The Latvian Academy of Culture has been a space for greetings, conversations, celebrations and daily life since 1990.
Based on tradition and experience, we work today to create a tomorrow. We are up to date and present in today’s processes, able to influence and direct them. Permanently evolving by integrating the novel, the advanced and the most significant.
We set the highest standards for ourselves. We are reliable and appreciated both by our students and lecturers, as well as by the employers and entire society.
We are interested in getting to know and accepting the different, the diverse and the multifarious. Available, promoting cooperation and creation of synergy.
The Latvian Academy of Culture is an arts university, an institution of higher education and research, which was established on the 29th of December, 1990 by a decision of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia.
The Latvian Academy of Culture administers accredited academic Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral study programmes.
The Academy is enganged in research and artistic creativity, which are implemented by two Academy departments: the Academy Research Centre of and the Centre for Creative Activity.
The main representative and management bodies of the Latvian Academy of Culture are the Constitutional Assembly, the Senate, Rector and the Academic Court of Arbitration.
The academic Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral study programmes "Arts" of the Latvian Academy of Culture were accredited up to 2019 with the right to confer BA, MA and Doctoral degrees by a decision of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Latvia.
The term of accreditation of the study direction “Arts” has been extended by December 31, 2023 in accordance with the Transitional Provisions of the Law on Higher Education Institutions 3.06.2021.
In accordance with the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia who issued an ordinance to June 2, 2009 to reorganise the public administrations under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture, it was decided that the government agency’ “Museum of Literature, Theatre and Music” and the department “Eduards Smiļģis Theatre Museum” shall be handed over to the Latvian Academy of Culture starting with October 1, 2009.
In accordance with the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia who issued an ordinance on June 2, 2009 to reorganise the state agency “Centre of National Cinema” it was decided to be modified from an agency to a direct state administration and its department “Riga Film Museum” will be transferred to the Latvian Academy of Culture starting with January 1, 2010.
In accordance with Public Administration Structure Law and Higher Education Law, the education institution the Latvian Culture College was reorganised and handed over to the Latvian Academy of Culture by December 31, 2011.
The Latvian Academy of Culture was established and created in the restored state of Latvia, and it has been developing together with it. Many changes had already taken place: a Plenary Session of Creative Unions had been organised; the Council of Creative Unions of Latvia had already taken place; the Popular Front of Latvia had been founded. Many other associations, unions and organisations had been renewed: the Association of Latvian National Culture Societies; the Latvian Union of Scientists; the Latvian Olympic Association, Riga Latvian Society and many others. It was at the Latvian Culture Forum in a resolution of March 1990 when an idea was expressed that there was a need to establish a new university – an Academy of Culture. The adoption of the Declaration of the 4th of May was followed a general uplift, which was manifest in various opinions on the significance of the nation’s spirit in turns of fate in Latvia. Pēteris Laķis was one of the leaders of the People’s Front. As he was a philosopher and Head of the Department of Sociology at the University of Latvia, he had also become Chairman of the Commission on people’s education, science and culture in the Supreme Council. He spoke about the possibility of creating a new culture university outside of Riga, for example, in Sigulda, where being away from the bustle of the big city and industrial noise, students and professors could indulge in intellectual and creative studies The idea of a Theatre Institute that had existed during the post-war years was being entertained at the same time. The Minister of Culture Raimonds Pauls listened to many opinions before deciding to focus on the creation of a new culture and arts university that would also provide theatre studies because the Academy of Music (previously called Conservatoire) no longer offered these studies.
The new institution of higher education was planned to be created on the basis of the Institute for Professional Development of Cultural Workers and the Riga Technical School of Culture and Education. Pēteris Laķis was appointed Rector of the Latvian Academy of Culture. Together with Jānis Siliņš, Head of Culture Education Department at the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Conservatoire, they created the drafts for Study programmes and addressed the many organisational, material and financial problems, which were not that simple at the time.
