It’s not just a new academic year that the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre is about to start; it’s also the construction of the LMTA campus! On 31 August, a special ceremony was held to celebrate the beginning of the construction by burying a time capsule on the land plot of the future Academy campus in Olandų Street in Vilnius. The ceremony was attended by the outgoing LMTA Rector Zbignevas Ibelgauptas and the newly elected Rector Judita Žukienė; Jurgita Šiugždinienė, Minister of Education, Science and Sport; Simonas Kairys, Minister of Culture; and Remigijus Šimašius, Vilnius City Mayor. Other speakers included Gabrielė Žaidytė, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Culture, who shared Prime Minister’s congratulations with the guests of the ceremony; Arvydas Markevičius, Head of JSC Infes, the general contractor of the campus construction, and Dainius Numgaudis, Head of the National M. K. Čiurlionis School of Art.
The ceremony started with the words of congratulation from the outgoing LMTA Rector Prof. Zbignevas Ibelgauptas, the initiator of the LMTA campus project, who said: “Since the restoration of Lithuania’s Independence, the community of artists and art researchers has been dreaming of a home specially designed for art studies; first, for music, theatre, and dance studies, and later – for cinematography studies. This community has always cherished the dream of being together in one modern space created specifically for art studies, artmaking, and art research. And today, many years later, thanks to the collaboration, purposeful efforts and persistent daily work of the Academy staff and our like-minded supporters and partners, we are taking part in a symbolic ceremony to mark the start of our biggest dream turning into reality. Today, the Academy is entering a new stage – the construction of the LMTA campus.”
The newly elected Rector Assoc. Prof. Dr. Judita Žukienė expressed her joy by stating the fact that the construction of the LMTA campus is a great example of how much can be done within a decade where a closely-knit community shares the same dreams and works together towards achieving them. Judita Žukienė then continued by reading a text, which was soon placed into a time capsule, to all the guests of the ceremony: “In this place, we are planting the hope arisen from the dreams that for over a century have been cherished by Lithuanian artists; dreams about a space that is suitable for art studies, that brings together all creators and is an inspiration for common work. We will make every single effort to make the walls that are to be erected here a source of creation, a citadel of national culture, and a centre of ideas for the art of the future. We hope that the future generations of Lithuanian and international music, theatre, film, dance artists and researchers will enjoy the fruits of our hope and efforts.”
On this special occasion, Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė has shared her greetings with the LMTA community and her words were read by Gabrielė Žaidytė, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Culture. The greeting said: “I sincerely welcome every decisive step forward taken towards a better-quality education, improved conditions for students and all the academia. I do believe that the campus of the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre will become a space for creative insights and inspirations not only for students, but also for all those who appreciate education, culture, and art. Let me congratulate you on the start of the construction and wish you the smooth and successful implementation of this significant project.”
Jurgita Šiugždinienė, Minister of Education, Science and Sport spoke to the guests emphasising that “art and creativity is what makes us human and helps us stay human. The importance of art is vital if we want to bring up free and artistic personalities who can creatively adapt to the changing world. I wish that this place would not only provide comfortable and inspiring conditions for creative work but would also become a true Valley of Creation. May it become a place that grows and nurtures the creative potential of the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, the creative potential of Vilnius City and that of our entire country.”
Simonas Kairys, Minister of Culture, also shared his joy about the construction of the LMTA campus: “Even though sometimes I still may come across a belief that cultural and artistic phenomena are to be born somewhere in darkness, in misery or suffering, I dare to perceive this attitude rather obsolete. Our artists as well as young people who are just starting this path deserve the very best conditions and a modern environment. I have no doubt that the campus will possess exactly such conditions and environment. And I am sure it will be significant not only for the academia, but will be established as an open, welcoming and attractive space for all citizens and guests of the city. “
Remigijus Šimašius, Mayor of Vilnius City, echoed the idea by the Minister of Culture: “The Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre is the cradle of culture in Vilnius and deserves to be based in excellent premises. The campus designed by Rolandas Palekas is bound to be such. The campus is going to smoothly blend into the landscape of Vilnius, raise the bar of quality of the whole district and will not only be a great home for creative people, but also – I have no doubt about it – become an attractive high-quality public space for all Vilnius residents.”
Dainius Numgaudis, Head of the National M. K. Čiurlionis School of Art, was delighted about the future neighborhood with the LMTA and expressed his hopes that it will bring about joint activities and projects between the two schools. Arvydas Markevičius, Head of JSC Infes, the general contractor of the construction project, wished the construction process to be smooth.
The idea of the LMTA campus construction which would unite all the infrastructure necessary for studies and relocate the Faculty of Music and the Faculty of Theatre and Film from the LMTA buildings now located in different parts of Vilnius under one roof was born a decade ago. In 2015, together with the Lithuanian Union of Architects, the competition for the architectural LMTA campus project was announced. The winner was Paleko Archstudija (architects R. Palekas, D. Zakaitė, B. Puzonas, A. Palekienė, J. Jankauskas).
The construction of the Faculty of Theatre and Film and the Small Block of Halls are planned to be completed in 2023. The project also includes the Faculty of Music, the Grand Block of Halls, buildings for theory classes and administration, the Library, and the Student Dormitory.
31 August 2021