Liepāja aiming to become the European Capital of Culture 2027
There are sophisticated and powerful cultural traditions, extensive and diverse contemporary entertainment opportunities in Liepāja, high-quality and comprehensive cultural offer, artists performing from all over the world, and broad option choice for everyone to engage in shaping and developing Liepāja cultural life.
We are distinguished by the fact that the city is not afraid of the challenges and extravagant behaviour – we are not afraid to lead new trends, to do and implement what others are only dreaming of, and this is the reason we have also decided to participate in the competition for the title "European Capital of Culture 2027".
Liepāja was always used to be a city of paradoxes and opposites, but even regardless of the residence place, we are all constantly hanging between opposites.
Between rest and unrest, noise and silence, action and inaction, buzz and tranquillity, full speed and full stop, white and black, joy and grief, love and hatred. Living full means being able to maintain a balance between these two counter-positions.
Middle-age generation residents of Liepāja would like to volunteer more and share their experience with young people
Students of the Latvian Academy of Arts develop solutions for Liepāja residents' participation in elections
The municipality expresses gratitude to the people of Liepāja who illuminated and decorated their homes with the (un)rest
Forum discusses the topic of successful development the former territory of the “Liepājas Metalurgs” steel plant
Liepāja will participate in the 2nd round of the European Capital of Culture competition together with the South Kurzeme Region and the town of Kuldīga
Promote economic growth in the city of Liepāja, as well as visibility and awareness among local and international audiences.
Encourage the education and co-responsibility of Liepāja residents in social processes, communication between professionals from different sectors, developing diverse innovation processes and involving different cultural activities.
Provide high-quality cultural, arts and cross-sectoral activities.
Develop cultural and recreational infrastructure and facilitate the conservation and development of sites of cultural and historical heritage.
It seems quite natural and reasonable to us that we are participating in the European Capital of Culture 2027 contest together – the City of Liepāja, the South Kurzeme and Kuldīga Regions. Kurzeme is one of the ancient Latvian territories and by joining forces we are marking the beginning of a new era for this historic region. The European Capital of Culture is a real blessing for strengthening our neighborly ties, preserving identity and integrating common European values in a third part of Latvia. Together we are strengthening not only ourselves, but a very important and dynamic part of Latvia – the Kurzeme region and the country as a whole!
Considering the fact that Liepāja is a birth place of the wind, often labelled as the creator of rest and unrest and the feisty force of creativity and overwhelming peace – the concept of Liepāja application is based on the story of (un)rest.
A five-line program has been set up under the (un)rest guideline to address important challenges facing both Europe and Liepāja in particular.
The shared vision of the program is to provide everyone with landmarks and beacons in the ever-changing world of rest and unrest.
We all know what the "American dream" is – more comfort, more prosperity and more opportunity for everyone to "hit a home run". But do we know what the European dream is? As intricate as it may be, it has not been defined yet. By participation in the competition for European Capital of Culture 2027, Liepāja is up for the answers to this quest and intends to team up with both local residents of the city, region and our country, and people from all across Europe and the world.
Interdisciplinary projects under this programme will be based on the principles of solidarity, diversity, cooperation and dignity values that constitute the European dream and are worth advocate for around the whole world.
Liepāja is a paradox port city – the (un)rest has over time determined its shape and cultural looks. Opposites and differences exist side by side, and their mutual tension often forms the unique identity of our Liepāja, which we are truly proud of. In fact, in this standardized world, we have to learn to appreciate paradoxes as something that leads to bold decisions with somewhat outstanding means of expression.
With these topic activities we shall discover the paradoxes of Liepāja and identify the city's heritage through their prism. We have not always been able to properly assess and disclose them to the rest of Europe. Thanks to our participation in the European Capital of Culture 2027 race, this time we are ready to make full use of the opportunities provided.
With this programme's diverse range of events in our pocket tour guide, we plan to discover Liepāja with "new eyes." We want to dive into the depths of the city to better understand and appreciate what and who surrounds us. Neighbours to neighbours, colleagues to colleagues, residents of Karosta to residents of Jaunliepāja, young locals and newcomers to old and experienced ones. Sharing common responsibility and the common joy of creation in favour of our city, our region and the wider European community as a whole.
Let us find answers to the following questions: how to participate and engage in the development and building of our common living space. How to encourage the expansion of creative industries and boost the exchange of thoughts and ideas among local residents who reside in the periphery. How to enjoy life in their own vicinity.
Liepāja is encircled by the Baltic Sea, Lake Liepāja, the untamed forests and meadows. It makes us feel like in God's pocket, nevertheless all this beauty is also affected by climate change and the human activities effect. Neglect has not only affected our nature, it has also affected our body and mind, drowning us in consumption, losing physical and mental balance.
With the activities of this line, we want to restore our balance of existence. Let us think about the impact of art on green innovation, make smart and innovative business principles based on the circular economy a part of our daily routine, hence raising the awareness of the significance of the moderation and spur even greater awareness of taking care of your local vicinity and environment in general.
