BAFF Dialogue Funded Projects

Fall 2019

Name of the Project:  Tallinn Architecture Biennale TAB 2019
Location (country): Estonia
Implementing Organization:   Estonian Centre for Architecture
Speaker:  Elena Manferdini and Prof. GrahamHerman
Project Dates:   September 11-13, 2019

The 5th Tallinn Architecture Biennale TAB 2019 was titled “Beauty Matters; The Resurgence of Beauty” and it looked at the notion of beauty in post-digital architecture.  The aim of TAB 2019 was to discuss the subject from different perspectives including science, mathematical physics, neurobiology, philosophy. In post-digital architecture, beauty is not a singular idea; beauty is many, and the architects’ task is to employ human decisions, thus augmenting digital gains.

At the heart of the main events programme is the TAB Symposium – a three-day lively architectural discussion that took place on 11-13th of September 2019 at the Tallinn Culture Hub. This year the Symposium took on a broader approach, brought together specialists from different fields and was looking at the way architects, scientists, mathematicians and philosophers define and measure beauty. With BAFF dialogue program support two distinguished scholars were invited to the event – architect Elena Manferdini and Prof. Graham Herman. Both gave a presentation and were included in a panel discussion on the main stage of the Symposium.


Name of the Project:  (Re)envisioning Multicultural Narva – Sound Residency by NART and IDA Radio
Location (country): Estonia
Implementing Organization:   NGO IDA Radio
Speaker:  Cameron Stallones (Sun Araw)
Project Dates:   August 30- September 11, 2019

IDA Raadio in collaboration with Narva Art Residency invited Sun Araw to work on a creative music project in collaboration with an Estonian artist Maarja Nuut. The project aimed to bring creative minds to one of the most special cities in Estonia – to Narva and to host them at the historical building of Narva Art Residency at Krenholm district. The project carried a title: (Re)envisioning Multicultural Narva – Sound Residency by IDA Radio with a mission to highlight the values that a border town Narva has and has had historically through centuries: diversity, multicultural community, meeting point between different cultures (East and West; territories of Russia, Sweden etc). The project was first one in its’ kind offering a creative residency in a field of music, sound art and composition to a world recognized artist for a longer time period as well as different possibilities for further expression.

This residency started another important collaboration between Estonian IDA Radio and Dublab radio based in Los Angeles, California in which Cameron Stallones is involved in. As the mission of IDA and Dublab are very similar (first and foremost operating as a platform for artists, thinkers and creative minds) the cooperation is more than logical. This could not have happened without the residency. The two stations will collaborate on the recording, exchange shows and work towards making collaborative events together. As Dublab has been operating for more than 20 years, it is a very important role model for IDA and it’s managers. Through this collaboration Baltic artists will be introduced to listeners all around the US.


Name of the Project:  Audiovisual industry event “TV Series is a new cinematography”
Location (country): Lithuania
Implementing Organization:   Audiovisual works copyright association AVAKA
Speaker:  Neil Landau, scriptwriter, filmmaker
Project Dates:   July 15-17, 2019

Audiovisual works copyright association AVAKA invited the prominent scriptwriter and filmmaker Neil Landau for a two-day project:

On the 1st day of the project the conference for audience of app 100  of audiovisual works creators, other interested parties, AVAKA members, scriptwriters, students of Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre (Faculty of TV and Cinema) was organized at Martynas Mazvydas National Library. Neil Landau’s  key-note presentation on trends on audiovisual market, TV series and films industry was presented, he shared his insights on scriptwriting as an introduction for participants of following days masterclass.

During the second and third days of the project Neil Landau conducted master classes on creation of scripts for TV series for 30 participants, scriptwriters, students, which were selected evaluating their interest and motivation.

Name of the Project: Prof. Vaidotas Kažukauskas participation and lecturing at the conference “SPIE Optics +Photonics, Nanoscience + Engineering 2019″
Location (country):  U.S. 
Implementing Organization:   Vilnius University
Speaker: Baltic Expert, Prof. Vaidotas Kažukauskas
Project Dates:   August 11-15, 2019

Prof. Vaidotas Kazukauskas from Vilnius University was invited to participate and present of an oral lecture at one of the most prestigious world conferences: SPIE Optics + Photonics, Nanoscience + Engineering 2019 which took place in San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, USA, on August 11-15, 2019

The title of prof. Kazukauskas’ talk was “Organic (nano-)photovoltaics: fundamental microscopic charge carrier transport and associated commercial situation”. It was presented at the Conference 11089 “Nanoengineering: Fabrication, Properties, Optics, Thin Films, and Devices XVI”, symposium  “SPIE Nanoscience + Engineering”, session 5: “Nanostructured Devices and Thin Films I”, on August 12, 2019.

