On 2022 admission will take place to following international masters programmes:
Cultural Heritage Governance and Communication
Creative Industries and Growth Management
Bachelor degree or comparable education. Education documents must be accompanied by English translations of all certificates and transcripts along with certification of the documents authenticity;
If English is not your native language, all students are required to provide a proof of English language knowledge.
Foreign students will be asked to record a video interview.
Deadlines for Autumn 2022
03.01.2022. - 20.03.2022: Application deadline for applicants from non EU countries
03.01.2022. - 8.07.2022: Application deadline for applicants from EU, EEE + candidate countries
Application form and application documents must be submitted to e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. All documents must be submitted in English:
✔ a completed application form;
✔ a copy of passport or identity card;
✔ a copy of the BA (undergraduate) diploma together with the academic transcript of records. Education documents must be accompanied by English translations of all certificates and transcripts with approval of the documents authenticity
✔ proof of English certificate or other acceptable information, according to the set language requirements by LAC 
✔ applicant’s Curriculum Vitae (CV) detailing educational background and professional experience in culture and arts, if applicable. English proficiency must be indicated
✔ a letter of motivation (in English) 
After receiving all required documents LAC sends those to ENIC/NARIC Center for evaluation. The ENIC/NARIC Center evaluates foreign qualifications. This process may take time up to 1 month. Several cases may take longer.
You will be required to bring the original documents when you got to the Academy.
Application fee is EUR 150,00 EUR (non-refundable) per student.
Application fee consist of a 109,00 EUR registration fee and 41,00 EUR payment for the Examination of education documents by ENIC/NARIC Center.
Application fee is EUR 20,00 EUR for citizens of Latvia who have obtained their previous education in Latvia.
Online application will be processed only after application fee received. Applicant will receive an invoice with the needed details to make an international money transfer via bank when creating online application.
For better service, candidates are requested to send receipt of application fee payment.
NOTE: Candidate pays all bank commission fees for international transfer.
 Regulations on the documents certifying the English language skills of the applicants to the LAC study programmes in 2022 here
Applicants for the Master's study programme “Cultural Heritage Governance and Communication” shall attach to the application a letter of motivation in English (3000-5000 characters), in which they substantiate their motivation for studies in this programme (including previous academic study experience, the use of research methods and experience/connection with cultural heritage) and outline the idea of the topic of the Master's thesis.
Applicants for the Master's study programme “Creative Industries and Growth Management” shall attach to the application a letter of motivation (2000–3000 characters) in English, in which they substantiate their motivation for studies, describe their previous work experience and vision of their future professional career, outline the idea of the topic of the Master's thesis.
ADMISSION EXAMS FOR APPLICANTS SUBMITTED APPLICATION FORM TILL 20.03.2022.
For applicants from non EU countries
ADMISSION EXAMS FOR APPLICANTS SUBMITTED APPLICATION FORM TILL 8.07.2022.
For applicants from EU, EEE + candidate countries
Foreign applicants will receive invitation to complete online interview for motivation to study in the chosen study program via applicants e-mail till 21.03.2022.
✔ Admission Interview
All applicants are evaluated based on their results in the Admission Interview.
Applicants will receive invitation to complete Admission Interview via applicants e-mail till 25.03.2022.
Foreign applicants will receive invitation to complete online interview for motivation to study in the chosen study program via applicants e-mail till 9.07.2022.
✔ Admission Interview
All applicants are evaluated based on their results in the Admission Interview.
Applicants will receive invitation to complete Admission Interview via applicants e-mail till 11.07.2022.
Final admission decision will be announced till 18.07.2022.
All applicants are evaluated based on their results in the Admission Interview in English, in which, after the previously submitted motivation letters, as well as the answers to the questions asked by the members of the Commission, the student's motivation, previous work experience and vision of future professional development, Master's thesis topics are clarified. The student's understanding of creative industries, global processes, business and culture, as well as English language skills are also tested. The Applicant must be able to clearly and reasonably state their intentions regarding the topic and problematics of the Master's thesis, justify the readiness to carry out research in this field, as well as prove their knowledge of the creative industries in Latvia and the world. The Commission may ask additional questions on culture, creative industries, entrepreneurship, and the Applicant's worldview, as well as on the Applicant's professional intentions and growth objectives.
Admission Interview is scored on a 100-point scale. During the interview, the Applicant must receive at least 40 points, otherwise it is not possible to apply for a study place. If the Applicant receives less than 60 points in the interview, the Applicant can’t apply for a budget place in the study programme.
All applicants are evaluated based on their results in the Admission Interview in English, in which, after the previously submitted motivation letters, as well as the answers to the questions asked by the members of the Commission, the motivation for studies in this programme, previous academic study experience, connection with cultural heritage, knowledge of English and conception about current issues in the field of cultural heritage in a local and global context are clarified. The Applicant must be able to clearly and reasonably state their intentions regarding the topic and problematics of the Master's thesis, justifying the readiness to carry out research work in this field. Commissions may ask additional questions about cultural heritage as well as academic and professional career intentions.
