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Join us on the first Baltic Advocacy Day, May 3, 2018

April 02, 2018

Please join the Joint Baltic American National Committee (JBANC) and the American Latvian Association (ALA) on the first Baltic Advocacy Day, May 3, 2018. Constituents from Latvian-American, Lithuanian-American, and Estonian-American communities will go to Capitol Hill and meet with congressional staffers to inform Congress on Baltic issues. Each meeting lasts about 15 minutes. While no foreign affairs or advocacy experience is necessary, enthusiasm is required! More details to follow, including a legislative briefing in the morning, issue briefs to study ahead of time, a panel discussion at the Capitol Building and a cocktail hour after the event.

Please RSVP to LazdinsE@Live.com ASAP so we have adequate time to book meetings with your congressional offices.  

ALA is hiring!

March 26, 2018

The American Latvian Association (ALA) is hiring a full-time Information and Publications Coordinator.   The person will be responsible for preparing content for ALA’s newsletter, annual report, website, social media and other publications including communications to our membership and articles about ALA for Latvian newspapers.  The applicant will be tasked with other office management duties including data entry and database management.  This position will be based in ALA’s headquarters in Rockville, Maryland.  

The applicant should possess strong Latvian and English language skills, both written and spoken.    Applicant must possess knowledge of common computer programs (Word, Excel), layout software (Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator), and database management programs.  Applicant should have a bachelor’s degree (or graduate degrees) with demonstrable writing and public speaking skills. Familiarity with the Ame...

Take Action on Senate Resolution (S.Res. 432)

March 23, 2018

Dear friend of the Baltics,

No matter what your political affiliation, it is our responsibility to speak up for the Baltics. 

There are several current issues that our elected officials need to be informed of, and take action on, that directly impact Baltic security and U.S. interests there.

Most recently, a Senate resolution (S.Res 432) was introduced last week to congratulate the Baltic nations on their 100-year anniversaries of independence. President Trump will be meeting with all three Baltic nations' presidents on April 3-4. Let's get this resolution passed, to show that Congress continues to stand behind these three allies and their right to ongoing independence!

Please take 10 minutes to contact both of your senators, to urge them to support this legislation and other requests noted in the text below...

Ticket Reservation for Song and Dance Festival

March 08, 2018

The Latvian National Centre for Culture has provided the World Federation of Free Latvians member organizations, including the American Latvian Association, a limited number of tickets for sale to the closing concerts of the XXVI Latvian Nationwide Song and XVI Dance Festival, which are reserved for those Latvians in the U.S. who have worked in preservation of the Latvian culture and the song and dance festival tradition. If any qualifying ALA member, who is personally planning to attend the festival, would like to purchase two tickets to the closing concert “Zvaigžņu ceļā” OR the dance performance “Māras zeme”, he or she should fill out the attached form: http://bit.ly/2HRPNRl by March 16th! Upon registration, please provide your name, telephone number, e-mail address, represented organization or other reason for qualifying for this p...

ALA Invites You to Fill Out a Survey on Your Media Consumption Habits

January 15, 2018

ALA’s Information Office invites all Latvians living in the U.S. to respond to a brief survey about your media consumption habits. The survey is launched with the goal of gaining a better understanding about American Latvian media consumption habits, in order to provide feedback and informative support to Latvian print and electronic publications in the U.S. The survey will take only about 5 minutes of your time. Please fill out the survey by February 12. The results of the survey will be presented and discussed during the ALA 67th Congress. Survey in Latvian: http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/4109716/ALA-Mediju-lietotaju-aptauja. Survey in English: http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/4109653/ALA-Survey-of-American-Latvian-media-users

American Community Survey Reports on Latvian Population Centers in the US

February 16, 2017

Where do Latvians Live?
 
Recent U.S. Census data from the American Community Survey (ACS) show that the number of Latvians in the U.S. has hovered around mid-80,000’s ever since the beginning of the ACS in 2005.
 
