Annual Review - 2018

April, 2019

Ģirts Zeidenbergs
Andris Padegs

Dear Members and Supporters of TILTS!

This newsletter is a review of our activity in 2018 along with a preview of our plans for this year and the next.

The Latvian Cultural Association TILTS this year looks back on 50 years of activity. During this time, a leadership structure gradually evolved that has been in effect for nearly half of the association’s lifespan. The time has now come for a change.

During our first 25 years, chairpersons changed every three years or more frequently. This position has been occupied, not in this order, by Jānis Aperāns, Edmunds Brigmanis, Ints Dzelzgalvis, Andris Padegs, Jānis Siliņš, Māris Stūrāns, and Ģirts Zeidenbergs. For the last one-half of our association’s existence, Ģirts has been the chairperson, but his wish has always been that the responsivility for leading the organization be shared by Ģirts and Andris. At various times we have discussed different leadership alternatives for dividing up our responsibilities, including one variant in which Ģirts would be responsible for activity with Latvia and Andris for the U.S., until we agreed upon our current division of labor. Over the years we have always reached decisions jointly, although each of us has his own particular range of interests and strengths that have helped us to achieve our common goals.

The time has now come for a change in the leadership of TILTS. At our last annual meeting on April 6, 2019, Ģirts Zeidenbergs announced that he is stepping down for family reasons, and the board elected Dace Aperāne Chairperson. The board created a new position, Chairperson Emeritus, and named Ģirts Zeidenbergs to this post. The board also agreed to involve board member Valdis Bašēns more actively in leadership and elected him Deputy Chairperson.

TILTS can count itself fortunate that Dace Aperāne has accepted the position of Chairperson. Dace has been on the board of TILTS for many years and has led its Music section for the last 16 years. But her talents and interests reach far beyond our organization. She is an accomplished musician and composer, well known in both North America and Latvia, where she received Latvia’s Grand Music Award in 2016. Dace has served in a number of positions connected with music for the Cultural Foundation of the World Federation of Free Latvians (PBLA) and the New York Council of Latvian Organizations, in which she has displayed her exceptional leadership and organizational skills. She has now retired from her position as an elementary school music teacher. Dace is very familiar with the work of TILTS, she is well known in the Latvian community, and with her personal qualities of dedication, tact and clear sense of purpose she is highly qualified to lead TILTS.

The new leadership line-up is indicated in the list along the left side of this page. We, Ģirts and Andris, are signing this annual report since it covers last year — 2018.

Ģirts ZeidenbergsAndris Padegs
TILTS Chairperson   TILTS Executive Vice Chairperson
Dace Aperāne

Classical Music

During April, 2018, two exceptional young musicians — singer and pianist Katrīna Gupalo and piano virtuoso Andrejs Osokins — toured with a program dedicated to Latvia’s centennial celebration, called “From the Baltic to the Atlantic”. Concerts, featuring Latvian and American vocal and piano music, took place in six Latvian communities: Boston, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Priedaine, Washington DC (with the support of the Latvian embassy), and Philadelphia, thanks to a generous grant of $5,000 from the American Latvian Association and in cooperation with local organizations. Total attendance was about 300. Andrejs Osokins performed a solo piano recital in New York at the Nicholas Roerich Museum, as part of the museum’s concert series.

Katrīna Gupalo un Andrejs Osokins at the conclusion of the New York concert. Photo: Jānis Romanovskis

Writing about the concert in Washington DC (“Charm and Virtuosity”, Laiks, May 12-18, 2018), Vilnis Baumanis states: “Katrīna Gupalo captivated the audience with a voice suited for popular music genres and with a stage presence rich in emotional nuances. Equally delightful was piano virtuoso Andrejs Osokins, who has garnered awards at major piano competitions and who regularly performs in Europe's most famous concert halls. He played five beautiful romantic pieces by J. Vītols, making the piano sing as never before.”

