It has been a month since quarantine intruded our daily habits, but life hasn’t stopped. Just like around the world, the homes of residents of Kaunas and Kaunas district have been converted to schools, offices, concert halls and even sports clubs.
Of course, watching a performance streamed to your TV or computer is better than nothing. Still, this process does not include the thrill of anticipation, direct connection with the performers and spectators around you. That’s why “Kaunas – European Capital of Culture 2022” together with the community program “Fluxus Labas” and the main sponsor of the project “Švyturys Non-alcoholic” have launched a new project called “Culture to the Yards”. It is devoted to bringing back these feelings and experiences of sharing as well as delivering culture straight to the yards surrounded by apartment blocks.
“We have planned effective doses of experience for the residents – professionals of various arts including (but not limited to) theatre, dance, contemporary circus and music will perform in the yards. Expect poetry, classical music, jazz and pop music and more. We encourage the audience to dress up for the occasion and get ready for a night “in” by the big screens – windows of their rooms or balconies. Everyone else is welcome to join online – the performances are streamed on the Media library Lithuanian Radio and Television and Kaunas 2022 Facebook account,” says Virginija Vitkienė, the CEO of Kaunas 2022.
What’s marvellous is that private businesses eagerly help new cultural initiatives during the quarantine and by doing that help to maintain the sector’s pulse. “Having spent a whole month in the rhythm of quarantine, we realized that now it is the time to start tackling things creatively and support our artists, who are not going through the best of times. One way to do this is to focus our energy on unique cultural projects. Therefore, together with “Kaunas 2022” team, we are taking an exciting initiative – an improvised cultural festival. We invite artists to hold their performances for new audiences. At the same time, culture and entertainment-hungry residents can spend meaningful time and gain positive emotions during this challenging period,” says Rolandas Viršilas, the head of “Švyturys-Utenos alus” and “Carlsberg” for Baltics.
The project kicked off on April 10 with a contemporary dance performance by Marius Pinigis, founder of dance troupe “Nuepiko” and nominee of the prestigious Lithuanian Golden Cross of the Stage award. This was just a pre-party, however, as the official launch of “Culture to the Yards” was held on April 16, and it was a loud one, correctly representing the versatility of the idea.
Two very different artists performed in two yards on Thursday night. Jurga Šeduikytė, a well-known performer and songwriter, shared her music with residents of Garliava. Soloist of Kaunas State Musical Theater, baritone Raimondas Baranauskas, delighted classical music lovers with his performance in Linksmakalnis neighbourhood.
Short (up to 20 minutes) performances will take place in various locations around Kaunas district several times a week. The project will continue as long as the quarantine continues in the state of Lithuania.
It’s even possible to invite a performance into your own yard – register your apartment building by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information by Kaunas 2022, Photo by Martynas Plepys