Valdas Adamkus was born in 1926 in Lithuania. During WWII, he fought with the resistance against Russian occupation. In 1944, with his family, he fled to western Europe, one of several million refugees.
He eventually settled in Chicago and completed his education at the Illinois Institute of Technology. In the 1960’s he ran for office in Chicago’s sanitary district. Along with others, I went door-to-door campaigning for his election. He was successful, and eventually worked his way up to the position of administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
He was very active in Lithuanian activities, particularly those supporting Lithuania’s independence. When Lithuania became free, he moved there. He was elected president for two terms, 1998-2002 and 2004-2009.
The presidential library was recently established and opened. This is the only presidential library in Lithuania. It is a tremendous honor that my own art exhibit is the first one at this library.
Just to repeat two important points in President Adamkus’ biography: he and his family were refugees; he was the administrator of the EPA. Both refugees, and the EPA, are under attack by the current US administration.
May 4—May 22; Official closing reception, May 22, 17:30 to 19:00
Valdas Adamkus Presidential Library, S. Daukanto g. 25, Kaunas, Lithuania, Telephone: 37 751 047
An expanded version of this exhibit will take place at the Marijampole Cultural Center. The city of Mariampole is in an area of Lithuania known as Suduva. This is where the Plioplys surname originated and my family history started. It truly is an honor to have this exhibit at this beautiful new center, as part of the city’s annual cultural festival, “Mariampoles dienos”.
May 25—June 30; Official opening reception, May 25, 17:00 to 19:00
Marijampolė Cultural Center, Vilkaviškio g. 2, 68175, Marijampolė, Lithuania, Telephone: (8 343) 56 534