Besides the presentation prof. Kazukauskas had inspiring scientific discussion with leading scientists form various scientific institutions from around the world. Common points of interests that could lay a base for more in-depth scientific cooperation were also discussed, as well as topics of common investigations and topics of mutual interest.

Name of the Project:  17th world congress of the International Photodynamic Association
Location (country):  U.S.
Implementing Organization:   Vilnius University
Speaker:   Baltic Expert Prof. Zivile Luksiene
Project Dates:   June 28 – July 4, 2019

7th World congress of the International Photodynamic Association organizing committee invited Prof. Zivile Luksiene to attend the 7th World congress of the International Photodynamic Association in Cambridge, MA, and to give an oral presentation in the section “Environmental PDT”. Prof. Luksiene was also chairing one of the sessions of the congress.

Prof. Zivile Luksiene’s presentation dealt with innovative approach to control microbial contamination of fruits and vegetables in effective, environmentally friendly and sustainable way. This technology was develop for ten years and obtained results are very promising.  During the discussions at the conference it was concluded that this new approach has great potential opening a new avenue for the development of the non-thermal, effective and ecologically friendly antimicrobial technology

Name of the Project:  6th International Conference “The Holocaust Museums in XXI Century: Challenges and Opportunities”
Location (country): Latvia
Implementing Organization:   Association Shamir
Speaker:   Rabbi Dr. Menachem Barkahan
Project Dates:   May 20-25, 2019

The 6th International Conference “The Holocaust Museums in XXI Century: Challenges and Opportunities” was organized by Association “Shamir” and Riga Ghetto and Latvian Holocaust Museum.  Experts from 12 countries shared their knowledge, experience and developments in the field of preservation of the memory of the Holocaust. Dr. Karen Frostig took part in the Conference with a presentation of her project, dedicated to the memorialization of Jungfernhof concentration camp in Riga. Conference brought together 46 professionals (museum workers, historians, educators) who work to preserve the historical memory and they discussed the

Name of the Project:  22nd International Symposium on Adapted Physical Activity 2019
Location:  University of Virginia, Charlottesville, United States
Organization:   Latvian Academy of Sport Education
Speaker:   Baltic Expert – Aija Kļaviņa
Project Dates:   June 14-18, 2019

The International Symposium on Adapted Physical Activity (ISAPA) was held at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, United States (U.S.) from June 14-18. More than 200 participants from about 40 countries participated in this event. Expert from Latvia, prof. Aija Kļaviņa had two presentations: The presentation on the effect of smartphone delivered interval walking training on physical activity and health variables for patients with type 2 diabetes and the second presentation Gross motor skill assessment in children with disability. Every year the International Federation of Adapted Physical Activity (IFAPA) Fellows Recognition Program recognizes and promotes outstanding accomplishments by IFAPA members. This year professor Aija Kļaviņa was recognized with the Fellow Award on June 18 at the closing Award Luncheon at the ISAPA.

100 Years Centennial Economic and Entrepreneurial Teacher’s Conference
Implementing Organization:
Junior Achievement Lithuania
Larry C. Farrell,Founder and Chairman of The Farrell Company


This year Junior Achievement is celebrating its centennial. For this occasion Junior Achievement Lithuania decided to organize „100 years JA Centennial Economic and Entrepreneurship Teachers Conference“ in Birstonas, Lithuania. 80 teachers from different towns met in this two days conference to learn new teaching methods, to hear couple of international speeches about the researches in entrepreneurship education field, thus acquire new knowledge, share good case practice and know-how in entrepreneurship education. The main lecture was presented by Larry Farrell from USA. Teachers learned good case practice in entrepreneurship education worldwide. Mr. Farrell has shared his insights based on 30 years of experience and research in the field of entrepreneurship. On June 4 Mr. Larry Farell also participated at the ceremony of signing of the Memorandum on the Establishment of the National Entrepreneurship Training Network that took place at the Ministry of Education and Science of Lithuania.

Sharing Experiences in Teaching Economics, Entrepreneurship and Financial Literacy in Estonia, Latvia and U.S.
Location: Estonia
Implementing Organization:
Junior Achievement Estonia
Cynthia Harter, professor of economics in Eastern Kentucky University and Director of Centre for Economic Education Kentucky
Project Dates:
June 1-11, 2019

In June 2019 Junior Achievement Estonia in collaboration with Junior Achievement Latvia organized workshops for Latvian and Estonian Teachers of Economics with the goal to share new trends in teaching and learning economics, entrepreneurship and financial literacy and online teaching methods. The U.S. speaker and trainer, Cynthia Harter, conducted a one-day workshop for the teachers in Riga on June 4th and 2-days workshop in Tallinn on June 6th-7th. There were 25 teachers from Latvia and 30 who will integrate the topics of the workshops and materials into the economics curricula. The teachers got many new tips about economics and teaching methods, focusing on active learning. They also refreshed their English economics vocabulary, understood better the cultural differences and exchanged contacts with US colleagues. Both JA organizations plan to use and share new teaching materials with other teachers in future workshops and online trainings for teachers in periphery areas of Estonia and Latvia.