Admission Interview is scored on a 100-point scale. During the interview, the Applicant must receive at least 40 points, otherwise it is not possible to apply for a study place. If the Applicant receives less than 60 points in the interview, the Applicant can’t apply for a budget place in the study programme.
From May 23 to 31, in the cycle of informative events "Turning Point" the Latvian Academy of Culture (LAC) invites to join various online activities for those who are interested in master's studies. There will be a presentation of the opportunities of master's studies at the LAC, everyone will have the opportunity to attend master's lectures and meet with programmes directors.
Apply for activities by filling in the electronic registration form by May 20: https://forms.gle/8s9mJvA5GZD2jzWT7.
In the summer of 2022, the LAC for the first time will admit students to the international master's programs “Creative Industry and Growth Management” (together with Riga Technical University) and “Cultural Heritage Governance and Communication”, where the study process will be conducted in English.
Those who are interested will have the opportunity to find out the content of master's studies by joining master's students in lectures such as “Cultural landscapes” (Ullrich Kockel, EN) and “Arts conceptualisation strategies and contexts” (Dagmar Herta Anneliese Reichardt, EN). The number of places to participate in lectures is limited, so please apply in time!
• May 23 at 16.00 Meeting with Ieva Zemīte, director of the programme "Creative Industry and Growth Management", will take place on the Zoom platform.
• May 26 at 15.00 Meeting with Elīna Vikmane, director of the programme "Cultural Heritage Governance and Communication", will take place on the Zoom platform.
During the cycle of the informative events "Turning Point", everyone will have the opportunity to apply for individual consultations with programme directors or representatives of the study department, writing to e-mail: email@example.com.
More information about admission at the LAC MA studies: https://lka.edu.lv/en/studies/admission-international-masters-programmes/.
After applicant submits the application, foreign student’s previous education documents (diploma and diploma supplement or transcript of records) are being forwarded to the Academic Information Centre (AIC) in Republic of Latvia. AIC is the Latvian representative to the European diploma recognition networks ENIC/NARIC.
The academic recognition is necessary, if the student has a foreign qualification (diploma) and he/she wants to continue studies in Latvia. AIC evaluates the level of your qualification compared to Latvian educational system. This procedure does not apply to diplomas issued in Lithuania and Estonia after 7 January 2019.
The AIC statement is prepared within a month, if necessary, extending the term to 4 months. Academy makes the decision on the admission based on the statement issued by the AIC. In case the AIC does not issue a positive academic recognition of previous education documents, Academy keeps the rights to terminate the application.
More information on the Centre’s functions, education system in Latvia, education documents etc. can be found in AIC webpage.
CULTURAL HERITAGE GOVERNANCE AND COMMUNICATION
1st year (€2,500 per year)
€1250 / 15.08.2022.
€1250 / 1.02.2023.
2nd year (€2,500 per year)
€1250 / 15.09.2023.
€1250 / 1.02.2024.
CREATIVE INDUSTRIES AND GROWTH MANAGEMENT
1st year (€2,500 per year)
€1250 / 15.08.2022.
€1250 / 1.02.2023.
2nd year (€2,500 per year)
€1250 / 15.09.2023.
€1250 / 1.02.2024
Related links: FINANCIAL SUPPORT
Recipient: The Latvian Academy of Culture
Address: 24 Ludzas Street, Riga, LV-1003
Registration No.: Reg. no. 90000039164
Recipient Bank: State Treasury (Valsts Kase)
IBAN Account No LV60TREL9220020000000
Purpose of Payment:
21351/ Study year / Study semester / Name, Surname / ID number
Regulations for admission to academic Master's study programmes at the Latvian Academy of Culture in the 2022/2023 academic year
The first semester is over for the students of the joint master's study programme of the Latvian Academy of Culture (LAC) and Riga Technical University “Creative Industries and Growth Management”. Despite the distance learning format, students have started or are planning to start several creative activities to foster their professional development.
Artist Zane Neimane has carried out several important activities during the semester to foster the sale of her artworks. Now, at https://www.startupart.lv, there is only one piece left from Zane's collection “Blueberries with Milk” (Mellenes ar pienu). A new series of works is currently being created for an exhibition entitled “SEARCH FOR ADDRESSES [IN ĀGENSKALNS]!” (MEKLĒ ADRESES [ĀGENSKALNĀ]!) to raise awareness of the architectural values of the area.
Elīna Jākobsone, co-founder of the advertising and design service agency “Ozols Ir”, together with her team have launched a new product in the first semester of their studies - the skincare line “Habit 6”. The product line also has a website where you can buy the natural facial care products: https://www.habitsix.com/. “It was a challenge to step into the shoes of our customers - we used to develop communication for ready-made products, but now we had to do and create everything ourselves - from packaging research to fragrance testing. Our audience is women aged 20+ - daughters and mothers of daughters”, says Elīna.
