U.S.-Baltic Foundation

Press Releases

January 12, 2010-  Julius - A New Lithuanian-American Opera

The product of a long collaboration between an American composer and Lithuanian librettist and director, Julius tells the story of one man’s struggle to hold onto his dream of returning home as he and his family are pulled in conflicting directions by war, occupation, and the search for freedom.  Based on the true life story of the composer’s Lithuanian grandfather and his experience as a DP in Germany from 1944-51, this work blends contemporary opera with elements of Lithuanian folk and traditional music, in particular the songs Julius sang for over 50 years after he left Lithuania and which his family recorded before he passed away.

May 18, 2009-  USBF Gala 2009 Weekend Highlights, Award Honorees and Photos

The 2009 U.S.-Baltic Confluence Forum, Exchange and Gala , USBF’s annual silent auction and awards dinner, was held on Saturday, May 16, 2009 at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.  In addition to the silent auction and dinner, USBF and the Latvian Chamber of Commerce in the Americas co-sponsored the Supply Chain Venture Forum, as well as the second annual U.S.-Baltic Ambassadors Luncheon.

 

May 13-17, 2009-  Supply Chain Venture Forum

 

April 24, 2009-  The U.S.- Baltic Foundation and Baltic American Freedom League Announce Alliance

WASHINGTON, DC – Maria Kivisild Ogrydziak, Chairman of The U.S.-Baltic Foundation (USBF) and Vija A. Turjanis and Alnis Briedis, co- Presidents of the Baltic American Freedom League (BAFL) announced a formal alliance between the two pan- Baltic organizations.  The alliance brings together two of the longest operating and most respected U.S. based non-governmental organizations that promote stronger relations between the United States and the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

 

April 15, 2009-  Latvian Pianist to Perform at USBF Gala in May

WASHINGTON, DC—Latvian pianist Armands Abols will perform at the U.S.-Baltic Foundation’s gala dinner honoring Latvian President Valdis Zatlers during the 2009 U.S.-Baltic Confluence:  Forum, Exchange and Gala.  The gala dinner will be held on Saturday, May 16 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.  For additional information or to purchase tickets for the weekend events, please visit www.usbaltic.org.

 

March 17, 2009-  President Zatlers, Honorees from Business, Media & Sports to headline 2009 U.S.-Baltic Gala

WASHINGTON, DC – USBF Chairman Maria Kivisild Ogrydziak is pleased to announce the award honorees for The U.S.-Baltic Foundation’s 2009 U.S.-Baltic Confluence:  Forum, Exchange and Gala.  The USBF gala weekend will take place May 15-16 at the Mayflower Hotel, 1127 Connecticut Ave NW.  The Gala has become the premiere annual event in Washington, DC for American friends of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.  For additional information or to purchase tickets for the weekend events, please visit www.usbaltic.org.

 

March 13, 2009-  USBF’s Baltic Good Governance Initiative Makes Grant to Latvian Chapter of Transparency International, Gains Valued Advisor

WASHINGTON, DC – Baltic Good Governance Initiative Program Committee Chairman Ints Silins announced today that the Latvian anti-corruption organization Delna will be the beneficiary of the program’s first grant.  The BGGI will grant Delna $2,500 to redesign and update the organization’s website.

 

February 12, 2009-  “President Obama and the Baltics”

Panel Discussion Featuring:
H.E. Väino Reinart, Ambassador of Estonia
H.E. Andrejs Pildegovics, Ambassador of Latvia
H.E. Audrius Bruzga, Ambassador of Lithuania
Dr. Michael Haltzel, Johns Hopkins University

 

December 9, 2008-  The U.S.- Baltic Foundation, Embassy of Lithuania, Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation and The Heritage Foundation Sponsor Screening of Red Terror on the Amber Coast

WASHINGTON, DC- The U.S.-Baltic Foundation along with the Embassy of Lithuania, Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation and The Heritage Foundation sponsored a screening of the new film Red Terror on the Amber Coast, this past Monday evening.  Introductory remarks were made by Dr. Lee Edwards, Chairman of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation and Lithuanian Ambassador Audrius Bruzga.  Following the screening, film write David O’Rourke and film producer Kenneth Gumbert joined Dr. Edwards and Ambassador Bruzga for a panel discussion.

