Yara Arts Group and The Ukrainian Museum to feature epic song traditions of the world

NEW YORK – Yara Arts Group and The Ukrainian Museum in New York presents a series of virtual events this fall on world epic song traditions and the work of Zenoviy Shtokalko, who brought the Ukrainian epic songs (dumy) to New York in the 1950s.

“Yara’s Traditional Music: Bandurist Zenoviy Shtokalko” is a four-part series on Shtokalko’s performances of Ukrainian dumy, his instrumental music for the bandura, his development of narrative songs and his modernist writings. Hosted by Julian Kytasty and Virlana Tkacz, the events feature special guests from the United States, Canada and Ukraine. They will be live-streamed in September and October. After their premieres, they can be seen anytime on www.yaraartsgroup.net Yara’s virtual events are all free and bilingual (Ukrainian English).

Yara’s traditional music virtual event to feature bandurist Zinoviy Shtokalko

NEW YORK – Yara Arts Group and the Ukrainian Educational and Cultural Center in Jenkintown, Pa., continue their series of virtual poetry and folk arts events with Yara’s “Traditional Music: Bandurist Zinoviy Shtokalko.”

The event will livestream on July 23 and can be heard afterwards in recording on www.yaraartsgroup.net. Shtokalko, an immigrant from Berezhany, was a virtuoso bandura player who brought the Ukrainian epic song tradition to New York in the 1950s and developed it in the 1960s. Yara’s Virlana Tkacz tells his story, while Julian Kytasty, a master bandura player, shares recordings and plays work influenced by Shtokalko, who died in 1968.

Yara Arts Group launches a series of virtual poetry and folk arts events

NEW YORK – Yara Arts Group, based in New York, and the Ukrainian Educational and Cultural Center in Jenkintown, Pa., will present a series of virtual poetry and folk arts events, as well as discussions of Yara theater pieces in the coming months.

The planned virtual events will include specials dedicated to the poetry of Oleh Lysheha, a Ukrainian poet whose work inspired several Yara theater pieces. The planned folk arts events will explore the music of Ukrainian immigrants, including Pawlo Humeniuk, who was known in his time as “The King of Ukrainian Music.” Yara is also working on events that will feature the work of American writers of Ukrainian heritage.

Thousands of Ukrainians gather online to protest against cuts to culture budget

KYIV – As an emergency measure to address the country’s health and economic crises, Ukraine’s Ministry of Finance has said it plans to cut funding for all activities of the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy, as well as funding for youth and sports, by 7 billion hrv.

In particular, the revised budget would exclude the planned 750 million hrv for Derzhkino (the government-funded film agency), over 500 million hrv for the construction of the Holodomor and the Revolution of Dignity museums, 250 million hrv for creative unions, 500 million hrv for the Ukrainian Cultural Fund, 150 million hrv for the Book Institute and 500 million hrv for information policy, as well as programs for uniting the country, supporting youth programs and renovation of cultural centers.

“Art and War” exhibition at Fresno State sheds light on Russia’s war against Ukraine

FRESNO, Calif. – “Art and War: Donbas, 2014 to the Present,” an exhibition of paintings and drawings by Yulia Gasio, a Fresno State alumna and a faculty member at California State University, Long Beach, opened at the Henry Madden Library’s Leon S. Peters Ellipse Gallery on February 6. The opening ceremony attracted faculty and students from California State University, Fresno, as well as from Fresno Pacific University and Fresno City College, historians, artists, journalists, board members from the Fresno Art Museum, representatives from the Fresno community and Ukrainian organizations from southern California.

“Songs from Ancient Ukraine” presented at Ukrainian Institute

NEW YORK – The mid-season concert of the “Music at the Institute” (MATI) series at the Ukrainian Institute of America featured Julian Kytasty and Roman Turovsky performing “Songs From Ancient Ukraine.”

Presented on Saturday, February 1, the evening featured religious and secular musical selections from three periods: the Baroque, the transitional or parallel period, and the kobzar, lirnyk and romanticist period of the 18th-19th centuries.

The ambiance for the evening was set by Roman Turovsky playing “Prelude,” a piece from the Baroque period by Dmytro Tuptalo which he had set for playing on his torban.

“Winter Songs on Mars”: Song through time in space

NEW YORK – In late December, Yara Arts Group got together with Nova Opera, from Kyiv, and the Koliadnyky, from the Carpathians, to produce “Winter Songs on Mars.” The result was a fun and surprising performance that took place at La MaMa Experimental Theater Company in New York City’s East Village and was directed by Virlana Tkacz, with musical direction by Julian Kytasty.

Setting the traditional Koliada and Vertep nativity play on Mars led to a playful and imaginative show for the audiences. The performance on December 21, 2019, was enjoyed by both the hundreds of students of three Ukrainian studies schools that watched the show in the afternoon, and that evening’s audience, which was a more typical mix of downtown hipsters and the local Ukrainian community members Yara’s shows usually attract.

“Peripheral Visions”: A duo-exhibition of spatial transitions by the Yurchuks

NEW YORK – Art at the Institute is presenting “Peripheral Visions,” an exhibition of mixed-media artworks by familial artists Iranaeus and Dorian Yurchuk, exploring extreme visions of architectonic and topographic ruminations in two and three dimensions.

The exhibition opens at the Ukrainian Institute of America on Friday, February 21, with an opening reception for the artists at 6-8 p.m. Curated by Walter Hoydysh, Ph.D., director of Art at the Institute, this marks the artists’ first showing with the UIA.

Holderness School exhibit brings visitors to the frontline of Ukraine’s experience

HOLDERNESS, N.H. – Holderness School is hosting “Verses from a Nation in Transition: Photographs by Joseph Sywenkyj” beginning on January 24. Mr. Sywenkyj, a two-time Fulbright scholar and recipient of the prestigious W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography, is an American photographer of Ukrainian descent.

He specializes in documentary, reportage, portraiture and travel photography. Twenty years ago, he began working in Ukraine, the nation of his ancestors.

The exhibit at Holderness School features approximately 50 photographs from three of Mr. Sywenkyj’s long-term projects from Ukraine. For two decades, he focused his lens on health issues related to HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and war trauma.

Vertep Fest immerses Kharkiv in traditional Ukrainian folklore

KYIV – The annual Vertep Fest took place in Kharkiv this year for the fourth time. Fifty-two musical collectives arrived on January 11-12 from different corners of Ukraine; a large number of them were from Kharkiv and the eastern region, which shares a border with Russia. More than 1,500 people passed along the city’s main street in the traditional “Vertep March.” Fifty-six cities in Ukraine, the Netherlands, Poland and Estonia supported the international performance of the beloved carol “Nova Radist Stala” at Vertep Fest 2020. The final event of the festival, the Ethno Evening Folklore Party, gathered a large number of spectators and closed the event on a high note.