HCA NEWS HCA2005 presented in Vilnius with royal attendence

HRH Princess Benedikte of Denmark presided over the presentation of the impressive Lithuanian programme celebrating the bicentenary of the birth of Hans Christian Andersen in 2005. The event took place at the "Lėlė" Puppet Theatre in Vilnius on Tuesday 15 March 2005.

By Oliver Newton - H.C. Andersen 2005 - 15 March 2005

The Lithuanian Andersen bicentenary programme was presented by the director of the Danish Culture Institute, Audra Sabaliauskiene, who is also in charge of coordinating the extensive programme. Among other guests the former recipient of the Hans Christian Andersen Award Comitee's "Hans Christian Andersen Award", Antanas Markuckis was present.

One of the many interesting projects presented at the event was the Lithuanian HCA Internet portal, which will present Hans Christian Andersen seen from a Lithuanian perspective. Furthermore, the portal will feature an events programme covering the Lithuanian activities as well as background information and articles on Hans Christian Andersen. Additionally, the programme features a number of festivals such as an international puppet theatre festival, a street festival, and an international chamber play festival. All will feature Andersen themes.

Following the presentation of the Lithuanian Andersen bicentenary programme, four prominent Lithuanian public figures were appointed Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors by HRH Princess Benedikte of Denmark. The Princess, who enjoyed her first visit to Vilnius, presented the Hans Christian Ambassadors with the official ambassadorial diploma and pin. The First Lady of Lithuania, Alma Adamkienė, was appointed honorary Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador, and the singers Veronika Povilionienė and Marijus Mikutavičius as well as entertainer Vytautas Kernagis were appointed Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors.

They will join the ranks of other Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors in promoting the awareness and appreciation of Hans Christian Andersen in their own country and internationally. As Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors they are furthermore to represent the HCA-abc Foundation and its endeavour to address illiteracy among children, the young and women in the developing world.

The event in Vilnius was hosted by the Royal Danish Embassy, the Danish Culture Institute, the Hans Christian Andersen 2005 Foundation and Have PR & Kommunikation A/S.


Hans Christian Andersen Projects in Lithuania

Internet page: www.andersen.lt
It was already clear a year ago that Andersen would be widely celebrated in Lithuania, starting from the village library and ending with the grandest festivals in the country. Grasping and coordinating such a broad-based event and movement was nearly an impossible task for the tiny team of two at the Danish Cultural Institute. Thus, after consulting with the Danish Embassy and the wide network of people who work with the Institute on a steady basis, the decision was to design a Hans Christian Andersen website, which would interlink with the main internet portal coordinated by the HCA 2005 Foundation in Denmark.

One of the main goals for having such a website was to feature a DIFFERENT than usual Andersen. He was more than the story-telling uncle, always good-natured even when weaving a sad tale - that's the man with whom we are familiar. Actually, he was vital, a man with a multi-faceted personality, complex and full of contrasts. The idea was to reveal his many other talents - he drew beautifully and was a master of paper cut-outs. He was also a renowned poet, whose lines were used to compose many songs and hymns. Plus, he was a playwright and famous for his diaries. The website will reflect Andersen's travels and the distinguished contemporaries in his circle of long-time friends, as well as the atmosphere of that age. In effect, that was the story of the great author, one he fostered diligently until the last breath he took.

Since there is quite a large group of authors for this Web page, who will be announced and presented to the public, we expect to have a fresh look at Andersen. This will be a very personal view with a great deal of new, never previously published material. It is intended to display the way in which we Lithuanians see and judge Andersen.

An events calendar will take up the largest part of the website and the part displaying the most motion. The calendar will show the proceedings going on all over the country - who is celebrating Andersen, where, how, and when. Although only the summaries of the articles and essays with wide coverage will appear in English, the calendar will be accessible in two languages so that a reader from any part of the world might be able to understand it.

There will be a separate section of interest, describing some unexpected aspect about Andersen in one or a few sentences. We want this website to pulsate with vitality; therefore, commentaries from our readers will be eagerly accepted.
Existing and potential sponsors will have a window for their own ads and information. Naturally, another area will be for pointers, contacts, and the like.