Aira Laiviņa Artists prepared professional advertising material and concert programs for this tour, which was led by the head of TILTS’s Music section, Dace Aperāne. The concert tour ended with a deficit of $491.

Tija Kārkle

Ethnographic Music

“Vilkači”, a folklore group that honors the traditions of Latvian warriors throughout history, toured North America from October 8 to November 4, 2018, with a concert program called “O, Latvia, Where Are Your Sons Heading?” This project was very successful, drawing some of the largest audiences that TILTS has seen.

Members of Vilkači

In initiating this project, TILTS and Vilkači sought to strengthen the ties between Latvians living abroad and in Latvia by undertaking to organize twelve concerts in various Latvian communities. The goals of the project addressed three groups within our community—the younger generation, recent immigrants from Latvia, and the older, “exile,” generation. We felt it important to spark interest and promote Latvian patriotism among the younger generation and to cultivate and maintain ties with recent arrivals to North America, while also demonstrating to the older generation of exiles that they have not been forgotten and that the Latvian traditions and cultural values they have cherished and maintained for so long are still alive and honored in contemporary Latvia. TILTS undertook this project especially in honor of Latvia’s centennial.

We are gratified that we reached, at times even exceeded, our goals. During the tour Vilkači traveled to 14 locations and performed in 15 events, with total attendance of about 1600. Their first concert was at the Seattle Latvian Center, followed by a full day’s program of lectures at the University of Washington for the students of the Department of Scandinavian Studies and the Baltic Studies Program. During the course of the day the group was interviewed and filmed, and the edited material will be available as a podcast. On the West Coast Vilkači went on to Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles. In the Midwest they performed in Minneapolis, Chicago, Kalamazoo, Detroit, and Cleveland. After a brief stint across the border in Toronto, the group continued to the East Coast—Washington DC, Priedaine and Boston, concluding its month-long tour at the Fall Festival of the Latvian American Youth Association at Rota in the Catskills.

In some places attendance was lower than expected, but at times it exceeded expectations both in the number of attendees and in the kinds of people who showed up at the concerts. From Seattle we heard of a Latvian who lives in Iowa who along with his family (a non-Latvian wife and two children) made the long trip to the Seattle Latvian Center for the first time just to hear Vilkači. All four members of the family were very happy with the concert because Vilkači made a point of spending time with the children after the concert. In three places, Vilkači had the opportunity to visit Latvian schools. The group was especially honored to meet with the Latvian legionnaires who had come to the concerts, because honoring Latvian soldiers and fostering patriotism among Latvians are fundamental to the group’s essential reasons for existing.

Vilkači on stage

The repertoire for these concerts was carefully selected to be appropriate for autumn, a season significant in Latvian traditions and history. With songs and stories about Latvian soldiers in history, Vilkači succeeded in educating, moving and inspiring. More than one listener shed a tear imagining the harsh fate of Latvian soldiers at different times, while many after the concert wanted to know how those living abroad could get involved with the Latvian National Guard. Meanwhile children rushed to handle with their own hands the bagpipes or try out one of the horns. At the same time, Vilkači confessed that this trip was full of revelations for them. They expressed their respect for the Latvian exiles and their successors for their very successful efforts in maintaining Latvian identity abroad. In the words of one of the group’s members, Eduards Krūmiņš, “Our North American tour was mutually important, valuable and enjoyable.”

Information about the tour was disseminated in various ways. TILTS commissioned Uģis Nīgals to design a special poster. We put ads in the Latvian newspaper Laiks and sent information to the Culture section of the American Latvian Association, which kept a special webpage dedicated to events connected with Latvia’s centennial. As always, we depended on local Latvian communities and their local information networks to spread the word. U. Nīgals’s poster was graphically designed with a blank space where each local community could put in its specific details about the concert. Social media played an important role, with the active participation of TILTS activists, Vilkači themselves, the local coordinators and their countless helpers. Thanks to all of these, during the course of the tour (and before) almost every day something about this North American tour appeared on Facebook—news items, video clips, photographs, reviews, observations and expressions of gratitude.

