Russian Heritage

at Http://Wwwrussianheritageorg, Saint Petersburg, 33733 United States

This organization established In 1995 serves to promote Russian culture, art and history in United States by Russian-American passionate advocates.


Russian Heritage
Http://Wwwrussianheritageorg
Saint Petersburg , FL 33733
United States
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Description

The year 1995 was a banner year for Russian culture in the Tampa Bay area. A blockbuster exhibit known as “Treasures of the Czars” came to the Florida International Museum from the Museums of the Kremlin in Moscow, and the entire area began to find ways to connect with the theme of Russia and its cultural past. The Fine Arts Museum had a special exhibit on Russian art; the History Museum featured a temporary exhibit devoted to Peter Demens; and Eckerd College and USF had a special course offered on Russia, built around a public lecture series that brought world renown scholars to the campuses, including Suzanne Massie, Nicholas Riasanovsky, Richard Pipes, George Gibian, and poets like Joseph Brodsky and Yevgeny Yevtushenko. The public schools developed units of study on Russia, arranged field trips to the Museum, and in some cases facilitated contacts with students in Russia. It was an exciting time for people who had a strong interest in Russia! It was at this time that Russian Heritage was formed, under the leadership of Vera Espinola Berry, the first president. Scholars, artists, and many with a strong interest in Russia and Russian culture were attracted to this new organization. For a more complete look at the history of Russian Heritage, look under "History" and "Archive". History: During the summer of 1995, after the Exhibit closed, a number of local residents, some of Russian background, and some who simply had a genuine interest in Russia and Russian culture, met to discuss ways to continue the momentum begun by the excitement of the exhibit. The result was the founding of cultural, educational, and philanthropic organization named Russian Heritage. According to our Articles of Incorporation, “The purpose of Russian Heritage is to preserve and promote Russian heritage, history, and culture, and to educate the general public through such activities as, but not limited to, social events, films festivals, artistic venues, and educational programs.” We are a non-profit organization that raises funds to support educational and cultural programs. After about five years our membership had grown to over 100 members. In an analysis of our membership statistics, it became clear that about 55% of our members were of Russian background, and that about half of the people in that group had been born in the former Soviet Union, and about half were born to Russian emigrants in Europe, Asia, or America. Almost half of our members were not of Russian background, but many had visited Russia or studied the Russian language. At least 12 couples in the group at that time were marriages with one spouse Russian and one non-Russian spouse, in most cases Americans. In recent years our membership has been well over 200, and the breakdown of membership categories seems to be about the same as before. A look at our archives of programs for the first fifteen years will show that we have sponsored a number of programs that feature Peter Demens and the relationship between the two St. Petersburgs; that have facilitated the exchange of Russian and American students; that have brought recent and classic Russian films to the Tampa Bay audience; and that have provided concerts and other cultural activities for members and the general public. You can see the specific programs listed by years in our archives. One of the highlights for many years has been the celebration of the Old Russian New Year on or around January 13. Our membership has ranged from 100 to 150 in recent years, with about 2/3 of the group with Russian roots, including many who have come to the United States in recent years.

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