Valērija Mizgare, with friends, has created the theatre platform “Insight”. It focuses on creating cutting-edge performances using new theatrical tools and solutions, as well as organising public events and parties.
Zane Matesoviča, Head of the British Council Latvia, is planning to write an article on her personal achievements within the semester in relation to time management and how the digital working environment can be combined with handwritten notes in a way that complements each other and helps to maintain creativity and time management.
Dita Miska, the manager of the “M50” store, has created an Instagram account https://www.instagram.com/vissapnicis/, where she shares her drawings and ironic texts created by fellow colleagues and friends on things that they are tired of. Alongside her Instagram account, Dita has also started a blog based on her own and others' experiences, allowing people to maintain a healthy sense of self-irony. “I Hate that I undertake things I don't really want to do. This has to stop,” Dita writes in one of her blog post.
Since October, 2021 the editing director Līga Pipare and her team has been working on the various stages of post-production of the Latvian TV series “Tunnel”, such as editing, music selection, cooperation with the composers, development of the trailer, opening credits, sound post-production, etc. Starting from December 2021 one 47-minute episode will be streamed weekly on the Latvian streaming platform Go3. In terms of experience, a large percentage of success lies in working with the right people, that is why together with her husband, Līga has created her own company “LAVKA ART”, which serves as a platform for creative people to get together and carry out various cultural and arts projects. Meanwhile, the TV and film producer Diāna Logina has created the most-watched New Year's Eve show in Latvia at the end of 2020. “The course “Growth in the Creative Industries” has been a wonderful resource for developing self-reliance, self-discipline and other inner resources. The information provided in the lectures encouraged me to search and find literature, seminars, podcasts that would help me move towards my goal,” said Diāna, sharing her thoughts.
In August 2020, the Latvian Academy of Culture launched the new international MA study programme “Creative Industries and Growth Management” and admitted its first students. The programme has been developed within the framework of the project “Development of New Study Programmes for the labour market of the cultural and creative industries sector” (No. 126.96.36.199/18/A/018).
The future of the creative industries
In 2020, the Latvian Academy of Culture (LAC) has launched a new international MA study programme - “Creative Industries and Growth Management”. Three students - Dita Miska, Zane Matesoviča and Linda Miķelsone - share their first impressions of the programme and behind the scenes of the study process.
What was your study and professional experience before you started these studies?
Linda: I graduated in Multimedia Communication and now work in public administration in the field of digital transformation and IT. Currently I am trying to draw parallels between creative industries and the digital transformation issues.
Dita: I studied to be a fashion designer; now I am in a process of change, studying at the Latvian Academy of Culture and waiting to see what else I can offer to the world.
Zane: I studied philology and pedagogy; my life has been mostly spent in education. I felt that my portfolio lacked knowledge about culture and creative industries, so I joined this programme.
Tell us about the programme and its strengths!
Zane: This is the first joint MA programme of LAC and RTU. The idea to combine humanities with technical sciences is a breakthrough and a blessing! Bringing these two different worlds together makes the studies much more innovative. Culture and creativity are impossible without finance and business models, and vice versa.
Dita: Academic studies were one of the reasons why I chose to study here. I like the fact that two universities have combined their forces. Besides, it also provides a unique experience for both lecturers and students and broadens their horizons.
What are the highlights of the study process so far?
Linda: Those are both the creative subjects, such as Art History, and the Basics of Cultural Studies, as well as the courses related to Business Management - understanding the stock market, gaining the basic knowledge to build something - this has definitely stayed in my mind.
Z.: It is nice to have foreign guest lecturers - the international dimension of studies. This way you do not feel completely isolated during the distance-learning period. To work with these brilliant lecturers without leaving home was great. I am very happy for our group. There are students from the cinema, advertising, and social media industries – half of them have technical knowledge, the other half associate themselves with the world of culture. Everyone has come with their own unique experience. Peer discussion is a whole parallel university with new knowledge that we gain from each other.
How does the study process work?
D.: In the first semester, all courses are viewed through the perspective of personal development. The second semester is dedicated to organisation and the third - to global issues. During the fourth semester, we work on our master's thesis.
L.: In the beginning, we learnt how to organise our personal finances, then - how to attract investors to our business and how to manage the cash flow. Within the Business Modelling course I have gained invaluable knowledge about business ecosystems and business design.
Z.: The business courses was a positive challenge that has put all my previous experiences on a different footing. It is an extraordinary look at the industry from the perspective of cultural and creative industries.
D.: I would like to highlight the structure of the programme in the form of study modules and wish this for everyone. After each subject, there is a test, and once that is done, something new comes along. This way the study process does not get boring and it helps to focus.
