2009-09-04 | Ieva Anelauskaitė. Translated by Milda Jaruševičiūtė, ERMARA
They say that, as time passes by, standing water gets polluted, muddy and starts smelling bad. To avoid that, water must have springs and someone must take care of them. Doesn’t it also apply to human beings and the society? When there is no refreshing wind or no new people or ideas in a certain field for a long while then that field starts fossilizing and floundering, as well as having a bad “smell”: boredom and stagnation expand beyond that field and “infect” other fields as well. Eventually, someone finds oneself in a swamp. And someone else gathers and starts looking for some ways and means to restore the purity of water.
Why am I mentioning that? What does it have to do with everyday life, with Lithuania and its people? And why do I wish to believe that cultural swamps in Lithuania will start getting smaller or be compensated with fresh new water?
For several years already, the private NGO “Culture Artfact” has been looking for pure springs in the cultural waters of the country. And having found none, started developing some on its own. The institution acts as a mediator between artists and art, something that is developed in the process of creative work. This is the place where ideas bubble, positive energy spurts and attracts, like a magnet, everyone who longs for novelties and harmony.
“Culture Artfact” works with free artists, culture managers, and other professionals who have plenty of good wishes and hopes in their striving to form a new attitude that benefits Lithuanian culture and art, spread art to the society, and educate artistic taste of the growing new audience. “Culture Artfact” involves in its projects children as well as elderly people, thereby ensuring dispersion of art throughout generations and transfer of the true values to the young generation. It also strengthens the concept of charity events and promotes civic activity of the society: participation in patching the holes of Lithuanian laws that infringe intellectual property and author’s rights of creating people.
The third international summer art academy “Art Baltica 2009”, which is a part of the project “Let’s create in Lithuania”, took place in July. The project has been organised for the third consecutive year. It is an international event and brings a lot of light into one’s heart. Everybody in Lithuania has a chance to try oneself by engaging in the different activities of artistic expression, without being limited by any obstacles other than our own wishes and strivings. However, there are always weaker people around us: spiritually or physically handicapped, emotionally abandoned children living in children foster homes, who do not know that the world has such an abundance of colours and sounds as we do...
In cooperation with its partners, NGO “Culture Artfact” has initiated the project “Let’s create in Lithuania” as a bridge between those who can do things and those who are looking for something they would like to be able to do.
Festival ”Let’s create in Lithuania” is a series of creative workshops and events, where different arts and education, international cooperation with different countries of the world, methodology and psychology unite, and spaces for artistic self-expression are created in Lithuania. "Art Baltica" programmes enable artistic integration and complex formation of full-fledged personality of children and youngsters. The youth has an excellent opportunity to get acquainted with professionals engaged in different fields of art, talented and creative counterparts and the fold, some of them not being able to see or hear the world yet having excellent communicating skills and “infecting” other people with spiritual strength and drive to achieve more and more. Everybody has things to do in the space of "Art Baltica". And the youngest participants experience something that is absolutely extraordinary in their everyday life and so important for them: attention and love of adults.
This year, participants of Algirdas Karalius’ project “The Power of Persistence”, Association “Kites of Joy”, Turkish teachers-performers (Mr. Zafer Yümlü, Mr. Tuğrul Göğüş, Mert Kayali and Süleyman Yildirim are members of the chamber ensemble "Feverish") and Kaunas Veda Culture Centre joined the team of the private NGO “Culture Artfact”.
This year, the organisers of the summer art academy had to overcome the obstacles of sufficient funding. The Patron of the project, Mr. Rimundas Domarkas, Director of Šiaulių Region’s Head Administration, emphasized that the project exceeded his boldest expectations. The patron awarded letters of honour to those, who allotted some of their money and initiatives to the implementation of this uneasy yet noble mission: "Create in Lithuania: Art Baltica 2009". "This year is full of ruthless challenges our persistent team has faced and handled ", overjoyed Odetė Abromavičiūtė, the Manager of the NGO “Culture Artfact” and the author of the cultural marathon for children and youth. She expressed sincere gratitude to those, who believed in the necessity and vision of the project, and the striving to be unique through sharing their experience with different people.
According to Mr. Darius Lomsargis (Manager of the ŪPAS Agency), one of the partners of the project, this year’s festival convinced him that "you may do a lot without having almost no money and get an excellent result. The saying that human efforts can do much more than money always turns to be true".
Participants of this year’s creative summer, which was a true feast of art, kites and dreams, included pupils of Kuršėnai children foster home, talented young musicians from all over Lithuania, and youth with eyesight disability. There were honourable guests, artists, psychologists and performing teachers from Turkey, Latvia and Lithuania. For ten days, they were learning, communicating and making friends, as well as searching, and sharing their discoveries and experiences.