Using data from that survey, the following report concludes that the greatest single concentration of Latvians is in the New York metro area and the mega-region stretching from Washington to Boston (approximately a quarter of all the Latvians in the nation).  California and Florida also have large numbers of Latvians. This report looks at: (1) the number of Latvians in various metropolitan areas and (2) the number of Latvians in grouped metropolitan areas, regions or states.
 
Every month the US Census’ ACS sends out 300,000 surveys to households across the nation that include many sociodemographic questions.  Specifically, it asks the an...

ALA is hiring a full-time Event, Travel and Marketing Coordinator

December 08, 2016

The American Latvian Association (ALA) is hiring a full-time Event, Travel and Marketing Coordinator who will be tasked with domestic planning of ALA’s “Sveika, Latvija” program and related trips along with certain marketing duties. This position will be based in ALA’s headquarters in Rockville, Maryland.

The applicant should possess strong English language skills and be competent in the Latvian language as well. Familiarity with the American-Latvian community is desirable. Applicant must possess knowledge of common computer pr...

ALA Joins a Statement on the Anniversary of the Signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact

August 24, 2016

Seventy-seven years ago, the signing of a secret pact between two powerful countries sealed Europe’s fate and triggered the horrors of the Second World War, which subsequently claimed the lives of more than sixty million people. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, (also known as the German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact), signed on 23rd August, 1939, included secret supplementary protocols dividing Eastern Europe between Germany and the U.S.S.R.. This led directly to the illegal Soviet occupation of the three Baltic States which lasted for almost fifty years.

The World Federation of Free Latvians, and our member organisations, stand as more than just a legacy to the illegal occupation of Latvia. The founders of this organization, were Latvians who, in fleeing from Soviet repression, were forced to leave their homes and homeland, but maintained the belief and vision of a free Latvia, and actively advocated against any legal recognition of the Soviet occupation of Lat...

ALA Position Statement in Regard to US Pre-Election Campaign Rhetorics

July 22, 2016

In recent days, prominent politicians have called into question American commitments to NATO and the concept of international engagement.  The board of the American Latvian Association, representing 100,000 Americans of Latvian descent, strongly objects to these proposed policies.  

ALA supports a robust transatlantic relationship and unwavering American commitment to the NATO alliance.  We believe that American global engagement benefits us as Americans by ensuring peace and prosperity.   And engagement abroad helps those in foreign countries achieve and maintain political and economic freedom.  American leadership helped free millions from the chains of communism, including the citizens of Latvia, and gave them a new voice in the world. 

To be sure, we American taxpayers make a substantial investment in our military and ALA understands that the American commitment to international organizations may at times appear disprop...

Seminar on Baltic-Nordic Security and Trade to be held December 4th in NYC

November 09, 2015

The American Latvian Association and the Joint Baltic American National Committee (JBANC) cordially invite you to attend an important seminar on Baltic-Nordic security and trade, which will take place in New York City on December 4, 2015. The seminar will be held at the Scandinavia House, located at 58 Park Avenue. The list of speakers and a detailed program will be announced soon.

For information please visit: www.jbanc.org

2nd World Latvian Economics and Innovations Forum

April 22, 2015

On July 10, 2015, the 2nd World Latvian Economics and Innovations Forum (WLEIF) will take place in Riga, Latvia with the aim of promoting Latvian expatriates' involvement in strengthening Latvia’s economic development through improved communication, transfer of knowledge, cooperation initiatives and investment opportunities. A separate International Participants Meeting will be held on July 9, 2015 featuring discussions between Latvian government officials and International participants on topics that are at the top of Latvia’s economic agenda. 

Topics to be addressed at WLEIF 2015: 

  • Latvia’s Investment Climate and Its Competitiveness in the Global World
  • Looking Ahead: Rethinking Latvia’s Export Strategies
  • Branding Latvia: From Cultural and Political Hotspot to Business and Investment Hotspot
  • Opportunities and Challenges in Strengthening Entrepreneurial Culture in La...

Garezers 50th Anniversary

March 26, 2015

Garezers, the largest Latvian center in North America, will be celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Since its inception in 1965, Garezers has fulfilled its motto, “For God and Latvia,” by serving as a place outside of Latvia to maintain Latvian culture, language and society from afar.  At least four generations of Latvians and their families have been going to Garezers not only for summer programs, vacations and special events, but also to enjoy everyday life. Many families have now built homes around Garezers, always having a place to meet with Latvian friends who come from both near and far.

