In 1998, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival featured Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania as part of a program titled The Baltic Nations. This year, as we celebrate the power of music to preserve history, strengthen identity, and build community, the Baltics are back.
In celebration of the Baltic nations’ hundredth anniversary of independence in 2018, Latvian Americans and Lithuanian Americans will present their singing and dancing traditions on The Lawn adjacent to the Rinzler Stage, next to the Smithsonian Castle on the Mall in Washington, DC.
This event also serves as a small preview for the 2020 Folklife Festival, which will explore some of the many ways in which folk communities around the world use their cultural knowledge to address environmental changes and concerns. Next year we’ll see how the Baltic cultures—particularly as expressed in song, dance, art, architecture, crafts, and foodways—unquestionably reflect their natural environments. The Baltimore Dance Group Malunas, whose home is the Lithuanian Hall, will be representing Lithuania at the Folklife Festival in Washington DC.