When the newly created Admission Commission started working at the Latvian School of Culture in Bruņinieku Street in summer 1991, the air was filled with optimism and hope. 25 students were enrolled in Department of Culture Theory, History and Administration and five students in each of the Cultural Communication specialities: Latvia – Denmark, Latvia – Sweden, Latvia – Norway, Latvia – Poland and Latvia – Lithuania. About ten days before the start of the first Academic Year at the Latvian Academy of Culture, the new Rector Pēteris Laķis called a Department meeting at the Latvian Parliament because he was not allowed to leave the Parliament building during the nervous days of the August Coup. However, the coup of opponents of democracy failed, and the Latvian Academy of Culture started the first Term with a solemn service at the Riga Dom Church. The first lectures and classes took place at 24 Ludzas Street, which previously housed the Institute for the Qualification of Cultural Workers of the Ministry of Culture, but before that, it was used as a fire station and other institutions. Today, this historical building in the Moscow suburb (DE: Moskauer Vorstadt) with its courtyard and blooming apple tree garden has been associated with the special atmosphere of the Academy by many generations of students. Since the management of the Latvian School of Culture wanted to keep their independence, this wish was respected. Later this School was renamed the Latvian Culture College. Only after a government decision of 2012 has it developed closer cooperation with the Latvian Academy of Culture as a branch of the Latvian Academy of Culture.
The first 39 Arts Bachelor degrees were conferred at the Latvian Academy of Culture in 1995, and the first Master’s Degrees were conferred in 1997. In 2003 Deniss Hanovs was the first one to present his Doctoral Dissertation in Arts at the Promotion Board meeting.
Since then, there have been many memorable and unique events and experiences, as well as everyday routines and concerns. Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes have been improved. For the first time in the history of Latvia, the Latvian Academy of Culture has established stable traditions in Audio-visual Culture, Cinematography and Contemporary Dance Studies. Culture Management, Art Production, Drama and Text Studies are also essential for an Arts and Culture University. The geography of Cross-cultural Communication has widened: over time, next to the existing specialisations, students have been offered language and culture studies of France, Germany, Britain, Spain, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands. In recent years, in the programme “Arts” a few new study sub-programmes have been licensed: a Bachelor Programme “Creative Industries” implemented together with Riga Technical University and a Master’s Programme “Creative Industries and Growth Management”, as well as a professional Doctoral programme in “Arts” (implemented together with the Art Academy of Latvia and Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music).
In 2012, the reconstruction of the building “Zirgu pasts” for theatre studies at the Latvian Academy of Culture has provided new opportunities for creative activities and studies. In the cultural life of Latvia, E. Smiļģis Theatre Museum and the Film Museum have gained more recognition, both of which have been Departments of the Latvian Academy of Culture since 2009.
Under the supervision of Professor Anda Laķe, the operational diversity and scope of the LAC Research Centre has grown, executing both academic and applied studies, and participating in international research projects. The Centre has also received high acclaim from international research institutions. The International Research Conference “Culture Crossroads”, the Performing Arts Festival “Patriarch’s Autumn” and other events have gained a stable place among Latvian culture events. The youth choir of the Latvian Academy of Culture “Sōla” participates in Song Festivals “Choir Wars”, international competitions and the World Choir Games, achieving great success.
Over the recent 30 years, 2301 students have received the Bachelor Arts Degree, and 848 students have received the Master’s Degree in Arts at the Latvian Academy of Culture. 21 researchers have presented a Doctoral Dissertation at the Promotion Board meeting and have received the PhD Degree. The professional career of the graduates has developed and will continue to develop in many different ways. Their creative biographies are interesting and varied. Society notices the new artists who have been nominated for the Lielais Kristaps and Spēlmaņu nakts awards and those who have won the prize, as well as those who have received recognition on an international scale. The graduates of the Academy have made a considerable contribution to literature. Many of their books of poetry and prose have been published; many translations and many plays have been staged in theatres. Former students work in various culture, education and public administration institutions, newspaper and magazine editorials, the radio and television, as well as in the private and the non-governmental sector.