Z.: I like the unity of the programme as a whole. There is a maximum of two thematic courses at the same time. Growth Management is an ongoing, transversal theme - how to manage growth both personally and globally. The course is structured in such a way that we start to assess and shape growth through our own perspective, and then move it to our businesses.
How would you describe the essence of growth? What professional and personal qualities do these studies develop?
L.: A great focus is placed on being aware of and adequately assessing your competences and skills. From there, you develop an individual plan - which competences you develop, and how you assess priorities. These studies have given me the impetus to do more research on my own, and my self-learning skills are developing a lot. I realise that I am learning for myself, which is great.
D.: I would also like to emphasise the need to set goals. The Growth Course reminds us to do this. And there is no need to fear that the goals may change. The process influences the goal and the outcome. I have become braver in decision-making and goal setting. My motto since the beginning of the year is: if there are things to do, do them now. Ideas may not be perfect, because nothing is perfect. If there is something good, it needs to be done; it must be seen.
Z.: All learning is part of growth. But if it is driven in a meaningful, structured way, through your own perspective, you immediately understand the direction in which you want to develop more. We are deliberately guided to see how to develop what is important to us. A range of relevant tools, direction and stopping points are offered that can lead to this goal.
How do you see the future and development of the creative industries?
Z.: In the global world, the language barrier is slowly starting to disappear. We are sure that Latvia has an export-orientated culture. The aim, the power and the opportunity of this programme is to create cultural managers, who will see the potential of culture and know how to profit from it. At all levels, culture is still not fully valued because it is difficult to measure its impact. During the pandemic, we all realised how important it is for our mental health. Alongside culture as a profitable industry, we need to be aware that there must also be continuous and consistent support for it.
L.: The creative industries have a huge potential. I, myself, am inspired by the creative industries in South Korea, how the country sells its pop culture; its identity as such. And people want to travel there and buy their creative products. Many countries operate in this way, attracting tourists and selling their culture, building the creative economy. Latvia is becoming aware of this, and this study programme is a sign of it.
“I am very excited about the programme. An excellent, well-thought-out programme that provides all the necessary competences for those working in the field of cultural heritage and those who would like to make it their career.” (Kristīne Skrīvere, Director of the Cēsis Museum)
“The programme has been developed in a comprehensive, in-depth way, and the dedication of the lecturers is outstanding.” (Liene Johansone, Director of Olaine Museum)
“When I started this programme, I had no idea about the diversity, quality and interactivity of this study programme.” (Lelde Puisāne, Legal Adviser of the Legal Division of the Ministry of Culture)
“The lecturers are brilliant, each with their own methods trying to make us look at and analyse culture, heritage, events and political decisions broadly and critically enough.”
“Another valuable benefit is the colleagues and peers of the programme – all passionate and dedicated professionals in their field, with whom it is not only exciting to study, but definitely exciting to collaborate in the future.” (Ilona Matvejeva, Producer of the Latvian National Theatre)
“It is a great privilege to be here with such diverse, but interesting and inspiring course mates. We can compare our theoretical ideals and ideas with our practical work. Very interesting discussions!” (Eva Koljera, Head of Āraišu Lake Castle)
“The main value of the programme is a strong international team of lecturers, as well as course mates - outstanding personalities each in their own professional field.” (Laura Slaviņa, Head of Agency OZOLS.IR)
Ieva Zemīte is a graduate of the Latvian Academy of Culture, lecturer, and researcher at the Scientific Research Centre of the LAC. In 2017, together with Anna Varnasi, a graduate of the Art Academy of Latvia's Glass Art Department, she established the glass art studio “Glass Point”, which is the first studio-workshop of its kind in Latvia. Together with Denis Ščeulovs, Director of the Institute of Business Engineering and Management at Riga Technical University, she has developed a joint international master's study programme “Creative Industries and Growth Management” * with an ambitious goal - to prepare change leaders who are able to manage growth processes, think strategically, be creative, appreciate diversity and apply it.
The Latvian Academy of Culture is a great place not only to learn, but also to start doing. In addition to my bachelor's studies in “Cultural Theory and Management” I was involved in the management of an event agency, and after graduating from the Academy I started working as a project manager at Dzintari Concert Hall. Alongside working at Dzintari Concert Hall, my colleague and I were developing our own event management business, so the master's studies “Culture Management” were very useful. But I needed a break before I started my master’s to understand what is going on in the world; how it works. I really enjoyed my time in master's studies because I knew what I wanted to find out, what I needed to ask and, ultimately, why I was studying in the first place. I had the opportunity to talk with the lecturers and I had specific questions to which I was looking for answers.
I would have been very happy if this programme - “Creative Industries and Growth Management” - had been offered to me when I finished my bachelor's studies. This programme will be precisely targeted at audiences who know what they want, but for various reasons have stalled in their own or their business’s development. The programme is designed at several levels: from the personal to the global level. The lecturers will work as mentors and help you understand at which level changes are needed. Of course, you must always start with yourself, but there may be something in the industry that works differently to what we imagined. This is why the programme will be suitable for doers and those who want to know which way to go next to continue their business development, especially when thinking about the personal aspect, which is very important in overall development.
