Save the date!
Start celebrating the Christmas season with a traditional
Lithuanian Kucios (Christmas Eve) meal and Kaledu Senelis (Santa).
Dec. 14, Saturday, 2:00 P.M.
Lake Edge Lutheran Church, 4032 Monona Drive, Madison (click to see the map.)
More info and details will come closer to the date
Madison International Festival
Will be held at Madison Civic Center Saturday February 22, 2014.
"Zaibas" made the "front page" of the website for the 2014 International Festival:
Time and venue for the Lithuanian Dancers of Madison performance TBA.
The MVSC Annual Banquet will once again be held at The Madison Club
on April 26, 2014.
The Annual MVSC Picnic, held on Saturday, July 27, came off without a hitch this year, if you don’t count the weather as being unseasonably cool. Those families that braved the brisk winds and changeable skies were rewarded with a great spread of food and several hours of games, sports, and of course, warm camaraderie. It was a wonderful opportunity to catch up on each other’s lives and news in an informal setting.
McGaw Park in Fitchburg is the perfect place to hold our picnic, as we have a roof above our heads and plenty of green space for “running around” – even a sidewalk area which is the perfect blank canvas for children to experiment with colorful chalk!
Many thanks go out to MVSC Board Member, Jolanta Juozaityte, for organizing the picnic and bringing prizes for the children year after year.
Lithuanian Delegation headed by Minister of Agriculture Vigilijus Jukna visited Madison June 14th.
Tentatively Lithuanian Minister of Agriculture Vigilijus Jukna, Stulginskis University rector prof. dr. Antanas Maziliauskas and other members of delegation came to Madison June 14th, 2013.
More details will follow.
MVSC's Annual Banquet 2013
As in the past few years, the Madison Club graciously hosted our event with beautiful table settings and a superb menu, which included a cold beet soup starter (rated by attendees, “The best they’ve ever had”) followed by a main course of beef short ribs that melted in one’s mouth. A truly impressive meal.
The evening's presentation was made by one of our own members, Dr. Jonas Juozevicius, speaking about his illustrious grandfather, one of Lithuania's greatest statesmen, president Aleksandras Stulginskis.
Video clips and still photos marked his grandfather’s life that began as the 12th child born to a poor farming family, his brief stay at seminary school, entrance into politics, love for his country and people, deportation to Siberia, and his life afterwards spent as a farmer. All the while, the audience was impressed with the speaker’s physical resemblance to his grandfather.
Dr. Juozevicius read moving letters written by Aleksandras to his only daughter, Dr. Aldona Stulginskaite-Juozeviciene, written as he and his wife, Ona, were being exiled to the gulag.
Aleksandras died in Kaunas in 1969 at the age of 84, but his legacy inspired the movement of independence of our times, the Singing Revolution. His term of office saw the achievements of: the creation of a free and democratic Lithuania, the first constitution, diplomatic relations with countries around the world, land reform, the Bank of Lithuania and the Litas, membership in the League of Nations, the founding of universities, most significantly the University of Agriculture, now re-named Aleksandras Stulginskis University, as well as the founding of secondary schools and over 2,000 primary schools.
In addition to the information about the president, Jonas gave us a quick trip through Lithuania’s history, how it influenced his grandfather, and how his grandfather influenced future generations.
We were especially honored to have Dr. Stulginskaite-Juozeviciene and her daughter, Ramune Juozeviciute-Rackauskiene (from Chicago) in attendance.
This year’s fundraising raffle was a huge success, led by the always amusing and entertaining Ditas Adomenas. Many lucky winners were pleased with their prizes of Lithuanian beer, cheese, bread, crafts, and photography.
Many thanks go out to Dr. Juozevicius, his mother and sister, MVSC members as well as our guests, and the wonderful management and staff of the Madison Club.
We already look forward to next year’s event!