The 27th PARE Annual Conference “GEAR CHANGE”
Implementing Organization:
Estonian Human Resource Management Association PARE
Patty McCord
Project Dates:
April 11-12, 2019

The 27th PARE Annual Conference “GEAR CHANGE” was focusing on Strategy, Leadership and Fulfillment, to inspire individuals in charge of people management to think about the situation in which they, their organizations and employees currently find themselves. There were over 300 participants and a wide range of international speakers. All together there were 11 presentations and 45 workshops held.
The keynote speaker was Patty McCord who is a former Chief Talent Officer of Netflix and the author of the book “Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility”. She is also known as a workplace innovator, culture and leadership consultant, who coaches and advises companies and entrepreneurs on building culture and the leadership to reinforce it. Patty McCord left the audience with the message: “Be radically honest and talk to your people. Know your business. Know your product. And always ask “Why?”.

RSU Research Week 2019
Implementing Organization:
Riga Stradins University
Dr. biol. Michael Melkers
Project Dates:
April 1-5, 2019

From April 1-5, 2019 Rīga Stradiņš University held the most significant scientific event to date – Research Week 2019. The international conference´s main theme was “Knowledge for Use in Practice”, with a focus on cardiovascular health, oncology and haematology, women’s and children’s health, infectious diseases, mental health and neurosciences, dentistry and pharmacy. Invited speaker from USA , Dr.biol. Michael Melkers, is an expert in Dentistry, Orthodontics and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Section Section. He participated in the conference, as well as provided practical lectures on treatment planning and occlusion in everyday dentistry.



International Student Scientific Practical Conference
Implementing Organization:
EKA University of Applied Sciences
Andrew M. Phelps
Project Dates:
25-27, April, 2019

EKA University of Applied Sciences invited Andrew Phelps, president of the Higher Education Video Game Alliance (HEVGA) and professor of Art & Design in the College of Art & Design at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) to give a keynote speech at the etECH 2019 Conference: Emerging Trends  in Economics, Culture and Humanities. On the next day professor Phelps also participated in the Roundtable Discussion Game Education in the Baltics States and USA together with invited game educators from Sweden, Estonia and Lithuania. The discussion included questions about game education in the Baltic States and USA, HEVGA mission,  development trends, equality and addiction issues, cooperation, role in a society etc.
The event led to closer cooperation between game related study programs in Latvia, Estonia and  Lithuania as well as better understanding of HEVGA mission and day to day activities.

The Festival of Latvia Libraries
Implementing Organization:
The Library Association of Latvia
Teona Shainidze Krebs
Project Dates:
April 16-17, 2019

The Festival of Latvia Libraries is the largest library field event in Latvia and lasts 2 days. The 1st day is a Conference of Latvia Librarians, the 2nd – the Market of Ideas or another interactive activity. In this year it was the Library Fashion Day. The Festival took place in the National Library of Latvia in Riga on April 16th and 17th 2019. The Conference had 4 lecturers from abroad, including Teona Shainidze Krebs from Pikes Peak Library District, Colorado, USA. The main goal of the Conference is to share actual and best library field experience and to discuss actual questions and problems to motivate and encourage Latvia librarians to develop library services and librarians themselves. Therefore in the program was included such topics as new digital resources, adult education, project work, collaboration with society, media and information literacy.

Conference “BUILDSOME”
Implementing Organization:
Student Council of Faculty of Civil Engineering of Riga Technical University
Albert Zulps
Project Dates:
March 5-7, 2019

Albert Zulps, Director of BIM VDC (Virtual Design and Construction) at the United States company “Skanska”, was invited to conference BUILDSOME as the keynote speaker. Two major lectures were organized within the framework of the conference – “Building Information Modeling” and “Achievements in Construction Technologies”, as well as separate lectures for students and faculty members of Riga Technical University. For students and construction industry experts BUILDSOME conference provided an opportunity for broader understanding of the digitalisation processes in the construction field. It prompted professionals to understand how these processes will affect the future of the industry and allowed to gain insights into the skills and knowledge to be more competitive in the field and to be able to supplement Latvia with knowledgeable engineers.


