For years Lviv has been known as an important cultural centre and a significant place on the European literary, theatrical and musical map. Over the centuries it was home to hundreds of artists and even today, it still remains a city where many cultural associations work and operate. This was confirmed in 2009, when the city received the title of Cultural Capital of Ukraine.
47 museums, 17 art galleries, 8 theatres, 5 cinemas and 2 cultural centres – that is only a part of cultural institutions in the city and a proof of dynamic development of culture in Lviv. The city is sometimes called the “Capital of Festivals” – not without a reason, since it hosts many events, including the Week of Contemporary Art, during which the authors focus on the problems regarding contemporary art and demonstrate the relationship between the society and themselves. This interesting project encompasses performances, installations and lectures. The Contrasts International Festival of Contemporary Music has also taken place in the city since 1995 and it has been attracting musicians from all over the world ever since. The festival was created to help people discover many diverse musical forms, styles and genres. The critically acclaimed Jazz Bez International Festival connects jazz musicians from all the countries in the world, who come there to present their talents. Apart from young musicians, the festival is also frequented by experienced and seasoned artists. The Drama.UA Festival is the only one festival of the contemporary European drama in Ukraine. Its goal is to promote drama as an important and interesting genre through readings, discussions and presentations of plays. Famous European actors and playwrights come to Ukraine to participate in the festival. The Golden Lion Festival is an international event devoted to theatrical experiments, which started as a review of independent studios and theatres. It also popularises the Ukrainian theatre and presents the European theatre to the Ukrainians. Those are only a few cultural events among over 100 organised in Lviv every year.
Because of such a great number of events, the city’s infrastructure is also perfectly developed, especially the network of cafes and restaurants, which gathered intellectualists who made up the literary and academic circles. The most of it did not change, and even today one can find cafes with long artistic tradition at nearly every corner – including Kopalnia Kawy [The Coffee Mine], Lwowska Manufaktura Kawy [Lviv Coffee Manufacture], Świt Kawy [The Dawn of Coffee] and Złoty Dukat [The Golden Ducat]. Moreover, the city organises the annual Coffee Festival.
Lviv also has a well-developed network of libraries – it hosts The Lviv National Vasyl Stefanyk Scientific Library of Ukraine, which holds volumes from the Ossolineum and the oldest public library – the Lviv University Library.
In order to promote the Ukrainian culture with the support of the National Writers’ Union of Ukraine, in 2001 the Oberih-Chernihiv Association and the Świteź Volynian Association established the Panteleimon Kulish International Award, given out to the prominent writers, artists, publishers, scientists, journalists, cultural workers and patrons of culture, who promote the Ukrainian culture in their work.