Lithuania’s Independence Day Celebration 2013
Feb. 16 is the date traditionally commemorated as Lithuania’s Independence Day, first declared in 1918. This year we waited until Feb.24th to celebrate, in order to welcome the Lithuanian Consul-General Marijus Gudynas from Chicago as our guest speaker. The day’s activities began with a tour of the Wisconsin Capitol, led by Capitol guide and MVSC past president, Daina Zemliauskas Juozevicius. Cons. Gudynas, with his family, joined in the tour, then returned to the beautiful Assembly Parlor for a formal program, begun with the singing of the Lithuanian National Anthem and a performance by Zaibutis Youth Dancers of Baraboo. MVSC president Deidre Vincevineus read a proclamation in honor of Vasario 16 from Secretary of State John Kerry and Sally Miley presented greetings from Mayor Soglin and the city of Madison, which has enjoyed a Sister Cities relationship with Vilnius since 1989. Sally and cons. Gudynas exchanged gifts, with the city of Madison receiving a bottle of 3 Nines, a potent liquor used by women medicinally but, as the consul said, turned to other uses by men. The consul’s speech, reported the next day in the Wisconsin State Journal, explained to the Americans in our audience the significance of Feb. 16, then described the achievements of the “young” country in the 23 years since the restoration of independence in 1991, as well as agenda plans for the European Union, when its presidency is goes to Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaite. The audience of over 60 people were not only interested in the consul’s speech but charmed by his lovely family, especially the scene-stealing youngest daughter. The program ended with the showing of a fascinating and moving documentary called Trajectory of Freedom that followed Lithuania’s path from domination to freedom over the 20th century, with original footage from every decade.
To read the article in the State Journal , click on there.
Zaibas and Zaibutis Dancers performed on Sunday, Jan.27,2013 at the International Festival at the Overture Center on State Street, Madison.
This year, Zaibas danced on a new, larger stage, the Overture Hall.
YouTube videos of Zaibas Dancing at International Festival Madison 2013.01.27:
MVSC and Zaibas Kucios - Christmas Eve celebration was December 8th. 2012.
MVSC and Zaibas dancers annually host a Lithuanian Christmas party to preserve their Christmas traditions and to share them with invited guests. This year’s party, held Dec.8th at Lake Edge Lutheran Church, welcomed many new families, whose children showed no hesitation in performing for Santa. They sang, they danced, they told riddles and recited poems, played instruments and presented drawings. The pot-luck food, all meatless to follow Lithuanian Christmas Eve tradition, was absolutely delicious. The company, a mixture of older generations and young families, was very congenial. A highlight of the day was when Santa, asking a child where he was from, exclaimed “Oh, I’m also from Kaunas….oops, I mean the North Pole”.
Sestadieni Vilniuje bus iziebta auksciausia Baltijos slyse Kaledu egle:
New Lithuanian store and cafe opens in Chicago area, 2601 75th St., Darien.
MVSC is very thankful that Lithuanian’s premier jazz trumpeter, Dominykas Vysniauskas, found time to visit Madison and give us two very enjoyable concerts. The first was an informal event in our Capitol, with hundreds of tourists stopping to listen to his music as it echoed through the dome. Later that day, Domynikas played a formal concert at Capitol Lakes Retirement Community, with residents joining MVSC members and the general public in the audience. Although Domynikas usually plays with other musicians, he performed here alone, sometimes accompanying himself to the recorded sounds.
The evening began with a reception where audience members were able to meet and talk to our musical guest. Dominykas’s long day of music in Madison concluded at "The Fountain" bar and restaurant where Dominykas joined the scheduled performing jazz trio for two pieces, much to the enjoyment of the music lovers in the audience.
Thank you to our Vice-president Gediminas Vidugiris for hosting this wonderful musician, and to new president Deidre Vincevineus for arranging the concert venues.
Wisconsino lietuviai dziaugesi kad kilo proga zymiam trimitininkui Dominykui Vysniauskui aplankyti Madison. Pirmas, neformalus koncertas vyko Madisono graziam Kapitoliuje, kur simtai turistu isgirdo jo improvizacine muzika. Veliau, Capitol Lakes Grand Hall, Dominykas koncertavo labai entuziastikai publikai susidedanciai is MVSC nariu, Capitol Lakes gyventoju ir sveciu. Nors Dominykas dazniau groja su kitais muzikantais, si karta jam teko koncertuoti vienam, kartais pasitelkdamas pritarimui ir irasytos muzikos. Muzikos vakara Dominykas uzbaige "The Fountain" restorane kur didziai suzavejo publika prisidejes prie ten grojancio jazz trio.
Short YouTube movie clips of Dominykas performance are there:
2012 MVSC Summer Picnic was cancelled due to weather.
2012 MADISON VILNIUS SISTER CITIES Annual Banquet.
The weather being perfect, we could enjoy the Madison Club’s lovely patio before and long after the delicious Lithuanian-inspired dinner.