Mainstreaming Participatory Budgeting in the Baltics
Implementing Organization: Transparency International Lithuanian Chapter
Speaker:Ms. Katherine Klosek, Director of Applied Research at the Center for Government Excellence (GovEx) at Johns Hopkins University
Project Dates: January 22-23, 2019

On 22 January 2019 TI Lithuania held a 4-hour public event / seminar for 40 participants from 20 localities in Lithuania. In the first part of the seminar Ms. Katherine Klosek introduced different civic engagement methods (public consultations, participatory budgeting, transparency), then Katherine Klosek held a 2-hour interactive session to discuss practical ways how to engage citizens into decision making on the local level. During her stay in Lithuania, Katherine Klosek met various TI Lithuania’s partners and stakeholders: social designers to discuss different aspects of people engagement initiatives; representatives of the European Commission to discuss the implementation of participatory
budgeting initiatives in 2 schools in Lithuania; and TI Lithuania’s team members to discuss different aspects of successful citizen engagement activities. The seminar allowed TI Lithuania to not only identify the municipal and community leaders in Lithuania but also to engage them into practical discussions on how to implement citizen engagement initiatives in their environment.
This event also provided with the opportunity to better understand and learn from the experiences of participatory budgeting in Lithuania, the region (Estonia) and the U.S. The visit of Katherine Klosek has also contributed to the increased knowledge of TI Lithuania’s team members on how to carry out different citizen engagement activities and what to look out for.

Forestry and Biodiversity: International Perspectives on Trade-offs, Problems, and Solutions
Implementing Organization:
University of Latvia, Institute of Biology
Dr. Nico Arcilla
Project Dates:
December 5-6, 2018

The University of Latvia held a two-day research and management symposium which took place in Academic Centre House of Nature. Dr. Nico Arcilla from the USA –  a researcher with a particular expertise in tropical forestry and biodiversity, gave a keynote speech at the event. During symposium researchers from Latvia, Lithuania, USA and Finland gave presentations and participated at the discussions. After the event several topics were discussed and author teams organized for three scientific publications. Also on a day two additional visit was organized to gradient of cuttings and natural disturbance areas in Kemeri National Park (KNP) and forests of various properties between KNP and Riga.

Participants of the event represented wide range of stakeholders in forestry and biodiversity issues, students, researchers, specialists of state institutions, experts of timber companies “Latvian State Forests” and “Riga Forests” Ltd., as well as NGOs and representatives from private sectors.

Techstars Startup Week Tallinn 2018
Implementing Organization:
Foundation Kredex
Kim-Mai Cutler
Project Dates: November 18-23, 2018

Techstars Startup Week Tallinn 2018, was a community-driven festival organized by Kredex Estonia. There were 62 events throughout the week with 3000 participants and 35 different locations. For the grand opening, Kim-Mai Cutler who has a long-time experience from TechCrunch as a technology and financial journalist, and who turned her knowledge to investments, gave an inspiring keynote speech to all startup world enthusiasts. Cutler, who understands both the e-Estonia’s  branding and story and is an operating partner for an early stage venture capital firm (Initialized Capital), matches with various interests deriving from the local ecosystem. As the Startup Week focused on local startup community whose support is necessary for the local startup-scene to grow, Cutler’s experience from journalism years as well as investing to early-stage startups brought a good insight from abroad. Cutler also held a workshop at the Startup Academy where she focused on the fine art of defining marketing messages. Her insights to managing early-stage investments as well as covering startup-related news were beneficial for startups who are already focusing on expanding or entering new markets.

FALL 2018

High performance training and athlete mindset training by Kimberly Vandenberg
Implementing Organization: Latvian Swimming Federation
Speaker: Kimberly Vandenberg
Project Dates: September 27 – September 30, 2018

Seminar “High performance training and athlete mindset training” led by former Olympic medalist and world champion Kimberly Vandenberg (USA), took place in Riga, Latvia from 27th till 30th of September. The first two days were dedicated to clinics for coaches where participated more than 40 swimming coaches (including 3 from Estonia and 2 from Lithuania), 24 students of Latvian Academy of Sport Education master’s and doctoral studies. The focus in the clinics were on impact of mental wellness and stability on racing performance. This topic was discussed in combination with swimming technique and drills.
During next days Kimberly met Latvian young athletes and shared her experience and journey to the Olympic medals. Kimberly explained how they were training, competing and how important is to work with yourself and your motivation. She also gave good examples of mindset trainings during all season.

