Soyuzivka

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Soyuzivka
Soyuzivka Troubadour
Motto There’s No Place like Soyuzivka
Formation 1952
Type NGO
Legal status Active
Purpose Cultural
Location
Region served
Canada, United States of America
Official language
English, Ukrainian
Parent organization
Ukrainian National Association
Website Soyuzivka website

Soyuzivka, also known as Suzi-Q or The Q, is a Ukrainian cultural center located in the Town of Wawarsing, Ulster County, near Kerhonkson, New York in the Shawangunk Ridge area south of the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York. Soyuzivka hosts children's heritage camps, workshops, seminars, festivals, concerts, dance recitals and art exhibits for those interested in learning about Ukraine and its culture.

Soyuzivka's mission is to promote, preserve and propagate Ukrainian culture. It seeks, with its programs, to instill pride in Ukrainian heritage among Ukrainian-American youth and to showcase Ukrainian culture to an American audience.

History[edit]

Soyuzuvka Chapel, demonstrating unique architecture

In 1952, The Ukrainian National Association, a fraternal organization established in 1894, purchased the property in response to the need of its growing Ukrainian community, for use as a cultural center for its members. Soyuzivka provided language workshops, heritage studies, festivals, concerts, dances, art exhibits and children's summer camps. It has been providing this service for over 50 years.[1] [2] [3]

Soyuzivka thrived under the leadership of Walter Kwas, a great supporter of the arts, who dedicated his entire life to bettering Soyuzivka, and was the person responsible for inviting fine artists, musicians and dancers to exhibit, hold recitals and workshops at the resort during the summer months and during the holidays.

Kwas modeled the resort after the architecture of the Carpathian mountains, with the famous woodcarver, Cherniovsky embellishing the individual buildings that made up the premises. Each of these buildings were named after regions in Ukraine.

Activities[edit]

Artists[edit]

Ukrainian artists Lubomyr Hutsaliuk, Edward Kozak and Jacques Hnizdovsky in front of Slava Gerulak's "Mayana" fountain at Soyuzivka

Many artists exhibited there over the years, including Slava Gerulak, Jacques Hnizdovsky, Lubomyr Hutsaliuk, Edward Kozak, Halyna Mazepa and others. Soyuzivka is home to many important works of art by the most famous of Ukrainian sculptors, who were commissioned to provide busts of the most famous Ukrainian literary, historic, political and religious figures. These include the busts of Lesia Ukrainka, poet; Taras Shevchenko, poet; Cardinal Josyf Slipyj, the first Ukrainian Cardinal; Rev. Hryhoriy Hrushka, the founding Editor of Svoboda, the first Ukrainian language newspaper in the US (established in 1893); and Hetman Ivan Mazepa, the legendary hetman of Ukraine in the 17th century. The most notable statue is that of Taras Shevchenko, donated by Alexander Archipenko. Edward Kozak's relief paintings of Ukrainian dancers adorn the Veselka Hall, where exhibitions and recitals are held.

Other more recent artists include Vitaly Kozlovsky in 2008 and Ruslana in 2009, during annual Ukrainian Cultural Festivals. Ruslana is scheduled to return to Soyuzivka amid heavy unrest in Ukraine on July 10 and 11, 2014. Haydamaky appeared in 2010 and Maria Burmaka in 2011. Peter Yarrow, of Peter, Paul and Mary fame, was a special guest at the Festival, performing with Ukrainian folk singer, Maria Burmaka.[4]

Dance[edit]

Soyuzivka is home to the Roma Pryma Dance Academy, a lasting legacy of world-renowned choreographer Roma Pryma-Bohachevsky whose summer camps continue to this day. The Syzokryli Ukrainian Dance Ensemble organizes intensive dance camps and workshops for six weeks of instruction in total. The camps satisfy all levels of Ukrainian folk Dance. The first two weeks are a "Workshop" for advanced teens and young adults and the following four weeks are two-week sessions of "Dance Camp" geared towards all levels. [5] Over 400 children participate annually in this program. The most advanced dancers are featured (after the completion of a two-week intensive Dance Workshop) at Soyuzivka's annual cultural festival. Actress Vera Farmiga spent many summers at Soyuzivka, as a participant in the dance camps and workshops.[6]

Education[edit]

For over 30 years, Soyuzivka has sponsored courses for teachers of Ukrainian-language schools. This two-week intensive program prepares teachers for certification for teaching the Ukrainian language, as well as its history, culture and literature.