The organizers of this tour also had to overcome some unexpected obstacles. U. Nīgals’s poster design had to be approved by the official Latvia-100 office, which took time and effort. The Latvia-100 office approved only Nīgals’s design, and problems arose when some organizers published their own advertising materials. The Latvian Foundation supplied a traveling banner with its logo that was displayed at each event.

The tour received grants from the Latvian Foundation ($10,000) the Culture Capital Fund of Latvia ($2,991), and the Education, Sports and Culture Department of the City Council of Rīga ($3,419). Expenses, never-theless, exceeded expectations, mainly in the categories of flights, honoraria, baggage transport and per diem costs. While there were savings in some categories (hotels and car rentals), they weren't enough to prevent a deficit. $36,000 was originally budgeted, but $42,716 was spent, resulting in a shortfall of over $6,000.

The reviews were universally positive. Here is a sampling of some of the public response: “The Los Angeles Latvian School sincerely thanks Vilkači for the musical afternoon. Thanks to the stalwart men of Vilkači for such patriotic singing. An enchanting evening!” Aija Zeltiņa. Los Angeles. “Thank you for your concert in was very moving!” former Latvian legionnaires Dr. Jānis Pone and Kazimirs Upenieks, Kalamazoo. “The Vilkači concert was unforgettable for everyone. We organizers were especially delighted that the concert moved to tears even those who do not understand Latvian.” Didzis Pilāns, Chicago.

Vilkači at the airport at 3:00am awaiting the flight to their next venue

“As someone who participated in a competitive choir for years, I really appreciate their music. I haven't had much experience hearing fully matured voices singing in ensembles like that. Their projection and quality of sound (the fullness and resonance) was impressive. Also, the fact that they are normal people who have day jobs was a really important fact that made me take them more seriously. I also think that their trying to preserve their traditions is very honorable.” a University of Washington student, Seattle.

And here is a comment from Vilkači themselves: “We Vilkači are truly honored and delighted to celebrate Latvia’s centennial for almost two months. As early as the end of September we started preparing for our distant journey to you in North America. Having returned to Latvia, we are now in our third week of continuing to share memories and remind one another of our experiences and of the moments when we felt moved as never before. To sing “Daugav’ abas malas” ’with each of you is an unforgettable experience that will remain in our hearts for the rest of our lives.”

TILTS is satisfied with what the tour accomplished and regards that once again a bridge (remember that TILTS means ‘bridge’) has been built to connect Latvians, this time as part of the centennial celebration. Thank you to all who supported this project! We will close with the words of Helmī Stalte (from her letter of recommendation for this project): “Who then is more worthy than precisely these young men, who not only sing of honorable, honest ideals but in their own lives live up to these ideals—who then is more worthy to invite all Latvians to pursue these ideals as our nation moves toward its next centennial?”

The tour was organized and led by Tija Kārkle, who also prepared this report.


Ingrīda Erdmane

During the first part of September, Lieutenant General Raimonds Graube, retired from the National Armed Forces of Latvia, spent two intensive weeks on a lecture tour of Latvian communities on the East Coast and the Midwest. Gen. Graube spoke in New York, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Kalamazoo, and Chicago.

General Raimonds Graube

With elections imminent in both Latvia and the U.S., Gen. Graube was able to share his knowledge at this critical time of a very topical question—hybrid war and the information space. In today’s information space, electronically widely accessible to everyone, virtually without anyone realizing it, evil forces on a massive scale are attempting to win over people’s minds with false news, influencing public opinion and our understanding of what is happening in the world.