LegalTech in the Legal Education and Legal Industry
Location: Lithuania
Implementing Organization: Mykolas Romeris University
Speakers: Prof. Daniel Martin Katz, Illinois Institute of Technology – Chicago Kent College of Law
Project Dates: May 11, 2018

On May 11, 2018 Mykolas Romeris University together with the program “Create Lithuania” in partnership with Vilnius City Municipality and BAFF, organized a contemporary law conference “Vilnius Legal Tech 2018”. For the first time in Lithuania the legal and IT practitioners and academic community in Lithuania were acquainted with the concept of LegalTech and its practical implementation in the American and European contexts. The key-note presentation by Prof. Daniel M. Katz Main focused on the main directions of LegalTech – big data management, artificial intelligence/machine learning in law, predictive analytics, practice/court judgment management, e-discovery, contract analytics, tools for automated human rights applications, and many more. Prof. Katz’s presentation inspired several follow up publications on LegalTech concepts. Prof. Katz also provided M. Romeris University with the consultations on establishment and operations of the Vilnius Legal Tech Centre and its future development.

MASTERCLASS with casting directors Nancy Bishop and Kim Swanson
Implementing Organization: Nerutina
Speakers: Nancy Bishop and Kim Swanson, Casting Society of America
Project Dates: November 10 – 12, 2018

American casting directors Nancy Bishop and Kim Swanson conducted an open panel discussion on “Casting across the Borders” that took place on November 10, 2018 at Marynas Mazvydas National Library. Panel was free and open event for industry people. There were 70 participants from Lithuania, Latvia,Estonia, Germany and Poland. On November 11 – 12, 2018, two different workshops (Techniques for Auditioning and Acting by Nancy Bishop and How To Work A Room by Kim Swanson) took place at Menu spaustuve and Kaukiu akademija. The audience of this events was a group of 20 professional actors from the Baltics, Poland and Germany, and 20 observers (casting directors, directors, actors). The classes were designed to teach and share many professional tips, as well as the masterclasses included a series of practical exercises.

Narva Urban Lab
Narva – Detroit: Postindustrial Cities on the Border – Where to?
Location: Estonia
Implementing organization: Narva Art Residency
Speakers: Dopplereffekt
Project Dates: August 24-25, 2018

The first laboratory “NARVA – DETROIT: Post-industrial Cities on the Border – Where to?” brought together the Narva community with international guests from Detroit, as well as from neighbouring cities such as Helsinki and Riga. Narva and Detroit share many similarities: both are border cities, are built around a river, possess a crumbling industrial base entwined with a shrinking population. The event aimed to activate urban spaces by organizing and establishing an international platform for the study of urban geography. The urban laboratory critically examined the paradigm of urban transformation in regard to its potentialities and opportunities. The laboratory explored the possibilities of adapting to social and economic change by asking: what can Narva learn from city like Detroit? The event consisted of a symposium (of four panel discussions), exhibition, urban installation, city tours, facilitating workshops, flea-market, open studios of artists-in-residency and concert program featuring electronic duo Dopplereffekt from Detroit and many other DJs. The invited artist duo Dopplereffekt is considered to be inimitable electro duo that is one of the most mysterious, thrilling and consistently challenging entities in electronic music.

Animal assisted intervention – the American experience, theory and practice in Estonia
Implementing Organization:
Estonian Nature and Animal Assisted  Therapy Center
Speaker: Prof. Philip Tedeschi
Project Dates:
October 3 – 6, 2018

Philip Tedeschi is the executive director of the Institute for Human-Animal Connection and a clinical professor at the Graduate School of Social Work at The University of Denver. He is globally recognized for expertise in the clinical methods of animal-assisted interventions and he has many years of experience in non-traditional therapeutic approaches with children, adults and families. On the first week of October Philip Tedeschi visited Estonia to share his experience and knowledge. He was invited here by the Estonian Nature and Animal Assisted Therapy Center to give lectures and workshops for the local specialists who are using animal assisted intervention methods in their work. The events provided valuable perspectives for future improvements in the field, widened the view of the opportunities the topic has to offer and added a proof-based approach to the field.

FADGI digitisation guidelines trainings in Estonia by Don Williams
Location: Estonia
Implementing Organization:
Estonian Photographic Heritage Society
Speaker: Mr. Don Williams
Project Dates:
October 15 – 19, 2018

Don Williams, an imaging scientist (Image Science Associates, USA) and a top specialist in a specific field, was invited to Estonia by Estonian Photographic Heritage Society to teach about cultural heritage digitization quality assurance. There were workshops, symposium and a public lecture held, also visits to digitization centres. The timing of the events with Don Williams was very important in Estonia as in March 2018 the national digitization action plan for the next 5 years was signed and large mass digitization projects are in the preparation phase. The FADGI digitization quality assurance and assessment methods that the trainings covered have been already or will be written in the technical specifications of the tenders. Also a vivid discussion on the topic has been sparked among the Estonian memory institutions and our ministry of culture about the issue of quality control in the digitization of cultural heritage.


