Conference “Promotion of Traditional Crafts in Lithuania in 1995–2015”
The problem of modern urban culture is the decline of the traditional crafts and related cultural rituals and celebrations. Know-how and secrets of old crafts are no longer transmitted to younger generations. Though crafts were among the most important preconditions that determined the development, prosperity, economic and social progress of towns. Vilnius Old Town was inscribed into UNESCO World heritage list in 1994, and since then revitalisation of immaterial heritage – traditional crafts – became very important task of the capital city.
Vilnius municipality implements the Ethnographic, Fine Crafts and Fairs Programme since 2001. There are 17 galleries-workshops working within the framework of the Program in Vilnius Old Town. They organise craft’s demonstrations, exhibitions, and educational activities, take part in traditional fairs (the most famous are St. Casmir Fair and St. Bartholomew’s’ Fairs). Vilnius Old Town Renewal Agency is responsible for the implementation of the programme. In 2006 Vilnius Fine Crafts Association was established. Main task of the Association is creation of the Training and Exhibition Centre of Traditional Crafts in the historical Tymo quarter. The draft project proposals were prepared, underground infrastructure was build in 2007 according to the tasks of Vilnius City Strategic Plan. Unfortunately the economic crises stopped further works.
Various Crafts Centres were established in a number of Lithuanian towns taking an advantage of the European funds support in 2007–2013. New alternative possibilities to establish Vilnius Training and Exhibition Centre of Traditional Crafts were discussed again in 2014. In order to analyse and motivate establishment of the Centre in Vilnius the conference „Promotion of traditional crafts in Lithuania in 1995–2015” was organised by Vilnius Old Town Renewal Agency in partnership Vilnius Fine Crafts Association.
Goal of the Conference were:
– to evaluate results, tendencies and key changes in the area of crafts’ revitalisation and training in Lithuanian as well as in neighbouring countries (Latvia, Estonia, Poland);
– to discuss the future of crafts training sector in Lithuania also potentials and prospectives for establishment of the Crafts Training and Exhibition Centre in Vilnius.
The Project was supported by Lithuanian Council for Culture. Responsible officials of the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Agriculture, specialists of Lithuanian municipalities, managers of crafts’ centres and creative industries, craftsmen and students took part in the Conference.
The Conference took place in Vilnius City Council’s Hall (Konstitucijos Av. 3), in November 12th, 2015. Organizers:
Vilnius Old Town Renewal Agency and Vilnius Fine Crafts Association.