Last but not least the Andersen ambassadors from Lithuania, whom Her Royal Highness Princess Benedikte of Denmark inaugurated, will also be fully portrayed - Alma Adamkienė, Veronika Povilionienė, Vytautas Kernagis, and Marijus Mikutavičius.
2005 March 15, Vilnius

Lagaminas-7 (Pullman Case) International Puppet Theatre Festival
The Panevėzys Puppet Theatre on Wheels has been organising an international puppet theatre festival, named Pullman Case, every other year since 1993. This year, 15 theatres from Lithuania, Poland, Estonia, Russia, Denmark, Sweden, the Ukraine, Moldavia, Germany, and France will come to the festival. All of them will perform plays by Andersen. Prominent directors, actors, artists, and art reviewers will be participating in the festival by sharing their experiences and heading creative workshops. The audience in Lithuania will have a great chance to get to know puppet theatres from neighbouring European countries and their interpretations of Andersen's creativity.
Panevėys Puppet Theatre on Wheels, headed by Antanas Markuckis
2005 September 6 to 10, Panevėzys

Gala unveiling of a statue of Hans Christian Andersen
This will be the first statue of Andersen in Lithuania, as well as the first in all three Baltic Republics. Algimantas Vytėnas, a well-known sculptor of Panevėzys, has been at work on this statue for several years. This entire bronze monument stands 1.75 m high, while the Andersen sculpture stands at 1.45 m. Its width is 1.10 m. This statue will add an exceptional touch to the puppet theatre's courtyard and provide a fine landmark, directing people to the activities of the theatre.
Panevė'ys Puppet Theatre on Wheels, headed by Antanas Markuckis
2005 September 6 to 10 (during Pullman Case-7 International Puppet Theatre Festival), Panevėzys

Street Festival - Grand Avenue of Stories
Kėdainiai Town has been getting ready for Andersen's anniversary jubilee since last year. A seminar, The Personality and Creativity of H. C. Andersen has been arranged for April of this year. During this seminar, schoolchildren and people working in culture and education will have the chance to open new pages in the life and creative endeavours of the writer. They will get to know Andersen as a fine arts painter. The seminar attendees will discuss the origin of a story and its existence in various branches of the arts. They will also have a chance to view the creative pieces, made by schoolchildren from the Kėdainiai Region.

The residents of Kėdainiai are looking forward to a camp, Little Workshop of Dolls this summer, which will be held in the Old Town. First, participants of the plenary will be introduced to various ways of making dolls. They will learn how to make a doll or mask. Later on, everyone will select a story and draw the characters and personages in it. In the workshop, the drawings will come to life as dolls, which will find a place on shelves in December.

Grand Avenue of Stories - it's an ongoing project for the second year now. It gets the small and big people, the old and young, and the professionals and amateurs involved. Early in December this year, the public of Kėdainiai Town will be able to walk through Grand Avenue of Stories, a place where the spirit of H. C. Andersen stories will throb from every corner. The shelves will be ackin to the pages of books by the author upon which their heroes will stand frozen. Various scenes from his stories will be reborn on the street itself as people of Kėdainiai and their guests act out the stories. People will pass from one story to the next on the street. Lithuanian Hans Christian Andersen ambassadors will greet all guests. Thus, the people of Kėdainiai will host a true jubilee for the anniversary of Hans Christian Andersen.
2005 December, Kėdainiai

The 11th International Festival of Chamber Plays - Kaukutis-2005
This is the oldest festival of chamber plays for children in the emaitija area, held since 1991. Small puppet and theatre groups of no more than 3 to 5 actors act here each year. The festival invites professional and amateur theatres to participate. This year, the festival will feature Hans Christian Andersen. Lithuanian, Russian, and Danish theatres will perform his famous stories.
Organisers: Atalynas Theatre-Studio of Kretinga Town, headed by Algimantas Verbutas.
2005 September 19-25, Kretinga

Dream a dream and draw a story!
Zinių radijas (News Radio) and Vieno aktoriaus teatras (One Actor Theatre) are honouring the 200th birthday of Hans Christian Andersen by announcing an action for goodness - Every Child on Earth has the Right to a Healthy Childhood and a Story! Every evening of every weekday all winter, News Radio will broadcast their show "Nemiegok dar... (Don't Sleep just yet...) right before bedtime. A story is told, which that night, must be conjured up in a dream. The dream is to be drawn the next morning and mailed to the address of the radio station. This action will last for one hundred and one (100 and 1) days. The winners in the final have a chance to win one of one hundred anniversary music CDs of Hans Christian Andersen stories and the grand prize - a trip for the entire family to the city of the King of Storytelling - Copenhagen.
2004 December 10- 2005 March 20, final  2005 April 2, Vilnius

The Action - Let's Give Childhood the Gift of a Story!
The action by One Actor Theatre and the Comptroller of the Protection of Children's Rights Office - "Let's Give Childhood the Gift of a Story!" - is for celebrating the 200th birthday anniversary of the King of Storytelling, Hans Christian Andersen. The events of this action will involve meeting with over 4,000 residents of homes for children. It begins on April 2 - the birth date of the Danish writer - World Books for Children Day - and continues every Tuesday in April in the towns of Vilnius, Utena, Alytus, Marijampolė, Kaunas, Kėdainiai, Panevėzys, Siauliai, Klaipėda and Mazeikiai. Children and the public at large will meet with the Comptroller of the Protection of Children's Rights Office Rimantė Salasevičiūtė and poetess Violeta Palčinskaitė. They will also hear and see "Let's Remember Hans Christian...", a musical-theatrical improvisation by the One Actor Theatre troupe. Each child attending will be given a small gift from the sponsors. We expect that this action for goodness will bring a ray of light into the lives of children and step-by-step, become an ongoing tradition.
2005 April 2-26