In my master's thesis I focused on the economic impact assessment of the Dzintari Concert Hall, and I was really fascinated by this topic. For me, work opened a whole new horizon of cultural space - I was able to contribute by talking about the value of culture and its economic impact. It was a time when it was very popular to talk about this topic. With my master's thesis, I made a big impact in the cultural sector and realised that the topic had the potential to be developed at PhD level, as this would allow the idea to be developed more broadly and thus be of greater benefit to the industry as a whole.
The research results and knowledge gained from Ieva's master's thesis have been widely used by the media to talk about the economic impact of culture:
I knew I needed business management knowledge - the economic impact of the culture I had studied so far sparked my interest in the real and practical work. Slowly, I moved from cultural economics to cultural business, which was my true calling.
Studying business administration at Turība, I felt a bit like a fish out of water among other PhD students who were “real” businessmen, such as factory managers who have been doing business for almost 25 years. I was driven by a passion to combine the cultural industry with business, so I wrote my PhD thesis on cultural business, their specificities and development opportunities.
Business was always there as a parallel fragmented world that had not yet come to the centre of my professional activity. While working various paid jobs, I was always involved in the development of ideas - first an events agency, then working with scientists and commercialising ideas, then the University of Latvia's business incubator. From what I have seen, the work in this industry is not coherent and smooth - it is fragmented, usually more than one job.
“Glass Point” was born out of a joint study course “Creative Business Laboratory” of the Latvian Academy of Culture and the Art Academy of Latvia. During the course I appreciated the enthusiasm for creating a glass studio, but that was it. However, when a year after finishing the course, I was approached by women artists who were still interested in the idea and wanted to develop it, I realised that I believed in the idea and offered to develop it together.
Now there are two of us at “Glass Point” - the artist Anna is responsible for product design, realisation, and technical solutions. My job is sales, projects, fundraising. We have four areas of business - one of which is not a classic business, the project area - exhibitions and masterclasses - because it is not directly profitable. In this way, it is possible to broaden horizons; it is a typical cultural business, where we seek funding for ideas that the client does not pay for. Of course, our main services are custom glass design solutions and masterclasses, workshops for legal and natural persons. Corporate events are a broad area that we are developing. It is good that this spring, when everything basically stopped on the same day, it was not central.
Our core products are custom artistic solutions in glass - vases, glasses, gifts, awards, interior objects, and glass in interiors. Masterclasses and events give people the chance to get to know glass, and we also offer jewellery masterclasses and events for children. Glass is a material that most people do not have the opportunity to work with daily: cutting it, making mosaics - it's a unique experience.
Everything orientated towards public service delivery, open workshops, face-to-face customer service, stopped in one day. Last year, in the same situation, we would have gone bankrupt, because at that moment there was a really strong focus on the public, with a lot of domestic and foreign clients coming in. There were many events for businesses, schools, and children.
We have now managed to develop more customised services and orders, which was also a lifeline at that moment, because it enabled us not to stop in one day. Of course, it will now be more difficult to get new customers; some of the orders are closely linked to events, which are also currently suspended or limited.
The clients we have gained over the three years of working, those who came to our masterclasses and workshops, those for whom we created glass design solutions, are a great value. There is a lot of support from this audience and interest in future cooperation opportunities. People are now longing to do something together, to participate in something, for example with their family. The emotional background that we are currently experiencing in our communication with our clients suggests that we will not move completely to a virtual environment after this time. People want an authentic experience: to touch and see the result of their work, to create something themselves. Working with glass can offer this. Working with hands and materials in a fun and educational way is something that people needed and will need. It is a break from everyday life and work; scientists, bankers and travel agency workers come here. There is a definite need for this face-to-face service, so I am very confident that this service will be back on offer when possible.
Quite a lot of orders for “Glass Point” come from abroad. The central channel through which we work is the buying and selling platform Etsy. If at first it seemed like Etsy did not work for custom orders, after half a year of working on the platform, we found out that it works great. Customers use this platform to order customised glass products rather than choosing from our range. And of course, we create them.
We switched to remote order taking quite some time ago, which was important when thinking about working with customers from abroad. We offer an online format for our clients to follow the design process, while at the same time the artist and the clients agree on the final result in the chat. After all, without coming to our studio, the client receives a finished product in the mail.
My own feeling is that we are always moving forward, as if stumbling, and it is the strategic direction and the purposeful direction that we are really lacking, despite my education. Our strategy is to experiment - let's try it and see how it works. This way of working probably comes from my previous experience and the business incubator days, when I worked on the principle - do not plan and think, do, and think afterwards. Working this way has also led to many things being tried that do not work, but we now know that they do not work!
