“REMEMBERING YEVTUSHENKO”

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The Program “Remembering Yevtushenko” sponsored by Russian Heritage will be held on Saturday, October 14 in the Auditorium of the Main Library in St. Petersburg (3745 9th Avenue North) beginning at 4:00 pm. The program is free and open to the public and will be presented in English, with some of Yevtushenko’s poems being read in Russian and English. Local scholars and poets will participate.yevtushenko copy

RUSSIAN POET YEVGENY YEVTUSHENKO HAD TIES TO TAMPA BAY AREA

Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko, who was known around the world for his poetry against Stalinism and his love poems during the cold war, died in April at the age of 84 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Yevtushenko traveled extensively, having read his poetry in 94 countries and all 50 states, and his poetry was translated into 72 languages. He appeared in the Tampa Bay area at least nine times, reading his poetry, lecturing, and introducing the films that he produced at USF in Tampa, USFSP, Eckerd College, at the Palladium Theater and the Studio@620, and at local movie theaters.

Yevtushenko had a special interest in the two St. Petersburgs. He read his poetry in St. Petersburg, Russia annually on his birthday in July on a multi-year contract that continued into his 80s. He also helped to establish a link between the poets of St. Petersburg, Russia and St. Petersburg, Florida that resulted in several exchanges of poets and led to the publishing of several anthologies of the poets of the two cities, often in bi-lingual editions. One such volume was Maples and Orange Trees, the poetry of Florida’s poet laureate Peter Meinke, translated into Russian by poets of St. Petersburg, Russia.

In the 1950s and 1960s Yevtushenko achieved almost rock-star status, reading his poetry to packed concert halls and stadiums. His was the voice of protest against the excesses of Stalinism during a period of “thaw” on the cultural scene. His attack on anti-semitism in Russia in the poem “Babi Yar” and his poem “Stalin’s Heirs” earned him the reputation of being a “dissident” poet, and he appeared on the cover of Time Magazine in 1962 and was nominated for a Nobel Prize in Literature in 1963.

Over the next twenty years Yevtushenko was allowed to travel extensively and he was viewed by some as a spokesman for the Soviet government and less of a “dissident”. He saw his role as working within the system, working for change. He welcomed Gorbachev’s reforms of glasnost and perestroika, and was actually elected to the first freely-elected Soviet parliament. With the fall of the Soviet Union he became a supporter of Boris Yeltsin and the new Russian Federation.

Since 1992 he lived in both Russia and the United States, dividing his time between Tulsa, Oklahoma and Moscow. He taught at the University of Tulsa and the City University of New York and New York University, and appeared around the country at colleges and universities. In the Tampa Bay area in the 1990s he was a keynote speaker at the Suncoast Writers’ Conference and appeared at the Times Reading Festival at Eckerd College, and was a part of the “Treasures of the Czars” program in 1995. He read his poetry at the Palladium Theater in 2000 and was featured at the Studio@620 in its inaugural year, 2006.

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Kelli Stuart Presents…

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BECAUSE OF HURRICANE IRMA, THE PRESENTATION BY KELLI STUART HAS BEEN POSTPONED.  WE WILL LET YOU KNOW WHEN IT HAS BEEN RE-SCHEDULED.

The first RH meeting of the fall season will be Saturday, September 9 at 4:00pm at the Russian American Club in Gulfport  (2920 Beach Blvd).  Our presenter will be Kelli Stuart, the author of Like a River From Its Course, a novel set in World War II Soviet Ukraine.

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Kelli Stuart is a storyteller at heart. She graduated from Baylor University with a degree in English professional writing, and a minor in the Russian language. Stuart lived for a short time in Kiev, Ukraine, where she met a woman named Maria Ivanovna, the survivor of a World War II Nazi slave labor camp. Immediately drawn into the fascinating history of the former Soviet Union, Stuart spent ten years researching the effects of World War II on Ukraine. She interviewed over 100 Ukrainian veterans and partisans, and their stories shaped her novel.

Kelli Stuart was an American student who had a life-changing experience after studying abroad in the former Soviet Union.  She is the kind of student that we have supported for student exchanges in the past.  It is our hope that many members and friends of Russian Heritage will want to hear her story.  It may help us to direct our thinking about our student exchange programs in the future.  She is just now completing her second novel based in the Soviet Union in the 1970s and 1980s.

This will be the first meeting of the fall season.  It will be a chance to reconnect with other members and friends of Russian Heritage, and if you have not visited the Russian American Club in Gulfport, this will be a interesting opportunity to do so.  Light refreshments including Ukrainian vareniki will be served.  A donation of $5 (student rate $2) will cover the cost of the program and refreshments.  We hope to see you there.  If you are planning to come, and if you use Facebook, please visit our Facebook page and let us know you are coming.  You will find many additional interesting features on this page.

