Annual Review — 2011April, 2012
Dear Members and Supporters of TILTS!
Here is a review of our 2011 activities and plans for this year and next.
Since the founding of our organization in 1969, one of our main goals has been to help the Latvian community in North America preserve its Latvian identity – provide opportunities to participate in Latvian cultural events, support Latvian cultural efforts and arrange events for meeting other countrymen. In the process we have become the main organization that arranges tours of Latvian theatre and music ensembles.
Since the disintegration of the Iron Curtain we have turned to Latvia, where our roots are. After Latvian independence was restored, we provided assistance in nurturing the Latvian cultural efforts in the country (gift of a printing press to the Culture Foundation, collected and sent 60,000 books and periodicals to libraries and schools, provided computers to some 500 schools, etc); more recently we have provided financial aid to young artists from Latvia to polish their skills in western universities and have supported publishing books of special significance. This has been possible because of your financial and moral support; we thank you for it.
Since the restoration of independence, Latvia has also become the main source of artists for cultural events sponsored by TILTS. Initially many theatre and music ensembles were eager to participate in a USA tour, and people here were very interested in their performances and willing to offer to the artists lodging in their homes. Arranging such a tour was not financially challenging.
In the last few years the situation has changed: fewer people attend performances, and the expense of arranging a tour with artists from Latvia has grown significantly. As a result, a tour with and ensemble of four or five participants, covering the largest 10 – 12 Latvian communities, often incurs a loss $5,000 and more. The loss is larger for larger ensembles and when smaller Latvian communities are included in the tour.
We try to obtain support from the American Latvian Association (ALA) and Latvian Foundation (LF), but have to be prepared to contribute a significant sum ourselves. To make the budgeting of such tours more predictable, on March 10, 2012 the TILTS Board of Directors decided to request ALA to allocate annually $10,000 to cover the expenses of two tours, each $5,000. The tours would be considered sponsored jointly by ALA and TILTS; TILTS would encourage the attendees to join ALA.
We mail this report to all members of TILTS and, additionally, we provide either soft or hard copy to people who are not yet members. We wish you a prosperous and healthy year! To those of you who have supported us in the past we thank you for your trust. To all who appreciate the value of Latvian culture, we ask for your support. Become a TILTS member and attend performances sponsored by TILTS. By attending such performances you are providing financial support for the tours and improving our ability to arrange visits by the most popular artists.
Executive Vice Chairperson
Māras Theatre from Riga with “Kronis 2” by Lelde Stumbre, directed by Māra Ķimele, presented a set of performances in March of 2011. The tour included San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Lincoln, Grand Rapids, Detroit and St. Petersburg. The play is about two people in Siberia who discover that they both are deportees from Latvia. The two actors – Niks Ērglis and Māra Mennika – gave a very convincing performance, and response from viewers was positive.
The Latvian Foundation ($1,465) and American Latvian Association ($2,000) supported the tour and, with only two actors, no financial loss was incurred. In view of this support, it was possible to include smaller Latvian communities (Lincoln, Grand Rapids and Detroit) in the tour. They cannot cover their portion of the tour’s expenses and therefore normally do not get included in tours. Marcis Voldiņš organized the tour.
A tour with this play took place on the US east coast in 2008, starting with Boston and ending with Minneapolis. It has now been shown in 16 Latvian communities.
Pianist and composer Pēteris Plakidis and mezzo-soprano Laila Saliņa performed in three concerts: Cleveland April 29, Minneapolis May 1, and Priedaine May 7. Compositions by Plakidis and other Latvian composers were presented at these concerts. Local violinists Pēteris Briedis, Judith Eisner and Una Tone provided accompaniment.
Dace Aperāne organized the tour jointly with the Latvian concert associations of Cleveland and Minnesota and with the Latvian Association of New Jersey. The concerts were well attended, and reviews were published in the newspaper LAIKS.
History Projects Fund
In 2011 the TILTS History Projects Fund funded two projects, and a third has been recently established. The Fund disburses only money that has been donated specifically for support of the project.
Anna Žigure Book “Viņi”. This project was established in 2006 to cover the expenses of Anna Žigure in the preparation of her book about Latvians leaving their homeland during the Second World War and their life in the Displaced Persons (DP) camps in Germany. The first volume “Viņi. Ceļā” was published by Jumava in December of 2009. The ALA Education Department used this book in its reading program. The second volume, “Viņi. Svešos pagalmos", is almost finished and is expected to be available in the spring of 2012.
In 2011 the Fund awarded $400.00, a total of $6,050.00 has been paid to Mrs. Žigure. The Fund does not solicit additional money for this project.