Following the processes of technological development and the fight against the pandemic worldwide and in Europe we understand more than ever that we must be prepared for the future challenges. Social innovations and creative communities along with the high-tech know-hows are and will be a powerful driver for sustainable urban regeneration, including in Liepāja. Education is crucial in this process, it allows young generations to take smart and propper decisions, combine online and offline worlds and adapt to the effects of technology, such as artificial intelligence.
These projects will ignite an active debate on what footprints do we want to leave behind, not only in this city, but also around the world.
We heartfully thank all active local residents and our neighbours from surrounding municipalities, so as our friends from all over Latvia and the world....
... who take part in this joint creative and responsible process, contributing the unimaginable amount of bursting positive energy and ideas. Your tips and proposals, and ideas are invaluable and very helpful in creating a strong application for Liepāja to the European Capital of Culture 2027! You are our greatest treasure.
I discover me creative unrest in the activities I love to do – singing, playing theatre, baking delicious cakes, teaching children... Where? Well, in Liepāja, of course!
The Liepāja creative unrest is the energy that enters you, and through the riddle of your creativeness must be transmitted back to the world and people. These outputs may not necessarily come out of the peculiar Liepāja art and music, but also out of a kind word to the person coming from the opposite direction or out of your own fulfilled path.
Liepāja – a city with creative people, constantly and cardinally changing weather conditions, a comfortable environment and a human intrusion-free nature that inspires, charges, prevents from missing a beat and falling into routine. We feel the creative unrest in music, art, theatre, sports and multiplicity of entertaining activities stretching from the lake to the sea, from the Promenade to Karosta, from the Square of Roses to the Pērkone Channel on the southern tip of the town – in serene and tranquility, or in the purple rain of emotions.
Any unrest is a quest for rest. There is no single recipe for all, so there are different search paths and creative manifestations, but the most successful with advice and creative potential are the sea, the wind, ever-changing shore, mixture of waves and sand. The sea has always a gift in its pocket, the wind is always ready for the show – there is only the human they need to start a play of their own. The sand castles can now begin to be grown.
There is a researcher gene in every local resident that makes restless and keeps on the trot until something unknown, exciting and truly local – "liepājnieki" style – has been discovered and examined.
Liepaja is a tailored dress made just for me, a comfortable and delicate hand job, not something ordered online, which sometimes appears to be too small or too large. You can have your feet wet in the see with this dress, or watch the birds in the lake. Flow into the city's arteries – ticktock, ticktock. The grandma softly touches the sleeve of the dress and the amber brooch shines on the chest. The stream of world trends is flowing from the sea in the port, whereas the winter ice is moving from the lake to the sea. The men on the shore are catching dreams. Creation is inside of me. The city's unrest and bubbles inspire me. I'm in the right place and time in Liepāja. People forged in the whirligig of time, baroque and Art Nouveau buildings, cobble stone streets and broken lines of waves against the breakwaters, the grave of the great master Bertschy and roses symbolizing our destiny. The city gives and takes, so as it happens in love. The time goes by and my daughter is coming of age. The dress is hers now. A piece of ancientry, a piece of modernity, a piece of our sky and a piece of our life.
When the Liepāja unrest has reached a boiling level in me, I know what I have to do. I have to create! Whether to re-invent a bicycle or design an art museum. It drives all us forward. The best thing is to catch this lightning in the bottle and to turn it into pure pleasure. Bustle, play, bake windy patties, run with a dog, explore ant paths or plant tomatoes in a box on the windowsill. And when the boiling heat cools down, you can just do nothing, let go, and wait for the next wave.
Liepāja is a city in which God's breath is as powerful, as the transformations of the sea – from the serenity to the mighty storms of huge storms – these shifts show His power and how much we trust in Him. The creative Liepāja unrest has been blessing and inspiring Rīga since 1983, where I can serve as a pastor and teacher since 1993. But in order to preserve this unrest in me, I always return to Liepāja, to the hometown of my parents and me, to my roots and the roots my faith.
I'd say Liepāja is the perfect spot to take the liberty of exploring the true meaning of the term "quality of life". Ten-to-fifteen minutes walking from anywhere in the town, and you are by the sea. Just a few clicks, and you're speaking to customers on the other side of the world, Should the beach strolls or bike rides be a standard practice to your daily routine, then you can take a moment and just in few minutes be at the Liepāja Lake, or even better – in the middle of it, observing the panorama from the bird watching tower. A benchmark and a charging station – this is Liepāja for my family and my business. This is a place we summon our energy and dreaming big dreams of the greater world out there, and this is the place we are drawing our inspiration to conquer it. As a perfect recipe with both the bunch of possibilities and the simplicity of lake lower banks, multinational currents and the tranquility and stability of the local streams – the creative Liepāja unrest is a key to spot, recognize and experience all this.
When you feel the inner desire to buzz with activities, the most likely thing happening to you is the creative unrest. But don't keep this unrest in you – spill it out, create! And when the creative unrest bursts out, it roars, it spreads quickly. Undeniably, the choice of place also matters! I'm sure that the best creative unrest comes right out of here, from Liepāja! Surrender to the unrest!