As a national country, Latvia needs people who have received education in Arts. The same as in the modern world, Latvia is in need of specialists who have good knowledge of foreign languages, skills and competences in culture theory, management and cross-cultural communication. It seems as this conclusion still inspires the Academy lecturers and staff for creative and self-indulgent work – artists, researchers and educators of different generations. After the first Rector of the Academy Prof. Pēteris Laķis passed away in 2003, Prof. Jānis Siliņš became Rector of the LAC. Prof. Rūta Muktupāvela was elected Rector in 2014. The creation and development of the Academy have been supported by the involvement of previous prorectors – Prof. Jana Kursīte, Prof. Daina Teters, Prof. Jānis Turvaldis Urtāns, Prof. Artis Kampars and Prof. Pēteris Krilovs. All the former Prorectors have made a contribution to the formation and further development of the Academy: Prof. Jana Kursīte, Prof. Daina Teters, Prof. Jānis Turvaldis Urtāns, Prof. Artis Kampars and Prof. Pēteris Krilovs.
For outstanding merits, the staff of the Academy have received the highest awards in Latvia - the Order of the Three Stars and the Cross of Recognition have been awarded to Līvija Akurātere (1925–2017), Gunta Bāliņa, Gunārs Bībers, Pauls Miervaldis Dambis, Anna Eižvertiņa, Ansis Epners (1937–2003), Tamāra Ēķe, Edmunds Freibergs, Anita Garanča (1949–2015), Pēteris Krilovs, Māra Ķimele, Pēteris Laķis (1952–2003), Aina Matīsa, Anita Načisčione, Jānis Siliņš, Tatjana Suta (1923–2004), Juris Tālivaldis Urtāns, Kalvis Zalcmanis and Olga Žitluhina.
Succession and creative growth are promoted by students with LAC degrees who have taken over the management of their Alma mater: Rector Prof. Rūta Muktupāvela, Prorector in academic work Prof. Zane Šiliņa, Prorector in artistic creative work Prof. Elmārs Seņkovs, Head of the Performing Arts Department Prof. Zane Kreicberga, Head of the Department of Culture Sociology and Management Department Doc. Agnese Hermane and Head of the Audio-visual Department Dainis Juraga. They all have graduated from the Latvian Academy of Culture. Doc. Rita Lūriņa and Head of the LAC traditional singing group “Saucējas” Iveta Tāle are among our first graduates. In the subsequent years, academic or research degrees have been received by Prof. Dāvis Sīmanis, Prof. Inga Pērkone-Redoviča, Asoc. Prof. Indra Roga, Asoc. Prof. Ramona Galkina, Asoc. Prof. Elīna Veinberga, Asoc. Prof. Ieva Zemīte, Doc. Anita Vaivade, Doc. Zane Grigoroviča, Doc. Zane Daudziņa, Doc. Andrejs Verhoustinskis, Head of the Study Department Dana Daugule, Head of Communication and International Cooperation Department Ilze Beimane and other colleagues.
The greatest value of the Latvian Academy of Culture is the students whose number exceeds six hundred students every year. It is worthwhile mentioning that those who have passed the creative competition do not only come from Riga State Gymnasiums and Lycées. Our would-be students come from all over Latvia because they are interested in culture and art. Many of our bachelors proceed with MA studies both at the LAC and other arts universities in Latvia and abroad.
The Republic of Latvia celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2020, so did the Latvian Academy of Culture as it was established in free Latvia, which made all Academy developments and accomplishments possible. President of Latvia Egīls Levits who is Honorary Professor of the Latvian Academy of Culture expressed an inspiring leitmotif at the festive meeting, which will serve as a guiding theme for our future work: “Culture is at the basis of Latvia and the Latvian nation”.
