Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture

Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture The Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture Founded in 1966 in Chicago, Illinois, the Balzekas Museum is dedicated to the preservation and perpetuation of Lithuanian culture.
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The Museum celebrates the notable achievements of Lithuanian Americans, the Lithuanian nation, and Lithuanian communities world wide.

Operating as usual

08/20/2021

CAROLE RENE BALZEKAS
1960-2021

Carole Rene Balzekas passed away peacefully at her home in New Buffalo, Michigan, sometime after July 27, 2021. She was predeceased by her Father, Stanley Balzekas, Jr., and her mother, Irene Balzekas (nee Radvilas). She is survived by her brothers, Stanley (Sigita Bersenas) Balzekas III; Robert (Daiva Bidva) Balzekas; godchildren, niece Irena Balzekas and Austin Bagdady; nephews, Vasaris, Matthew, and Lukas Balzekas; nieces, Maggie and Eva Balzekas; many cherished friends; and her beloved dog, Luna.

Carole was born on May 31,1960, in Chicago. She attended the Latin School (‘78), Emory University (BA ‘80) and DePaul University (MBA ’90). She bowed as a debutante in the Chicago Lithuanian Women’s Club Amber Ball, and she was a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. Later in life, she studied at the Cordon Bleu Academy in Paris.

She served as a trustee of Northern Illinois University and a director of the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture. She was a proud member of the Balzekas Museum’s Women’s Guild. For many years she worked in retail sales, beginning at her family’s multi-generational business, Balzekas Motor Sales in Chicago, where for a time she sold accessible vans to people with disabilities. Her empathy, charisma, and willingness to go an extra mile for her customers made her a superb salesperson.

She spent the latter years of her life in New Buffalo, Michigan, where she found a warm and accepting community. She worked intermittently in hospitality, most recently as a chef at the Four Winds Casino and Resort, and indulged in her pastime: collecting and reselling antiques and vintage finds.

Carole had many talents, gifts, and opportunities. Fun and fun-loving, ebullient, and fearless, she easily struck up conversation and turned strangers into friends wherever she went. A generous and consummate hostess, she could whip up gourmet meals in a flash and welcomed everyone to her table. She loved to travel and had a free and adventurous spirit. Quick-witted, perceptive, and a rule bender by nature, she could charm and disarm most who stood in her way. Creative and resourceful, she made difficult things seem easy but struggled with the mundane.

In the end, Carole could not overcome all of her obstacles: some inherited, some learned, and others of her own making. At 16, Carole suffered the death of the person many said she most resembled—her beautiful and vivacious mother—whose untimely passing left an inextinguishable mark on her young daughter. Like many forced to grow up too early, Carole retained a childlike spirit throughout her life. She was happiest at the beach, where she could spend time with her dogs, her friends and neighbors, and her warmest memories. Even though she had experienced the finer things in life, she took comfort in simple pleasures: hearty meals, long phone conversations, and afternoon naps.

Those who knew and loved Carole will remember her at springtime, when her favorite flower, lily of the valley, comes into bloom and at her favorite time of day, from sunset onwards, when the last rays of light and strains of after-dinner conversation fade into the night.

Family and friends are invited to gather for Mass Intention this Sunday, August 22, at the 9:30 AM English Mass, Nativity Blessed Virgin Mary Church, 69th and South Washtenaw in Marquette Park, Chicago, Illinois, 60629. A private celebration of her life will be held at a later date. Donations in Carole’s memory may be made to the Women’s Guild of the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture, 6500 S. Pulaski Rd., Chicago, IL 60629 (https:// balzekasmuseum.org) and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (https://https://nami.org)

Many of the photos we have found in our V. Noreika archive are centered around capturing significant or joyous moments i...
06/24/2021

Many of the photos we have found in our V. Noreika archive are centered around capturing significant or joyous moments in people’s lives: first communions, parties, and weddings have all been shown. However, Noreika’s subject matter is wide ranging, and photos of landscapes, families at home, and even military squadrons have also been found.

The Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture presents the Lithuanian Opera Company's 1996 production of  Kazys Viktoras Ban...
05/16/2021
Chicago Lithuanian Opera's 1996 production of "Juratė ir Kastytis" by Kazys Viktoras Banaitis

The Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture presents the Lithuanian Opera Company's 1996 production of Kazys Viktoras Banaitis's "Juratė ir Kastytis", which was videotaped by Aleksandras Plenys. If you have any difficulty viewing this recording, watch directly on the Museum's Vimeo Channel:

This Lithuanian Opera of Chicago production was performed on April 20 & 21, 1996, the 40th Anniversary of the Lithuanian Opera Company. The performance was…

The Balzekas Museum presents the 1996 Chicago Lithuanian Opera's production of Banaitis's "Juratė ir Kastytis". Watch di...
05/16/2021

The Balzekas Museum presents the 1996 Chicago Lithuanian Opera's production of Banaitis's "Juratė ir Kastytis". Watch directly on the Museum's Vimeo Channel: https://vimeo.com/478189904

The Balzekas Museum presents the 1996 Chicago Lithuanian Opera's production of Banaitis's "Juratė ir Kastytis". Watch directly on the Museum's Vimeo Channel: https://vimeo.com/478189904

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06/14/2020
Comedy vs. Communism: A Retrospective of Polish Cult Comedies from Communist Times — Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation

https://www.victimsofcommunism.org/events/comedy-vs-communism

Comedy vs. Communism: A Retrospective of Polish Cult Comedies from Communist Times celebrates film as a tool of resistance to totalitarian tyranny and political satire as a means of beginning the process of reestablishing political liberty. Please join us in watching these films and then meet with

Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture – The official website of the Lithuanian Museum in Chicago
05/22/2020
Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture – The official website of the Lithuanian Museum in Chicago

Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture – The official website of the Lithuanian Museum in Chicago

For 150 years, successive waves of Lithuanian immigrants have come to America seeking a new life and opportunities. In celebration of Lithuanian immigrants and their contributions to this country, the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture is excited to launch a new project entitled: “Lithuanian Li...

Constituent Seimas (1920–1922)
05/12/2020
Constituent Seimas (1920–1922)

Constituent Seimas (1920–1922)

Members of the Constituent Seimas pose at the Monument to the Fallen for Lithuania's Freedom in the Garden of the Vytautas the Great War Museum, Kaunas, 1922, Menas Photo Studio Lithuanian Central State Archives. P-12520

May 7th in Lithuania is celebrated as Lithuanian Press Restoration, Language and Book Day. This day is very important fo...
05/05/2020
Incredible story of the Lithuanian language under Czars and Soviet era

May 7th in Lithuania is celebrated as Lithuanian Press Restoration, Language and Book Day. This day is very important for Lithuania as it reminds us of the year 1864 where the Lithuanian language as well as book and press publishing were banned. However, the ban period of 40 years proved that the Lithuanian language is alive as Lithuanian books were published and distributed secretly. It is during the ban period that the literacy of people increased.

http://www.lithuanianstories.com/en/2020/02/28/incredible-story-of-the-lithuanian-language-under-czars-and-soviet-era/

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Šokančios Vilniaus verbos | Dokumentinis-animacinis filmas

Šokančios Vilniaus verbos | Dokumentinis-animacinis filmas

[EN below] Dokumentiniame-animaciniame filme „Šokančios Vilniaus verbos“ vaizduojamos Vilniaus verbos, kurios sukurtos iš augalų šakelių, sudžiovintų gėlių i...