At first, I had to ask myself the question: "What is the creative unrest in Liepaja at all?" I think it's certainly "liepājnieks" – a local one, a person! Someone who doesn't succumb to routine, someone constantly searching for something, someone who isn't afraid to dare initiate and ignite without certainty of result! I embrace my creative unrest by filming variety of diverse videos on the streets of Liepāja. Sometimes I do that elsewhere in the world. I spend an unthinkable amount of hours in from of the computer screen practicing my video editing skills in the 100 m2 of the Sense Media open type office along with 10 other young and talented creative "unrest makers". We support and encourage each other to do more and better. In addition to videos, we also produce a variety of explanatory and entertainment animations, and other digital content that later is broadcast to different screens in the world. You might think: "You can do all of this elsewhere in the world too. Why Liepāja?" Yes, it is. I could have been in Los Angeles long ago, in the big movie industry. But I decided to stay in Liepāja. As a young man, I felt needed and appreciated here. Moreover, when I had to live and work elsewhere in Europe and the United States, I realized that is actually way more comfortable to live in a beautiful coastal town. Perhaps, it may sound already a bit as a stereotyped expression, but still - this is indeed a small town with the global city grasp. I think we have everything we need here for a beautiful and creative life. There are countless ways of expressing yourself. You just need to dig.
The creative unrest in Liepāja is as ubiquitous as radio waves. You just have to press a single button or tune in, and it appears to your ears from seemingly nowhere. The creative unrest is everywhere and anywhere, and it awaits calmly for a person to open up to its prolific and visionary tune. You only have to know your own frequency.
I believe that the creative unrest of our young people is in particular a great addition to the Liepāja charm, that inspires me and multiplies the magic of the city. The unrest and spirit of our gymnasium students, who are so active in creating videos, competing in the choral contests, building sand castles on the beach and winning awards in the competitions thus adding the Liepāja name to the top list. The unrest and creative craving of our raising jazz stars and shining contemporary artists from the Music, Art and Design Highschool. The willing hands of students from the University of Liepāja who set up shows on the streets of the city, who are illuminating the facades of houses and publishing their first books. The creative unrest of Liepāja has some sort of youthful quixotic endeavor, the audacity and the courage to do things like no one else.
The homecoming settling your life here after a decade of living somewhere else and visiting Liepāja only on holidays has given me a pleasant sense of peace and rest. Finally, I feel home. I see opportunities all around – there are so many things to do and there are plenty of opportunities for a great free time as well. There is something in Liepāja that wheels you forward, doesn't allow you to get rusty and gives you that euphoria feeling. It make you eager to create, initiate, run errands, should that be a refurbishment in your own house, or new ads for the concert hall, or a river fun with the SUP board in early spring, tennis game on the courts or rollerskating on the Horse Islands. This is what I call the Liepāja creative unrest.
... when unrest interfuses with rest, chilling cold with burning hot... when the mind boils from an abundance of ideas, like a thick and bright flake on a canvas with a finely painted wind pattern... each and everyone can feel this sensual touch here, in Liepāja.
It floats in the beach air every single day. If you are out of ideas, you will find them here. If you can't ride the whirlwind elsewhere, you can surely do it here. The life is much more relaxed here, on the beach, the people are more open and the creativeness emerges out of the wind.
The creative Liepāja unrest is present in everything and in everyone, it can be heard in silence and seen in doing – beautiful, sometimes a bit crazy. The expression of my creative unrest reflects in my affection for what I do. Creating festivals and events that radiate delight and satisfaction, enhance the positiveness. Sometimes this unrest keeps you restless from whining, and sometimes those are people around you and the city itself. Surely, there are also moments of emotional thunderstorm, but as soon as it passes, you find yourself amidst the rainbow shiny sky. At least for a moment... before the unrest provokes the next challenge. Just don't stop and find harmony between them. Without one, we wouldn't discover the other.
To truly understand the unrest, you have to experience the genuine peace, rest. It's virtually impossible to encounter the rest in Liepāja. Could you remember the last time there was a windless calm here? The most important question in Design is "What is best?" and the designer's job is to understand the way it is and create the better world. Liepājnieks is one who is constantly looking for an answer to this question, constantly trying to find the best way, for example, to shelter from the wind, to be alone for a moment. My unrest grows from within myself, whereas people around me bring that rest feeling. Local fellows with their proud attitude and stature are the ones. Their magnitude of brainstorm is immeasurable, and the local pride of these fellows liepājnieki is a real key to success. They know "What is best" and they do it - they make the world better.
Rest and unrest – seemingly opposites, they are certainly equal terms to me. It is necessary to create a rest within unrest and to express it best in new ideas by looking creatively at the commonplace to make the world around you more interesting and fulfilling. Creative unrest always finds a way to express itself and Liepāja is ready for it. Always. In any day-night hour and season, 365 days a year!