Thanks everyone for your support!
Thanks everyone for your support!
February 25th , ABQ Old Town Plaza . 2PM
On February 23-26, 2023, Ukrainians around the world will take part in events to thank for the support in the approach of joint victory and the ongoing struggle for freedom in Ukraine.
What do we want to say?
It was a year that was taken away from us
We persevered and are grateful for your support
What will the next days be like? Defend freedom with us
Like New Mexico, Ukraine is home of freedom, community, and art.
Join the Albuquerque Film & Music Experience (AFMX) and Filmmakers for Ukraine in this first-ever event bringing the Ukrainian and New Mexican film communities together to raise awareness and funds for Ukrainian filmmakers and others in Ukraine facing dire situations.
Filmmakers for Ukraine, a global group of filmmakers volunteering their time, prioritizes helping filmmakers, their families and disadvantaged groups in Ukraine who otherwise may not receive the urgent help they need. Proceeds from your ticket purchase will provide critical aid to get them through the cold winter months and beyond.
For just $20, you’ll get to see a hand-curated block of short films, and Sundance 2022 winner and Academy Award Nominated documentary, A House Made of Splinters, which Variety calls “an affecting diary of life continuing in the worst of circumstances.”
Film Block #1 from 3:00pm to 4:30pm
• Liza and her Anthill by Anastasia Ivaniuk
• Holiday by Zhanna Maksymenko-Dovhych
• The Night Express by Maryna Artemenko & Oksana Artemenko
• To Russia with Love by Jeffrey Lee Robinson
• SIBS film by Derek Johnson
Film Block #2 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm
A House Made of Splinters by Simon Lereng Wilmont; (World Cinema Documentary: Best Directing at Sundance Film Festival 2022, Best Nordic Documentary at Götenborg Film Festival 2022, The golden Alexander and The FIPRESCI award at Thessaloniki Documentary Festival 2022); Short-list for consideration at the 2023 Academy Awards.
SEEKING VOLUNTEERS in New Mexico.
Empathy for Ukraine seeks volunteers who can forward translated first-person accounts of the invasion of Ukraine to their Representatives and Senators through “contact us” forms on their legislative websites. Our initiative already has over 150 volunteers and in 2022 we have sent 15,000 letters to the members of the US Congress. But we don’t have volunteers in New Mexico. Please join us!
To volunteer or learn more about this initiative, please visit: https://empathyforukraine.org/
Ukrainian Christmas festivities begin on Christmas Eve (January 6.) and end on the Feast of the Epiphany. The Christmas Eve Supper or Sviata Vecheria
International Holocaust Remembrance Day, December 27th 2023
The Holocaust, also known as the Shoah, was the genocide of European Jews during World War II. Between 1941 and 1945, Nazi Germany and its collaborators systematically murdered some six million Jews across German-occupied Europe; around two-thirds of Europe’s Jewish population.
How This Ukrainian Song Became a Christmas Carol you know and love.
This song with roots in Ukraine has become a classic song for Advent and Christmas in the United States.
This year, “Carol of the Bells” is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its premiere in the United States. When it debuted, it was not a Christmas carol yet — that would come a few years later. Its first performance came on Oct. 5, 1922, at New York’s Carnegie Hall to a sold-out house — the same venue where it will again be featured in a concert Dec. 4 to mark its momentous centennial.
At that 1922 debut it had its original Ukrainian title — “Shchedryk” — meaning “generous evening.” It was really a festive New Year’s song taken from Ukrainian folk tradition. But the musical foundation was there for its transformation into the popular Christmas carol in 1936.
The song was composed in 1914 by one of Ukraine’s major composers, Mykola Leontovych. He based the melody on traditional folk songs. It was originally commissioned for the Ukrainian Republic Choir by its choir director for a Christmas concert. It was an immediate hit in Ukraine.
Then, just as Ukraine was getting its feet on the ground after World War I, the year 1917 saw the overthrow of the Russian tsar in the Bolshevik revolution. The Soviets refused to recognize Ukraine as a country and invaded, occupying Kharkiv in early 1919.