Visit of Professor Simon J. Bronner in Latvian Academy of Culture
Location: Latvia
Implementing Organization: Latvian Academy of Culture
Speaker: Prof. Simon J. Bronner
Project Dates: October 28 – November 15, 2017

In November 2017, world class researcher, Professor Simon J. Bronner, visited Latvian Academy of Culture (LAC) and shared his views and findings on cultural heritage and traditions. The professor gave several guest lectures for students of LAC, and visited the Jewish Museum in Latvia, the Estonian Folk Archives and the Estonian National Museum. He also was a keynote speaker in the conference “Culture Crossroads”, attended by more than one hundred participants. Since S. J. Bronner is one of the leading thinkers regarding modern folklore and cultural heritage studies, the professor’s visit had a wide scope and gave an opportunity for different researchers, scholars, students and enthusiasts representing many universities and institutions of Latvia to hear his speeches, conclusions, and findings,  which might help to improve everyday work and research for these individuals.

Classical Improvisation at JVLMA
Location: Latvia
Implementing Organization: Jazeps Vitols Latvian Academy of Music
Speaker: Prof. John Mortensen
Project Dates: March 5 – April 30, 2018

Professor John Mortensen (Cedarville University, Ohio) is one of the leading experts in classical improvisation, regularly visiting with masterclasses and concerts universities and colleges in Europe and U.S., also offering full-time recitals dedicated to the improvisations in the 18th and 19th centuries music styles. During his stay in Riga, students and faculty teaching staff were introduced to practical skills of improvisation, which they will be able to incorporate into their study, practice, and performances. At the beginning of his course, Professor Mortensen made several presentations for students and teaching staff of the Academy about his method of classical piano improvisation. The professor also gave a masterclass at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, and visited the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre.  During his stay in Riga, Professor Mortensen finished his book on classical improvisation, which will be published by the “Oxford University Press” in 2019.

Using YIVO Vilna Collection in Lithuanian Classrooms: Planning Conference
Location: Lithuania
Implementing Organization: Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania
Speakers: Prof. Saulius Sužiedėlis (Millersville University); Christine Beresniova (Ashford University); Roberta Newmann (Director of Digital Initiatives, YIVO Institute for Jewish Research)
Project Dates: March 21 – 22, 2018On March 21-22 2018

Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania, together with the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, organized a two-day conference, “Using YIVO Vilna Collections in Lithuanian Classrooms”. The conference was held at the National Library, and has launched a planning process for the creation of curricula and resources for Lithuanian primary and secondary schools for teaching the history and culture of Jews in Lithuania. An international group of BAFF-funded scholars, educators and 30 local teachers collectively explored a range of issues in Lithuanian Jewish life prior to the Holocaust via academic presentations, project presentations and three workshops. The concept and content of the conference was based on rich primary sources digitized for the Edward Blank YIVO Vilna Collection Project that could constitute a robust tool for teachers of local Lithuanian history and culture. Many of the documents and books relate directly to the Jewish life that flourished in Lithuania before World War II. The organizing team in Lithuania prepared methodological packages for the teachers based on some of the aforementioned documents that were analyzed and discussed during the workshops. The packages then were given to the teachers as a tool to use in classroom. The team at the YIVO institute has developed a special website from documentary sources of high educational value for the use of the teachers (in English and Lithuanian).

Stepping Into the Future: A Multi-Disciplinary Collaborative Approach to Brain-Machine Interaction
Location: Lithuania
Implementing Organization: Vilnius University
Speakers: Dr. Milena Korostenskaja, Functional Brain Mapping and Brain Computer Interface Lab, Florida Hospital, Orlando, USA
Project Dates: May 4-5, 2018

A two-day educational and practical Brain Machine Interface (BMI) skill acquisition event was held in the newly established state-of-the-art Institute of Biosciences Life Science Center at Vilnius University. On the first day (Day 1, primary event – May 4th, 2018; “Interactive BMI Symposium”), The Institute of Biosciences at the Life Sciences Center, Vilnius University invited faculty and students to join a multi-departmental symposium with Dr. Milena Korostenskaja – a well-established specialist in the BMI field, who leads a Functional Brain Mapping and Brain Computer Interface Lab (FBM-BCI Lab) at Florida Hospital in Orlando, Florida, USA. She laid out a theoretical background of BMI technology and provided a critical review of history, current state and future perspectives of BMIs. The second day of the event (Day 2, secondary event – May 5th, 2018; “BMI Workshop and Students’ Competition”) was dedicated to the development of practical skills working with BMIs. Such practical skill acquisition was achieved by engaging participants in hands-on BMI activities. The seminar participants engaged in assembling and controlling BMI systems, as well as evaluating their performance results. The seminar was held by Dr. Korostenskaja and an internationally recognized BMI specialist Dr. Christoph Guger, Austria.