Guest speaker Asta Sepetys regaled us with her very entertaining talk "Travels on a Triple Tandem: An experience and exploration of Lithuania on a bike with two kids,” an eventful and adventurous trip undertaken a few years ago when her kids, Moze and Ziema, were 8 and 11. The bike itself, a specially made machine, was on hand for everyone to see. Thanks to all who worked to make the evening so enjoyable.
On Sunday a few of us biked around Madison.
UW Professor Emeritus, MVSC board member Alfred Erich
Senn celebrates 80!
MVSC board congratulates Alfred Senn with the beautiful event.
Vytauto Didziojo universitete (VDU) Balandzio 16d. pristatyta zymaus istoriko, VDU garbes daktaro, profesoriaus A. E. Senno knyga „Lithuania In My Life“.
Paroda skirta prof. A. E. Senno 80-osioms gimimo metinems surenge Lietuvos nacionaline Martyno Mazvydo biblioteka.
Lietuvos Rytas (2012.04.17) paskelbe straipsni apie A.E.Senn:
2012 Zaibas Lithuanian Dancers celebrated 20 years of dancing.
Zaibas Lithuanian Dancers celebrated 20 years of dancing
with a banquet and program held on March 4, in Great Hall of Memorial Union on
the UW campus.
The event was also the 10th anniversary of Zaibas' trip to Japan as representatives of Wisconsin's immigrant heritage in Wisconsin's sister state of Chiba.
Guests at the banquet included former dancers and the Chicago-based Lithuanian folk dance group Suktinis, who performed 4 lively dances.
Congratulatory proclamations were received from the Lithuanian Folk Dance Institute and Los Angeles' Spindulys dancers. Also on the program was a movie of Zaibas history, which highlighted our 3 vadoves (directors), Vida Kazlauskaite Stark, Asta Sepetys and Nijole Semenaite Etzwiler, our narrators, our children and our accompanist, Alfonsas Gecas, as well as clips from performances that showed every dancer from 1991 to the present.
In 20 years, Zaibas has had 97 dancers, learned 70 dances, danced in 5 countries on 4 continents, at 6 Lithuanian Dance Festivals, 18 Madison International Festivals, and dozens of community fairs and banquets. Zaibas is exceedingly grateful to MVSC for its ongoing moral and financial support.
"Bridges" - Lithuanian American News Journal - feature "Zaibas"
Lithuanian Independence Day - Vasario 16, 2012.
MVSC commemorated Lithuanian Independence day with a program and
refreshments at the Capital Lakes Retirement Community, Madison.
Residents of the Community were invited to join MVSC members in enjoying a program that included the film "Lietuva. Statusas - Nepriklausoma" (Lithuania.
Status: Independent"), courtesy of the Consulate General of the Republic of Lithuania in Chicago.
MVSC president Milda Aksamitauskas explained the reason that Lithuanians celebrate 2 dates of independence. Refreshments included Sakotis cake and Lithuanian cheese.
Lithuanian Christmas - Kucios where celebrated December 10, 2011.
Madison lietuviai, kartu su “Zaibo” sokejais ir Madison Vilnius Sister Cities, Inc., nariais sias metais svente Kucias anksciau - gruodzio 10 diena. Praeitais metais atvykstantiems reikejo kovoti su stipria puga, bet si syki oras buvo puikus. Sveciai atvaziavo saugiai is Chicago, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, ir miesteliu esanciu 10-50 myliu nuo Madison.
Gaila neturim lietuviskos patalpos, bet mus draugiskai priima Astos Sepetytes baznycia, Lake Edge Lutheran Church. Visi sunese skanius Kuciu valgius, pasidalinom plotkelemis, turejom eglute ir smagiai praleidom laika. Valdybos nare Jolanta Juozaityte organizavo juokinga dainavima “12 Kaledu Dienos”, ir vaikuciai nuo 11 men. iki 15 metu graziai pasirode Kaledu Seneliui. O gudrus Kaledu Senelis (Julius Andriusis), juos pirma pakviete zaisti ir sokti su juo, kad jie jaustusi laisviai ir nebijotu pasidalyti savo talentais. Po smagiai pralesitu poros valandu buvo sunku issiskirstyti namu.