The celebration will take place over four days this summer, from July 2-5.  The main festival event will be on Saturday night and will include the legendary Latvian rock group “Perkons”,<...

Leading Latvian and Baltic choir will make the day of residents of New York by its concert of European masterpieces of choir music

March 05, 2015

On April 9, at 07:00 p.m. the Lincoln Centre Alice Tully Hall, New York, will host a concert of a choral music legend of Latvia and of East Europe, multiple winner of music awards the Latvian National Choir, which is a well-known brand name on the map of the world choral music.
 
The Latvian National Choir is a bright, outstanding professional and internationally recognized collective, which musical accomplishments delighted listeners in the most prestigious concert halls of the world: Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Hamburg Laeiszhalle, Lucerne Culture and Congress Centre, Monteux Igor Stravinsky Concert Hall, Munich Philharmonic Hall Gasteig, Moscow Pyotr Tchaikovsky Concert Hall and Saint Petersburg concert halls, Singapore Victoria Concert Hall and in a many great others. The Latvian National Choir is conducted by the winner of various international and local awards, conductor Māris Sirmais, under whose auspices the choir has perform...

JBANC 11th Conference "History Repeated: Baltics and Eastern Europe in Peril?" to be held in Washington, DC on April 18, 2015

February 06, 2015

Dear Baltic Friend/Friend of the Baltics!
 
The Joint Baltic American National Committee, Inc. (JBANC) is organizing its 11th Baltic Conference – History Repeated:  Baltics and Eastern Europe in Peril?
 
The main conference will take place on Saturday, April 18, at the Renaissance Dupont Circle Hotel in the District of Columbia. We will be hearing from a number of policy experts, diplomats, media representatives, community activists, and government representatives. The following is a preliminary look at panel themes for the main conference day on April 18.
 
 
History Repeated:  Baltics and Eastern Europe in Peril?
 
JBANC 11th Baltic Conference – Preliminary Panel Agenda
 
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Hands-On Activities Featured at Latvian Museum for Montgomery County Heritage Days June 29-30,2013

June 17, 2013

Rockville, MD:  June 15, 2013

The Latvian Museum in Rockville, Maryland will offer a variety of hands-on experiences  for visitors of all ages during Montgomery County Heritage Days, June 29 and 30, 2013.  Visitors can learn to decorate Easter eggs with natural  dye, create a metal  pendant with ancient Latvian designs , try their hand at the Novus game or playing the kokle, a traditional zither-like musical instrument.

A special exhibit at this year’s event will focus on the role of song festivals in Latvian culture. On display will be two folk costumes worn at Latvian song festivals in North America, festival souvenirs  and programs. There will be a DVD screening of the song and dance festival held in Riga, Latvia in 2008. 

The program also includes tours of the museums’ exhibits and the Latvian Lutheran church and its spectacular stained glass windows.   Knowledgeable guides will share ...

Global REM event "Discourses of rebuilding and belonging: Latvian diasporic press in the 1990s"

April 29, 2013

Global Race, Ethnicity, and Migration Series

Global REM presents
 
Arta Ankrava, American Latvian Association Graduate Fellow, University of Minnesota
 
“'Discourses of rebuilding and belonging: Latvian diasporic press in the 1990s”
 
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
12:00pm-1:00pm
308 Andersen Library
 
Bring a bag lunch, beverages will be provided. Free and open to students, faculty, and the public.
Directions are available on the Web.
 
Co-sponsored by: Immigration History Research Center Archives, Institute for Global Studies, Sociology Department

Latvia Rebounding: Renewed Economic Freedom and Growth

April 15, 2013

Latvia Rebounding: Renewed Economic Freedom and Growth   Featuring

His Excellency Andris Vilks
Minister of Finance, Latvia  

His Excellency Ilmars Rimsevics
Bank of Latvia President  

Hosted by

Ambassador Terry Miller
Director, Center for International Trade and Economics, The Heritage Foundation

Reduced government spending!  A decreasing deficit!  Improved labor freedom!  Solid banking policy!  An economy growing at 5%!  Things Washington policymakers can only dream of, but for one country previously captured behind the Iron Curtain economic freedom is delivering growth.  Latvia had been slipping in The Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom until this past year when economic freedom enhancing government reforms began to take effect, and delivering results.    

