Archive for category Fundraising

Jazz Age at the Ukrainian Institute

The Ukrainian Institute of America roared Saturday night on September 21, 2013 as the 1920’s came to life. Amidst the Gatsby gents and Charleston ladies, who donned their party finest – adorned by feathers, boas, sequins and shimmy fringes, members and guests all enjoyed this Smashing Jazz Age Party, dancing into the early hours of the morning.

This inaugural UIA-Young Professionals Council fundraiser supported the UIA Arts Preservation Fund. Live Jazz kicked off the evening with James Sheppard and his Trio. Specialty drinks were tailored by Joios mixologists with floral and herbed notes, while fabulous music resonated through the Beaux Arts halls of the Institute. The dance floor has never been so full at such length, all night long. DJ Nick surpassed his Rose Room reputation.

Beginning with their first efforts this summer, the Young Professionals Council has presented several appealing Ukrainian Language Literary Evenings. These events focused on authors and poets of the “60-nykiv”. Revisiting the historic accounts of Ukrainian authors has heightened the interests of this group of 21-35 year old Ukrainians. Guests have listened to the poetry of Vasyl Stus and Lina Kostenko and have gained perspective into their struggles as well as an appreciation for the poetic lyrical majesty and linguistic appeal of our mother tongue.

The UIA-YP Council thrives on the participation of young Ukrainians. This cultural program provides opportunities for young American Ukrainians and Ukrainian-born citizens to mingle, share knowledge, compare educational methods and personal experiences of ‘being brought up UKRAINIAN’ on different continents. Whether to touch base with the cultural heritage of our parents, to hear our Ukrainian spoken or to just enjoy the company of a young community in many languages, this Young Professional Council is on the right track. The many formats UIA-YPC offer gives something for every young Ukrainian to enjoy.

By Chrysanna Woroch

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Silent Auction to benefit Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv

On Saturday, March 24th, 2012 a silent auction was held at the historic Ukrainian Institute in New York City to benefit the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv. Headed by the Rt. Reverend Borys Gudziak, the Ukrainian Catholic University, or UCU, serves to encourage modern learning and intellectualism in Ukraine, a country that has struggled to free itself from its post-Soviet bonds for over two decades.

UCU is the first Catholic university to exist in Ukraine. Fittingly, its current headquarters is located on the site of a former Communist KGB headquarters in Lviv. The beautiful, architecturally modern building contains very few walls to symbolize togetherness and unity, and also to encourage intellectualism and education—they must not be separated from each other. UCU is currently one of the most important Catholic learning centers in the world, and it is pushing Western values into the East. The University recently ran a successful outreach program in which Fordham students visited UCU to encouraged open borders between the United States and Ukraine. The trip was so successful that Fordham’s Global Outreach program will continue to send students to Ukraine to visit UCU.

Olena Dzhedzhora, one of the speakers are the auction, is the International Academic Relations Director at the Ukrainian Catholic University. Ms. Dzhedzhora, who has been working at UCU for nearly 20 years, spoke about how the University is working to reverse the negative effects that Communism has had on Ukraine.  She explained that the University’s goal is to re-create Ukrainians who value intellectualism, openness, the Church, and art. Another speaker at the event was Alex Kuzma, Executive Director of the Ukrainian Catholic Education Foundation. Mr. Kuzma emphasized that the University is instrumental in creating a democratic society, since change will not happen in a “top-down” fashion. “Real change must come from the ground up,” says Mr. Kuzma. If a nation wants to change its circumstances, then its people must work together to do so, he continued. The students of UCU are those kinds of people. One prime example is the fact that UCU students were among the front line during Ukraine’s Orange Revolution in 2004.

by Andrea Kebalo

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photos by Olena Sidlovych

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