TheatreBridge – The Quest Theatre Tour in Lithuania
Location: Lithuania
Implementing Organization: Surdologijos Centras
Speakers: Quest Visual Theatre and Mr. McCarty, Director of Theatre
Project Dates: May 19-25, 2018

Surdologijos Centras invited the Quest Visual Theatre from the U.S. to present two shows “Fairy Tales and other nonsense” in Vilnius and Kaunas. Majority of the audiences were representatives of Lithuanian Deaf Community. After the show the Theater members met with audiences. Deaf viewers were asking questions in spoken Lithuanian or Lithuanian Sign Language which was interpreted into American Sign Language and spoken English. Audiences were delighted to meet professional deaf actors form United States.

McCarty, Director of Quest Visual Theatre – lead workshops for students of the  Faculty of Creative Industry in Vilnius Technical University (VGTU), where he presented Quest Visual Theatre and it’s exceptional way of working. The Theater also visited School for Deaf children in Vilnius where they lead creative theatre workshops, as well as organized workshops for deaf seniors from the Lithuanian Deaf Association.

After huge success of the Visual Theatre Quest shows in Vilnius and Kaunas – Surdologijos centras has plans to invite other professional deaf artists from abroad. Another very positive result of the project was rising awareness of deaf people in Lithuanian society. Quest Theatre was present in Vilnius and Kaunas public space (streets, restaurants, galleries) for a week and many people were paying attention to a group of foreigners speaking English and using sign language.

Living freely: international youth summer camp
Location: Lithuania
Implementing Organization: NGO Centre for Citizenship, Democracy and Legal Programs
Speakers: Carl Wilkens, Founder “World Outside My Shoes” and Nicholas E. Coddington, Teachers College, Columbia University
Project Dates: June 25-30, 2018

To encourage young people from ethnic minority communities to travel outside their closed communities, turn more towards West, establish new connections, think more critically and change negative attitudes towards NATO and the U.S., on June 25-30, 2018 Centre for Citizenship, Democracy and Legal Programs organized an International Youth Summer School (Camp) in Alytus region, Lithuania. 49 young people from Lithuania’s ethnic minority communities (mainly Russian and Poles) as well as representatives of Lithuanian Scouting, Lithuanian Riflemen Union, Lithuanian Catholic Federation “Ateitis” and youth from UK, Ukraine and Poland tool place in the Camp.

Experts from the U.S. Carl Wilkens and Nicholas E. Coddington spent all 6 days in the camp and were conducting various activities, such as sessions on tolerance and personal responsibility. Many young people were moved by screening the documentary “I Am Not Leaving” featuring C. Wilkens and the story of 1994 genocide in Rwanda. Participants discussed such issues as relationships between people, the importance of listening, stereotypes and why they emerge, imagined how society could be different and what their role is.

Baltic expert: Professor Marco Kirm
Home institution: University of Tartu, Estonia
Presentation: „A Systematic Study of Mn4+ Luminescence in Silicate, Gallate and Germanate Garnets for Phosphor-converted (pc) LED Applications” at the special workshop Phosphor Materials under High Drive Conditions of the Phosphor Global Summit 2018 conference in San Diego, CA
Project dates: March 13-16, 2018

Marco Kirm participated in the 15th Phosphor Global Summit-2018 (PGS-2018) as an invited speaker, where he delivered his speech „A Systematic Study of Mn4+ Luminescence in Silicate, Gallate and Germanate Garnets for Phosphor-converted (pc) LED Applications” at the special workshop Phosphor Materials under High Drive Conditions of the Phosphor Global Summit 2018 conference. His talk addressed important issues of the red light deficiency and influence of cations on excited states of Mn4+ ion, which are responsible for efficiency and thermal stability (How to engineer thermally stable phosphors?) of red phosphors. A total amount of academic and industrial researchers, technology visioners, corporate people attending of PGS2018 conference sessions were ca 200 people. The balance was in favor of industrial researchers and technology managers, which is really important for building up new connections between academia and industry. The first steps were made towards enhanced knowledge transfer between academia and industry.