L...

Latvian Exile Art to be displayed in Riga

March 06, 2013

The much anticipated exhibition “Latvian Exile Art” opens on May 9, 2013 in Rīga, Latvia at the Latvian National Museum of Art’s (LNMM) Arsenāls Exhibition Hall (Torņa ielā 1). Featuring works from the LNMM permanent collection, new gifts and acquisitions, as well as works on loan from private collections, the exhibit will run through July 28. A comprehensive catalog in Latvian and English is being published by Neputns.

In conjunction with the exhibit, on July 9, after the Song Festival, the Latvian National Museum of Art will be hosting an international conference open to the general public at the Art Museum Rīga Bourse (Rīgas Birža, Domu Laukums 6, Rīga ). The conference will feature a series of lectures by art historians, educators, and collectors from the USA, Sweden, and Latvia. That evening you are cordially invited back to the Arsenals Exhibition Space at 18:00 for a celebration of the exhibit and conference; a friendly gathering of ...

Author of Historical Novel Lenin’s Harem to Speak at the Latvian Museum in Rockville February 3, 2013

January 25, 2013

Author of Historical Novel Lenin’s Harem to Speak at the Latvian Museum in Rockville February 3, 2013

William Burton McCormick to discuss his research on turbulent WWI years in Russian and Latvian History

Rockville, MD, January 7, 2013: The Latvian Museum will present a program and book signing by author William Burton McCormick at the Museum at 400 Hurley Avenue, Rockville on February 3 at 2 P.M. Mr. McCormick’s historical novel, Lenin’s Harem, recounts the role of the Latvian Riflemen in Lenin’s ascent to power. The novel includes a love story and explores issues of class, race, and self identity in the Baltic region in the early 20th century.

Mr. McCormick will recount his three-year research experiences in Latvia and Russia, present a brief history of the Latvian Riflemen, and what he hopes English-speaking readers will learn from the novel. After reading a few passages from the book, he will ta...

ALA announces its 2013 English-language trips to Latvia

October 30, 2012

Tour Latvia in 2013 AND see the XXV Latvian Song and XV Dance Festival in Riga!

The „Hello, Latvia/Sveika, dzimtene!” trip will take place June 27 – July 11, 2013. The itinerary includes Latvia’s four historical provinces with the highlight of the trip the XXV Latvian Song and XV Dance Festival in Riga. The fee is $3,600 (double occupancy) and includes airfare to Riga and return from either Chicago or Newark, as well as transfers, tour transportation, hotels, all breakfasts, many meals, admission to museums,  attractions, and major concerts, as well as the services of a full-time guide who accompanies the group during the entire trip. Single supplement fee is $500.  Minimum 10, maximum 22 participants.  (You may arrange your own transportation and meet the group in Riga; land portion only is $2,400.) Participants are accepted in the order their $500 trip deposits and application forms are received...

Campaign to stop boycott of televising Baltic teams during broadcast of Olympic opening ceremonies

July 12, 2012

Gaŗezera vasaras vidusskolas atklāta vēstule (paziņojums)

Sveiki, Olimpiādes līdzjutēji!

Mēs – Gaŗezera vasaras vidusskolas skolēni un darbinieki – Mičiganā (ASV) aicinām visus Baltijas valstīs dzīvojošos un viņu draugus, kas dzīvo ASV, Kanādā un citviet pasaulē, sazināties ar televīzijas translācijas nodrošinātājiem „National Broadcasting Company” (NBC) un pieprasīt pilnu Londonas Olimpisko spēļu atklāšānas ceremonijas pārraidi nacionālo komandu parādes laikā.

