The Song Festival in Chicago is Almost Here! Vytas Cuplinskas Shares his Vision for the July 2015 event


What is the significance of the two official symbols of the festival – two birds named “Rythm and Melody”? What is the mission of the Festival?

Vytas Cuplinskas was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. He studied Fine Arts at York University. Growing up, he attended Lithuanian summer camp at Camp Dainava in Michigan, where he met his wife Asta. They moved to Chicago where Vytas now heads the department of User Experiences at the Computation Institute of the University of Chicago.

Vytas is the artistic director of the upcoming 10th North American Song Festival in July 2015, as well as the webmaster for the festival’s official website. He was also involved with the last Song Festival in Chicago back in 2006, helping with graphics, logo and tshirt design, and much more.

This year’s song festival differs significantly from the previous ones, and the name – loosely translated as “Let us sing a song” – conveys a deeper meaning. One of the first things the creative team agreed on when outlining the vision for this project was to highlight Lithuania as a worthy member of global society, and that Lithuanians have much to be proud of.

“For me it is important that Lithuanians be proud of their roots and that they be able to participate in a high-level event such as this one, which exalts one essential aspect of Lithuanian nature – Lithuanian song,” explained Vytas.

“Probably the most important factor that shaped our creative direction for the event was the 25 year anniversary of the restoration of Lithuania’s independence, the very literal  ‘singing revolution’ which we as Lithuanians experienced and will forever have as a part of our history,” said Vytas. “Can anybody show me another country, threatened with foreign soldiers and tanks in their capital city, that turned not to violence – but to song! It’s astounding!” pointed out Cuplinskas.

Everything else – imagery, sound recordings, other technical aspects – naturally flowed from this main idea.

Read the full interview in Lithuanian by Jolanta Urbietienė in next week’s print edition of “Tėviškės žiburiai.