 

November 29, 2008-  USBF’s Baltic Arts Fund Sponsors Concert at United Nations featuring pianist Edvinas Minkstimas

WASHINGTON, DC- A capacity crowd attended the U.S.-Baltic Foundation sponsored piano concert with highly acclaimed Lithuanian pianist Edvinas Minksitmas at the Hammarskjold Auditorium at United Nations building in New York this past Friday, November 28.  Mr. Minkstimas delighted the crowd by playing nine musical pieces from some of the world’s most famous composers.  The concert was followed by a reception for all attendees.  The concert was the inaugural event of the Baltic Arts Fund.

 

November 18, 2008- The Baltic Black Sea Initiative Hosts “Russian Energy and Foreign Policy: Beyond the Former Soviet Union” presentation by Dr. Anita Orban

WASHINGTON, DC- The Baltic Black Sea Imitative hosted a presentation by Dr. Anita Orban, Director of Constellation Energy Institute in Budapest, titled “Russian Energy and Foreign Policy:  Beyond the Former Soviet Union.”  The discussion was moderated by USBF Board member and Former United States Ambassador to Lithuania Keith Smith.  Commentary was provided by Mamuka Tsaritelli, President of The America-Georgia Business Council.  The presentation was webcast on the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation’s website.

 

October 17, 2008- USBF Representatives Attend White House Visa Waiver Ceremony

WASHINGTON, DC - Board member Brian Carlson, former United States Ambassador to Latvia and Office Manager Trevor Dane represented The U.S.-Baltic Foundation at the White House ceremony commemorating the Baltics admission into the Visa Waiver Program. 

 

USBF's Response to the Georgia Confict
August 2008

August 6, 2008- Latvian President Valdis Zatlers to be Guest of Honor at 2009 USBF Gala Weekend

WASHINGTON, DC – Maria Kivisild Ogrydziak, Chairman of the U.S.- Baltic Foundation announced today that Valdis Zatlers, President of Latvia, will headline a three-day series of Baltic cultural and business development events on May 14- 17 at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel, 1127 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC.  Sponsored by The U.S.- Baltic Foundation (USBF), the 2009 gala weekendwill feature a business conference, an exchange program summit, a silent auction and black-tie gala dinner to highlight the special and growing ties between the U.S. and the Baltic States.

July 14, 2008- USBF Supports Victims of Communism Foundation at Wreath Laying Ceremony

WASHINGTON, DC – Representatives of The U.S.-Baltic Foundation attended the wreath laying ceremony to help commemorate the one year anniversary of the Victims of Communism Memorial in Washington, DC.  The U.S.-Baltic Foundation proudly supports the work of the Victims of Communism Foundation, which organized the event.

 

July 14, 2008- USBF Assists Auksuciai Foundation to Promote Asparagus in Lithuania

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S.-Baltic Foundation assisted the Auksuciai Foundation with their June program of launching commercial asparagus production and marketing in Lithuania.  The U.S.-Baltic Foundation helped to facilitate the participation of chef Martins Ritins, Director of Vincents Restaurant in Riga, Latvia.  Mr. Ritins put on a cooking demonstration on a variety of ways to prepare asparagus.  Mr. Ritins first became familiar with the Auksuciai Foundation after meeting the Foundation’s Vice President of International Programs Dr. Calvin Qualset at the 2008 U.S.-Baltic Gala.

 

April 17, 2008- Internationally known Baltic leaders and Cultural Figures,
Led by Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Converge on Washington.

WASHINGTON, DC—Some of the world’s most creative, innovative, and beautiful people are coming to Washington D.C. next weekend – April 17-19.  The silent auction reception and dinner will be held on Saturday, April 19, from 6:00- 10:00 pm at the Mayflower Hotel at 1127 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC.


April 3, 2008- Internationally renowned Latvian chef, Martins Ritins, to prepare menu and attend 2008 U.S.-Baltic Gala

WASHINGTON, DC – Gala Committee Chairman  Maria Kivisild Ogrydziak announced on Monday that internationally acclaimed chef Martins Ritins, Director of Vincents Restaurant in Riga, Latvia and President of Slow Food Latvia , will create  the menu and oversee the meal’s preparation for the 2008 dinner and gala of the U.S.-Baltic Foundation (USBF). 

