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 greatly honored to partner with the New York Post in presenting the Annual Russian Heritage Month® for the last six years.
Over the past 15 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. The Annual Russian Heritage Month® traditionally opens with a reception at the Temple of Dendur in the Sackler Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art attended by the Mayor of New York City and culminates with Together in New York® – Annual Community Festival and Health and Sport Fair – in Brooklyn, NY.
In celebration of the 15th anniversary of Annual Russian Heritage Month® (June, 2017), RAF was honored by the Mayor of the City of New York Bill de Blasio and the First Lady Chirlane McCray with the reception hosted in historical Gracie Mansion.
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
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