1990: A LOOK BACK
Miscellaneous, but noteworthy
This section comprises the annual list of all those noteworthy events
and people that defy classification under the other headings of this year-end
review. Thus, the notables of 1990 are as follows:
- Avant-garde theater director Virlana Tkacz brought to stage her experimental
production, "A Light from the East," at the La Mama Experimental
Theater in late November. The play, which evolved from a workshop held
in March, was based on the diaries of Les Kurbas, the noted theater director
who revolutionized theater in Ukraine, and incorporated poetry by Shevchenko
and Tychyna, memoirs by Kurbas' actors and the dreams and obsessions of
the participating actors. The Yara Artistic Group, Ms. Tkacz's brainchild,
was born during the experimental stages of the docudream.
- Lina Kostenko the prominent contemporary poet from Ukraine, accepted
a poet-in-residence position at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor
and thus spent several months in the U.S. participating in the university's
newly initiated Ukrainian visiting scholar program.
- The Dudaryk Ukrainian Boys' Choir, under the musical direction of its
founder Mykola Katsal, toured American and Canadian cities in June and
July, and enchanted audiences with its repertoire of Ukrainian classical,
folk and religious songs. This, their first tour outside the Soviet Union,
was organized by Marta Fedoriw, president of Bravo International, and was
highlighted by a performance at New York City's Carnegie Hall; Metropolitan
Opera star Paul Plishka joined the 65-member Dudaryk on the Carnegie stage
in one of the year's most memorable concerts.
- A 25th anniversary tribute to Roma Pryma Bohachevsky was held on June
2 in Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall. The former prima ballerina of the
Innsbruck State Opera House and soloist with the Winnipeg Royal Ballet
was honored in an afternoon "Festival of Ukrainian Dance" program
which featured her Syzokryli Ukrainian Dance Ensemble of New York.
- "Swan Lake. The Zone," won the prestigious International
Critics Prize at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival held in the spring, becoming
the first Ukrainian film to achieve such an honor. Initiated by Yuri Illienko,
the prominent Ukrainian film director, and made possible through the persevering
efforts of Virko Baley, the noted composer and conductor of the Las Vegas
Symphony, the film tells the story of a man who escapes from prison three
days before the end of his sentence.
- Cleveland's Kashtan Ukrainian Dance Ensemble won the Grand Prix, the
highest honor bestowed upon a Ukrainian dance group from abroad, during
Lviv's first International Folklore Festival, held July 28-August 5. The
festival was organized by Hromada, Lviv's Theater-Studio, under the direction
of Yuriy Yaremenko, and was supported by the Lviv City Council.
- The third international congress of the World Federation of Ukrainian
Medical Associations commenced on August 4 in Kiev - a historic first for
Ukraine. Some 250 Ukrainian doctors from the West and 307 doctors from
Ukraine converged on the capital city, and later, on Lviv, to participate
in conference lectures, hospital tours and to discuss important medical
During the congress, a historic event took place on August 16. Hundreds
of Lviv residents, local and visiting physicians, tourists and local officials
observed as Ukrainian Catholic Metropolitan Volodymyr Sterniuk blessed
the newly renamed People's Clinic of Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky.
- Nadia Matkiwsky, executive director of the Children of Chornobyl Relief
Fund based in Short Hills, N.J., was lauded as the first recipient of the
"Mother of Chornobyl Award" during the Ukrainian Institute of
America's seventh annual achievement award banquet held at New York's Plaza
Hotel on November 18. Mrs. Matkiwsky was honored by the Ukrainian Parliament
for her work in providing care for survivors of the 1986 nuclear disaster.
- The soap drive for Ukraine, initiated by the Ukrainian Human Rights
Committee of Philadelphia to help alleviate the severe shortage of this
basic necessity began on December 8, 1989, and culminated on May 1, when
50 tons of the precious commodity were shipped from Camden, N.J., to Ukraine,
abroad the Soviet carrier, Sverdlovsk. The nationwide drive netted donations
from various communities in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware,
Ohio and Pennsylvania, as well as numerous contributions from corporate
donors, including Colgate-Palmolive, Lever Brothers, and Proctor and Gamble.
- For two weeks in August, 43 Lviv students, beginners and professionals
alike, participated in daily instruction in the fundamentals of operating
their choice of Macintosh or IBM computers, in an exchange project fostered
by the Nestor Institute. It is the brainchild of Danylo and Tamara Horodysky,
a California couple known for their work in U.S.-Soviet family exchanges
- An unprecedented three-day International Symposium on the Great Famine
in Ukraine was held in Kiev on September 5-7 and featured academic lectures
interspersed with eyewitness accounts by survivors of the artificially
- More than 80 scholars, business leaders and government representatives
from the United States and Canada, joined by 15 prominent policy-makers
from Ukraine gathered at Harvard University for a conference on November
13-15 to focus on economic reform in Ukraine. Sponsored by Harvard's Project
on Economic Reform in Ukraine, an integral component of the university's
Program on Democracy in Ukraine, the conference attracted participants
as diverse as noted businessman and philanthropist George Soros of the
Open Society Fund and Volodymyr Pylypchuk, chairman of the Economic Commission
of the Ukrainian SSR Supreme Soviet.
- Multimillionaire George Soros brought his Soros Foundation, whose goal
it is to aid those who are willing and able to help themselves, to Ukraine
in the early spring. Already established in Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland
and Moscow, the Ukrainian fund began its operations in April. It is co-directed
by Bohdan Hawrylyshyn, personal representative of Mr. Soros, and Borys
Oliynyk, president of Ukraine's Cultural Fund.
- The weeklong first congress of the International Association of Ukrainian
Studies commenced on August 27 in Ukraine's capital city. Scholars and
researchers of Ukrainian history, language, literature, politics and culture
from throughout the world converged on Kiev to discuss a variety of academic
topics, including the current state and national revival of Ukrainian scholarship.
Dr. George Grabowicz, director of the Harvard University Research Institute,
was elected IAUS president during the conference.
- Paula Dobriansky, a former Fulbright-Hays Scholar and Ford Foundation
Fellow who holds a master's degree in Soviet political/military affairs
from Harvard University, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the associate
director for programs at the U.S. Information Agency on October 28. Ms.
Dobriansky will be responsible for guiding all of USIA's program operations,
including press and publications, international exhibitions and the agency's
foreign press centers. The appointment makes her the highest ranking female
executive in USIA.
- "Soviet Disunion: A History of the Nationalities Problem in the
USSR," the first major study of the crumbling Soviet empire was released
in New York in the summer. Authors Bohdan Nahaylo, a writer and broadcaster
on Soviet affairs, and Victor Swoboda, an honorary research fellow at the
School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies at the University of London,
provide a detailed analysis of the current political problems in the Soviet
Union and the historical forces behind the present crisis.
- Nadia Diuk and Adrian Karatnycky collaborated on "The Hidden Nations:
The People Challenge the Soviet Union from Lithuania to Armenia, Ukraine
to Central Asia," an exploration of the history of the Soviet Empire,
released in the fall. The book tells of the revival of nationalism among
the varied peoples in the Republics of the Soviet Union.
Copyright © The Ukrainian Weekly, December
30, 1990, No. 52, Vol. LVIII
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