Kaunas Seeks to Become the European Capital of Culture

The title of the European Capital of Culture for the year 2022 will be granted to one of the candidate cities of Lithuania. This is a unique opportunity for the city and its residents to find, strengthen and establish a new identity through the creation of culture and active participation: to highlight advantages, discover and create traditions, to become satisfied with yourself, your neighbours and your city, to be open to Europe, and to discover Europe in yourself.
In light of so many inspiring examples, we are determined to seek the title of the European Capital of Culture. This project is intended for each resident of the city and for guests from Europe and all over the world. The entire community of the city is involved in its development and implementation, and the title helps to attract investment, create long-term jobs, increase the flow of tourists several times in the long-term perspective, re-enter the city into the list of the European points of interest, and moreover, raise the self-worth of the residents of the city, encouraging young people to stay after they graduate from their studies and create their own surroundings, while generating emotional and economic benefits. In the framework of this project, culture is not just understood as having a wider range of cultural events, as Art (theatres, concerts, music and art festivals, museum events) is only one component of the capital of culture. The development of this mega event programme is proceeding with wide discussions among the communities, institutions and individual residents about what we would like to see our city look like in 2022, including what self-government, business, art and each of us can do to achieve the significant changes required in both infrastructure and strengthening of the social network. Thus, the programme will cover many public events, festivals intended for leisure time, wellness and the promotion of food traditions as well as song festivals. The members of communities will be involved in the development of plans for the emotional regeneration of catchment areas and the implementation of projects.


The applicants are currently developing the strategic goals of the future programme and the programme itself by initiating open meetings with the cultural community of the city and the district. Their proposals will be presented to the international jury commission, which will grant the title to one of the Lithuanian cities in 2016. By competing for the title of the European Capital of Culture, the initiators of the idea seek to promote positive changes in the city and the social network of the residents, including their involvement in cultural activities. All of this will contribute towards improving the supply and quality of the cultural services in the city, as well as international and regional cooperation with Kaunas city.

Contemporary Capital

With such a title and slogan, Kaunas can offer a unique cultural programme for the year 2022. Through the use of various historical moments which have been important in developing the identity of our city, particularly those of the inter-war period when it was the temporary capital, along with its most nostalgic times as reference points to start off from, we seek to create and establish the identity of Kaunas as a city that is modern, progressive, and full of culture, science and innovation with this programme.

Contemporary Capital is a multilayer slogan/title that allows the emphasis of many topics related to the goals of this programme:

(1) The prefix Con in the Latin language has the meaning ‘with’ and emphasizes the social component of our slogan’s concept. In addition, the following elements are emphasized within it: (2) temporary versus contemporary, (3) tempo, referring to the creation of a new cultural tempo in the city, (4) Capital, which is not only used in the concept as the definition of a capital city, which is a significant, decision-making administrative centre of the country, but also as a human, creative, time or economic capital. We will try to elaborate on these forms of a capital in four programme directions.

Programme Directions

CONFLUENCE shall refer to the union or coming together of various projects of art and science, culture and technology, business and cooperation in innovation, inter-institutional cooperation projects and international partnership, along with new works of creation, changes and art residencies.

conFUSION shall refer to uncomfortable and undeservedly forgotten topics: memory actualization (Jewish culture and memory, analysis of the heritage of the Tsarist Empire and the Soviet period, projects for updating opportunities for the exploitation of the heritage of modern forts, inter-war and industrial architecture, as well as projects exploiting heritage.

conTEMPOrary shall refer to design and creative industry projects, festivals for generating the new cultural tempo in the city and creating a more qualitative and dynamic supply of culture, including sports, leisure, marathons, cycle paths, etc.

CONSCIOUSNESS shall refer to the involvement of the communities, hospitality and food culture projects, strengthening of the public spirit, involvement of pupils, students and elderly people, active participation and volunteering.

Click on the link to read Kaunas 2022 Final Bid Book