Programme 2023

You don’t have to be young to be young. Even though Vilnius is 700 years old, it is always young in heart and soul. Against the backdrop of rich history and architecture, the people of Vilnius live and create the city’s unique face, heart and pulse. Vilnius is full of youthful energy that encourages action, inspires change, pushes forward and has no limits to ideas.

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25–28 January 2023
The 700th anniversary of Vilnius

The January of 2023 is a special month. On the morning of 25 January, Vilnius woke up as a 700 years old city. That’s why the events of January are like the cherry on the birthday cake, and the Vilnius Festival of Lights is like the candles on the cake, donated by Lithuanian and foreign light artists. This gift is for everyone: the most unexpected places in Vilnius were lit up with new interactive installations, allowing people to create their unique compositions. But the gifts don’t end with the  light installations. Vilnius also lit up with other spectacular birthday events and surprises.

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25 July 2023
Festival “As Young as Vilnius”

The day of the patron saint of Vilnius St. Christopher is also worth celebrating, as he is the one who protects Vilnius from calamities and leads it on the right path. On 25 July, free music performances took place in Vingis Park and entertained people all day long. Classical and popular contemporary music, well-known performers, British bands Clean Bandit and Bastille, special audiovisual solutions and a summer mood gave Vilnius and its visitors an unforgettable live music festival.

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June 2-3 2023
Vilnius – an open music space

For the third time, the first weekend of summer saw the courtyards of residential areas transformed for two days into an open-air music hall with 4 music spaces and 24 artists and bands. The concerts featured different styles of music: as much as 700 minutes of music every day.

Project partners –  Vilnius City Municipality, Go Vilnius and AGATA.

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Once in Vilnius

Watching the sun rise over the city, drinking coffee in the Old Town street, splashing in the fountain or attending an event, all these moments were captured and shared with others on the free mobile app Once in Vilnius. The images captured by people have been selected to be part of the unique seven short documentaries “Once Upon a Time in Vilnius”. During the project, everyone could also create a short film using the app from all the moments they liked captured by other participants. The project proves once again that Vilnius has thousands of faces, and everyone sees it differently.

Project partner – Art Factory Loftas

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Capture your best moments, record your impressions and share them on the Once in Vilnius app. Just download the app and upload your video. It’s important to remember that every shot may be a part of a feature-length film about Vilnius!

Download the app and let’s tell your story together.


22 April 2023 28 January 2024
Exhibition “Vilnius Poker”

The exhibition took us back to the time when the Soviet Union was on the verge of collapse. It was the birth of Ričardas Gavelis’ legendary novel Vilnius Poker, a deconstruction of the collapsing Soviet system and one of the first Lithuanian books to explore the city and its citizens. The Museum of Modern Art invited you to see that period through the eyes of artists. Director Oskaras Koršunovas and set designer Gintaras Makarevičius suggested exploring the creative rebellion. This exhibition was a perfect reflection of one of the most important stages in the history of Vilnius, which changed the face of Vilnius. What kind of character is Vilnius today and how do we imagine it in the future? The exhibition did not promise to give one right answer, because there is none. However, your answer is a part of the puzzle of Vilnius.

Project partner – MO Museum.

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13 May 15 October 2023
Pavilion “Vilnius 200 years ago”

On the occasion of the 700th anniversary of Vilnius, the city of the past has been recreated down to the last detail. This allowed us to step into history and take a walk through Vilnius in the last quarter of the 18th century and the first half of the 19th century. It was possible to visit the pavilion and explore a model of Vilnius, looking at the city through the eyes of its past inhabitants. Lectures and engaging workshops gave a better insight into Vilnius 200 years ago. Embark on your own explorations to see what your favourite places used to look like and what everyday life was like for the citizens.

Project partner – National Museum of Lithuania

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January–November 2023
Opera.Connect: Vilnius the city of opera

The history of Old Vilnius is inseparable from the development of the genre of opera in Europe: opera started in our capital city before London or Paris. As the city enters the summer of its jubilee year, the artists of the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre recalled the historical link between Vilnius and opera by presenting two free events in the city’s historic spaces: the Town Hall and the Cathedral Square.

Opera is not only about classical costumes, but also about modern technology. To recover this lost history, an international team of creators used an artificial intelligence tool (AI model by Martin Malandro) to recreate the opera as it was performed at the Lower Castle of Vilnius on 6 March 1644, based on the surviving works of Marco Scacchi and his contemporaries.

New knowledge is needed to ensure that the city can continue to pride itself on producing future opera stars.  That’s why Vilnius hosted the Performing Arts and Creative Industries Forum “In Muse”, the LOR Conference, and the Meeting-Conference of Music Academies Network.

Project partners – the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre, the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania and the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre.

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6 May 6 July 2023
Music for Vilnius

How does Vilnius sound? It probably depends on where you are. Close your eyes and listen: maybe it’s church bells, a rushing river, leaves rustling in the wind, laughter or car horns. Seven world-famous composers did just that: after visiting Vilnius, they chose a place they liked and composed a 5 to 10 minutes long composition. The seven works for Vilnius were publicly presented in the spaces where they were composed. These Music for Vilnius compositions are like ephemeral sculptures of modern Vilnius.

