Jackie Kennedy was one of the most special women I was privileged to know in my life. I do not mean her position in society: I mean her intelligence, a very special intelligence with a deep sensitivity, and her elegance, her style, her generosity, her simple, straight, magic human quality. I could go on and on.
This event took place the very first time I visited Jackie in her Fifth Avenue home. Somehow the talk turned to John F. Kennedy and movies. “You know,” Jackie said, “just a few months before he died somebody gave him as a present a little 8mm movie camera. He always carried it in the pocket of his raincoat. You know, as I am thinking now, it must still be there.
She went to the closet and found a beige raincoat and there it was! In the raincoat pocket there was a small 8mm movie camera! She brought it to me. I regret I do not remember now the brand of the camera.
“He did some filming. But he never finished the roll. It’s still in the camera,” she said.
She put the camera back into the pocket of the raincoat.
A dance with Fred Astaire / Jonas
Mekas ; [edited by Johan Kugelberg, Jonas Mekas, and Sebastian Mekas]. – New
York : Anthology Editions, 2017, p. 319
In the early September,
the Lithuanian Minister of Culture, Mindaugas
Kvietkauskas, visited New York and Chicago. In New York, the Minister met
with the director of YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, Jonathan Brent. They discussed the cooperation between the
Institute and Lithuania and other relevant issues in preparation for next year’s
commemoration of Vilna Gaon (born Elijah ben Solomon Zalman) and Lithuanian Jewish history.
The Minister participated
in the Litvak Days organized for the first time in New York and Chicago on the
initiative of the Consulate of the Republic of Lithuania in NY. The event
included a public lecture and three debates. In New York, Kvietkauskas, along
with writer Tomas Venclova and Prof.
Saulius Sužiedėlis participated in
the discussion “Challenges of Multiculturalism in Contemporary Lithuania.”
While in New
York, Kvietkauskas also visited one of the world’s largest American avant-garde
film archives, Anthology Film Archives, founded in the early 1960s by
Lithuanian-American Jonas Mekas. The
Minister participated in the opening of the exhibition of the Lithuanian
American artist Vytautas Ignas and met with representatives of the Lithuanian
Alliance of America and the Lithuanian National Foundation.
Kvietkauskas paid a visit at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the Poetry
Foundation in Chicago, and met with the leaders of the Lithuanian World Center
in Lemont. At the UIC, where students can learn Lithuanian language as part of
their academic curriculum, the Minister participated in a discussion “The Narratives
of Pluralism: Lithuania’s Past and Present” and met with the students of the
Lithuanian Culture course.
On August 2, 2019
a group of Lithuanian heritage school teachers visited the Martynas Mažvydas
National Library of Lithuania. Teachers, who teach Lithuanian as a heritage
language outside Lithuania, came to Lithuania to learn more about the new
Lithuanian language teaching methods and share their own experience.
Teachers from Egypt, United States of America, Austria, Finland, Luxembourg, Russia, Estonia, and Belarus were welcomed by the director general of the National Library of Lithuania, Prof. Renaldas Gudauskas and the head of the library’s Documentary Heritage Research Department, Jolanta Budriūnienė.
A very rich one-day program was organized by the staff of the library’s Lithuanian Studies Unit. Valdonė Budreckaitė and Matas Baltrukevičius presented the traveling exhibition “Foreign Professionals for Lithuania” and the game “To Lithuania.” Dr. Ina Ėmužienė prepared a presentation about Lithuanian education in Lithuanian émigré radio programs. Prof. Dainius Vaitiekūnas, the head of the Lithuanian Studies Unit, shared his insights on the role of the media and the traces of intermediality in Lithuanian education.
The photo exhibition by the Lithuanian-American photographer Algimantas Kezys (1928-2015) which was opened this summer at the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania presents the portraits of more than 20 famous Lithuanian diaspora figures taken in various places, mostly in the US, from 1961 to 1966.
On July 1, 2019 Gintė Damušytė, the Ambassador of the Republic of Lithuania to the Kingdom of Denmark and the Republic of Iceland, handed over to the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania the archives of her mother, Jadvyga Damušienė, active émigré figure, educator, and a long-time patron of the organization “Ateitininkai “ and the Lithuanian Camp Dainava (Manchester, MI). The ambassador also handed over part of her father Prof. Adolfas Damušis’s, also the émigré activist and inventor, archive.
archive consisting of more than fifty boxes and containing valuable documents and
photographs will be housed at the library’s Rare Books and Manuscripts Unit.
In May 2019, the
Gabrielė Petkevičaitė-Bitė Panevėžys County Public Library together with
Vilnius University Faculty of Communication organized the 20th international
conference dedicated to the Baltic diaspora documentary heritage from 1944 to 2018.
This year, the annual event earmarked the Year of World Lithuanians.
The organizers of
the conference proposed more than ten subtopics, highlighting theoretical and
methodological issues when dealing with the documentary heritage, cultural and
scientific diaspora figures and their legacy, typology of publications and
their repertoire, memory institutions and collections, archives, video and
audio, as well as preservation, actualization, and digitization initiatives,
new media, and the use of the diaspora documentary heritage for cultural
The conference was
carried out in two sections: “Archives, Collections and Obstacles in Getting
Them (Back)” and “Cultural Press and Literary-Historical Reminiscences.” 25 presentations
were presented at the event. For the first time, the conference expanded its
geographic boundaries becoming international. Participants from Estonia and
Latvia attended the conference.