Gen. Graube, together with our NATO allies, has followed and studied this activity specifically as it pertains to Russia. Before hearing Gen Graube’s lecture, many were probably unaware of just how nuanced and organized this disinformation activity is, which Gen. Graube explained and illustrated with many examples Gen. Graube stressed that the cost of this activity, compared to the cost of weapons and physical battle, is laughably meager, but the results are often much bigger. The lies are often shameless, since, unlike the printed press, sources in the Internet are much harder to track down and uncover.

Between his lectures to Latvian audiences, Gen. Graube was able to arrange meetings with his former American military colleagues, as well as to visit and address the Michigan National Guard, with which Latvia and Gen. Graube personally have had a cooperative arrangement for the last 25 years. These friendships and cooperation are important and useful to Latvia and will continue to be so.

In Minneapolis Gen. Graube was able to spend several hours at the local Latvian school, visiting each class separately and answering questions about himself and about Latvia’s armed forces. The children truly were quite excited to meet “a real general” and to learn about Latvia's defense.

General Graube at the Latvian school in Minneapolis

Gen. Graube spoke also of “Namejs”, a fund lead by him whose purpose is to support Latvia’s soldiers. Gen. Graube gladly answered questions, and after the lectures met and conversed with many members of the audience. He spoke with passion and sincerity, and in everything he said his positive patriotic faith in a bright future for Latvia was evident. Some comments about the general and his lecture: “likeable and very approachable”; “a pleasure to meet him”; “the talk was at an appropriate level—not too technical, with good examples”; “he acted as though he had known us forever.”

Thanks to all those in each locality who organized the lectures and who provided lodging: Anita Bataraga, Linda Rence, Mārtiņš Zvaners, Baiba and Knuts Ozols, Ģirts Zeidenbergs, Harolds Mazzariņš, Zigurds and Astrīda Rīders. Dace Ķezbere, Armands Birkens, Maira Bundža, Jānis Kukainis, Līga un Ilgvars Jēkabsons, and to Gen. Graube’s cousin who lives in Minneapolis, Skaidra Studāne Ogriņa, along with her family.

The lecture was organized and led by Ingrīda Erdmane, who also prepared this report.

Laila Robiņa

Exceptional Young Artists Fund

The Exceptional Young Artists Fund, under the leadership of Laila Robiņa and with the help of Baiba Pinne and Anna Ķepe, in 2018 had no income and made no awards. The current balance is $5,905.

Contributions to the fund can be made by sending a check to TILTS’s treasurer, written to “Latvian Cultural Association TILTS, Inc.”, with a note explaining its purpose.

In its lifetime, the Exceptional Young Artists Fund has awarded a total of well over $150,000 to over 30 young artists. Awards to young artists are made only from contributions donated specifically to this fund.

The Music Camp Fund

This fund supports Master Classes of the International Latvian Young Musicians’ Camp that takes place every second year in Latvia. The last event, the 13th masterclasses, were held in 2018 at the Sigulda School of Arts Baltais Flīģelis, and TILTS awarded $7,000 to this class from the Music Camp Fund.

Dace Aperāne, together with Anda Sūna Cook and Gunta Semba, manages the fund. The fund balance at the end of 2018 was $0.00.

Contributions to the fund can be made by sending a check to TILTS’s treasurer, written to “Latvian Cultural Association TILTS, Inc.”, with a note explaining its purpose.p>

Information Dissemination Project

To help counteract Russia’s negative political propaganda in Latvia, TILTS at its 2015 annual meeting established a project for disseminating information whose aim is to seek out relevant articles about important events and points of view by experienced international journalists, analysts and scholars and to send these articles to governmental leaders and the media in Latvia.

To this end TILTS subscribes to The Financial Times, The Economist, Stratfor Global Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and PBLA Ziņu Apskatu. In addition, a number of volunteers regularly follow The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Time (ASV), The Times (UK), The Guardian, Reuters, Globe and Mail (Canada), think tanks and some other sources. In the last year we also followed the Latvian press publications Latvijas Avīzei (, Mājas Viesim, Sestdienai and other sources.