Open lecture series „Curating Contemporary Art“, „International Inspiration“
Location: Estonia
Implementing organization: Estonian Academy of Arts
Speakers: Quinn Latimer, Lumi Tan and Andrew Berardini
Project dates: Fall 2017/Spring 2018

Center for Contemporary Arts, Estonia and Department of Visual Culture and Art History of Estonian Academy of Arts organized the lecture series “International Inspiration” in 2017/2018. The lecture series hosted internationally recognized curators and critics who introduced their practice, work methods and consulted students in seminars. The series was part of opening new curatorial field of study at the Master’s program of Visual Culture Department.  There were all together 8 speakers through the lecture series and BAFF supported the visits of Quinn Latimer, Lumi Tan and Andrew Berardini. All the speakers gave a public lecture at the Estonian Academy of Sciences, and seminar for registered participants. Each lecture received a public about 50 students, art professionals and curators. Seminars had around 20-25 students. The program was beneficial for both sides: to local public and invited curators. Estonian artist, curators and student got a well updated insight into most innovative contemporary curating practices and advice from international colleagues. Invited curators got a great insight into contemporary art in Estonia, and established many new contacts with Estonian art institutions and artists.

Harmonizing the perceptions of people consciously working for community security
Location: Estonia
Implementing organization: Estonian Police and Border Guard Board
Speaker: Gary W. Cordner
Project dates: April 16-18, 2018

From 16th -20th of April a former commissioner professor Gary W. Cordner was visiting Estonia for the project “Harmonizing the perceptions of people consciously working for community security”.  Mr Cordner visited Pärnu College for an open lecture and had a meeting with West Prefecture of Estonian Police and Border Guard Board leaders. He also gave a speech and overview at a conference about community policing in USA, its development, roles, expectations and cooperation for the community policing officers, colleagues from Latvia and Lithuania, lecturers of EASS and representatives of local government and non-profit organizations.

Conference on Family Engagement in Child Protective Assessment. Consultations and the Intensive Seminar Location: Estonia
Implementing organization: Tallinn University
Speaker: Prof. Michael C. LaSala
Project dates: May 22-24, 2018

In May 2018 Tallinn University held a conference on Family Engagement in Child Protective Assessment which was a great chance for around 100 child protective workers, school social workers and social work students to learn from an American expert- Michael C. LaSala who is one of the leading experts in his field. Mr LaSala used different interactive methods for strengthening participants’ engagement skills, including video analysis, and role plays. In addition to that, participants were invited to participate in consultations about their work related difficult case studies.

Additive Manufacturing for materials of special applications Location: Estonia
Implementing organization: Tallinn University of Technology
Speaker: Prof. Iwona Jasiuk, Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Society of Engineering Science, USA
Project dates: May 21-31, 2018

This project was initiated by BAFF Research Scholarship Aluma Prof. Irina Hussainova who organized the event and invited prof. Iwona Jasiuk from her host organization (during BAFF program) in the U.S. to Estonia. At the end of May 2018 prof. Iwona Jasiuk from the University of Illinois visited Tallinn University of Technology to give lectures and lead workshops on the topic of additive manufacturing for materials of special applications. The proposed visit aimed at mutual benefit through the cooperative research, which could provide the basis for the development of breakthrough technologies by unobstructed transfer of knowledge, sharing ideas and multicultural exchange of skills.  This visit and cooperation lead to combining different knowledge, experiences, techniques and the seeds for future joint research projects and students exchange were created. Mutual learning and cross-fertilization fostered maximizing the “lateral thinking” and found original solutions to some complex problems.

International symposium “Stories of Michel Sittow’s Life and Art. Facts and Fables”
Location: Estonia
Implementing organization: Art Museum of Estonia
Speaker: Dr. John Oliver Hand, curator of northern renaissance paintings at the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., USA
Project dates: September 14-15, 2018

International symposium “Stories of Michel Sittow’s Life and Art. Facts and Fables” was held at Kumu Art Museum on 14–15 September 2018. The symposium was accompanied the exhibition “Michel Sittow. Estonian Painter at the Courts of Renaissance Europe” at the Kumu Art Museum (8 June – 16 September 2018). The exhibition was previously held at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (January 28 – 13 May 2018). The aim of the symposium was to bring together internationally renowned experts on Michel Sittow’s life and art to share the recent perspectives of their work and initiate a live dialogue next to the paintings about the existing (controversial) knowledge and possible future research. Dr. John Oliver Hand had a discussion on the Virgin and the Child and the Portrait of Diego de Guevara (?) – works that once formed a diptych, but now belong to different collections (respectively to Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.) and are therefore rarely ever exhibited together. It was an exceptional opportunity for the experts and the audience to see these works in one location – something that would otherwise be impossible. The audience had a chance to hear the discussions and papers on latest research that has been done on Michel Sittow’s life and art.