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The New City Hall in Gdańsk
The Anthem of the Union of the Baltic Cities
UBC Task Force on Youth Employment and Well-Being
Cultural Cities Commission
Cultural Cities Commission was formerly called Commission on Culture


The Commission on Culture has developed a new exchange program to enhance professionalism and to stimulate cooperation between UBC cities. We will therefore invite you to find another UBC city partner and apply for the fund. We have the opportunity to support 3 exchange programs with 1000 euro. The idea of the exchange program is that one person in the cultural field find another partner in another UBC city. The partners travel to each others cities and stay for at certain time e.g. 4-7 days.

Next deadline for application will be announced soon.


The Commission on Culture welcomes cooperation between UBC cities in the cultural field. If you are planning an annual festival for your city why not invite artist or a cultural project from your colleague UBC city. Or if you want to develop a joint program you can apply for covering part of the travel expenses.

Next deadline for application will be announced soon.


The Commission on Culture has developed a new vision for the cultural area for the UBC cities. The vision aims to ensure that all of the members in the UBC achieve an added value. We want to realize this goal by creating and developing tools and a network between the UBC cities. We hope this network will make the commission a forum where the members exchange knowledge and experience through cooperation between the UBC cities. The vision consist of following four key elements:

1. A network based cultural cooperation

The Commission on Culture wants to strengthen the network between the UBC cities in the cultural sector in order to create a working network that everybody can benefit from, when they need it, either for help and advice or for partners for projects.

We want to enhance the cooperation between the UBC cities in cultural cooperation in order to create a better understanding of each others culture and the different conditions we work in. We want the cities to initiate programs and project that will suit their needs, and thus stimulate a user driven and bottom- up approach to cultural cooperation.

2. Professionalization of the cultural field

We want to promote and develop tools for the cultural field to enhance professionalism in the field, and some of the ways can be sharing of experiences in conferences, newsletters and other communication, and others can be the exchange-programs, where we achieve a hands-on and a very direct learning process by discussing the professional issues that are of major interest to the parties involved.

3. Strategic partnerships

The Commission on Culture wants to work strategically with central national and international bodies dealing with policy making in the cultural field. And we want to be a voice for culture on local level in order to have the cultural issues on local level heard and taken into account in policies on regional, national and international level.

4. Research

We want to stimulate third parties to provide research on cultural issues that are important for the local level, i.e. the role of culture in social inclusion, the role of culture as an economic driver.

How do we want to achieve these goals:

  1. Network based cultural cooperation:
    • To develop the exchange program even further, as this program has 3 aims, namely to stimulate professionalization, to create, and develop the UBC cultural network, and to stimulate project making between the UBC cities
    • To promote a more intensive cooperation between the UBC cities on cultural level, both by a small fund and by the cultural prize, which has as criteria the cooperation aspect
    • To promote the cities to invite cultural project from other UBC cities to local events like festivals, celebrations or part of the daily programs
  2. Professionalization of the cultural field:
    • Again the exchange program
    • Sharing experiences at meetings and conferences
    • Sharing new knowledge in newsletters, facebook and the like
  3. Strategic partnerships. Partners we want to develop contact to:
    • Nordic Council
    • Pack and the European Union
    • Ars Baltica
    • Others
  4. Research:
    We have found out, that research is necessary for the cultural field to promote the necessity of culture. We will thus be contacting research bodies and lobby to make them make research on necessary issues, like whether culture can help social inclusion, whether culture can really be a driver in the wish for economical growth. We are inspired by the Swedish research on culture and health that showed the interrelationship between the use of culture and having a better health. We would like to develop programs together with:
    • Nordic Council
    • national or regional universities
    • City authorities
    • Professional research institutes 


Every year the Commission on Culture organizes a working session at which various culture-related issues are discussed. Since 1995 the following cities have been hosts of the Annual Working Session on a specific theme.

Szczecin (Poland) Co-operation in the filed of culture 1995
Visby (Sweden) Freedom of expression Information Library 1996
Kaliningrad (Russia) Artistic education in the Baltic region (cancelled) 1997
Szczecin (Poland) Choir music in the UBC cities - problems and possibilities 1998
Kalmar (Sweden) Improvement on collaboration and networking 1999
Szczecin (Poland) Strategy and activities of the commission 2000
Espoo & Helsinki (Finland) Art education 2001
Riga (Latvia) Culture education in Latvia and significance of international collaboration in music and art education 2002
Szczecin (Poland) Contemporary art in social consciousness 2003
St. Petersburg (Russia) The role and value of museums in modern world 2005
Vaasa (Finland) Cultural festivals as strengtheners of local identity 2006
Visby (Sweden) European means for cultural cooperation 2007
Bergen (Norway) Art for children - practice and theory 2008
Turku (Finland) The Cultural Dimension of Baltic Cooperation - Developing Creative Industries 2009
Umeå (Sweden) The role of culture in city planning 2010
Tukums / Riga (Latvia)  “Museums bridging Baltic Past and Future” 2011
Riga/Cēsis (Latvia) „Social and Cultural inclusion” Culture as a tool for social inclusion? ( 69.5 KB ) 2012
Kolding (Denmark) Cities in transformation 2013


The Winner of the Cultural Prize 2013 is Art Line - an international art project investigating and challenging the concept of public space. 14 partners from 5 countries around the Baltic Sea join to create a co-operative platform for art and academia in Poland, Sweden, Germany, Russia and Lithuania. The platform strengthen the institutions, create opportunities for artists, and interact with people in public space, on the internet, in exhibitions, and on the Stena Line ferries between Gdynia and Karlskrona.

The commissions newest tradition is an annual UBC Cultural Prize. While allocating the prize the commission takes into consideration various priorities in accordance with topical cultural tendencies. The cultural prize will be given to a cultural organization that has proved to be especially successful or interesting in the Baltic Sea Region. Since 2006 the prize has been given to Cēsis City Council (Latvia) 2006, Umeå/Libray 2007 - project (Sweden) 2007, Jyväskylä 2008, Gdańsk 2009, Liepāja 2010, Visby / Rakvere 2011, Tartu / Cēsis in 2012.

Cultural Prize 2010 ( 101.5 KB )

Cultural Prize 2009 ( 60.29 KB )

Jyvaskyla - winner of the Cultural Prize 2008 ( 55 KB )



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