Оctober 25th. The Pushkin Society in America in New York City treated its compatriots to a special program dedicated to the 200th anniversary of the birthdays of Mikhail Lermontov and Taras Shevchenko, two great poets in their respective countries. The literary gathering was held within the Bibliophile Club, which is headed by Anna Nemerovsky and presided over by Zinovy Korovin, the president of the Brooklyn Poetry Club. Svetlana Negrimovsky, the Brooklyn Public Library manager at the Sheepshead Bay branch, hosted this event hospitably. The library organized many such events for readers in various languages, including Russian. The Pushkin Society in America has held meetings with immigrants that collect important historical data, record interviews, received historical evidence, and conduct colloquiums about Russian literature for the fourth consecutive year. Following the Pushkin Society’s 2011 establishment of the Lodyjensky Immigration Archive Center of Russian and Ukrainian Culture (LIAC), a cultural center and archive devoted to Russian and Ukrainian immigration history named after Dr. Catharine Lodyjensky, we were able to organize such meetings.
Dr. Victoriya Kurchenko has been the organizer and driving inspiration of these successes. She addressed the meeting and drew attention to the jubilee commemorations of Lermontov and Shevchenko, great poets and philosophers who created timeless literary masterpieces. Dr. Kurchenko personally reflected on Lermontov’s iconic status in Russian culture alongside Pushkin and the phenomenon of Shevchenko as the father of Ukrainian identity, culture, and language. “It is of paramount interest, she emphasized, “is how the emigrants of the previous generations commemorated the jubilees of Lermontov and Shevchenko here in New York, what conclusions and ideas they drew from their literary works, and how they appreciated them.”
October 12th. The closing ceremony of the 7th Russian Documentary Film Festival in New York City took place at the oldest World War I veterans club there. Lucy Kostelanetz, the director of this program and “Sonia”, a documentary about the life of Sofia Dymshitz-Tolstaya, an artist, received a special award from the Pushkin Society in America. The award included a medal and an honorary membership diploma. The festival is held annually by the New Review magazine under the direction of Marina Adamovich, the editor-in-chief, in partnership with V.K. Studius and the Princess Diana Bagrationi Foundation.
September 15-22th. The Pushkin Society in America attended the Brooklyn Book Festival in New York City for the first time. The festival is currently the largest gathering of publishers, libraries, and celebrated writers. The festival included participants from 16 countries, programs for people of all ages, and 100 discussion groups. The events attracted more than 50,000 visitors.
August 23rd. Meeting in a literary club. Alexei Kaylanov, an intelligent writer, and the author of “Jokingly and Seriously Thinking Aloud”, a new book of aphorisms, was our keynote speaker. The second part of our program included performances by guests, speeches by various poets, and the representatives of Russian-speaking artists. Our guests experienced the privileges of listening to the speeches of those poets and speaking with the representatives of the Russian-speaking artists. They welcomed the opportunity to hold intellectual discussions with the authors.
June 16-17th. The 34th International Russian-American Forum took place in Washington, D.C. at the United States Senate. It was devoted to the political crisis in Ukraine. Various individuals, including leading American and Russian experts, discussed the changing environment of Russian-American relations in politics, business, and culture. The conference was initiated by Sergei Kislyak, the Russian Ambassador to the United States. The speakers included Edward Lozansky, the president of American University in Moscow, and the panel moderator, Stephen Cohen, a professor of Russian Studies at New York University and Princeton University, Robert Legvold, the Marshall D. Shulman Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Columbia University, Mark Ritchie, the Minnesota Secretary of State, Michael Stopford, the former NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Strategic Communications, and Mead Treadwell, the Lt. Governor of Alaska.
During a break, these individuals discussed reports, interviews, and plans for cooperation with each other. The first day of the conference concluded with a reception at the Russian Embassy.
On June 17, we saw the continuation of the conference at the United States National Press Club. Elena Branson, the president of the Russian Center in New York, organized the Economic section. Yuri Zaitsev, a Russian diplomat, and the chief of the Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States, Compatriots Living Abroad, and International Humanitarian Cooperation, a Russian cultural exchange program in Washington, D.C., presented diplomas to Yuliy Zislin, the director of the Tsvetaeva Museum in Washington, D.C., and Jerard Janko, the director of the Eurasia Center. Dr. Victoriya Kurchenko, the president of the Pushkin Society in America, and Yana Ouchakova, the director of Arts and Youth Relations at the Pushkin Society in America, also participated in the event.
June 6th. Our entire creative team participated in Poetfest, a special program on the “Blue Trolley Show.” Irina Aks, the literary director of the PoetFest Club, Edward Shchegolev, the general manager of PoetFest, and Igor Shklyar. We dedicated the poetry competitions and performances to Alexander Pushkin’s birthday. We also appreciate the attendance of spectators and participants from the United States, Canada, Israel, and Russia at our event in the Poconos. Alexander Shor, Irina Aks, and Boris Borukaev were the winners of the contest. Mr. Shor won first place, Ms. Aks won second place, and Mr. Borukaev won third place. Alexander Sokolov won the People’s Choice Award. Alexander Gorodnitsky, a legendary poet and bard, was our special guest from Russia, appearing on the stage of PoetFest.
