♦ On June 6, 2020, thanks to technical support by Sebastian Grinham, we were able to conduct a Board meeting and our Annual General Meeting online. We had an encouraging number of attendees, about 20 including Board members. It seems that not everyone who had registered was able to participate: either their plans changed or they were unable to connect. It was our first time trying this method, and hopefully next year we will be able to refine the process.
♦ We had a short but extremely productive AGM, in that we found new volunteers for both media marketing (author and knitter extraordinaire Donna Druchunas of Vermont) and several handcrafts (Remigija Smolskis of Toronto, for felting, papercut art, Easter egg decoration and sash-weaving). Donna posted a note online immediately, and we received several new membership queries as a result.
♦ The highlight of the AGM was a presentation on our favourite Lithuanian fabric, LINEN (linas) by Danute Mileikiene (Boston). She described its history and use in Lithuanian culture, and the process from seed plating to fibre extraction to spinning in great detail, with beautiful photos and video clips. We were all about to order seeds, but she warned us that to weave one shirt would require planting a 15 x 15 foot square area of flax, and the fibre extraction takes much more than a passing whack at the bundle of stalks. Her depth of knowledge was fascinating, and she promised to expand her presentation to eventually post on our website. We look forward to that, and thank her for her time and effort.
♦ We are also very pleased to present 15 new costumes in our online National Costume Archive. Work continues on expanding the collection within the year.
♦ We will be pausing for a summer break, and hope to bring news of workshops and other activities in September. We send you all our best wishes for avoiding COVID-19 and spending a creative and happy summer.
♦ We were encouraged to hear from several people who expressed an interest in our activities. However, not all of you have paid the $10 annual membership fee. Please do so through PayPal, here on our website.
♦ We continue to work with the Lithuanian Museum Archives of Canada (LMAC) in Mississauga, Ontario. At our meeting, it was decided that the physical archive we finished organizing this spring will be passed to the LMAC.
♦ Regarding National Costumes, LMAC has issued the following announcement:
Lithuanian national costumes are heirlooms of culture and artisanship. The craftsmanship and techniques used in each extraordinary ensemble result in objects worthy of preservation for future generations. The Lithuanian Museum-Archives of Canada collects Lithuanian national costumes, preserves them with care, and curates exhibitions with educational value that tell their story. If you have a Lithuanian national costume, individual components or other article of clothing that was hand-woven by an artisan, please consider donating these heirlooms to LMAC – you will be passing these treasures on to future generations. LMAC email: ac.su1642860207mirp@1642860207amlk1642860207.
♦ On a sad note, we received news this week about the passing of a long-standing member of the LTFAI, Dr. Angele Kazlauskas (July 10, 1935-June 4, 2020), formerly of Oakville, Ontario. Aside from her activities with the LTFAI and a life-long interest in folk art, she was one of only three graduating women from a class of 150 from the University of Toronto Faculty of Dentistry in 1959, Angele was the founder of the charity dental clinic “Perlas” in Lithuania.