♦ We are pleased to announce the launch of the first installment of the National Costume Archive. We will be making further refinements and additions in the coming months. Comments are welcomed! (Email: ).
♦ On May 4, 2019, members of the Lithuanian Folk Art Institute (LTFAI) gathered at the Lithuanian Museum-Archives of Canada in Mississauga ON for the LTFAI Annual Meeting. President Diana Wiese reviewed the organization’s activities, finances and future plans. Over the past year, a number of workshops and presentations were held and the National Costume Archive Project reached a major milestone – stage 1 is now available here on the LTFAI website. This ambitious project has been underway for a number of years and has involved many dedicated volunteers, most importantly, photographer Aldona Rygelis and webmaster Sebastian Grinham. The objective of the project was to produce a visual archive of Lithuanian national costumes that were woven by weavers in the diaspora. Most of the weavers were trained by Anastazija and Antanas Tamošaitis, the founders of LTFAI. The scope of the project was expanded to include national costumes that were woven in Lithuania prior to WWII. This treasure trove of photographs will be added to the website in regular updates and will appeal to weavers and all members of the public with an interest in Lithuanian heritage. Future plans for LTFAI focus on specific areas. Sub-committees have been formed to work on strategy, outreach, events and digital/website development. The final item for the formal part of the meeting was the election of the Board of Directors for 2019: Diana Wiese (President), Ramūnė Jonaitis (Secretary), Sebastian Grinham (Webmaster), Aldona Rygelis (National Costume Project), Kristina Pavilanis, Birutė Batraks, Danguolė Breen (Members). The informal part of the meeting began with a presentation by artisan and author Donna Druchunas from Vermont, who introduced the participants to a specific trend in the knitting community – heritage knitting. Focusing on Lithuanian knitting, Donna shared her extensive knowledge of sources of wool from different regions in Lithuania and ancient knitting patterns and techniques. More information is available in the many books Donna has written and also on her website www.sheeptoshawl.com. The presentation was followed by a hands-on workshop which even drew interest from non-Lithuanian knitters anxious to develop their skills in this unique style of knitting. DB
♦ An Easter egg painting (margučiai) workshop was held and Resurrection Parish on April 14th, led by Birute Batraks and Diana Wiese.