in New York State (April 2016)
Backed by a coalition of some 50 organizations, Olga Zatsepina, president of RACH-C, (The Russian American Cultural Heritage Center Inc.) and Chair of the Russian American History Month Coalition, appealed to the Senate of New York in 2012 to help establish a month to bring awareness of the contributions of Russian Americans. The Senate passed a resolution, sponsored by Senator Adriano Espaillat, requesting that Governor Cuomo proclaim April “Russian American History Month.” The month has been celebrated ever since but this year, 2016, we were delighted that the resolution was passed jointly by both the Senate and Assembly.
In 2011, at the initiative of the Russian Federation, the 65th UN General Assembly proclaimed April 12 the International day of human flight into space. Now the holiday, which marks the beginning of the space era is officially celebrated on the international level by all mankind and Russian American History Month (RAHM) is dedicated to the 55th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s first flight into space.
The calendar of RAHM has dozens of events organized by Coalition members. A key event was the visit of a delegation of Coalition members and others to the Senate and Assembly of New York State on April 11, to witness the resolution in support of Russian American History Month (RAHM) being passed. The official Opening Reception took place at the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in New York City on April 14.
As part of the Month RACH-C celebrated its 10th “Children’s Festival of Russian Culture” that included an international children’s drawing contest “My Space” which was exhibited in the Albany New York State Capitol Building, the Secretariat Building of the UN, the Consulate General of Russia in New York, St Nickolas Cathedral in NY, the Russian Language School “Bright Minds” in Manhattan and the Sunflower Russian Culture School in Long Island.
Events throughout the month aim to educate the general public about Russian American contributions to the history and culture of the state and the nation, as well as to provide an opportunity for New Yorkers of Russian descent to celebrate their shared heritage. Concerts, forums, presentations and lectures give the diverse communities of New York a taste of the Russian American experience.