Dabar laukiam sekantcio lietuviu susiburimo, vasario 16-tosios proga.
Zaibutis Christmas celebration 2011.
each dancer in Lithuanian costume. The display continues until Jan.7, at the Sauk county Historical Museum, 531 4th Ave., Baraboo, Wed-Sat, 12-4:00. Although we are biased towards our beautiful Lithuanian tree, we have to admit the other 11 trees are spectacular, and worth the trip to Baraboo.
Zaibutis - yra vaiku sokiu grupe, kurioje soka 10 mergaiciu.
Siemet Zaibutis dalyvauja Sauk Apylinkes Istorijos Draugijos Viktorijos laiku 12-os Dienu Kaledu festivalyje.
Festivaliui Zaibutis papuose Kaledine eglute. Eglute papuosta siaudinukais, kuriuos ismoko daryti Zaibucio sokejos ir ju tevai, beveik visi amerikonai. Be siaudinuku, eglute papuosta ir foto burbulais pavaizduojanciais kiekviena sokeja apsirengusia tautiniais rubais.
Kaledinis Festivalis tesis iki sausio 7 d. Zaibucio papuosta eglute galima pamatyti nuo treciadienio iki sestadienio, 12-14 valandom Sauk Apylinkes Istorijos Draugijos patalpose - 531 4th Ave., Baraboo.
Musu eglute yra labai grazi, bet reikia pripazinti kad kitos 11-lika egluciu yra nepaprastai ispudingos. Verta atvaziuoti i Baraboo.
3rd Annual MVSC Summer Picnic, 2011On Saturday, Aug. 6, many of our dear members and friends from near and far gathered at McGaw Park in Fitchburg to continue the MVSC picnic tradition begun by board member, Jolanta Juozaityte. As in the past, Jolanta tirelessly organized the event venue, logistics, food, and games for both children and adults alike. Hats off to you, Jolanta!
In addition to the wonderful dishes that everyone brought to share, a great shish kebab (saslykai) was served (special thanks to MVSC President Milda Aksamitauskas, and brave chef James Kudzin for how well they turned out!)
For shade, we were lucky to have the park shelter reserved and for relief from the heat, water sprinklers were set up on the lawn for the children to play in – children of all ages, that is. Sports events included volleyball and tossing around footballs and soccer balls; Jolanta taught the picnic goers some exciting and funny games; some “Zaibas” and other dancers got the crowd involved and on their feet for a few Lithuanian folk dances.
It was a beautiful day to spend a few hours with old and new friends, and to share great food and company of 55 people. We hope to see many more of you next year!
The next day, Sunday, MVSC board member Gediminas Vidugiris organized a canoe/kayak trip, which began at “Rutabaga” in Monona. About 12 adventurous people took part in enjoying another great summer day, this time on Lake Monona. Rumor has it, some participants unwittingly spent time in Lake Monona.
Next summer, maybe we’ll find a mountain to climb!
Please see more pictures from the picnic here.
The Annual MVSC Banquet for 2011 was held May 21 at the Madison Club.
The food, a Lithuanian-inspired menu that included wild mushroom soup, pork loin, and napoleon torte, was delicious. The view overlooking Monona Terrace, was very pleasing. And the program, a talk by guest speaker, Prof. Alfred Senn was not only educational but very entertaining. Prof. Senn spoke on the "Passions of Lithuanian Basketball", with interesting details of his own involvement in transactions of notable Lithuanian basketball players with NBA teams.Read Prof. Alfred Senn talk " The Passions of Lithuanian Basketball" here.
MVSC President and hostess, Milda Aksamitauskiene, also amused the audience with witty remarks and a raffle in which she was aided by Ditas Adomenas and Michael Etzwiler. On a more serious note, Pres. Milda introduced an audio recording by the US Ambassador to Lithuania, Ann Derse, who was to be the guest speaker but had to cancel due to a medical emergency at the Embassy. The recording, of exceptional technical quality, explained the US relationship with Lithuania and included news of several new projects, including an expanded high school student exchange program.See US Ambassador to Lithuania Ann Derse letter to MVSC.
Most enjoyable was the audience itself. Guests included not only long-time MVSC members but
younger Lithuanians living in the area, which now stretches to
Milwaukee, as well as visitors from Chicago, and several new members.
