February 24th, 2023 marks the one year anniversary of the full-scale russian invasion. Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity were brutally violated on that early winter morning. It has been 365 days of the people of Ukraine showing pure courage and dignity in their fight for freedom.
Join Razom and other organizations and initiatives to express support and show that the world stands with Ukraine in the face of russian terror. Consider attending the following events and spread the word that Ukraine is still fighting to preserve its independence one year after the full-scale invasion.
February 23 | 8 PM
Somerset, NJ | Ukrainian Cultural Center of the UOC of the USA
Let’s Prayerfully Honor the Victims of the War in Ukraine
This week we want to shine a spotlight on a very special event coming to New York City this holiday season and warmly invite you to Notes From Ukraine, a concert on Sunday, December 4, 2022 at Carnegie Hall dedicated to 100 years of “Shchedryk” and highlighting Ukrainian music and the connections between Ukrainian and American cultures.
A hundred years ago Ukrainians used the soft power of music to preserve and promote their independence, and today Ukrainian artists are once again turning to culture to communicate with the world.
On October 5, 1922, the Ukrainian Republic Capella performed Mykola Leontovych’s “Shchedryk” in New York City’s Carnegie Hall for the first time to North American audiences, sparking its journey to becoming the beloved Christmas classic known around the world as “Carol of the Bells.” Back then, the concert was a part of a cultural diplomacy missionlaunched in 1919 to promote awareness of Ukrainian independence in Europe and the Americas and to counter Russian propaganda. Under the auspices of the head of the Ukrainian National Republic (UNR), Symon Petliura, and the Ministries of Education, Arts and Foreign Affairs, the national choir performed more than 200 concerts in North America alone at major halls and universities. The Capella shared Ukraine’s unique choral tradition while promoting the country’s sovereignty and distinctiveness from “the russian world.”
Check out this video to learn more about the incredible and little-known history of one of the most beloved Christmas melodies around the world and its origins.
Notes from Ukraine on December 4th will be a culmination of the collective dreaming, vision, and work of many people, over many years.
Produced by Ukrainian Institute-Kyiv, Ukrainian Contemporary Music Festival (UCMF), and us (Razom), it will feature performances by world-famous choral artists from Ukraine and North America, including Ukrainian Chorus Dumka of New York (as featured on SNL), Kyiv-based, Ukrainian Children’s Choir Shchedryk, TheChoir of Trinity Wall Street, along with special guests, including soprano, Janai Brugger, and Toronto-based Ukrainian folk singer, Marichka Marczyk. The program features a world premiere by composer Trevor Weston, setting the words of Ukrainian Nobel Prize-nominated poet, Serhiy Zhadan (a RazomPartner via the Serhi Zhadan Charitable Foundation), as well as American choral works with Ukrainian connections by composers Eric Whitacre, Leonard Bernstein, Valentyn Sylvestrov, George Gershwin, and others.
This project has never been as important as it is today, when the identity of Ukraine is again under threat and russia’s missiles have targeted cultural sites across the country. In buying a ticket to this concert you will not only discover amazing Ukrainian music and support Ukrainian musical artists and composers, but also become a part of Ukraine’s reconstruction. Proceeds from this event will go to United24 and allocated to the reconstruction of public services.
Notes From Ukraine is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the United Nations, and the Embassy of Ukraine in the USA. We are grateful for our sponsor Samopomich, Self Reliance Federal Credit Union of New York, and we are looking for more sponsors to become a part this momentous event for the Ukrainian-American diaspora in the U.S. and music lovers in NYC.
We hope to see you all together on December 4th at Carnegie Hall, but before then there are several other great opportunities to connect with Ukraine with events across the country. Here’s a few to put on your radar:
The Kennedy Center Concert Hall, the world’s leading national stage will showcase a Benefit Concert for Ukraine on October 18 at 7:30PM. The concert features joint performance by American violinist, Grammy Award-winner and global superstar, Joshua Bell, and the internationally acclaimed New Era Orchestra from Ukraine.
Upcoming premier screenings of Freedom on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom with director Evgeny Afineevsky scheduled to attend. Catch a moving, behind the headlines account of the Ukrainian people’s resistance and resilience during the 2022 Russian invasion. With unprecedented access to the events on the ground, it weaves together personal stories of civilians, soldiers, journalists, and international volunteers to give voice to the people whose lives have been turned upside down.