Of course, the start-up was not easy either. We started with three of us - me and two artists (Anna Varnase and Baiba Dzenīte). After the first three months, there were two of us, and the situation was based on the classic story of how people's priorities change. It was a big blow at first, because it also meant ending the financial relations, which of course was difficult for a company that had just started. But the next day we received a call from a restaurant wanting to order tableware. All things get sorted out in their own way: if at one point it seems like nothing is happening or things are getting very hard, an offer comes along. Then, of course, I focus intensively on restaurants, thinking that is the right direction, until I get a call from, for example, a bank that needs something completely different. Sometimes you work for three months on one thing, thinking it is the right direction, but in the end, it turns out it is not, or it does not work. There are very successful and unexpected turns, but that is only because we are always on the move. Hard work always pays off, the only the question is - how.
There has been one big downfall - that was with interior design. We had already made prototypes, but then it turned out that the person we contacted had already been fired from the business and had never shown our project to the management. We had, of course, invested in developing prototypes.
Our ambition for the future is a “glass house”: this would be the central point of our business. If a person has an idea related to glass, they come directly to us - to the “glass house”. The purpose of the meeting with the customer could be different: to place an order or for educational purposes - to get to know the material by participating in the workshops. We now have everything we need to meet a wide range of customer needs, and there is also a feeling that what we have can be expanded. The “Glass Centre” would play an important role in the context of the industry: it would be recognisable in the region, attracting both clients and those who are interested in this art form and type and want to try it out for themselves.
It is important to attract not only potential customers, but also the glass artists themselves. This is one of the things we are working on: we offer artists workspace and equipment rental. We initially saw this as a very important part of our business, but when we started, we realised that it was not. This direction is important in the broader context of the industry and our business idea. Getting into glass art is costly, it requires a lot of investment, and the materials and technical equipment are expensive.
For example, artist Anna already had a glass furnace - she had been seriously preparing to have her own studio since high school. The artist was very determined to get there. So, the first step to starting a business had already been taken, but in spite of that - in the three years we have been in business - we have added a great deal to our technical equipment. This allows us to work with artists who want to use the specific technical equipment and do their own work, selling the result (product) - jewellery or interior objects. It is an invaluable support for an artist not to have to buy their own equipment in the start-up phase. They can start working on their product, gradually assessing what will be needed in the future.
In a way, we also see the potential to act as a business incubator - to not only help artists get started technologically, but also to connect them with potential clients and help them sell their product. We have a studio where the work of different artists is on display for the public to see, so we are able to help the client to find the right artist working in a way that interests them.
If stating qualities the businessman must have, it is certainly perseverance and being in constant motion. You must be willing and able to talk to people, to be open to the world. A growth mindset is important - the awareness that we can learn anything. This correlates with the “Creative Industries and Growth Management” programme - you must keep developing the talents and abilities you have; keep pushing the boundaries.
Anyone can be a businessman, if they have the desire and the will. Understanding that business mechanisms work when you know that you will always have to convince someone of your product or service and that you will have to sell. This is central: knowing that sales are important in business ensures that you can do what you love. Of course, self-confidence is necessary, and there is always a debate about whether or not this quality is real. Having been in the grey area between culture and business for a long time, my self-confidence is not very great. Am I a businesswoman? Yes, I am ambitious - I want to make a difference in the situation we are in now, to develop and push things forward.
To see myself and potential development at multiple levels - as a businesswoman, as a person and in an industry context. Whichever level of change is possible, we need to be open and willing to see it and be willing to make it. Keep your eyes open: keep up to date with what is happening in the industry, with the latest developments and innovations, and look for best practices that are happening outside our world. This is one of the reasons why I believed in the glass artist Anna - she knew a lot about the industry - about what was going on, what innovations and good practices were out there. She knew the industry on a completely different - international - level, she had been to the Czech Republic, Portugal, Scotland; she knew the best practices in the USA, she could describe the current situation and trends in each of the European countries, she knew what products were in demand, and what masterclasses were taking place. We started to implement Anna's European experience here in Latvia, adapting it to our market, and this allowed us to realise that it works here too. Many good things cannot be imagined out of the blue unless you have opened your eyes and experienced that there is another way.
Creativity can be trained in the same way as all other talents. I will never be an artist, but I can already appreciate how my aesthetic perception of art has changed since working with Anna. I will never be able to look at things the way she does, but her influence has changed my perception. Comparing the variability of aesthetic perception with creativity shows that it can be trained and developed.
The “Creative Industries and Growth Management” programme focuses on growth at three different levels - personal, corporate, and global. The beginning of the course will focus on personal development - personal branding, public speaking, contact improvisation. These are the intangible but extremely important things in communication to be able to feel a partner in professional work. These are the intangible but extremely important things in communication. How you read a person, how easy or difficult it is for you to talk to them - it depends on that intangible side of your personality, on how you have managed to develop it so far. The programme will focus on the student not only as a businessman, but above all - as a person. All courses are structured in such a way that the student has the opportunity to look at oneself from the side - as a person who has the opportunity to direct their own career by understanding the goals of their own development, as a manager of an organisation, as an employee who has the opportunity to create change in the workplace, as a part of society by contributing to the understanding of global social change. I think there will be a radical change in the way a student thinks and sees themselves before and after graduation.
