As Lithuania is hosting increasingly more people of Ukraine fleeing the atrocities of war, public organizations and individuals are actively contributing to various forms of initiatives for support. One of them is the cultural field, therefore, on Thursday, March 17, “Kaunas 2022”, along with its partners, is inviting visitors to Kaunas Central Post Office where a cultural-creative space “CulturEUkraine”, dedicated to the creators and artists of Ukraine who have chosen Kaunas as their temporary home, will be opened. It is planned that organizations, communities, and other initiatives contributing to the support for the people of Ukraine will gather here.

Cultural support: a possibility to continue the work, a place to create and be visible in Europe

“Currently, all active civil initiatives, NGOs, and public institutions are joining forces and contributing to the safe arrival of Ukrainians, helping them find accommodation and providing them with the necessities. It is like a synergistic mechanism, in which the mission of Kaunas 2022 is to offer a cultural harbor, creative space, and visibility platform for creators from Ukraine,” Head of “Kaunas 2022” Virginija Vitkienė spoke of “CulturEUkraine” idea.

On 17 March the centre “CulturEUkraine” will be opened on the 3rd and 4th floor of Kaunas Central Post Office. It is planned that open spaces will be established here for creation and co-working, there will be zones for art therapy, communication, and spaces for exhibitions.

“We are striving to make this Centre a place where the voices of people of Ukraine and the news of Ukraine are heard across Europe. We hope that the creators who arrive here will be able to continue with their activities by maintaining relations both with the local artists and those who stayed in Ukraine. By providing support, it is important to ensure that their adaptation in our country is as smooth and emotionally easy as possible; therefore, we will create a possibility for them to continue their usual activities and to contribute with their creative solutions to make the war come to an end and to achieve Ukraine’s victory as soon as possible. The Centre “CulturEUkraine” will become a place to meet, communicate, create, relax or contact their relatives. We hope that various cultural partners, artists will settle down in the spaces of the Post Office. We will also contribute to the support in preparing exhibitions, meetings. Culture and creation help to overcome difficulties hence we expect that the project will contribute to the improvement of emotional wellbeing,” V. Vitkienė spoke.

Community support is essential for the establishment of the Cultural Centre 

The organizers are inviting everybody to contribute to the creation of a cosier, more functional space.

“In the processes of creation and development of the “CulturEUkraine” space, the contribution of the business sector is especially important. Therefore we are inviting the representatives of both large and small businesses to help to make the cultural spaces cosier and lay the foundation for the birth of a new community. Of course, the support and involvement in the process of creation of this space of citizens of Kaunas are also very important. Without the energy brought together by the people, without their help, support, and ideas it would be impossible to reach these noble aims, so, the involvement of each person is very important,” one of the organizers of the initiative, “Kaunas 2022” sponsorship manager Irutė Tumaitė said.

The representatives of this creative space emphasize that, currently, the most needed are the items that would help to equip a quality place for creation; and later on, once the project gains momentum, the contribution and support of the society and business could be expressed in other forms, i.e. by organizing activations, educational, well-being activities for the community.

“The most necessary items now are various household appliances – from lamps, lights, heaters, mirrors, furniture for sitting and writing, inventory for children (toys, puzzles) to those used for household chores – brooms, vacuum-cleaners, kitchenware, cutlery, and small appliances,” I. Tumaitė said.

The citizens of Kaunas are invited to bring the items to the premises of Kaunas Central Post Office from 11 March. The items will be accepted at Kaunas Central Post office (located at Laisvės al. 102, Kaunas) daily until 17 March, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. If you have large items, please contact us and we will collect them from your provided location (email for information  [email protected])

An opening ceremony of the Cultural Centre for Ukraine, gathering of the support initiatives and hospitality concert to take place on March 17

On March 17 the creative space “CulturEUkraine” will be officially opened. Organizations and initiatives providing and organizing support for Ukraine will be established on the 3rd floor. Communication, getting information and contact will be possible from 4 to 8 p.m.

The aim of this gathering is to present all the relevant information about the activities that are organized to host the Ukrainians temporarily staying in Kaunas. It is also important to show that we stand together. Visitors will be able to purchase souvenirs, symbols, pieces of art here; a space of “Kaunas 2022” will be open here too.

Both inside the post office and around it, hospitality to Ukrainians will be shown: in the evening, the historical building will be lit by a symbolic combination of blue and yellow, and nearby – at the intersection of Laisvės Alėja and Kanto Street a live concert will be held to support Ukraine and its people.

Photo author Martynas Plepys