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Dec. 4 at 6PM 
Award of Excellence Dinner

Archbishop Gintaras Grušas. 2017 m.

The Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture is delighted to announce that the Museum’s 2021 Excellence Award will be presented to His Excellency Gintaras Grušas, the Archbishop Metropolitan of Vilnius, the Apostolic Administrator of the Lithuanian Military Ordinariate, and the President of the Lithuanian Bishops’ Conference. He receives this honor for his outstanding leadership and dedication to the Lithuanian people and nation and for his prior work as a world Lithuanian youth leader in support of freedom and democracy for Lithuania. The Award of Excellence Dinner is a long-standing annual tradition at the Museum and will take place. This year’s event coincides with the Museum’s 55th Anniversary and  promises to be a joyous celebration.  . Everyone is warmly invited to attend what

Reservations: Regular $135 | Patron $225 Includes gourmet dinner, beverages, and artistic program, raffle, plus the award presentation ceremony. Space is limited. RSVP by Nov. 20, 2021 

Place a greeting or advertisement in the Award Dinner Program Book using the online form here>>> 

or download and fill out the Ad Book Order Form, and email it to Ad Book Order Form with payment information by 

Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021 to: 



Dec. 11 at 11AM to 1PM
Lithuanian Straw Ornament Workshop

Join us on Saturday, Dec. 11am from 11 am to 1 pm as we revive the long-standing Museum tradition of making threaded straw ornaments.  Workshop participants will learn how to construct a basic diamond-shape straw ornament using paper and/or plastic straws, as well as tips on how to embellish ornaments to make more elaborate shapes. Participants will learn the history of these ornaments and view examples from the Museum’s collection. 

  • Registration – $25 non-members
  • Museum Members – $12
  • Children – $8, not recommended for children under 8 years of age

All materials will be provided for workshop participants. Registrants who cannot participate in person will receive a straw ornament starter kit that includes and a link to the Museum’s newly created instructional videos with instructor, artist Laura Lapinskas:

  • a long “doll” needle
  • yarn
  • paper straws  
  • written instructions and with a diagram
  • sewing thread and needle for making fringe

Come and visit

Drop-ins welcome!

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The founder and past president of the Balzekas Museum, the late Stanley Balzekas Jr., stands next to the Honored Benefactors plaque at the Balzekas Museum.
The founder and past president of the Balzekas Museum, the late Stanley Balzekas Jr., stands next to the Honored Benefactors plaque at the Balzekas Museum.

In celebration of 150 years of Lithuanian immigration to the United States, the Balzekas Museum is launching an exciting new project entitled: “Lithuanian Life and Landmarks in America”.  Collecting and preserving oral histories of Lithuanian immigrants and their descendants throughout the United States is integral to this project.  These histories and the Museum’s archives will be used to develop both physical and online exhibits as well as interactive maps and tours documenting where and how Lithuanian Americans lived, worked, studied, prayed, and played. 

To ensure the history and contributions of Lithuanian Americans are preserved for future generations, the Balzekas Museum invites Lithuanian immigrants and their descendants throughout the United States to fill out the following questionnaire:

The Balzekas Museum programs and operations are partially supported by grants from the Illinois Humanities, the Illinois Arts Council Agency, the Lithuanian Foundation, the City of Chicago, DCASE, Lithuanian Ministry of Culture, and Museum members and donors. The Balzekas Museum gratefully acknowledges these individuals and entities for their support.

Lithuanian Life and Landmarks in AmericaAdd Your Voice to our Oral History Project!

A Weekly Visit to the Balzekas Museum

An online exhibit that brings the Balzekas Museum directly to you each week!

Click on the images below to read more about the featured items from our collections. See all weekly posts since January on the “Weekly Visit to the Balzekas Museum ” exhibition page here>>>

The Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture gratefully acknowledges its Members, Donors, and these Grantors for their partial support of the “Weekly Visit to the Balzekas Museum” Exhibition:

Design the
“Love & Respect Park” 


Museum tours to Lithuania currently paused

Currently all Balzekas Museum tours to Lithuania are paused. The tours will resume only when both the US and the Lithuanian governments lift current Covid-19 travel restrictions and advisories for tourists to Lithuania.  As of Sept. 15, 2021, the US State Department has issued the following advisory:  “LEVEL 4: DO NOT TRAVEL TO LITHUANIA”. 
For up-to-date Covid-19 information in Lithuania, we recommend visiting the US Embassy’s website’s page in Vilnius, Lithuania: US Embassy in Lithuania Covid-19 Information and the U.S. State Department’s Lithuanian Travel Advisory Page

Read more about typical Museum tours to Lithuania >>>





Please submit your name and email below to receive the Zoom link to the program and access to the opera on the Balzekas Museum Vimeo Channel.


There are approximately 350 original video recordings in the Museum’s Aleksandras Plenys Collection documenting events which reflect the rich tapestry of Lithuanian American experience. The preservation and digitization of the Chicago Lithuanian Opera videos is the first step in our effort to digitize and preserve a record of these events for posterity. Over the next 6 months, we will be hosting a series of live Zoom presentations showcasing these newly digitized opera recordings. We are very proud that these events have been included in the City of Chicago Department of Culture and Special Events Chicago Year of Music 2020-21  “Music in the Key of Chicago” programs.

A Night at the Opera

The Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture presents the 1996 Chicago Lithuanian Opera production of Banaitis’s “Juratė ir Kastytis”:

Please click the image below to watch the opera directly on the Balzekas Museum's Vimeo Channel:

Screen Shot 2021-05-16 at 1.15.16 PM

This program is supported in part by grants from the Lithuanian Foundation, Illinois Arts Council Agency, Illinois Humanities, the City of Chicago, DCASE and CityArts, as well as contributions from Museum members and private donors. The Balzekas Museum gratefully acknowledges all donors for their support as well as project partner, the Martynas Mažvydas Lithuanian National Library, and its grantor, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania. 

In Memoriam

Carole Rene Balzekas

May 31, 1960 – July 27, 2021

Official Obituary


Donations in Carole’s memory may be made to the Women’s Guild of the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture.

Balzekas Museum Women's Guild Logo