The aim of the programme for each student will depend on their particular vision and interests. The third semester will look at the global level - the organisational and industry context. At this level, the student will need to be able to see challenges, opportunities for change or their own solutions. It will be a big challenge - so the final task of the programme will no longer be just about each student's personal contribution or organisational development plan, but a vision of their place or role in the sector; what the global or social changes are that they, as a graduate of this programme, can lead and develop. Combining two disciplines - culture and business - to get a vision of your own, your business's perspective in a specific industry. Not only to see and intuitively feel your growth opportunities, but to be able to justify them.
Students will be involved in the design of the studies. The programme is academic, but the studies are practical and student-orientated: the student will make many decisions on what the studies will be. At the time of enrolment, each student's interests will be monitored, as well as the practical knowledge they need; therefore, the whole growth management lecture course will be a mentoring process - moving forward with clear goals to achieve, of course assuming that the goal may change during the course. It will be important to not only set and achieve goals, but also reflect on them. Students will have the opportunity to take courses at two universities, with faculty members from both universities, to use the resources of both universities and to appreciate the strengths, which, speaking of LAC, is the individual work with students that is possible with relatively small groups of students.
For young people without practical business experience, the programme will open up a field of exploration, offering knowledge and guidance to find their own ideas and direction of work. The university is a supportive and safe environment for experimentation and self-discovery, so finding your calling at university is a great opportunity. The design of the programme provides for such a search and, in addition, gives you the opportunity to meet students who are already working in business, who have found their field of work. The synergies that can arise are a great benefit - the interaction of one’s own experience with the experience of others. In business in particular, motivation comes very strongly from role models - someone else can do it, so I can do it, too. It helps a lot with self-motivation - you see real practice that works, and you can learn from it.
In business, the will to do things is definitely more important than experience. By asking for or expecting experience, we automatically focus on those who have it, excluding those who do not. But sometimes it is those without experience who have more desire and potential, but just have not had the chance to put it into practice. Such nuggets are often positive and inspiring: sometimes with a lot of enthusiasm and work, someone can achieve more in six months than someone who has a lot of experience but no understanding of how to develop further and sits back and waits for things to work themselves out. One that is constantly moving and doing is a good example.
The Latvian Academy of Culture has launched the international MA programme “Cultural Heritage Governance and Communication” in line with the topical global trends - modern management processes, sustainability, aspects of heritage law, resource attraction and management, digitalisation and technological opportunities to make heritage accessible and engaging. It is also essential to foster an intellectual debate on the interpretation of heritage and a modern view on its communication so that heritage is seen, heard, and felt.
Both locally and internationally, Latvia is positioning itself as a cultural superstate, whose name is being polished by our outstanding artists and whose museums are visited by more people than the average in Europe.
A conversation with Elīna Vikmane, the director of MA study programme of the Latvian Academy of Culture “Cultural Heritage Governance and Communication” and the board member of the the Latvian Museums Society about the role of culture in the national economy, the preservation of cultural heritage and the tools for its revitalisation in today's reality.
A new MA study programme “Cultural Heritage Governance and Communication” is launched at the Latvian Academy of Culture. Why is this area relevant for Latvia as a whole?"
80% of Europeans believe that cultural heritage is important to their identity and that countries should devote more resources to heritage preservation. However, there is no academic programme in Latvia that teaches how to preserve, manage, and make cultural heritage accessible to people. Inevitably, people who would want to acquire such knowledge and skills ought to leave Latvia to immerse themselves academically in the subject. We at the Latvian Museums Society also believe that an academic education programme, not just further development courses, is desperately needed for the development of the field.
The new MA study programme “Cultural Heritage Governance and Communication” is about a modern perspective on cultural heritage, the sustainability in its management, how to create new forms and communicate meaningfully with the society on cultural heritage in the 21st century.
The programme is designed in line with the topical global trends - modern management processes, sustainability, aspects of heritage law, resource attraction and management, digitalisation and technological opportunities to make heritage accessible and engaging. It is also essential to foster an intellectual debate on the interpretation of heritage and a modern view of communication so that heritage is seen, heard, and felt in today's society. Of course, preserving heritage is important for the future, but for today's people to be interested in it, we need to create a relevant form and see the modern context.
The Latvian Academy of Culture has managed to develop a programme with a modern outlook by attracting international academic staff, consulting partners - cultural heritage institutions and organisations in Latvia - and collaborating with tourism experts - Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences.
The programme welcomes graduates of the bachelor's degrees in both social sciences and humanities who are still looking for a career in the field of cultural heritage - cultural tourism, memory institutions or an academic career in research.