 

 

 

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RH Annual Meeting: April 29

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 The annual meeting for Russian Heritage is scheduled for Saturday, April 29 in the Triton Room at Eckerd College.  The program will begin with a reception and cash bar at 5:30 pm, followed by the business meeting and election of officers at 6:00 pm.  A buffet dinner and the program “100 years After the Russian Revolutions of 1917” presented by Bill Parsons, Professor Emeritus of History from Eckerd College, will     follow the business meeting.  The cost for the buffet dinner is $20.  Directions to the Triton Room can be picked up at the entrance gate to Eckerd College (4200 54 Ave. S. St. Petersburg, FL 33711).

 In 1917 “the world was turned upside down” by the events in Russia with the downfall of Nicholas II and the Romanov monarchy and the rise of Lenin and the Bolsheviks.  What is the legacy of these dramatic events?  Professor Parsons spent much of his academic career dealing with this question.  His PhD dissertation focused on the historiography of the Russian Revolution and he taught courses in Russian and Soviet history at Eckerd College for 40 years.  He will share his reflections on the influence of the 1917 revolutions on Russian and World History.

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REPORT OF THE NOMINATING COMMITTEE

The report of the nominating committee was approved by the Board of Directors at the meeting on March 12.  Candidates for officers for a two-year term include the following:

President:  Bill Parsons

Vice President:  Mary Stenov

Secretary: Evguenia Davenport

Treasurer: Anastasia Dycus

Continuing for one more year on the Board of Directors are Victoria Peppard and Natalia Scarberry.  Cadidates for the additional four positions on the Board are: Vera Cimino, Vladimir  Khokhlov, Marina Mendez, Elly Roche, Zhanna Sidorenko, and Zhanna Thomas.

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RUSSIAN HERITAGE WINTER BALL

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Russian Heritage

Presents

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VIP Reception.  5:45 – 6:45 pm.

General Reception and Welcome.  7 pm – 7:30

3-course sit-down dinner at 8 pm.

Honorary Chairpersons: John and Margo Catsimatidis

The Russian Heritage Winter Ball is coming on January 21, 2017.  Program highlights dancing to the music of the Dazzlers, performances by singer Elona Krasavtseva, ballet and ballroom dance performances, and  an excellent raffle/auction.

IF YOU CHOOSE TO PAY FOR YOUR TICKETS ON PAYPAL, GO TO THE PAYMENT PAGE OF THIS WEBSITE.  AFTER COMPLETING YOUR PAYMENT, PLEASE GO TO THE CONTACT PAGE TO LET US KNOW  YOUR MENU PREFERENCE (BEEF ALA BYLINA OR FISH ALA SKAZKA) AND INDICATE THE PEOPLE IN YOUR PARTY YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE SEATED WITH.

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Images from last year’s Gala Ball.

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Gus Bilirakis with CATS

ballroom

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dancers

Peter the great

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Rick Baker former mayor of St petewith Peter the Great and MC Jean Daly

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Elona Krasavtseva in Concert at Studio@620

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elona-souviner-russian-folk-songsDate(s) & Times

November 18, 2016

7:00 PM

Friday

Admission

$20/$15

Purchase Online

Sponsors  Russian Heritage
Red Circle Sponsors: Dennis and Angie Lehane

The Studio@620 and Russian Heritage present an evening of traditional Russian folk songs, some of which are over 500 years old, sung by Elona Krasavtseva (lyrical soprano) accompanied by Nina Slyusar-Wegmann (accordion and piano). The program will include a range of song styles, including wedding songs, also called “crying songs”, because weddings in northern Russia were for many years considered a sad event, as it meant that young girls were sent far away from their homes and families. There will also be a lot of sunny, hilarious, cheerful Italian and Spanish music, spiced with American and English favorites too. You’ll be on a musical world tour so come enjoy these tonal souvenirs!

Elona Krasavtseva is an award winning singer and songwriter from Moscow, Russia.  In 2013 she was named a National Treasure of Russia for her songwriting and performance.  Elona performs in New York City and Los Angeles, as well as in Europe including Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. She runs a Music and Poetry Club in Florida.

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Pushkin’s Yevgeny Onegin: Book Discussion November 5, 2016

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The first book for our book group discussion is Pushkin’s novel in verse Yevgeny Onegin.  We will meet at 3:30 pm in the Clubhouse of the Envoy Point Condominium (7150 Sunset Way, St. Pete Beach).  Please call 813-300-4785 to let us know that you are coming and to alert the Security Gate attendant.  New Board Member Evguenia Davenport who teaches at USF in Tampa has agreed to help facilitate this discussion.   The plan is to discuss the work in English and you are encouraged to choose any translation you find, or read it in Russian.