License for the right to implement a joint professional doctoral study programme in the Arts together with the Art Academy of Latvia and Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music
Licence for the right to implement the academic Master’s programmes “Management and Communication of Cultural Heritage”, “Creative Industries and Growth Management” (together with Riga Technical University)
The development of the first stage of the construction project of the Tobacco Factory Quarter
The Ruling on the implementation of the project of the Tobacco Factory Quarter in two rounds. The construction of the LAC National Film School and the Creative Industries Business Incubator have been planned in the first round
Licence for the right to implement the Academic Master’s study programme “Audio-visual and Performing Arts”
An international design competition has taken place for the architectural vision of the complete construction of the Tobacco Factory Quarter. The winner is the architectural firm “NRJA”
Development of a new Bachelor’s Study Programme “Art” sub-programme “Culture and Arts Studies”
Licence for the right to implement the Academic Bachelor’s Study Programme “Creative Industries” (together with Riga Technical University)
An agreement has been concluded on cooperation between the State Joint Stock Company “State Real Estate” and the Latvian Academy of Culture in respect of the implementation of an interdisciplinary project of a centre for Culture, Education and Creative Industries in the Tobacco Factory Quarter (within the framework of SAM 5.6.1)
Licence for the right to implement the Academic Bachelor’s Study Programme “Audio-visual Arts”
May 18, 19, 20
Licence to implement the Academic Bachelor’s Study Programme “The Art of Contemporary Dance”
Development of new sub-programmes of the Bachelor’s Study Programme “Arts”: “Drama and Text Studies” and “Audio-visual and Performing Arts and Production”
A letter of intent has been signed between the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia, the State Joint Stock Company “State Real Estate” and the Latvian Academy of Culture on cooperation in establishing an interdisciplinary centre for culture, education and creative industries in the Tobacco Factory Quarter
Development of a new sub-programme “Theory of Audio-visual and Performing Arts” in the Bachelor’s Study Programme “Arts”
The sub-programme “Culture and Cross-cultural Studies” develops a new Master’s Study Programme “Arts”
The state educational institution Latvia Culture College has been reorganised and transferred to the Latvian Academy of Culture
The LAC together with the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia is organising a competition for secondary school pupils “Culture Canon Competition” for the first time
The first performing arts festival “The Autumn of the Patriarch” takes place
Development of a new sub-programme “Audio-visual Art” as part of the Master’s Study Programme “Arts”
Development of a new sub-programme “Media and Cultural Management” as part of the Master’s Study Programme “Arts”
Development of a new sub-programme “Museology, Cinema and Video Directing” as part of the Master’s Study Programme “Arts”
Development of a new sub-programme “Modern Dance Choreography” as port of the Bachelor’s Study Programme “Arts”
Development of a new sub-programme “Audio-visual Culture” as part of the Bachelor’s Study Programme “Arts”
The first doctoral study programme “Arts” is established in the LAC
A new sub-programme “International Cultural Communication: Latvia-Nordic Countries” has been developed as part of the Bachelor’s Study Programme “Arts”. New Intercultural Relations sub-programmes were developed year by year. Among the first were: “Sociology of Culture and Public Relations” and “Theatre, Cinema and TV Drama”
Development of new sub-programmes “Latvian Culture and Traditional Culture” and “Television Director” as part of the Bachelor’s Study programme “Arts”
The first Master’s Study Programme “Arts” includes the following Master’s Study sub-programmes: “Theory and History of Culture”, “Performing Arts”, “Cultural Management”
Development of new sub-programmes “History and Criticism of Literary Theory”, “Russian Culture”, “Sociology and Culture”, “Cinema and Television Operator” have been developed as part of the Bachelor’s Study Programme “Arts”
Creation of a new sub-programmes “Cinema Operator”, “Cinema Direction”, “Dramatic Theatre Acting Art”, “Dramatic Theatre Directing” have been developed as part of the Bachelor’s Study Programme “Arts”
Development of new subprograms of the Bachelor’s study programme “Arts”: “Puppet Theatre Actor”, “Cultural Relations (Latvian – Danish, German, Finnish)”
Development of the first Bachelor’s Study programme: the BA programme “Arts” and the sub-programmes: “Cultural Theory, History and Administration”, “Cultural Communication” with the following specialisations: Latvia – Poland, Latvia – Denmark, Latvia – Sweden, Latvia – Norway, Latvia – Lithuania, Latvia – France, Latvia –Jewish Culture.