Project partners – the Cultural Innovation Agency “Meno genas” and the Lithuanian Ensemble Network.

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23 July 6 August 2023
Vilnius Biennial of Performance Art

Vilnius is youthful and open to modern ideas, which is why in January of 2023 a famous performance star presented Vilnius with a gift for its anniversary, and in the summer, the city’s historic and new sites, parks, streets and indoor spaces were filled with temporary, yet unique works of art: the performances of the first international Vilnius Biennial of Performance Art. Lithuanian works that have made Lithuania world-famous and works by international celebrities were on display. During the first festival, artists explored the historical and contemporary achievements of Vilnius, important dates, events, places and people.

The first Vilnius Biennial of Performance Art (VB23), which was implemented throughout the year, concluded its programme at the contemporary art fair ArtVilnius’23. However, the Vilnius Biennial of Performance Art is a lasting gift to the city; the festival will take place every two years and will become a permanent part of the city’s tradition.

Project partner – Gallery “Meno niša”.

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January–December 2023
Cinematographic project “Vilnius Poker”

While Vilnius is constantly changing, the city’s DNA remains the same. Ričardas Gavelis’ Vilnius Poker is a timeless ode to Vilnius that remains relevant even after more than three decades. On the occasion of Vilnius’ anniversary, Vilnius Poker was revived on the cinema screen, in exhibitions and concert halls.

The novel was also full of music, jazz can be heard in the pages of the book, and on the occasion of the anniversary of Vilnius, it was played in Lukiškės Prison. A unique avant-garde jazz composition “Vilnius Poker”, created especially for the film, was presented to the citizens and guests of Vilnius as a separate concert. To fully immerse oneself in the world of Vilnius Poker, people were provided with the opportunity to visit the exhibition “Aren’t You a Kanukas?”, which not only captured the behind-the-scenes of the making of the film, but also a number of thematic paintings and sculptures.

Filmmaker Donatas Ulvydas undertakes an impressive project to give a legendary work of literature a visual body. Uncovering a mystified story of life, love and death in a city rich in mythology and history is a challenge, but the upcoming film “Vilnius Poker” will pierce the veil of Vilnius.

Project partners – UAB “Ulvyds”, Public institution “Vilnius JJAZZ Ensemble” and “Artbox”.

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22 November 2023 9 September 2024
Exhibition: a Worldwide Lithuania: Our Migration Story

House of Histories will present a special exhibition devoted to the processes of Lithuanian migration from the mid-19th century to the present day.

Visitors will have the chance to learn about the main waves of migration and their destinations, causes, and consequences, as well as the stories of prominent individuals who, through their lives and accomplishments, left their mark on a global context. The exhibition has been designed to help visitors experience the different periods and environments of various waves of migration, and will feature the unique stories contained within the everyday narratives of migration.

Project partners – the National Museum of Lithuania in cooperation with the House of Histories.

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25 January – 27 August 2023
Exhibition: Gediminas’s Letters in Vilnius

The National Museum of Lithuania in cooperation with the Lithuanian National Museum of Art, brought an authentic copy of Gediminas’ letter to Lithuania. None of Gediminas’ original letters have survived, so the transcript, made in Riga shortly after the letter’s receipt, is the most authentic record of the birth of Vilnius. The letter was accompanied by an interactive exhibition presenting the significance and importance of these letters.

Project partner – the National Museum of Lithuania in cooperation with the Lithuanian National Museum of Art.

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15 December 2022 – 27 August 2023
Exhibition: I am a Vilnian

Can you imagine Vilnius without the Kaziukas Fair? But did you know that St. Casimir was not a permanent resident of Vilnius? We are proud of the Baroque face of Vilnius, but did you know that it was created by newcomers? Do we consider the multiculturalism stipulated in the letters of Gediminas to be the essence of Vilnius identity? But did you know that these letters, dictated by the Duke, were written by Franciscan monks?

The exhibition invited visitors to immerse themselves in a 700-year-long narrative of 50 stories revolving around Vilnius and its citizens. The exhibition, like Vilnius itself, was rich and diverse, but all the stories testified the same thing: we are all Vilnius citizens and we create the city, whether we are born here or came here to live.

Project partner – the National Museum of Lithuania.

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January 2023 – January 2024
Exhibitions in the Palace of the Grand Dukes

As Vilnius enters a new century, citizens were invited to get acquainted with a 3D virtual recreation of the Gediminas Tower, as well as to see the oldest wooden building in Vilnius and its unique findings in one of the exhibitions. The Palace Museum provided a unique opportunity to see the tapestries of Sigismund Augustus brought back to Vilnius, as well as the Arc de Triomphe and the historical subtleties of the residences of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania. The Palace of the Grand Dukes, which radiates exceptional energy, is one of the most important cultural, educational, museum, information, tourist and representative objects in the capital.

Project partner – the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania

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