For over 20 years, young people have attended intensive Ukrainian cultural courses taught by leading professors and teachers of Ukrainian descent. Some of the programs include: language immersion camps for pre-schoolers under the administration of Pershi Stezhi, a sorority in Plast Ukrainian scout organization. English-language heritage camps are offered for children with limited knowledge of Ukraine and its culture.

Sports[edit]

Soyuzivka's facilities include a hockey rink, soccer field, swimming pools, tennis courts, and volleyball courts. The center partners with Chornomorska Sitch, a Ukrainian-American Sports organization to provide sports camps for children of Ukrainian Descent. Ukrainian heritage and language is also emphasized in all the programs.

Partnership[edit]

A view of the Catskill Mountains from Soyuzivka Ukrainian Resort in Kerhonkson.

In joint partnership with Ukraine's embassy in Washington DC, a unique workshop is offered to families who have adopted children from Ukraine. The programs seeks to address the problems these children may have integrating into American culture and help these parents have a greater understanding of the culture of their new children.

Venue[edit]

Soyuzivka is also a venue that is used frequently by various Ukrainian organizations for Conventions and Reunions, such as the Ukrainian American Veterans[7][8] and the Ukrainian National Women's League of America. Soyuzivka has always been host to important dignitaries of Ukrainian descent. Cardinal Josyf Slipyj was honored during his first US visit, after his release from a Soviet prison, right after the Pope nominated him Cardinal. Soyuzivka also hosted the first President of an independent Ukraine, President Leonid Kravchuk in 1992. During the 1980s, 1990s and more recently, leaders and political dissidents, championing the rights of Ukraine’s self-determination, were asked to lecture and meet with the community. These included Valentyn Moroz (dissident), Mykola Horyn, Taras Chornovil and others.

Well-known guests that visited and attended benefits at the resort are Jack Palance, Mike Mazurki, Miss USA and others.

Popular Culture[edit]

The Gogol Bordello song "Suddenly... (I Miss Carpaty)" makes a reference to Soyuzivka.

The Canadian-Ukrainian band Klooch uk:Klooch wrote a song titled Suzi Q, which the center has adopted as its theme song.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Союзівка (Soyuzivka)" (PDF). Svoboda (newspaper). 17 June 1952. Retrieved December 5, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Наша Союзівка (Our Soyuzivka)" (PDF). Svoboda (newspaper). 19 July 1952. Retrieved December 5, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Ремонт Союзівки в повному ході (Remodel of Soyuzivka in Full Speed)" (PDF). Svoboda (newspaper). 13 August 1952. Retrieved December 5, 2012. 
  4. ^ Hadzewycz, Roma (July 24, 2011). "Thousands Converge at Soyuzivka for fifth Ukrainian Cultural Festival" (PDF). The Ukrainian Weekly. p. 4. Retrieved December 3, 2012. 
  5. ^ http://www.syzokryli.com/camps.php
  6. ^ "To Trip the Volynska Polka, Respectfully in the Catskills". The New York Times. August 24, 2012. Retrieved December 5, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Welcome to the 10th Convention of the Ukrainian American Veterans" (PDF). The Ukrainian Weekly. June 22, 1957. p. 1. Retrieved December 3, 2012. 
  8. ^ Krawczuk, Bernard (October 24, 2010). "Kondratiuk re-elected to lead UAV at 63rd national convention" (PDF). The Ukrainian Weekly. p. 5. Retrieved December 3, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°45′31″N 74°18′44″W / 41.758697°N 74.312285°W / 41.758697; -74.312285 (Soyuzivka)