The eve of 2022, the year of the European Capital of Culture. In the hands of more than 80 organizations of Kaunas and other Lithuanian cities – a programme uniting about 1,500 events, which will soon be presented in Lithuania and in Europe. Behind us are the five-year period of preparation, thousands of events that took place, involved organizations, communities, dozens of new festivals, new community initiatives and long-term projects.


What did we learn from the years of preparation? And most importantly, what still awaits us after the dawn of 2022? What is the face of Kaunas 2022 programme? How will it stand out from dozens of projects implemented by other European cities?

This year, at the European Capital of Culture Forum we will discuss the identity, achievements and future trajectories of the Kaunas 2022 programme.


September 23 Thursday

Already since 2017, the Memory Office programme team is actively telling stories of the multi-ethnic past of the city. We were patiently breaking the stereotype of the “most Lithuanian city” and sought to open the rich layers of our multi-coloured past.  We wanted to remind you of the fates of our predecessors. To bring back the faces of those from whom we inherited this city and whose names have been so ruthlessly erased by History. 

During the European Capital of Culture Forum, we will not only present the work done, but also reveal the most important projects of the 2022 programme, which have strongly marked the overall programme of the title year of the European Capital of Culture. The programme will cover projects and themes of Litvak artists from around the world, telling the complex events of the city’s history from different periods, such as 1972, to which the entire programme for May is dedicated.  

Hosted and moderated by: Daiva Citvarienė, Justina Petrulionytė-Sabonienė

In addition, during the presentation of the Memory Office 2022 programme, we will offer two short but memorable excursions in the centre of Kaunas, where the language of art will help us to cast a glance at the forgotten stories of Kaunas. When registering, participants are asked to indicate which of the excursions they will take part in. 

I. Tour “Tokens of the Jewish memory”. From the monument to Jan Zwartendijk to Rosian and poet Leah Goldberg.

Although before World War II a third of Kaunas residents of Jewish origin used to live in Kaunas, the traces of their former life are almost unseen today. However, during recent years, the names and faces of those who have lived here, their stories and destinies, have returned to the city’s public spaces. The tour will start next to a light installation by the Dutch artist Giny Vos, dedicated to the savior of the Jews – Jan Zwartendijk. This excursion will lead to the street artworks initiated by the “City-telling Festival”, reminiscent of the stories of interrupted lives.

On the way: performance by the pupils taking part in one of the Memory projects. Patris Židelevičius’ soundtrack with poems created by Leah Goldberg will be playing near the painting dedicated to Leah Goldberg.

Place: near memorial of J. Zwartendejk (Laisvės al.) 

II. Tour “Ramybės (Serenity) park – an island of the multinational history”. 

Ramybės parkas or Kaunas Old Cemetery – is a unique city place with its history and remained signs of a multinational past. A Mosque and an Eastern Orthodox church built between the wars still stand next to the former Russian, German, and Polish gymnasiums. During the Soviet era, this place inspired thousands of protests for the freedom of Lithuania.
Prepare for the authentic stories of the park and their inspired street artworks. The tour will be complemented by a musical record of the cantata “Ramybės, ramybės…”(“Peace, peace…”) playing at the locations of the four historic religious confessions.

Place: Ramybės park, near A. Pushkin Gymnasium ( Vytauto pr.)

The finale of this event will take place at Kaunas Cultural Center terrace at 11a.m.

We expect each guest to come earlier than the estimated time to check-in and get the full event experience from the beginning.

We are experiencing the goals and challenges of Kaunas – European Capital of Culture 2022 title in a large creative team – the Cultural Partnership Programme. Kaunas 2022 unites over 80 cultural partners and organizations, from national institutions to strong representatives of the non-governmental sector. Let’s take note of 23 September, we will reveal plans that we have developed with the culture professionals from the very start of the programme (together we will present 120 projects in total!): ConTempo, the 13th Kaunas Biennale, Kaunas Literature Week, 10 unique premières of the theatre and world music stars, “Kaunas Jazz Stops” and…  We assure you, it is worth the wait. 

Moderator: Klaudija Aleksandravičiūtė

Place: Big hall of Kaunas Culture Centre (Kęstučio g. 1, Kaunas)

The modern Kaunas that was created optimistically and at a high pace in the interwar period, has left an invaluable gift to the modern generation – more than 6,000 buildings. A gift and responsibility. In addition to international recognition (in 2015, Kaunas Modernism as a phenomenon was awarded the European Heritage Label, and now there is an aspiration to join the UNESCO World Heritage family), the heritage of this period is becoming more and more important for local residents and representatives of the cultural field. Within the framework of the Modernism for the Future programme, for more than five years and in various ways, Kaunas city cultural organizations, initiatives, architectural historians and interdisciplinary art creators sought inspiration in the city signs witnessing the birth of modern society, to tell Lithuania, Europe and the World what Kaunas modernism is and how it can be Open and Accessible, Inclusive and Inspiring, Raising Awareness and Love to every and each one for their future city. In the programme session, there will be no omission of any reason why we are modernistically prepared to celebrate the year of the European Capital of Culture. These are not only the most important highlights of 2022, but also the projects of partners who have successfully completed a long way of preparation – sensitive to the place, and significant for Europe. Awaiting eagerly, see you soon.