June 4th. Poetry and Jazz, a program that provides creative activities in the arts for Russian-Americans, embraced their colleagues with invitations to a club night event. Olga Slavnina, the president of the Evening on the Hudson Club, introduced the amazing team of creative Russian-Americans who had gathered together at this club in New Jersey for many years. Dina Perepelitsky, a writer, celebrated her birthday that evening. Ms. Slavnina and Mr. Nuzov, Ms. Perepelitsky’s friends and customers, attended the presentation of “How We Ate Grandma”, her comically-titled book. Slavnina, Nuzov, and Perepelitsky said they decided to organize the “Club Night on the Hudson” event last year. In early February 2013, the Museum of Russian Art in Jersey City served as their first club evening event. It was held to honor the memory of Vasily Aksenov, a novelist and former professor of Russian literature at George Mason University. The guest of the evening was a childhood friend of Ronald Sagdeyev, a writer, scholar, and the director of the East-West Space Science Center at the University of Maryland; he is also a foreign member of the United States National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
In addition to the praise of Vasily Aksenov’s musical talent by his friends and admirers, the event included recorded music and a live performance by Eduard Kalandarov, a composer and pianist. Our guests also engaged themselves at the Valery Ponomarev Jazz Club. You will find their website here: www.hudsonsoirees.com.
May 7th. The Poetry and Jazz Program took place at the Zinc Bar in Greenwich Village, N.Y. The program was devoted to the 200th anniversary of Mikhail Lermontov. Valery Ponomarev, a jazz trumpeter, introduced Aram Khachaturian’s waltz for the “Masquerade” a play, in jazz. The poet at this event recited their poems, classical texts, and welcomed their acquaintance with new people. Natalia Pillar read the English, Spanish, and French translations of Lermontov’s poetry. Elena Litinsky, Boris Borukaev, and Mikhail Belchikov, Irina Aks, and Dr. Victoriya Kurchenko-Sizova acted out the scenes of their poems. Olga Slavnina, the organizer of “Galas on the Hudson”, and Emma Katz introduced themselves during an “open mic” session. In conclusion, she announced the forthcoming “Blue Trolley Show”, a bard-poetry show which will be attended by Aleksander Gorodnitsky. He will read his poem about Lermontov at that event.
May 3rd. The Russian bookstore in New York City hosted an evening dedicated to Anna Nemerovsky. She is the director of Bibliophile Club and presented works that were related to it tonight. Ms. Nemerovsky spoke about “And God Has Given A Man Free Will”, her published 2012 book, and addressed the readers in the audience at the bookstore regarding the literary work. The book contains great documentary material and poems by other authors, as well as illustrations about the described topic. Other works, essays, travel information about the United States, and a play about William Shakespeare, can be found on the following website: www.nemerovsky.com/anna. People who have read the play can share their impressions. Natalia Mizuri gave her professional evaluation of the play and noticed that the originality of the author’s interpretation of Hamlet surprised her. Mizuri cannot accept the he is an anti-hero that craves power. A discussion followed Nemerovsky’s speech. The audience was reminded about the 450th anniversary of his role in Russian culture and was able to purchase the books of Anna Nemerovsky that included her autographs.
January 11th. The evening was dedicated to the 79th anniversary of the Pushkin Society in America. The celebration was held at the Nicholas Roerich Museum in New York City. The museum played an important role in the Russian immigration history of the United States. Dr. Victoriya Kurchenko introduced the participants with the reading of documents, old programs, and event leaflets. She recalled that Boris Brazol led the efforts of eminent Russian immigrants to form the America 21 Committee from 1935-1937 in Calgary and Montreal in Canada and became its first chairperson. He delivered a great deal of lectures about Pushkin, and held evening parties, performances, as well as concerts. Brazol also owned English translations of Pushkin’s works, and other items. Vladimir Drazdov, a composer and pianist, actively prepared and conducted music based on Pushkin’s poetry for his jubilee concert at Carnegie Hall. The granddaughter of V. Drazdov Nataly attended the evening event and recently realized a whole layer of Russian culture. She made a small appearance, showed documents from the family archive, and handed over the atmosphere of the environment in which she grew. Dr. George Borisov, a musicologist an the director of the Music Archive at the Pushkin Society in America, confirmed the importance of the discovery of the archive and music library. He has focused on writing biographies of Anatoly Drazdov, remaining in the USSR. Dr. Borisov said in his brief speech that Vladimir Drazdov, Anatoly’s brother, remained taboo as he was considered to be an enemy of the people by the Soviet government, similarly to other Russian-American immigrants.