Hampton Film Fest in East Hampton, NY on Saturday, October 8 @ 5:00PM | Regal UA East Hampton and in Sag Harbor, NY on Sunday, October 9 @ 2:00PM | Sag Harbor Cinema
Brooklyn (home of the Brooklyn Cyclones Stadium) welcomes the Ukrainian National Baseball Team for charity baseball games to raise funds to rebuild Ukraine’s youth sports facilities and infrastructure. You’ll have a chance to meet some Ukrainian heroes (baseball players who are members of the Ukrainian military), while helping to raise awareness about the ongoing war in Ukraine. There are two games, each of which include pre-game performances and ceremonies, post-game fireworks, and raffle and silent auction opportunities. General admission is free, but you have to reserve your tickets here.
Game 1:Team Ukraine vs NYPD Baseball on Friday, October 14@ 7:00PM w/ pre-game performances and ceremonies starting @ 6:00PM.
Game 2:Team Ukraine vs FDNY Baseball on Saturday, October 15 @ 2:00PM w/ pre-game performances and activities starting @ 1:00PM.
Bar 9 Piano Bar in NYC, along with the NYC Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Bronx School of Music, the Hellenic Progressive Association: Peter Karanous Bx Chapter #175, and the National Association of Real Estate Brokersare hosting a Musical Jam and Fundraiser for Ukraine on Wednesday, October 12 @ 6:00PM. Our own Alex Pryrodny will be one of the performers and fundraising for Razom! You can buy your ticket and even watch the event virtually here.
The Oxbow Gallery in Easthampton, MA will be showing a series of new oil paintings by Joanne Holtje, “Lamentations,” from October 27-November 27, 2022. Begun in early 2022, this series served as a way for her to bear witness to the horror of the invasion of Ukraine. The proceeds of sales from the show, plus an additional 20% match from an anonymous donor will be donated to Razom.
KAZKA is back in the US for its “I’m Ukraine” tour that will kick off with a charity concert at New York’s Melrose Ballroom on November 4 @ 9:00PM. You can also catch them in Miami, Chicago, Seattle, and San Francisco. Get your tickets here!
CALLING ALL CREATORS WHO SUPPORT UKRAINE
Monday, October 24th, 2022
Understanding and celebrating different culture is a necessity for peace and tolerance. Ukraine will have fought a horrific full blown war for 8 consecutive months on October 24th. What has lead Ukrainians to victory, time and time again, is the pride we share in our culture, and it’s what we want to share with the rest of the world.
This is an invitation for you to be a part of an international worldwide social media fundraising campaign for Razom. We have selected 10 Ukrainian mythological characters to highlight this Halloween season. If you choose to participate we would love to share these myths with you and let you create freely. The task is to create (art, music, dance, make up, fashion, etc) based on the myth assigned to you and to post this content on October 24th under the hashtag #UkrainianHalloween. Our team will not be micromanaging your process and we want to emphasize that this will be your work inspired by Ukrainian culture. All forms of artistry and creation are welcomed and encouraged.
This project’s goals are: – Celebrate and highlight Ukrainian culture in a unique way – Celebrate Ukrainian supporters through our close collaboration on #UkrainianHalloween – Fundraise for an imminent victory against our aggressor and also for the immediate rebuilding of a terrorized nation
Questions to: @aleksandr.krapivkin Illustration by: @bubblegum_effect
Razom was one of the winners of the 2022 Innovators Awards in Global Affairs from Network 20/20, their premier event showcasing emerging innovation, global leadership, and people-to-people diplomacy. The gala brought together prominent global leaders, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, academics, and corporate supporters. Razom’s President, Dora Chomiak and Vice President, Lyuba Shipovich spoke at the gala and accepted the Communication and Civic Engagement award on Razom’s behalf!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read about all the meaningful ways you can support Ukraine and immerse yourself and learn from its culture. We sincerely hope to see you at all of these incredible events because we’ll be there!
In our next newsletter installment, we’ll be sharing a deep dive into some new projects recently started by Razom as well as updates on our long standing work. There are some great stories coming your way.
Razom has been calling on international leaders and U.S. elected representatives to #CloseTheSky, get #PlanesForUkraine, and #IsolateRussia. To all of you that have come out to a rally, a picket, dialed through a telethon, tweeted up a storm, or engaged your friends and family in discussion on how they can stand with Ukraine, we are immensely grateful. Thanks to our network of volunteers and partner organizations in Ukraine, we promise to continue to keep our ear to the ground to advocate for what will make a difference in healing the humanitarian crisis brought on by russia’s invasion.