This years’ team of executors of the festival was more extensive than usual, thus it was strong, harmonious, and full of resolve and new ideas. Participants of the project actually experienced the freshness of pure water: both through their personal growth and the surrounding environment and the programme of the festival. The key concept of the festival and the quality level remained the same: many different activities took place, professional lecturers and teachers gave classes, and the results of the other activities were presented in Panevėžys and Vilnius in an original and unconventional form: art actions, different lessons, concerts and exhibitions.
Musicians of Turkish chamber ensemble “Feverish” participated in this year’s summer art academy. They worked with the youth and organised similar education programmes in their motherland. With the help Mr. Zafer Yümlü, Mr. Tuğrul Göğüş and of Mrs. Danutė Streckienė, the concert master of Kuršėnai art school, they developed a joint programme. The guests Mert Kayali and Süleyman Yildirim taught the children to play guitar, gave master classes with an advanced resident of Vilnius city Agnis Belte, Loreta Taluntytė and resident of Kuršėnai Milda Rasilavičiūtė.
Under the guidance of experienced lectors, participants of the academy could choose among psychology, history of art, the art of photography, dance and stage plastics classes, as well as seminars and training sessions organised by the Red Cross of Lithuania. More variety was brought to the programme by the quartet of Kuršėnai kyokushin karate club "Dao". Instructors Vygandas Milieška, Valdemaras Mitkus, Vilius Tarasevičius, and Eimantė Leliukaitė organised karate classes for the participants of the art academy.
The children were happy to drive quads near Venta under the supervision of the adults. Such opportunity was given to them by Mr. Valdas Radvilavičius, a member of A.Karalius international training centre, who came from Kaunas. Mr. Gintaras Šimkus, one of the members of the group, a person who was born and lives in Šiauliai region, offered his land plot in Šilėnai (Kuršėnų countryside local authority) for the quad ride.
The development of visual materials about all activities was entrusted to Mr. Zenonas Anušauskas, the head of Eičiūnai Youth Centre, and his apprentice Ernestas G. They arranged daily materials and to transferred them to the website www.internetTV.lt. Unfortunately, the speed of the Internet and connection problems made it difficult to transfer developed films and have the long-awaited TV-bridge with the children foster home in Kenya (a continuation of the project "Afrik@LT2009", more about http://www.myspace.com/AfrikaLT )
With its educational programmes and colourful events, the festival “Lets’ create in Lithuania” induces children to live in a more harmonious, environment-friendly and healthier way and to learn how to settle social problems creatively and playfully instead of avoiding their settlement. Participants of the project learn something from each other, and try to discover themselves, their family and friends, Lithuania and the wide world in a different way. "Everyone can create in Lithuania, spiritual or physical disability should not become an obstacle to try yourself, to find something that frees your soul or find a patron", said the project’s author O. Abromavičiūtė.
According to Ms. Rasa Labinaitė, the founder of the club "Menas sau", "the fire that burns in the eyes of children and their knowledge-thirstiness are the best drivers for organisers of the project. When events cross the borders of Lithuania and foreign teachers make it possible for our children to learn different arts, the curtain is taken off the world and this proves again that creative work joins all of us. It’s a pity that such wonderful things in Lithuania are supported by tender shoulders of enthusiasts only. If our sceptical government would support the project financially, its events could be attended not only by pupils of Kuršėnai."
Annual "Art Baltica" projects are a link in the chain of a series of events organised within the framework of the project "Create in Lithuania", which involve search and inducement of young talents in the fields of music, fine art, literature, photography, etc. The name “Culture Artfact” is the future vision of a cultured society, as it invites people to gather together for common work: implementation of artistic-cultural activities.
There is an old Lithuanian saying “Prepare your sledge in the summer”. Therefore, the search of prospective sponsors for the Christmas Auction of art works developed by talented pupils of Kuršėnai children foster home has already started. Funds collected at the auction will be used to secure continuity of educational-social activities and will be very useful for young talented people starting their independent life this autumn and trying to honestly and decisively establish in the road of their life. Everyone who could contribute to organisation of an exhibition of artistic photographs or publication of a photo album with descriptions (author: artist and photographer Jorė (Jurgita Treinytė) is welcome to contact NGO “Culture Artfact”.
Next year, we expect to decorate the surroundings of Kuršėnai children foster home with wooden sculptures of famous Lithuanian folk artists and invite many professional teachers from Mexico, Baltic States and Europe.
"Create. Socialize. Strive for Professional Excellence!" With this slogan, "Let’s create in Lithuania” said goodbye to participants of the 3rd international summer art academy "Art Baltica 2009" and will getting ready for new creative challenges in 2010.
For more information on "Art Baltica 2009" and other projects by “Culture Artfact” go to http://www.myspace.com/ArtBaltica , http://www.CultureArtFact.org , http://www.internetTV.lt
© NGO “Culture Artfact” / „Kultūros artelė”
Address: Silo Str. 1 - 5 Vilnius LT-10322 Lithuania Europe
GSM + 370 65969211, tel./fax + 370 5 234 80 95
Photos by Jurgita Treinytė and Ramūnas Monstvilas