This information is disseminated using several distribution lists:

  • The "short" list, with some 400 addresses, includes officials of Latvia's Defense and Foreign Affairs ministries and some other members of the Government, some members of the Parliament, the newspaper Latvijas Avīze, the news sites Delfi and medusa.oi (both of which have Russian editors in Riga), 20 other media contacts, some nongovernmental organizations, the Latvian press outside of Latvia, and various individuals from PBLA, ALA and TILTS. This short list receives the most significant articles in English by Western commentators a couple of times a week.

  • The “medium” list, with in excess of 1000 addresses, receives mailings less frequently, also in English. It includes the governmental structure and universities of Latvia and other organizations.

Recipients in both lists inform us of changes of address; this, as well as other responses, indicate that the information is appreciated and valued. Occasionally, information is sent out to a much larger list, but this list is used less frequently because of the labor involved.

Since the start of the project, TILTS has spent a few thousand hours on the maintenance of these distribution lists, since invalid addresses need to be deleted after each mailing, and occasionally recipients ask to have their names removed. Much time is devoted to expanding the lists as well.

To cover the expense of subscriptions, copyright payments and occasional translaton, the project relies on fund raising. Donations can be sent to TILTS’s treasurer, with a note explaining the purpose of the gift. Checks should be made out to “Latvian Cultural Society TILTS.”

Expenses for subscriptions in 2018 were $716, and the fund’s current balance is $745. Ģirts Zeidenbergs and Andris Padegs are in charge of the project.


In 2018 TILTS board awarded a total of $2,000.00 in financial support, as follows:

  • $500.00 - to organization DELNA that is fighting against corruption in Latvia.
  • $1,000.00 - to Rīga Dom girls choir TIARA for their performance of Imants Ramiņš childrens opera "Lakstīgala".
  • $500.00 - to Māra Pelēce for her film.

Other Events of 2018

  • At the end of 2018, 78 TILTS members had joined ALA, including 5 as Amber, 9 Gold Life, 59 Life and 5 Annual members.
  • Valdis Bašēns and Ints Dzelzgalvis were TILTS dele-gates to the 2018 ALA congress in Washington, DC.
  • Dace Aperāne, Baiba Pinne un Ārija Kats represented TILTS on the Council of New York Latvian Organizations.
  • The annual TILTS membership meeting took place on April 14, 2018 at the Philadelphia Society of Free Letts in Philadelphia, PA. A board meeting preceded and another followed the membership meeting. The membership elected 45 people to the board - 44 were reelected, plus Ingrīda Erdmane. Former board member Regīna Rūsiņa was not a candidate. The positions of officers did not change.
  • In three shipments a total 221 boxes weighing 3 218 kg of books and periodicals collected from Latvian homes were shipped by TILTS through the Latvian American Shipping Line to the Latvian National Library in Riga for distribution to schools and libraries. (Andris Padegs).

Events Planned for 2019

Knuts Lesiņš award recipients at the conclusion of the XIII Latvian Young Musician Masterclasses concert: P. Ciemese, V. Martiņuka, D. Aperāne, L. Ruperte (from Detroit), A. Raumanis.

Currently TILTS is working on the following tours for 2019 (no theatre tour is planned for 2019):

  • The following has already taken place: The pianist Juris Žvikovs performed in Minneapolis April 13 (with the Latvian Concert Association of Minneapolis) and in Cleveland on May 4 (with the Latvian Concert Association of Cleveland). The program included compositions by Latvian and other composers.
  • The recipients of the Knuts Lesiņš Foundation Young Musician Award will perform in:
    • Mineapolis September 29,
    • Detroit October 3. and
    • New York October 5 or 6.
  • The artists Aigars Raumanis (saksophon), Patrīcija Ciemese (piano) un Viktorija Martiņuka (piano) will include Latvian and other compositions in their program called "Musical Conversations". The concerts have been arranged by the Association of Latvian Organizations of Minnesota together with Dace Aperāne of TILTS.

