 23, 10148 Tallinn Estonia
Fund coordination period: 1 January 2019 – 31 December 2021