“Culture to the Yards“ invites Kaunas residents to open their doors and windows again

This year, culture in Kaunas will not be avoided – concerts, events and exhibitions are waiting in the most unexpected places. In the summer, the latter is even in the courtyards of apartment buildings. The initiative “Culture to the Yards”, which has given a lot of smiles to Kaunas residents, invites you to take a look outside (or at least through the window) and hear the sound of music together with cultural performances. The expanded event continues the performance marathon and assures to present more than half a hundred events during the warm season.

“Culture to the Yards” is the idea of ​​the “Kaunas – European Capital of Culture 2022” community program “Fluxus Labas!”, which has gained international recognition and seeks to clarify the daily life of Kaunas residents through cultural performances. For the second year in a row, professional artists and performers will gather to enjoy a variety of musical, theatrical, contemporary circus performances and a whirlwind of events. Viewers will only need to take a seat in their balconies or backyards and enjoy the unique events. The performances will last for 11 weeks and will visit the same amount of various elderships of Kaunas.

The project loved by Kaunas residents has been noticed outside of Lithuania as well. In 2020, it was selected as one of the top ten projects in Europe at the Institute for Policy Innovation Awards in Pandemic Europe, and in 2021 the initiative was recognized as the most unique music project in the world at the “Classical: NEXT 2021 Innovation Award”.

According to Goda Pomeranceva, the coordinator of the Kaunas 2022 community program “Fluxus Labas!”, the idea for the event originated during the pandemic period, when there was simply no opportunity to visit concert halls or events. At the time, the initiative seemed like a breath of fresh air to both – artists and performers, as well as viewers. As the events received a lot of positive feedback, it was decided to extend the initiative. Today, the project is taking place in the middle of war, so once again the light and hope is needed.

“This year, the project will visit as many as 88 yards and touch the same number of different communities. Our goal is to bring culture into spaces where, perhaps, no action has ever taken place and to donate it to people who, for one reason or another, are unable to attend events. I believe one can find a lot of open, curious residents in the backyards of apartment buildings who want to learn something new. We have noticed that our audience is growing – more and more people are learning about the events and attending them, waiting for the performances. From children who enjoy the action to seniors, “Culture in the Yards” attracts different people and gradually expands its circle of fans,” – the coordinator smiles.

The performances – by beginners to well-known performers

The unique program of the project consists of events, suitable for the taste of each spectator. From performances, contemporary dance and circus performances, workshops, photography exhibitions to concerts. Various artistic initiatives and performances will take place in Šilainiai, Eiguliai, Dainava, Šančiai, Panemunė, Gričiupis, Žaliakalnis, Petrašiūnai, Vilijampolė, Aleksotas and the city center. The latter will be presented by both beginners and well-known performers – Dominykas Vaitiekūnas, the group “Kūjeliai”, Vytautas V. Landsbergis, Jurga Šeduikytė, the groups “Gamka”, “Flash Voyage” and others.

Although to prepare for the performance in the courtyard of the apartment building poses a number of challenges for the performers, they take the initiative very positively. “A lot of things happen in such concerts impromptu – usually you can’t prepare properly, you don’t know what to expect. Still, it is a fun, real and sincere meeting with the listeners. After all, creativity is practically shared in people’s homes, which gives a peculiar intimacy – some of them wave and rejoice, others – even shed a tear. I believe that such initiatives show that everyone, every family, resident and guest is important. It is a nice gesture to show each other care and love, just to come to a person and not ask for anything in return, ” – says Julius Vaicenavičius, a member of the group “Kūjeliai”, who promises to hold his solo performance in Kaunas courtyards.

June program consists of performances in Eiguliai, Dainava and Šančiai. More information and program of performances can be found here.

The European Capital of Culture program in Kaunas and Kaunas district lasts all year round – in 2022, hundreds of traditional and debut events are planned, including exhibitions, festivals, plays and other activities created by local and international artists and Kaunas communities. You can find the entire Kaunas 2022 program at www.kaunas2022.eu or in the mobile app.

Source: “Kaunas 2022” information

Photos by Martynas Plepys