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SPIFFS 42nd Folk Fair: October 27 – October 30, 2016

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Russian Heritage will participate in the annual SPIFFS Folk Fair at Vinoy Park in downtown St. Petersburg with a “Russian village” presenting Russian culture, foods, and entertainment.  On Thursday and Friday students from local schools will attend the event and on Saturday and Sunday the park will be open to the general public.

The cultural displays will include information about famous Russians and Russian cultural traditions, including art work and souvenirs for sale by Vladimir’s Collection.  A Russian dessert will be available for purchase.  Russian Entertainment will be provided by Andrei Cheine and the Russian Chorus at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday and by Suzanne  Pomerantzev’s St. Petersburg Folk Ensemble on Sunday, at 2:40 p.m.   The Parade of Nations will take place on Saturday, October 29 at 2:00 p.m.  We invite you to support our Russian entertainers and if possible march with the Russians in the parade on Saturday.

For more information go to the SPIFFS website at www.spiffs.org or call Mary or Gene Stenov at 727-867-6013.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Saturday, November 5.  Book Discussion of Yevgeny Onegin by Alexander Pushkin at Envoy Point Clubhouse (7150 Sunset Way in St. Pete Beach at 3:30 p.m.

Friday, November 18. Elona Krasavtseva in concert

     Souvenier: Folk Music From Russia and Beyond
     Friday, November 18 at 7 PM in EST
     The Studio@620 in Saint Petersburg, Florida
Saturday, January 21, 2017. RUSSIAN WINTER BALL at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club.
MORE DETAILS TO FOLLOW.
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25 YEARS AGO LENINGRAD BECAME ST. PETERSBURG AGAIN!

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Come celebrate the opening of the new “Peter  Demens and the Two St. Petersburgs Archive” AND the 25th Anniversary of Leningrad returning to its historic name of St. Petersburg in September 1991.When: Saturday, September 17 at 2:00 pmWhere: The Poynter Library of the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. 140 7th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.

See exhibits from the “Peter Demens and the Two St. Petersburgs Archive” and meet people who have played an important role in the relationships between the two cities, and be a part of the discussion for the future relations between the the St. Petersburgs.  Where were you in 1991 when the Russian city became St. Petersburg once again, and what was your attitude towards the changes in Russia at that time?  Be a part of the discussion.

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Annual meeting and Elections: Sunday, April 24, 2016.

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Annual meeting and Elections:   Sunday, April 24, 2016.

The annual meeting for Russian Heritage is scheduled for Sunday, April 24 at 4:00 pm in the Triton Room at Eckerd College.  The program will include a short business meeting with elections for the Board of Directors (the four officers are completing the first year of their 2-year terms).  The program for the meeting will include a power-point presentation of some visual highlights of our first 20 years, including video clips of our first Old Russian New Year Gala.  A musical program will also be presented by one of our newer members of RH, Elona Krasavsteva.  The cost for the delicious chicken buffet dinner is $20 for adults and $12 for students.  Directions to the Triton Room can be picked up at the    entrance gate to Eckerd College (4200 54th Ave. South in St. Petersburg).

The nominating committee has received the names of candidates who have expressed interest in running for a position on the board.  If you would like to nominate someone for the board, or if you are interested in becoming a candidate, please send this information to the nominating committee at             russianheritageflorida@gmail.com.  Please indicate how you think this person will contribute to Russian Heritage in the future.  And remember, in order to vote at the annual meeting or serve on the Board, it is necessary to be a member of Russian Heritage for 2016.

Please RSVP to: russianheritageflorida@gmail if you are planning to come to the annual meeting.  Payments may be sent to: RH, PO Box 14552, St. Petersburg, FL 33733, or you may pay at the door, but please do RSVP now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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World Class Domra Soloist to Perform in St. Petersburg on Wednesday, March 23

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pairALEXANDER TSYGANKOV and INNA SHEVCHENKO have performed together for many years. Their touring schedule has taken them to most of Europe, the United States and parts of Asia.  Mr. Tsygankov has been called the “Russian Paganini” and holds the coveted title of Distinguished Artist of Russia. He has performed at the White House, Carnegie Hall, New York’s Lincoln Center and has thrilled audiences in Washington D.C.’s famed Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Russian Heritage presents Alexander Tsygankov and Inna Shevchenko at Studio@620 on Wednesday evening at 7:00 pm.  This is an evening of Russian Heritage that will include incredible Russian music, and a taste of poetry and Russian food.  Alexander Tsygankov will perform a variety of pieces of classical music and Russian folk music.  Florida poet laureate Peter Meinke will also participate in this program.

Tickets for this program are $20 for adults and $10 for students.  Members of Russian Heritage will have a discounted rate of $15.  As a special incentive for persons to learn more about Russian Culture and the programs of Russian Heritage, anyone attending the concert will be given a free membership to Russian Heritage for 2016.  For those who attended the Old Russian New Year Gala, this will also be an opportunity to view the photographs from the party and to obtain pictures as souvenirs of the event.

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