Artistic expression project and exhibition of cut-outs - Kerpu kerpu pasaką (Cut, Cutting Story)
Exhibit of paper cut-outs for elementary school children and teachers of Kaunas
Kerpu kerpu pasaką (Cut, Cutting Story) Lesson at Ausra Library
Easter Exhibit - Cut-outs by Eglė Vindasienė
Exercises in making cut-outs, seminar for Kaunas library branches' employees
2005 March 30 - April 30, Kaunas
Educational project at schools, stage I. January-June, integrated lessons at kindergartens and elementary schools
Educational project at libraries, stage II. April - December.
Awards for the participants of Cut, Cutting Story
Performance - Vidurnakčio pasaka (Midnight Story)
2005 June 1, Kaunas Puppet Theatre

Event - Story Reading for Everyone - "Remembering Hans Christian!"
Hans Christian Andersen-200 Project presentation for librarians, projects in common for libraries and schools at neighborhood administrative offices and community centres
2005 April 1-2, at offices of Education and Culture, V. Kudirka Public Library and its 15 branches,
2005 April 1, Lesson of the day - "Remembering Hans Christian!", at schools, libraries, and book shops

Summing-up the project - Hans Christian Andersen-200
Exhibit by schools of public education and libraries of Kaunas District
2005 October- November, Kaunas District Pedagogical Museum

Nieko rimto (Not so Serious) Publisher - for the year of Andersen
This publisher is issuing two Andersen stories in separate books - "The Little Match Seller" and "Thumbelina". The publisher is so honouring the great Danish author and making its own contribution to the world celebration of Hans Christian Andersen.
These books will be exceptional due to their illustrations by Kęstutis Kasparavičius, a renowned artist in Lithuania. This artist also writes his own books for children. His favourite theme is not just about people becoming more materialistic, but also about things becoming humanistic.
"The Little Match Seller" will see the light of day and receive its first baptism March 15 with the Lithuanian ambassadors, representing Hans Christian Andersen. "Thumbelina" will need to wait until fall for its presentation.
2005 March-december, Vilnius

Prisiminkim Hansą Christianą... (Let's Remember Hans Christian...) a new CD
The entire world reads stories by Hans Christian Andersen. Now, they will be read for those, who have not read them yet or have stopped reading them. These stories never grow old; they never die. The greatest monument to this author is the love of his readers. Priceless miracles have grown in the consciousness of every reader, which once lit by the torch of these old-time stories, the world shines in the colours of goodness, beauty, and fantasy. All living beings, and even material things, play in these colours. This is the theme of the new CD, issued by Sigutis Jacenas, Prisiminkim Hansą Christianą... (Let's Remember Hans Christian...). The public presentation of the CD will take place on the inauguration day of the Lithuanian ambassadors of Hans Christian Andersen.
2005 March 15, Vilnius

Letter to Hans Christian Andersen Competition
Eight years ago, Siauliai University announced the first Letter to Hans Christian Andersen competition. The goals of the competition were traditional and essential ones. The idea was to foster reading, recognising oneself and another from a text of the highest literary standards, and expressing individuality. The first year, over 300 letters arrived. Some were short, some thorough, some creative, and others, pointedly specific ("Hello Mr. Andersen, send me a book."). Some came in collectively, written by nearly an entire class wrote or by a grandmother with her grandchild. So, it went for eight years. Every year, we would receive nearly 500 entries. The geographical coverage expanded. Letters started coming from all over Lithuania. The prizes were the same for all. Usually, those were tickets to a play by the Panevėzys Puppet Theatre on Wheels, a lecture about puppets by its director Antanas Markuckis, a happy time around a table of food in the unique courtyard of the theatre, and train rides through Panevė?ys City. The prizes were also individual each year for the most beautiful letter, the most interesting, the most unexpected, and the most sincere from an older or younger author... And each year, there would be a guest from Denmark, often a highly honourable one, who would read a text by Andersen in Danish.
Now, the eighth competition, designated for the 200th anniversary of Hans Christian Andersen's birth, has closed. Its theme came from the story, Ole The Tower Keeper - GRATITUDE IS OFTEN MUTE BUT IT NEVER DISAPPEARS. The results of the competition, and the more creative and interesting letters will be announced.
Facts on the Lithuanian Hans Christian Andersen Ambassadors:

Alma Adamkienė, The First Lady  of Lithuania and Honorary Hans Christian Andersen Ambassador
Born in 1927. In 1944 Alma Adamkienė retreated with the family to Germany, and later, in 1949, emigrated to the United States of America.
Ms Alma Adamkienė studied at Eichstätt College in Germany and later at the Faculty of Philology of the Erlangen University of Bavaria. After moving to the United States, Alma Adamkienė worked as a laboratory assistant at a steel factory. Later, she took a position with an insurance company. Since 1962, for twenty-five years, she was the manager of the Tabor Farm Recreation Centre, to which she has a title.
Since 4 February 1998, when her husband through 47 years, Valdas Adamkus became President of the Republic of Lithuania, Alma Adamkienė has been actively involved in social activities, paying the prime attention to children's homes and support of orphans and disabled children.

