Užupis Art Incubator is the first art incubator in the Baltic States, established in 2002. Užupis Art Incubator aims to promote artists dialogue in public.
The history of Užupis Art Incubator is closely related to revival and development of Užupis district. During the Soviet times, Užupis was dilapidated and dangerous place, full of hooligans, thieves and alcoholics. After the collapse of the Soviet regime in 1991 the students from the Art Academy began to squat the abandoned buildings in the neighborhood. The most famous squat was at Užupio street 2, where now Užupis Art Incubator is situated. However, close proximity to Vilnius Old Town, romantic environment and low real estate prices attracted a new generation of middle social class residents. Actors, painters, architects, and other people started to acquire flats in Užupis in 1994 -1997.
For example, in 1997 the informal Republic of Užupis was established. It has its own flag, currency, President, Cabinet of Ministers, and the Constitution etc.
In 1996, a group of young proactive people, mostly students of 'Vilnius Art Academy', founded public organization 'Alternative Art Center' (AAC) and the 'Galera' gallery. The another space of Užupio str. was given to 'Užupis Art Incubator' by Vilnius city municipality for uncompensated use.
Since 2016 'Užupis Art Incubator' receives annual municipal grants from the Vilnius City Municipality. For instance, in 2017 was provided the amount of 43 700 EUR.
Evidence of success
One of the common pool resources is the image of Užupis. This brand is known not only in Lithuania but also in many foreign countries. Užupis is one of the main tourist attractions in the city of Vilnius. The tourist route “Užupis – Independent Republic in Vilnius” was created in 2018. The Republic of Užupis has attracted attention of foreign journalists and bloggers who visited Vilnius in the past few years and articles which were published in British , French, and Italian media.
Potential for learning or transfer
It can be observed that the promotion of Užupis brandin Vilnius is carried out in cooperation between Vilnius City Municipality and the initiators the Republic of Užupis concept. Thus, such promotion is an example of so-called co-marketing. Go Vilnius, a public agency established by the municipality, carries out marketing projects promoting Užupis around the world in order to attract tourists from abroad to Vilnius. The President and Ministers of the Republic of Užupis contribute to the marketing of the Užupis brand by mobilizing a network of ambassadors of the Republic of Užupis.
Vilnius City Municipality is responsible for the maintenance and development of public infrastructure and for the maintenance of public spaces. For example, projects have been carried out to renovate the buildings where Užupis Art Incubator is located. Leasing or transfer of premises is one of the municipal policy measures that can influence the management of common pool resources.