  • In October, 2019 the well-known pianist Dzintra Erliha ( will have three performances:

    • Cleveland Oct. 19 at 6 PM, arranged by Latvian Concert Association of Cleveland,
    • Philadelphia Oct. 26 at 3 PM, arranged by St. John's Church at the St. John's Church, Newtown Square, and
    • New York City Oct. 27 at 5 PM at the Kosciuszko Foundation building, arranged by TILTS with support from Dr.P.Grube.

    The program will include piano compositions by Snorri Sigfús Birgisson, Lūcija Garūta, Jānis Ivanovs, Aivars Kalējs, Ragnar Kristinna, A. Skrjabin, Fr. Šopēn un Pēters Vasks.

    The tour is arranged by Dace Aperāne in cooperation with the Latvian Concert Association of Cleveland and the St. John Ev. Luth Church of Philadelphia.

  • In November, 2019 etnomusicologist and University of Latvia professor Valdis Muktupāvels and Rūta Muktupāvels, singer and rector of Culture Academy of Latvia, will perform in 15 Latvian centers with a program of Latvian folk music.

    The concert tour is supported by the Latvian Ministry of Culture as well as by PBLA and ALA. Tija Kārkle is managing the tour. The concers will take place at the following Latvian centers, with * indicating events commemorating Latvia's independence:

    Saturday 2. nov.: Chicago
    Sunday 3. nov.: Kalamazoo
    Wednesday 6. nov.: Detroit
    Friday 8. nov.: Cleveland
    Saturday 9. nov.: Minneapolis
    Sunday 10. nov.: Priedaine, NJ*
    Monday 11. nov.: Washington, DC
    Friday 15. nov.: Boston
    Saturday 16. nov.: New York*
    Sunday 17. nov.: Philadelphia*
    Monday 18. nov.: Toronto*
    Wednesday 20. nov.: Portland
    Thursday and Friday 21. and 22. nov.: Seattle
    Saturday 23. nov.: San Francisco
    Sunday 24. nov.: Los Angeles*

    More details on the locations and times of the performances will appear in newspapers and in

Dr. Valdis Muktupāvels is a Latvian ethnomusicologist, composer, musician and professor at the University of Latvia. In 1983 he graduated with distinction from the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian State Conservatory; in 1999 he was awarded the Doctor of Arts degree. Since 1989 Dr. Muktupāvels has been with the University of Latvia, and in 2002 was awarded the rank of professor. He has been a member of the Latvian National Culture Council since 2002.

Valdis Muktupāvels is considered the originator of the traditional Latvian musical instrument revival movement. He was the founder and head of the folklore group "Rasa", which existed in 1988 to 1998. In 2001 he was awarded the Lithuanian Dižkunigaiša Ģedimina order. He has recorded the album "Kokles" (Upe, 2002) and has authored several books on national Latvian musical instruments.

Dr. Rūta Muktupāvela is a professor, musician and, since 2014, the rector of the Latvian Culture Academy. She graduated in History from the Vilnius Pedagogical Institute in 1989 and since 1993 lives in Latvia. In 1996 she received the Master's degree and in 2005 the Doctor's degree in the theory of culture from the Latvian Culture academy.

From 2017 to 2021 she has been the representative of Latvia in the UNESCO International Committee, as well as a memebr of numerous other international organizations.

Rūta Muktupāvela has been a member of "Ilģi" and togeter with her husband has performed in the USA, Norway, Finland, Poland, Sweden and other countries. She has participated in the preparation of a number of CDs.