Daudzi Amerikas baltieši atceras, kā 1992. gadā, tikai vienu gadu pēc neatkarības atjaunošanas, saviļņoti skatījušies Barselonas Olimpisko spēļu atklāšanu. Taču nacionālo komandu parādi bieži pārtrauca reklāmas, un Latvijas un Lietuvas komandu iesoļošana olimpiskajā stadionā netika parādīta. Diemžēl arī nākamajos gados pārējo Olimpisko spēļu atklāša...

Latvians Reject Russian as Second Language

February 21, 2012

By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN

MOSCOW — Voters in Latvia on Saturday overwhelmingly rejected a plan to adopt Russian as a second official language, defeating a constitutional referendum that underscored the ethnic and political tensions that remain more than 20 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

“The vote on a second state language endangered one of the most sacred foundations of the Constitution — the state language,” the Latvian president, Andris Berzins, said in a statement after the vote. “I would also like to think everyone who, despite the emotions and impassioned atmosphere which were conjured up by the referendum, mai...

Russian Language Vote on Saturday Has Latvia Tense

February 17, 2012

By NICLAS ROLANDER | FEBRUARY 17, 2012

A Latvian vote on Saturday on whether to make Russian the country's second official language has reignited a debate around the role of the language in Latvia.

Opinion polls have shown a majority opposing the proposal, and it is widely assumed it won't get the support from 50% of eligible voters it would need to pass, but some are concerned the vote could increase tensions between Latvians and the country's ethnic Russian minority.

Liga Stala, a Latvian who works as an office manager in the capital, Riga, for the Green Party, says she will vote against the proposal, in line with the party's view. Her main concern, she says, is how the country will move forward after the referendum, which has already stirred a lot of emotion.

"The most important thing is what will happen on Sunday, and how we will keep on living and working on integration without holding any grudge...

Sign up now for ALA’s 2012 English-language tours to Latvia!

February 11, 2012

Annual bi-lingual tour „Hello, Latvia/Sveika, dzimtene” for adults and families - July 24 through August 7, 2012.

The cost of the trip is $3,300, including air transportation from Newark to Latvia and return. (Flying on your own to Riga will reduce the trip fees by $1200.) The fee also includes comfortable double occupancy accommodations, delicious meals, admission to museums and other events, including the Sigulda Opera Festival!

Please sign up by February 29. The maximum number of participants is 20 (minimum 10); participants accepted in the order their applications are received. For application form, click on Hello, Latvia application.

„Heritage Latvia” English-language trip to Latvia for young people (13-15 years old) from July 17 – 31, 2012.

Please sign up by February 29.Read more »

Latvian Newspaper "Diena" Reveals its Owners

February 02, 2012

"Latvian businessman Viesturs Koziols, who already owns a 51 percent stake in the joint-stock media company "Diena", has acquired 47.86 percent shares in the newspaper previously owned by the Rowland family, according to an announcement made by ''Diena'' today.

Thus, Koziols now controls 98.86 percent of ''Diena'' shares.

On the other hand, the magazine ''Ir'' reported today that Koziols could lose his shares in ''Diena''. Koziols previously took out a EUR 2.7 million loan from "Rigas tirdzniecibas osta" (Riga Commercial Port, RTO) to purchase the newspaper's shares.

RTO's board chairman Ralfs Klavins confirmed that the loan has not been repaid according to the loan agreement, thus RTO has the right to take over the shares in the newspaper.

''We are trying to find a solution to this situation. At the moment, RTO has no...

Latvians to Vote on Russian as Second Language, Leta Reports

January 04, 2012

By Aaron Eglitis - Jan 3, 2012 9:07 AM ET

Latvians will vote in a referendum on whether to add Russian as a second official language on Feb. 18, Leta reported today, citing the Central Election Commission.

At least 771,893 votes, or more than half of the total that voted in the parliamentary elections on Sept. 18 last year, will have to be cast in favor of adding Russian for the measure to be adopted, Leta said. The referendum was called after a signature drive that gathered support from 187,378 citizens, or 12.1 percent of those that voted in the previous election, the Riga- based newswire reported.

To contact the reporter on this story: Aaron Eglitis in Riga at aeglitis@bloomberg.net
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net