Only in German can we express the full feeling of the evening: it was
See 2011 Banquet Pictures.
Zaibas danced at Madison International Festival, March 5th, 2011.
Zaibas Lithuanian Dancers and Zaibutis Lithuanian Young Dancers performed at the Madison International Festival, at the Overture Center March 5th, 2011.
Lithuania Independence Day Celebration February 17th, 2011.
Madison Lithuanians celebrated Vasario-16, Lithuanian Independence Day, on 2 occasions. On Feb 16 itself, the Zaibutis Young Lithuanian Dancers held their own celebration with Lithuanian dances,food and games. They also had their faces decorated with yellow, green and red flags and flowers.
The next day, MVSC held a commemoration featuring guest speaker Nancy Heingartner,granddaughter of the U.S. Consul to Kaunas 1926-1928, Robert Heingartner.
For those interested in reading Consul Robert Heingartner’s fascinating diary, you can find the book on Amazon.com and other online book sellers:
"Lithuania In The 1920s: A Diplomat's Diary" by Robert W. Heingartner, Alfred Erich Senn (Editor); Publisher: Rodopi (Nov 2009).
MVSC and Zaibas 2010 Lithuanian Christmas-Kucios.
The weather forecast was frightening – blizzard conditions, freezing
rain, and up to 20” of snow expected, but Wisconsin Lithuanians took
advantage of a short window of clear skies and clean streets and met to
celebrate an early Kucios.
The event, sponsored annually by Madison
Vilnius Sister Cities, Inc. and Zaibas Lithuanian Dancers, is always a
happy occasion for Lithuanians in the Madison area.
This year, despite
the weather, they were joined by families from
Chicago and Milwaukee, many of them connected with Milwaukee’s Nauja
Karta (New Generation) Lithuanian School. One of the Milwaukee
fathers, Julius Andriusis, played the most important role of the party
-Kaledu Senelis- Santa Claus. With the help of MVSC
board director Deidre Vincevineus as Santa’s elf– he invited all the
children present to play games with him and to perform for him.
Delicious food, good company and laughing children -it was a very enjoyable afternoon, followed unfortunately by a snowstorm so strong that the trip home for many was a scary ordeal. But we survived to do it all over again next year.
Lithuanian school “New Generation” opens in Milwaukee
On Sept. 25, 2010 the first Lithuanian school in Wisconsin opened its doors in Milwaukee. A large crowd of Lithuanians interested in Lithuanian language, culture and history met at the school. For this year, the school has registered 12 children and 9 adults, all wanting to study Lithuanian language, literature, music, song, and dance. Read more.
Underwater Archaeology in Lithuania - Matt Carter presentation.
On September 9, 2010 members of MVSC joined WI historical society and Madison public attending Matt Carter presentation “Archaeology in the Waters of the World: A Hands-on Perspective on International Underwater Archaeology”.
Part of the presentation was dedicated and to Matt's work in the Moletai Region of Lithuania, helping to excavate an ancient village from the bottom of Lake Luokesas.
MVSC Annual Summer 2010 PicnicMadison Vilnius Sister Cities ignored the heat with a joyful picnic in one of Madison's suburban parks. Vitalijus Stonys barbecued delicious saslyka while the public brought a variety of side dishes. Kids and adults alike were entertained with games and dances by Jolanta Juozaityte and Nijole Semenaite Etzwiler. The favorite game for all was Jurgeli Meistreli.
Martynas Levickis in Madison July 2010
Although Madison is a bit off the beaten path for Lithuanian performers, we have been lucky to land some wonderful musicians, the latest being the young classical accordion virtuoso, Martynas Levickis. Between concerts in Chicago, Martynas appeared at the University of Wisconsin Mosse Humanities Building, Saturday, July 10, 2010 at a concert commemorating the State Day of Lithuania. Sponsored by CREECA (Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia), BALSSI (Baltic Area Language Studies Summer Institute), Madison Vilnius Sister Cities, Inc., and the Lithuanian Consulate in Chicago, the concert drew its audience from the local Lithuanian community as well as the staff and students of Lithuanian language studying at the BALSSI course...(read more)Read Bio of Martynas Levickis
Martynas Levickis web site: www.levickis.com
MVSC 2010 Annual Banquet
The event exceeded our expectations. Many thanks to the Madison Club and MVSC board of directors.
See more pictures from the banquet here.