With songs, instrumental works, pictures and stories, the concert program “My Brothers In White”, presented by the outstanding "Latvian and Baltic" folk music “ambassadors”, musicians and scholars Valdis and Rūta Muktupāvels, will be devoted to "ancient and modern Baltic peoples - Latgalians, Selonians, Zemgalians, Lithuanians, Yatwings, Courlandians and Prussians." At the core of the musical works will be the vocal and instrumental music from the Baltic countries - Latvia, Lithuania and East Prussia: ritual, native custom and mythological songs, instrumental meditations and collaborations. Rūta and Valdis Muktupāvelis sing and also play various instruments - the kokle, bagpipe, Jew’s harp, whistle, baubens and singing bells. Their music-making combines old traditions and their own creative compositions. Looking forward to seeing you at Valdis and Rūta Muktupāvela's "My Brothers In White" concerts!
Poster: Uģis Nīgals.


Overview of 2018 Finances (Cash basis)













Value January 1, 2018






Receipts in 2018

Receipts from tours and events:

Gen. Graube (2018)



Mūziķi Gupalo un Osokins (2018)

Musicians Gupalo and Osokins (2018)



Ethnographical ensamble Vilkači (2018)



Annual membership payments and donations



Contributions for special purposes



Awards to TILTS from:

ALA - Gupalo & Osokins (2018)



City of Riga - Vilkači (2018)



Latvian Foundation - Medību pils (2017)



Bank interest



Total 2018 Receipts






Disbursements in 2018

Tour and event expenses:

Gen. Graube (2018)



Musicians Gupalo un Osokins (2018)



Ethnographical ensamble Vilkači (2018)



TRIO (2017)



Juris Žvikovs (2019)



TILTS awards to organizations and individuals:

Music masterclasses in Latvia



Anticorruption society DELNA in Latvia



I.Ramiņš opera "Lakstīgala" performance



Māras Pelēce film



Information dissemination project



Administration, publication, fundraising



Total 2018 disbursements






Value December 31, 2018






TILTS is particularly thankful to our generous supporters who have each contributed $1,000 or more to the TILTS general account or the funds for special projects:

  • Baiba and Pauls Grūbe
  • Latvian Ev. Luth. Church of Lakewood
  • Anita Kuprisa and Richard Douglas
Juris Baidiņš


Our work depends largely on your contributions. In the past we planned our cultural events so that they would pay for themselves. This has become impossible, as the size of our audiences keeps shrinking and the expenses for artists from Latvia keep rising. We also need contributions for our projects associated with other cultural activities.

Please help us carry out our programs and become a member of TILTS! Donations for TILTS membership start at $15.00. We have not increased membership dues so that the amount of the dues would not be an obstacle for those with limited resources. Make the check payable to “Latvian Cultural Association TILTS, Inc.” and forward

  • in the USA to: Treasurer Juris Baidiņš, 1104 Windon Drive, Wilmington, DE 19803

  • in Canada (in Canadian dollars) to: Anita Liepiņa, Box 21131 RPO Orangeville Mall, Orangeville, ON L9W 4S7 Canada

In the USA, donations to TILTS are tax-deductible. TILTS board members do not receive any compensation for their services.

In 2018 TILTS received a total of $11,476 in membership fees and general contributions from 251 members, the average contribution was $45.72 per member. The corresponding figures for 2017 were $14,593, 279, and $52.30.

TILTS History

  • The organization was established in 1969 with the name “Poughkeepsie Latvian Association”. Its goals were to keep alive the Latvian heritage, traditions and values within the local community of people of Latvian extraction, to bridge the Iron Curtain with cultural exchanges, and to work towards the restoration of Latvia’s independence.

  • In 1988 the organization changed its name to “Mid- Hudson Latvian Association, Inc.” to reflect the geographical expansion of its operation.

  • In 1993 the organization changed its name to “Latvian Cultural Association TILTS, Inc.” to reflect the broader scope of its activities as a result of Latvia’s regained independence (“TILTS” in Latvian means “BRIDGE”).

  • During its lifetime, TILTS has arranged over 300 Latvian cultural events or tours.