Jānis Kalnačs Book “Rīgas Dendijs un Autsiders”. This project was established in 2011 to support publication of the book about the graphic artist Kārlis Padegs in commemoration of the artist’s 100th anniversary. The book was presented at the opening of Padegs’s exhibition at the Latvian Museum of Art in Riga on November 4, 2011. TILTS collected a total of $11,000.00 for this project, and this sum was paid to the publisher Neputns. The project is closed now.
Book about Music Camps. The Latvian Academy of Music jointly with the publisher Musica Baltica is planning to publish a book about the International Latvian Young Musicians’ Camps - Master Classes. The camps were held in Canada from 1985 to 1990 and in Latvia since 1994 for a total of 12 camps as of now. Some 1,250 young musicians have attended the music camps, with faculties consisting of outstanding professionals from Latvia and other countries. These music camps have evolved into a significant Latvian cultural tradition, where masters’ classes are offered in all branches of music. This is a new TILTS project; donations for this project should be identified with a note “For the music-camp book”.
Exceptional Young Artists Fund
The Exceptional Young Artists Fund, under the leadership of Laila Robiņa and with the participation of Baiba Pinne and Anna Kepe (Anna in 2009 replaced Jānis Cigūzis), in 2011 made grants with total value of $3,050.00 to the following young artists:
In 2011 the Fund received a $270.00 in donations. TILTS values very highly the support the contributors are providing to the exceptional young artists as well as the trust they have demonstrated in TILTS’s administration of the funds. In its lifetime, the Exceptional Young Artists Fund has awarded a total of over $150,000 to over 30 young artists.
The Fund makes awards only from contributions donated specifically to this Fund. Contributions to the Fund can be made by sending a check, written to “Latvian Cultural Association TILTS, Inc.”, to TILTS, c/o Laila Robins, 241 Central Park West Apt. 14H, New York, NY 10024.
Gathering in Latvia
To facilitate interaction with and among people who have moved to Latvia from the West, particularly among the members of TILTS, on June 26, 2011 TILTS arranged a gathering of Latvians of the world at the Čarlestons Restaurant in Rīga. Uldis Grava, member of Latvia’s 9th Saeima, gave an overview of the arguments and considerations in relation to changes to the current law permitting concurrent citizenship of Latvia and another country.
The meeting was organized by Ģirts Zeidenbergs with the help from board member’s Edvīns Kalviņš company “Tehniskie Partneri”. Among the 100 attendees were people from the USA, Australia, Canada, Germany, Sweden and Latvia.
To continue this tradition, a similar meeting is being considered for 2012, provided at least 120 people express an interest. The gathering would take place on Sunday from 12:00 noon to 3:00 PM, and the date is either July 1 or 8.
If you are interested, please contact Ģirts Zeidenbergs, email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org, Skype: ‘girtszeidenbergs33’. We will announce the decision on the 2012 gathering around May 15.
In 2011 TILTS board awarded a total of $3,057.46 as follows (this does not include awards by the Exceptional Young Artists Fund nor by the History Projects Fund):
- $1,000.00 – to Arkady Fomin in support of his benefit concert Symphony of Toys, which took place in the Symphony Hall, Riga, December 22, 2010.
- $500.00 to the literary journal Jaunā Gaita, thereby making TILTS a Gold Benefactor of Jaunā Gaita.
- $1,000.00 - to the International Young Latvian musician Masterclasses in Sigulda, Latvia, which will take place in the Sigulda Music School, Latvia, July 10 – 20, 2012.
- $200.00 – to Jēkabs Hayes as a stipend for his “Sveiks Latvija” trip.
- $200.00 – to Diāna Baibus Zandberga in support of the preparation of her album “Spānijas impresijas” (two CDs).
- $147.46 – for the Knuts Lesiņš award, which TILTS established and is funding jointly with the Association of Latvian Organizations of Minneapolis (LOAM).
Other Events of 2011
- Ints Dzelzgalvis and Ilmārs Mežs represented TILTS at the 2011 ALA Congress. 76 persons had joined ALA as members of TILTS.
- Laila Robiņa and Una Tone represented TILTS in 2011 at the Council of New York Latvian Organizations.
- On March 12, 2011 TILTS held its annual membership meeting at the Daugavas Vanagu House in Bronx, NY. A board meeting preceded and another followed the annual meeting. The membership elected 105 members to the board. The board elected the same officers.
- In two separate shipments TILTS sent books and periodicals collected from Latvian homes to the Latvian National Library in Riga. A total of 208 boxes, with a weight of 3,336 kg, were shipped through the Latvian American Sipping Line.
Events Planned for 2012 and 2013
- The Anna Sakse musical Pasaka par Ziediem (Fairytale about Blossoms) will be performed in April 2012 as follows: The Long Island church of the NY Latvian Ev. Luth. Church April 14, Philadelphia April 15, Minneapolis April 20, Chicago April 21, and Cleveland April 22. The participants are Gundars Āboliņš, Dita Krenberga, Valts Pūce, and Pēteris Apse. The funds donated in the memory of TILTS member Ruta Grava will be used in support of these concerts (Dace Aperāne).