 

February 29, 2008- USBF to Host First U.S.-Baltic Exchange Program Summit on Gala Weekend

WASHINGTON, DC – Maria Kivisild Ogrydziak, Chairman of the U.S.- Baltic Foundation’s Board of Directors, announced today the launching of USBF’s re-engagement in cultural and educational exchange programs, by hosting the first U.S.-Baltic Exchange Program Summit on Saturday, April, 19 between 0800-1230 at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel at 1127 Connecticut Avenue, NW Washington, DC.  The summit welcomes past and present participants and organizers of a broad range of exchanges between the United States and Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, as well as innovators of future programs. 

January 24, 2008- USBF GALA: US-Baltic Business Program to Highlight Virginia, Maryland and Delaware

WASHINGTON, DC – Maria Kivisild Ogrydziak, the Chairman of the 2008 U.S.- Baltic Gala Committee announced that USBF Board member Egils Milbergs will chair the US- Baltic Business program to coincide with the 2008 U.S.-Baltic Gala on April 18- 20 in Washington, DC.  The purpose of the program is for U.S and Baltic businesses to form partnerships, establish stronger ties, and participate in discussions in the areas of financial services, energy, research partnerships, and information technology.  The program will allow Business leaders to learn about trends in the United States and important issues affecting trade between the two regions.  The business program will also include one day business matchmaking visits to learn more about the diverse economies of Virginia, Maryland and Delaware.

 

December 21, 2007- USBF Launches Baltic Good Governance Initiaitive to support NGO's in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania

WASHINGTON, DC – On Friday, December 21, 2007, The U.S.- Baltic Foundation’s Executive Director Linas J. Kojelis announced the launching of The Baltic Good Governance Initiative (BGGI).   Through the BGGI, USBF will work to raise funds and awareness in the United States to support Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian non-governmental organizations that promote policies of clean and transparent government.  The Chair of the BGGI Program Committee is USBF Board member Ints Silins, former U.S. Ambassador to Latvia. 

 

December 11, 2007- USBF Board of Directors unanimously elects Maria Kivisild Ogrydziak Chairman at annual meeting

WASHINGTON, DC – On Monday, December 10, 2007, The U.S.- Baltic Foundation’s Executive Director Linas J. Kojelis announced that USBF Board member Maria Kivisild Ogrydziak, was elected unanimously as Chairman of the Board of Directors at USBF’s annual board meeting on Saturday.  Effective immediately, Ms. Ogrydziak assumes the Chairmanship from William Altman, who will remain a member of the Board.  In addition, Hamid Ladjevardi was re-elected as Co-Chair (Baltics), George Ramonas as Treasurer, Cindy Pasky as Secretary, and Edward Clark as Vice- Chair.  Linas Kojelis was elected Vice-Chair- Programs.

 

January 13, 2007- Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves to be Guest of Honor at the 2008 U.S.-Baltic Gala

WASHINGTON, DC – On Thursday November 15, Maria Kivisild Ogrydziak, Chairman of the U.S.- Baltic Foundation’s 2008 Gala Committee, and U.S.- Baltic Foundation Executive Director Linas J. Kojelis will speak about preparations for the 2008 Annual U.S.-Baltic Gala at a media breakfast.  The breakfast will start at 0800 and will be held at the Kolonna Hotel at Tirgonu  Iela 9, Riga.  All members of the media are invited to attend.

 

June 27, 2007- USBF Welcomes Estonian President Ilves to Washington, D.C. for Preview of The Singing Revolution

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Members of USBF’s Board of Directors welcomed Estonian President Toomas Ilves to the U.S. Capitol on June 26th at a reception for the preview screening of The Singing Revolution.  This important documentary film, co-sponsored by USBF, follows Estonia peaceful path to democracy and independence in the 1980’s and 1990’s, and is expected later this year.

 

USBF voices concern over the Russian bullying of Estonia

Estonia, after 50 years of occupation by Soviet and Russian forces, is once again having its independence endangered by threats and pressure from Russia, causing concern to supporters of freedom.  Moscow’s attempt to mobilize ethnic Russian and European pressure on an independent Estonia reflects a pattern of increasing interference in the internal affairs of the Baltic States, now members of the European Union and NATO.  The protests began peacefully by ethnic-Russians living in Estonia who allegedly opposed the movement of a Soviet war memorial and 12 entombed graves to a proper burial site in a military cemetery. Moscow quickly began using its control of the Russian media and parliament to promote rioting by ethnic Russians in Estonia and to create a false image in Europe of democracy in Estonia.