Dear Estonian community members and friends,
As this New Year begins, I feel incredibly grateful for our community of partners and
supporters, and look forward to another year of working together on our common goals of
ensuring Estonian values and community life continue here in the U.S, and that Estonia remains
free and secure.
Like many of you, we have hopes and goals for the new year. Already on January 2, EANC will
announce the 2024 winner of the EANC Henrik Visnapuu Literature and Culture Award, and
soon after we will have the opportunity to honor the 2024 awardee while celebrating the work
of both Henrik Visnapuu and cultural figures of today. The ceremony will be held in Estonia and
can also be seen online. We are also excited to support renowned maestro Tõnu Kaljuste and
the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir on their East Coast tour in February, bringing the
inspired works of Arvo Pärt to the American public.
Later this year, we commemorate the 80 th anniversary of the Mass Flight of 1944, a point in
history that affected generations of Estonians families in so many ways and that still resounds
today. Today, Ukraine continues to fight for survival of their people and for democracy itself.
EANC continues to call for timely aid in their defense and for support of the U.S. and allies in
defeating the onslaught of the ruthless neighbor in Russia. The will of the Ukrainian people
remains strong, and having shared a similar history, we know Russia´s ruthless attempts at
occupation must be stopped. As we commemorate, may the Estonian story and also the
resilience of the Estonian people, in Estonia and here in the U.S., guide our understanding,
support, and actions.
As heard from our panelists and audience at the EANC´s Inspiration Forum, resilience and
motivation comes from within and often stems from culture and connectedness to our roots,
and to one another. Let us continue to find joy and strength in our working together!
We thank all of you for the work you are doing on behalf of Estonia and Estonian life here in the
Head Uut Aastat ja Elagu Eesti!
Mai-Liis Bartling, president
Estonian American National Council