- A concert with music composed by Pēters Vasks will take place on May 8, 2012 at the Park Avenue Christian Church, 1010 Park Ave., New York City.
- The ensemble Lauku Muzikanti from Latvia will perform at the 2012 St. John’s festivity in Priedaine and possibly other places (Jānis Students).
- The 2012 Gathering in Riga of Latvians from the worldis planned on Sunday from 12:00 noon to 3:00 PM either on July 1 or 8. Since space is limited to 150 attendees, early reservations are recommended. See instructions on a preceding page.
- Dailes Theatre presentation of Raimonds Staprāns play Gusteknis Pilī (The Prisoner in the Castle) will take place in August and September 2012. It is about the last few days of President Karlis Ulmanis life in the Riga Castle when Soviets occupied Latvia in 1940 (Marcis Voldiņš).
- Gunta Plostniece is preparing a choir program for the November 18, 2012 events and also one for the 2012 Christmas season. TILTS awarded Gunta $500 for the preparation of each of these concerts.
- We will find out if screening of the movies from Latvia Nesalauztie, Barikādes brīvībai and Bermontiāde can be arranged (Ģirts Zeidenbergs).
- We are still exploring the possibility of a tour with Māra Zālite patriotic musical Pacel acis, Latvija! (Ģirts Zeidenbergs).
The following table summarizes TILTS 2011 receipts and disbursements. These are funds that have actually been received and paid (cash basis).
The values in the table do not agree with the amounts listed in the earlier text for the following reasons:
- The award amounts are often paid out in a subsequent year.
- The transactions for income received and expenses paid do not necessarily take place in the same year as the tour or event.
- All money associated with a tour or event does not necessarily pass through TILTS; expenses are often paid directly from receipts. Also, in accordance with a previous agreement, the money that is due to TILTS for arranging the tour is sometimes paid by the local organizers directly to the performers to cover their expenses.
Notes on TILTS Finances
- The receipts of a tour normally do not cover its expenses; for example, the budget for the Gūsteknis Pilī tour anticipates expenses of $34,750, but the receipts cover only one half. To cover the difference we request support from the American Latvian Association and the Latvian Foundation, but TILTS always has to be prepared to contribute a significant, though unpredictable, amount from its own funds. For this reason, TILTS has to maintain a significant capital in reserve.
- The Exceptional Young Artists Fund and the History Projects Fund make awards only from moneys that have been donated specifically to these funds.
- Pēters Vecrumba is our Webmaster – he designs the graphics for the TILTS web page www.tilts.org 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, particularly to Mudīte Prāmniece.
to TILTS Audit Committee, which is helping our treasurers Juris
Baidiņš and Jānis Melgalvis take care of TILTS books:
- Pēteris Ans
- Astra Kleinhofs-Strobel
- Laris Krēsliņš
This review in Latvian and English has been prepared by Andris Padegs.
In the past we have planned most of our cultural events so that they would pay for themselves. This, however, has become impossible, as the size of our audiences keeps shrinking and the expenses for artists from Latvia keep rising. This year we expect that the two major planned tours will incur a loss of $7,000 - $9,000 even after the receipt of support from ALA and LF. We also need contributions for our projects associated with support of education and other cultural activities.
Please help us carry out our programs and become a member of TILTS! Donations for TILTS membership start at $15.00. Make the check payable to “Latvian Cultural Association TILTS, Inc.” and forward
- in the USA to: Treasurer Juris Baidins, 104 Windon Drive, Wilmington, DE 19803
- in Canada (in Canadian dollars) to: Ivars Timbers, 1921 Poppy Lane Pickering, ONT L1V 2T4
In the USA, donations to TILTS are tax-deductible. No TILTS board member receives any compensation for any of her or his services.
With Gratitude, the Board of the Latvian Cultural Association TILTS
The TILTS board has 105 members, elected March 12, 2011:
76 USA, 25 Latvia, 2 Canada, 1 Australia, 1 Ireland
Dace Štauvere Aperāne
Anita Štelmane Auzenberga
Laima Rita Bērziņš
Līga Tālberga Gonzalez
Maija Veinberga Hinkle
Lauma Upelniece Katis
Zaiga Voldiņa Klīmane
Vita Grolle Ozoliņa
Zaiga Alksne Phillips
Laila Michelsone Robiņa
Anna čakste Rollins
Gunta Puzule Semba
Sandra Padega Slokenberga
Ruta Krūze Strobele
Rita Gāle Uibo
Katrīne Čakste Wilson
Diāna Dumpe Zaķis
Dace Micāne Zālīte
Astra Pētersone Zemzare