Moderator: Viltė Migonytė-Petrulienė

Place: Auditorium of M. K. Čiurlionis Museum of Art

Contemporary Myth of Kaunas programme serves as a door opener to Kaunas 2022 project. We intend to show how a human being understands the world through narrative – story telling. A human tells and wants to be told about. This is how everything begins. Story telling helps in finding food, shelter from the elements, it unites. Story telling creates communities, cities and ultimately – states. Narrative makes friends and enemies. Narrative lands in books, it is at the beginning of every art. Narrative places a human being within the time-space. Narrative helps to deal with the fear of infinity, it establishes, comforts and protects. The European capital of culture is aimed to create a uniting network of many different narratives – The Great Myth.

Curators: Rytis Zemkauskas, Renata Bartusevičiūtė

Place: Kaunas castle territory, Neris river coast, 54.90039423481183, 23.886041378883313

September 24 Friday

“Kaunas – European Capital of Culture 2022” programme “Designing Happiness” invites to the presentation of the programme – “Accessible, green, happy city”. During the visual presentation, we will introduce how each of us can feel happier through “Kaunas2022” design projects: Day of Happiness, Design Festival, water design object “Nemuno7”, “Magenta” Landscape Design Festival, in the creative environment of K -TOTEM or a unique and sustainable design object created especially for Kaunas city. An unexpected experience awaits you at the event! We invite you to experience the city and culture through creativity and design for all.

Curators: Donata Jutkienė, Irutė Tumaitė, Gediminas Banaitis

Moderator: Virginija Vitkienė

Place: Magnum Business Centre.

We expect each guest to come earlier than the estimated time to check-in and get the full event experience from the beginning.

“Kaunas – European Capital of Culture 2022” community programme “Fluxus Labas!” (Fluxus Lab!), and the programme in Kaunas district invite you to understand the value of community activities and feel the spirit of communion. The four years of activities were intense and brought unique results: 1,300 cultural and artistic activities were organized, almost more than 600 different events, more than 18,000 participants took part in the activities, and more than 55,000 viewers enjoyed the content. More than 350 foreign and Lithuanian artists contributed to the implementation of the activities and more than 70 long-term works of art were created. The greatest outcome of value is a community that is curious and initiates changes in its living environment. 

In the year of title of the European Capital, residents of Kaunas city and Kaunas district are ready to celebrate community spirit, co-creation and culture that is closer to the people. During the Forum, the programme organizers invite you to get acquainted with the methods of working with communities, achieved results, as well as upcoming and main events – 11 Fluxus laboratories opening in Kaunas city, international co-creation projects, future plans of the main programme festivals “Fluxus” and “Contemporary Neighbourhoods”.  

Moderator: Greta Klimavičiūtė-Minkštimienė

Place: Kaunas Culture Centre terrace (Kęstučio g. 1, Kaunas)

We expect each guest to come earlier than the estimated time to check-in and get the full event experience from the beginning.

To rise together with the city to a new level of modern culture, to make, through our activities, an opportunity for young people to create, open outlets full of cultural diversity, to discover new forms of activity – these are the motivations and goals of the youth platform “Emerging Kaunas”. The young people, who are growing with the “Kaunas – European Capital of Culture 2022” since the year of award of the title, will present their own unique cultural projects and experiences of what it means to be part of the project. The event will also focus on the main events of the 2022 youth programme, including the largest contemporary city festival “Audra” (Storm) based on the principles of Kaunas 2022 co-creation – created in cooperation with dozens of young producers, curators and the music club “Lizdas”. The thunder of the “Storm” programme will not only be loud, but also relevant at European level. 

Moderator: Aurelija Prašmuntaitė

Place: Kaunas Culture Centre terrace (Kęstučio g. 1, Kaunas)

We expect each guest to come earlier than the estimated time to check-in and get the full event experience from the beginning.

European Capital
of Culture

The European Capital of Culture Forum is an annual event initiated by the team of Kaunas – European Capital of Culture 2022, where leaders representing various creative fields from all around Europe come together for gaining and sharing knowledge, getting inspiration, networking and discussing the opportunities for cooperation. One of the main objectives of this initiative is to encourage the culture of collaboration with other sectors, such as business, science or politics.

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