The second group are people who have received “practical education” in the workplace, or professionals who are already working in the field of cultural heritage. This is how I got into the field of cultural heritage myself. And I am aware that routine is created in everyday work, intellectual discussion is missing, new information is needed like fresh air, new horizons to give impetus to setting new goals. There is also a need to strengthen the exchange of views and experiences between existing heritage professionals, which we want to encourage with the new programme.
We are aware that some of our students are working, so the studies are organized mostly during weekends.
Working as an expert at the Culture Capital Foundation in the field of cultural heritage, I see that people are motivated to restore our cultural heritage, and young people are starting to buy 17th and 18th Century Latvian manor houses that are in a rather sad state. We would like to see people in the programme who have a sense of mission to restore a part of Latvian heritage. I am convinced that the studies would make a meaningful contribution in private activities at maintaining and preserving heritage objects.
The worldwide recognition of our outstanding artists, performers and conductors is undeniable. As for cultural heritage, half of Latvia's population visit cultural places or museums every year. While the population is declining, museum visits are on the rise and at their highest level in 25 years. Latvia also has one of the highest museum attendance rates in Europe. This is the picture that emerged from the study research carried out by the Latvian Academy of Culture, commissioned two years ago by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia on cultural consumption and the role of museums in Latvia. Our national development plan, as well as the strategic development plan of Riga also include the vision of becoming the cultural metropolis of Northern Europe.
On the other hand, can we be a cultural power state without a national concert hall or the national museum of contemporary art? This is a great question. It is not just the problem of infrastructure, but it also concerns international cooperation, integration in education, the development of the art market and, of course, cultural tourism. Museums also play a very important social role, and contemporary art museums are among the most courageous in creating change in society, promoting tolerance and critical thinking. And this attracts young people's interest in cultural heritage. Museums around the world are becoming more and more inclusive as they seek new ways to connect cultural heritage with today's pressing issues. Imagine, in Canada a doctor can prescribe a visit to a museum as part of therapy, and in the USA there are museum collection-based trainings for nurses and detectives. There are plenty of examples in the world.
Culture has always had a higher purpose. Its aim is not and will not be to make money, but the Covid-19 crisis made us look at culture from a different angle - very pragmatic and down-to-earth. This industry creates jobs, pays taxes, contributes to the development of other economic areas, improves quality of life and is an important aspect in attracting external investment. The political rhetoric also shows that crisis support is geared towards the goal of emerging from the crisis stronger, more capable, more innovative, more competitive in the domestic and export markets. This applies to all industries, including culture.
In the new MA programme, we will not only discuss the preservation of cultural heritage, but also the role of cultural heritage in tourism. Various studies show that cultural tourism is on the rise. More than half of foreign tourists in Latvia cite cultural heritage as an important factor in various sources.
Although, Latvia does not yet have a detailed cultural tourism strategy. I am convinced that the students and graduates of the new heritage programme will take part in making this interdisciplinary work happen.
The project of the Museum of Contemporary Art is fully developed and if construction were to begin could be available for public in two years' time, while the final decision on the location and construction of the concert hall project is yet to be taken.
Both projects have been around for a long time. About 15 years ago, the then Minister of Culture Helēna Demakova symbolically named the three facilities - the concert hall, the National Library, and the Museum of Contemporary Art - the New Three Brothers. Over the years, only one of the planned “brothers” - the National Library - has been carried out. Both the Museum of Contemporary Art and the national concert hall project have been either affected by crises or shifted to be carried out later. I believe that this moment, when resources are available, is the right moment to decide on action.
Yes, there are people in Latvia who do not understand why culture is important and should be preserved and developed. A 2018 study by the Latvian Academy of Culture shows that only 8% of people in Latvia do not attend any cultural events. I suppose there are people who find contemporary art unacceptable and incomprehensible. This is only natural if we are familiar with just a small part of what contemporary art is and cannot look at it every day and discover the whole spectrum of it. I will refer to the example of Finland - there we see that contemporary art museums are the most popular. They attract younger, economically active foreign tourists. The current trend in the world as a whole is to create museums that reflect the development of art and visual culture from the second half of the 20th century with a look into the future.
In reference to the official guidelines of the Latvian government classes at the Latvian Academy of Culture will take place in person (on campus), provided that both professors and students have a valid COVID-19 vaccination or recovery certificate that is recognized in the EU. You are not required to send any documents in regard to your COVID-19 vaccination status or provide any additional medical information, however, you will be asked to provide them once you arrive in Riga.
!NB Please note, even though you are able to enter Latvia freely without self-isolation, you are still required to fill out the COVID PASS form within 48h upon your arrival in Riga and receive a QR code with information indicating the reason for your arrival https://www.covidpass.lv/en/
The programs have been developed in the framework of the project “Development of New Study Programmes for the labour market of the cultural and creative industries sector” (No. 188.8.131.52/18/A/018).