03/20/2020

Do to the COVID-19 the Balzekas Museum is closed to the public.
To communicate with staff please email: [email protected]

Address

6500 S Pulaski Rd
Chicago, IL
60629

Opening Hours

Monday 10am - 4pm
Tuesday 10am - 4pm
Wednesday 10am - 4pm
Thursday 10am - 4pm
Friday 10am - 4pm
Saturday 10am - 4pm
Sunday 12pm - 4pm

Telephone

+17735826500

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I am thrilled to announce that my children's story book " Laima's lunch/Laimos pietus" has been published and is available online. Written in English and Lithuanian it tells the story of a girl called Laima who was ostracised for the contents of her lunch box at her new school. There are recipes at the back, as well as activities for parents/teachers and websites for those wanting to learn Lithuanian. Available in paperback/kindle. Excellent for Lithuanian language schools. https://www.amazon.com/Laimas-Lunch-Jura-Reilly/dp/0648203824?fbclid=IwAR3GmJeFSIJQTHiUwHqiRRlKE5RnpafK2Xv6qV7tCzxyCtTuSTVjZVDuXKQ https://www.amazon.com/Laimas-Lunch-Jura-Reilly/dp/0648203824
Ar yra koks nors sarasas ar duomenu baze kur butu surasyta Lietuviai kurie dalyvavo Korejos kare 1950-53?
My deepest sympathies to the Balzekas family and the Lithuanian community. He was an incredible man so proud of his heritage and his culture and community. I met with Mr. Balzekas and toured the museum many times while I was the Administrator at the Ukrainian National Museum. Noriu pareikšti gilią užuojautą visiems jo šeimos nariams.
As ieskau gyvenimo drauges.Mano tef 01137065118018 .Mano skaipas gintas868
my husband's family settled in Massachusetts in early 1900's and worked in the mills. His father served in the US Army in 1917, ny husband served in WWII. While in Germany he met Lithuanians DPs. Cannot find any relatives on the Area around Worcester. City had 3 active Lithuanian clubs, one church and neigbhorhood Family names: Kazimers Waivada, Chibas, Tamasaukas. Cannot find immigration records either. Probably due to spelling of names for males and females. My mother in law read the Lithuanian newspaper printed in Chicago. Also have a book of recipes. Very simple food reflecting the poorness of the early immigrants to the US.
Linksmų Šv. Kalėdų - Merry Christmas from all of us at the Lithuanian National Cemetery
Laba diena, Raso Gintaras Stadalius yra Lietuvos. Ar galite man padeti isidarbint Amerikoje prižiūrėti senus žmones lietuvius. Mano skaipas gintas868 .Mano el; pastos; [email protected] . Mano tef 01137065118018. Visiems lietuviams tariu Aciu
Are you open today? Sunday May 27 2018
Labas, gal Jus domina musu rankdarbiai?
An immigrants story..Just like so many other's. I have spent 8 years chasing down the many variations of my original Lithuniana last name ...Vaseikis.
RESENTATION ABOUT THE NEW ART ACQUSITONS TO THE BALZEKAS MUSEUM BY DAIVA KARUZA January 17, 2018, Wed. at 7:00 PM A presentation about the new art acquisitions of the art collection at Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture will be presented on January 17, 2018 Wednesday at 7:00 PM, in the Amber ballroom on the second floor. Daiva Valeria Karuza (-ite), art curator at the museum, will introduce the participants to newly acquired works and speak about the works from the collection that have been rotated into the art that is on view. The museum has the largest, prestigious collection of Lithuanian and Lithuanian American art, with over 75 works on view. Daiva Karuza will speak about the recent art acquisitions gifted to the museum by donor Andrew John Petrusis, from the Halina Bagdonas collection. The paintings reflect a wide scope of Lithuanian art including a scene of the town of Zarasai by the accomplished artist Antanas Rukstele, representative pieces (including an abstract) by Audrone Bagdonaite-Petrusis, a scene of Marquette Park in the springtime by B. Zemaitiene, a landscape by Mikas Sileikis and a still life of Juozas Domeika. The presentation is no cost to Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture members. A donation of $10 is suggested for non-members. Refreshments will be served. The programs are partially supported by grants from the following organizations: Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, Illinois Arts Council, and private donors. Daiva Karuza