As of March 27, there are over 130 children that have been killed as a result of russian bombs and missiles targeting civilians in Ukraine. Let that number sink in. Ukraine is paying a high price in its continued fight for freedom that is a fight for the entire free world. The Mothers’ March took place in New York City over two days the week of March 21 to raise awareness about children being targeted by russian bombs and missiles. Mariupol, a city in southeastern Ukraine, in particular has been a poignant example of this after the Drama Theater (sheltering over 1,000 women and children) was targeted and bombed by russian forces and left without food or water for days due to continued shelling in the area, making rescue operations nearly impossible.
Razom volunteers organized a flashmob at New York’s Grand Central Station during the same week to bring attention to the death toll in the city of Mariupol, a port town similar in population size to Virginia Beach in the U.S. We showed up to deliver our message to #SaveMariupol so that it was carried home across the tristate area by everyone who walked by.
That same day on March 23rd, the Mayor of New York City, Eric Adams and Ukraine’s General Consul in New York, Oleksii Holubov, joined us for his address to the Ukrainian-American community and friends of Ukraine at the raising of the Ukrainian and American flags at historic Bowling Green in lower Manhattan, a location that holds a lot of historical significance for the United States’ own fight for independence. From Bowling Green, General Washington witnessed the last British troops leave American soil and the American flag raised on its own. Bowling Green later became the first public park in the U.S. It’s the only place in New York City where flags are raised from all over the world, as has been done hundreds of times since 1996.
After a little over a month of this war, don’t let apathy set in. The Ukrainian flag at Bowling Green won’t come down until Ukraine is victorious. And Ukraine will be victorious. Make it happen sooner: keep showing up when it matters.
New York has the largest Ukrainian population outside of Ukraine and we are proud of that energy and spirit. Any conflict that plays out on a global scale, plays out on the streets of New York City… Today we are united, we stand with you, we are part of the Ukrainian people in saying that we will never surrender, never give in.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams speaking at the raising of Ukrainian & American flags at Bowling Green
We had a fabulous time at our first in-person event in many months and the two nights of our Films on the Roof / Кіно на даху mini- film festival!
Thank you to everyone who joined us Friday and Saturday nights – thank you for getting tickets, wearing your masks, distancing yourselves, being so kind and respectful, and even volunteering to help clean up afterwards. We were so happy to see our Razom community is as strong as ever. The location was perfect; the sounds of New York and the view of St. George Church complimented the gathering so well. And the films! We are so proud to have the Razom premiere of the film Mr. Jones on the Friday night. The film was moving, beautiful, and so important. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s on Amazon. And the screening of Hutsulka Ksenya and Julie Blue was just the following night, when we even got to hear from special guests Roxy Toporowych, writer and director of Julia Blue, and Maks Lozynsky, who played Yaro in Hutsulka Ksenya! It was an unforgettable experience. We laughed, we cried, we delighted in the treasures of Ukrainian and Ukrainian-American cinema. And all that on the Ukrainian Cinema Day.
Lots of thanks to the Razom Culture leader Leah Batstone for organizing the event, and to our volunteers – Maryna Prykhodko, Dora Chomiak, Mariya Soroka, Olya Yarychkivska and many others – for helping out. A big shout out to the St. George Academy for hosting us, and Streecha for the delicious kompot!
“These are our people that are currently in Russian prisons,” said Oleg Sentsov speaking in Ukrainian to a crowd of over 250 people in New York on January 25 describing how over 300 Ukrainians, including a large number of Crimean Tatars, are being held as prisoners in Russia. “This is very important, and at all discussions, I begin with this question because it is the most important for me.”
On December 11, a group of active Razom Think volunteers helped organize protest and expressed their outrage for the recent comment made by FoxNews host Tucker Carlson on air – the comment in favor of Putin and questioning why anyone needs to support Ukraine.
The Giving Tuesday charity event dedicated to Veterans Stipends that took place in Kyiv this December collected 80,500 UAH, which explicitly shows that Ukrainians are supportive of and ready for the global movement and tradition of charitable nights.
On October 18, our Razom Partner, Istorychna Pravda celebrated their 9th Birthday: founded on October 18th, 2010. Istorychna Pravda is an independent information resource of Ukrainian history with a large audience – more than 21 million users who access over 11 000 scientific and analytical publications by over 600 authors and 7 special projects. The only source of financial support is charitable donations (and hours of sweat equity of volunteered time).