To familiarize the world with the Ukrainians’ plight through international appearances, the same choir director who commissioned “Shchedryk” formed the new Ukrainian National Chorus to tour Europe, the United States and several other countries. In the United States alone the choir appeared in 115 cities across more than 35 states. The chorus also made the first recording of “Shchedryk.” No matter where the choir sang, “Shchedryk” was an outstanding hit. Concertgoers everywhere called for it to be sung for an encore.
With lyrics inspired by an ancient Ukrainian folk traditions, the song is about a swallow flying into the house to tell the family about the bountiful year coming up for them. For those politically uncertain and harsh times, that message was uplifting in Ukraine. But the meaning did not matter for audiences around the world, who did not know what the Ukrainian lyrics meant, but were completely enthralled by the music and singing.
Change to Christmas Carol
Then came 1936 and the birth of “Carol of the Bells.” In New York, well-known choral director Peter Wilhousky, who was born in New Jersey of Ukrainian ancestry, did the choral arrangements for the popular radio broadcasts of Arturo Toscanini’s NBC Symphony Orchestra. Needing another piece to fill out a program, Wilhousky turned to a piece of music familiar to him. Naturally, it was Leontovych’s “Shchedryk.” But he knew the choir couldn’t sing it in Ukrainian.
He had an idea. Since the melody reminded him of bells ringing, Wilhousky sat down and wrote lyrics about bells and Christmas for the song. The carol begins, “Hark! how the bells …” Naturally, it also includes “Christmas is here … Merry, merry, merry, merry Christmas.” It was an instant hit with the public once they heard it on the national airwaves.
Requests for the sheet music came pouring in. Wilhousky had it published for distribution. Soon it was being performed on radio and being recorded by choirs like the Robert Shaw Chorale and the Tabernacle Choir. In 1951 even radio’s Phil Spitalny and his All-Girl Orchestra and Choir recorded it. (Likely he was already familiar with the melody because he had emigrated from a town in the Kyiv Region in Ukraine.)
Dozens of adaptations have been made to the carol, from recordings featuring a single instrument to a children’s choir to a huge youth orchestra to a singalong. There was even a version featuring new lyrics by a relativity unknown musician in 1947 that emphasized the Nativity of Jesus Christ and the religious significance of Advent and Christmas.
Then and now, this carol has contained a message of joy and hope, even in the sad circumstances of its composition in Ukraine.
By definition, a carol is “a popular song or ballad of religious joy.” And as a verb, another definition is “to go about outdoors in a group singing Christmas carols.”
The lyrics describe the bells playing “with joyful ring … all caroling,” and says, “joyf’’ly they ring … while people sing songs of good cheer … Christmas is here.”
Joy should spark hope — something that was necessary with the situation both in Ukraine and the world when the carol was written, then on through the Depression years when it became popular as a new Christmas carol, and now in our time. The carol reminds us of the joy of the season and suggests the hope that comes with it.
For its 100th anniversary celebration in the United States, “Carol of the Bells” will return to Carnegie Hall, where it was heard for the first time in this country. Naturally, a Ukrainian choir will be performing it and other works. Surely it will bring the house down.
But more importantly, whenever you hear “Carol of the Bells” this year, say a prayer for Ukraine that hope will abound and that peace and joy will return to that country — and to the world — with the celebration of the birth of the King of Peace.
Santa Fe Plaza .
Holodomor Memorial Day, 1932-33
Thanks for everyone who came and support us .
90 years on, Ukrainians see repeat of Russian ‘genocide’
New Mexico’s Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham proclaimed November 20, 2022 through November 26, 2022 “Ukrainian Genocide Remembrance Week”.
The Ukrainian Holodomor (1932-33) was one of the most tragic events in the history of the world. In acknowledgement of its scale, the famine of 1932–33 is often called the Holodomor, a term derived from the Ukrainian words for hunger (holod) and extermination (mor).
The Soviets and the Russians tried for many decades to conceal this atrocity from the world.
Today, the whole world watches in horror as Putin’s war/genocide against Ukraine devastates Ukraine once again trying to deny them their God given and sovereign Right to Life as a free people.
Stephan J. Welhasch
Press Secretary, UAofNM