Harvard Square hosts Cambridge Ukraine fundraiser news

by AryanArtnews
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On Sunday, about 200 people gathered at the Temple Theater in Harvard Square for a performance and fundraiser organized by the Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre Dance for World Community.

Cambridge Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui addressed the audience along with Oleh Kotsyuba, publications manager at Harvard’s Ukraine Institute, University of Massachusetts professor Darren Kew and activist Brian Corr. The performance features many types of dances as well as the choir of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of St. Andrew.

José Mateo’s Ballet Theatre organized the event in partnership with ArtsBoston, Cambridge Arts, Cambridge Community Foundation, Cambridge Community Television and the Harvard Square Business Association.

Cole, who is involved with the Ballet Theatre, said the idea for the event came about two weeks ago during a community dance show at the theatre.

“It happened that one of the two main dancers was Ukrainian,” he said. “We stand together in support of the Ukrainian people – in solidarity, together for peace, and for healing with art.”

In her speech, Siddiqui reflected on the history of Cambridge’s diversity.

“Cambridge is a very welcoming global city – it has long been home to immigrants from all over the world, a culture of protest and outspokenness,” she said. “That’s one of the many things that makes me a proud Cantibridgian.”

The event followed a public art presentation by local artists Ross Miller and Yolanda Yeyan. Miller and Young wrapped the Charles Sumner statue on Massachusetts Avenue in a tarp in solidarity with the Ukrainians, who took to wrapping the statue in the city to prevent vandalism.

“This project is a trivial but heartfelt effort to move imagery from Lviv, Ukraine to Cambridge, Massachusetts — a tiny symbolic act,” Miller said in the release.

Illyana Sawka, a member of the St Andrews Church choir, said it was an “honour” for them to take part in the Cambridge Ukraine gig.

“It’s also important for us to represent Ukrainian culture because we have a beautiful, beautiful and rich culture, and I don’t think we can allow war to obscure the voice of our community and the contribution we have to make,” she said.

Sokha said the songs played by the choir had a special meaning.

“Many Ukrainian folk songs are about exile and conflict,” Soka said. “Unfortunately, these songs were learned from our grandparents and parents, and unfortunately still apply today.”

As of Sunday night, Cambridge for Ukraine had raised $19,000 of its roughly $30,000 goal to support humanitarian nonprofits in Ukraine.

– Staff writer Katherine M. Burstein can be reached at [email protected] her on Twitter @kmburstein1.

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