Alma Adamkus Charity and Support Fund.
The Fund was established in March 1999. The main aim of the Fund is to support children in Lithuanian village schools, children homes and hospitals. Between 1999-2003 benefactors donated to the Fund almost 2.5 million litas as well as material contributions valued at 2.3 million litas. All the support was distributed to 35 village schools, children from needy families, the Kaunas Medical University Children's Clinics and the Vilnius Santariskės Children's Hospital.

Veronika Povilionienė
Born in 1946. She has got her education at Vilnius University, as a philologist. Married to former political prisoner Vidmantas Povilionis, has 3 children. Her work experience is life related to folk music and ethno culture. As a participant and leader of numerous folklore expeditions, singer in numerous concerts of pop, jazz and folk music she is promoting ethnography in most unexpected ways.
Her personal charisma and vital engagement in many musical, theatre and opera projects with famous artists, singers, ensembles and chamber orchestras as well as her educational activities inspire young generation of Lithuanians to respect their own roots. Her foreign solo tours spread to famous festivals in USA, UK, Australia, France, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Greece, Poland, Russia, Hungary etc.
Awarded by many different awards she is most proud of the Order of the Grand Duke of Lithuania Gediminas.
Here is what Veronika Povilionienė says about here relationship to Hans Christian Andersen:
"Andersen is the childhood of my all three children and my own. It is peace, beauty and hope. "If you will not be as children, you will not get into the kingdom of heaven". Thank you, Christian, for the childhood!"

Marijus Mikutavičius
Born in 1971. Educated at Vilnius University, Faculty of Communications as journalist. In 1994 began his professional activities as journalist, composer and singer, host of TV shows. Due to successful combination of reporter and correspondent work at popular magazines, TV channels and active rock music carrier Marijus Mikutavičius soon becomes the leading figure in young people environment. Some of his nationally awarded hits like "As miręs" (I'm Dead), Trys milijonai (Three Millions) have become youth hymns. Having led entertainment programs Tangomanija, Pasaulis pagal mus, "The World According to Us", Bumerangas, Telepica as well as single- run projects for the Lithuanian National TV and commercial TV Stations LNK, TV3 he made impact on youth culture development.
His current work as correspondent for the biggest country daily Lietuvos Rytas and scriptwriter for the political humour TV show Dviračio Zynios "Bicycle Ne-ews", as well as hosting the Talk Show "Vakaras su Marijonu" (Evening with Marijonas) on LNK make him one of the key persons on live culture stage of Lithuania.
Here is what Marijus Mikutavičius says about his relationship to Hans Christian Andersen:
"Hans Christian Andersen - he was a person who felt like a child after becoming an adult. He was the author whom I read as a child and felt like an adult. I am grateful for his books because I learned not to believe in the bad when all was well. And, I learned to keep believing in the good when things got bad."

Vytautas Kernagis
Born in 1951. Educated at M.K.Čiurlionis Art School and Vilnius Conservatoire, has diploma of drama actor and of entertainment projects director. Professionally acts as a singer, composer, compère, scriptwriter, producer and host of TV shows. Started his career establishing revolutionary Big Beat groups in Soviet times, was singing the leading roles in the first Lithuanian Rock Opera "Velnio nuotaka" (The Devil's Bride), the musical "Ugnies Medioklė" (Hunt for Fire) and the Lithuanian production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Jesus Christ Superstar".
Among his major TV projects: "TV games Last Chance", "Who wins the million", entertainment program "Musical Hotel", reality shows "The Robinsons", "The Jungle".
His musical records: 5 CDs, a number of LP records. Being one of Lithuania's most beloved and respected artists he runs numerous concerts homeland and abroad. Besides all prestigious music awards he is the owner of Officer's Cross of the Grand Duke of Lithuania Gediminas.
Most of the songs of his album "Teisingos dainos" (Correct Songs) that was announced golden have become folk.

Here is what Vytautas Kernagis says about his relationship to Hans Christian Andersen:
"When (and if) you're angry - read Andersen.
When (and if) you're sad - read Andersen.
When (and if) you feel you've already grown up - read Andersen.
When everything is going maddeningly wrong for you (or going maddeningly very well) - read Andersen. He's worth it.
Andersen - he's a holiday that's always with you!"