  • Currently TILTS is the main organization that arranges tours by performers from Latvia and elsewhere for Latvian audiences in America, including classical music, ethnographic performances and theater.

How Efficient is TILTS?

The U.S. charitable organizations continually bombard us with requests for contributions. But they do not spend all their money on their charitable work. Some of them spend most of the money they collect on administration and fundraising, paying high salaries to their executives. The charities can be considered efficient if 80%-90% of the funds are spent on the claimed charitable activities, with only 10%-20% on administration and fundraising.

The overview of the finances of TILTS [above] gives an idea of the efficiency of TILTS operations. In 2018 TILTS expenses were $48,010; this is the sum that passed through the TILTS bank account. However, some of the cash flow does not show up in the financial summary. In accordance with prior agreements, some of the money that is due TILTS for arranging the tour is paid by the local organizers directly to the performers to cover their travel expense and honorarium. If all TILTS expenses for Vilkači, Gen. Graube un Gupalo-Osokina tours are included, the total TILTS expenses are around $65,000. The expenses for administration, fundraising and publishing this annual report were $5,119, which is 7.9%.

Thank you!

  • Pēters Vecrumba is our Webmaster – he designs the graphics for the TILTS web page] and updates its contents. Thank you, Pēters!

  • Thanks to all who have helped in the past and are helping now in mailing our annual report.

  • Thanks to the TILTS Audit Committee, which is helping our treasurer Juris Baidiņš take care of TILTS books:

    • Pēteris Āns
    • Jānis Bebris
    • Kaspars Krēsliņš

2019 Board Meeting

TILTS Board of Directors consists of 45 members - 37 in USA, one in Canada and seven in Latvia. The large size makes it possible to have a TILTS representative in each major Latvian community as well as in Latvia; this is helpful when arranging turneys in the USA and selecting performers from Latvia.

TILTS normally has one board meeting per year, and this year it took place in Philadelphia, PA on April 6. It started out with a working session where TILTS problems where discussed and solved, followed by the annual meeting of the membership where a new board was elected, whereup the new board convened and elected its officers. The chairperson now is Dace Aperāne and Deputy Chairperson is Valdis Bašēns.

Participants at the annual board meeting: first row, from left: Valdis Bašēns, Ģirts Zeidenbergs, Dace Aperāne, Andris Padegs, Ints Dzelzgalvis; second row: Iveta Grava, Laila Medne, Maija Medne, Gudars Aperāns, Irīna Kats, Ārija Kats, Anita Bataraga.

In Gratitude, the 2019 Board of the Latvian Cultural Association TILTS:

On April 6, 2018 45 persons were elected to TILTS Board:
37 USA, 7 Latvia, 1 Canada
Mārtiņš Andersons
Dace Štauvere Aperāne
Gundars Aperāns
Juris Baidiņš
Valdis Bašēns
Anita Bataraga
Pauls Berkolds
Edgars Bērziņš
Valdis Bērziņš
Jānis Cigusis
Anda Cook
Ints Dzelzgalvis
Ingrīda Erdmane
Iveta Grava
Astrīda Jansone
Amanda Jātniece
Benita Jaundāldere
Līga Jēkabsone
Tija Kārkle
Lauma Upelniece Katis
Ārija Kats
Irīna Kats
Brigita Klauss
Laris Krēsliņš
Māris Kukainis
Matīss Kukainis
Anna Ķepe
Dace Ķezbere
Anita Liepiņa
Laila Medne
Maija Medne
Jānis Melgalvis
Ilmārs Mežs
Andris Padegs
Ilze Pētersone
Zinta Pone
Ināra Reinis
Laila Michelsone Robiņa
Gunta Puzule Semba
Laimonis Siliņš
Ruta Krūze Strobele
Jānis Students
Normunds Vīksne
Marcis Voldiņš
Ģirts Zeidenbergs

This review has been prepared by Andris Padegs, English translation by Valdis Bašēns.

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