The Annual Russian Heritage Month® celebrates and honors the rich diversity of cultural traditions brought to the U.S. from the many countries of the former Soviet Union. The Russian-speaking community plays an indispensable role in the culture, economic and social life of New York, the US and the world. The Annual Russian Heritage Month® honors their contributions and affords the opportunity to showcase their talents. The Annual Russian Heritage Month® has become a unifying force of our community by allowing its members, who hail from across the former Soviet Union, to preserve their heritage, culture, and language while also expressing their cultural identity.
The annual celebration of arts and culture takes place throughout the month of June in New York City. The Annual Russian Heritage Month® is the only event of its kind in the U.S. and every year attracts a large diverse audience to enjoy diverse cultural events, such as contemporary and folk music, dance performances, art exhibitions, public festivals, health and sports fairs, business expos, and more.
The Annual Russian Heritage Month® was established by the Russian American Foundation in collaboration with The City of New York, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, and the Daily News in 2003. The festival began as a week-long series of events, celebrating cultural and economic contributions of the Russian-speaking community of New York. Over the years, the international Russian-speaking community has become a vital part of the celebration by participating in events and attending as special guests from the art, fashion, Foreign Service and business worlds. RAF is honored to partner with the New York Post in presenting the Annual Russian Heritage Month® from 2012.
Over the past 16 years the Annual Russian Heritage Month® has grown into an internationally recognized month-long celebration dedicated to promoting cross-community awareness, as well as a valuable local, national and international dialogue between peoples and cultures. This year the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate voted on resolution proclaiming June 5, 2018 the Day of the Russian-speaking Communities in Albany as part of the initiative sponsored by the New York State Senator Luis R. Sepulveda and New York State Assemblyman Steven H. Cymbrowitz with the support of Senators Joseph A. Griffo and Diane J. Savino.
Presented as part of the Annual Russian Heritage Month®, the Russian Heritage Festival® continues the exciting tradition of celebrating the legacy and achievements of the First, Second and Third Waves of the Russian-speaking émigrés from former Soviet Republics to the United States through a variety of open to public cultural events – concerts, exhibitions, literature events and film screenings. While finding new home overseas, those generations of Russian-Americans kept deep ties with their home country and put forth tireless efforts to preserve their heritage and cultural identity.
“In the United States we are Americans first but take equal pride in our individual and community heritage. And groups that tie those of common heritage together will inevitably strengthen our society at large.” – Shai Baitel, “Proud Community, Proud Americans”, Huffington Post, 11/22/2014
“In today’s political climate, coming together as a people, not bound by race, color or gender, is more important than ever. One organization [RAF] has been striving to bridge the gap between cultures for 20 years, and it’s right here in our own back yard.” – The New York Post, 05/30/2017
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