West Hollywood Celebrates Russian Arts and Culture Month

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Photo courtesy of the City of West Hollywood. Photo credit: Jonathan Moore

The City of West Hollywood is celebrating Russian Arts and Culture Month in May. Events throughout the month bring to life the cultural and creative identity of the Russian-speaking community by presenting programming highlighting its rich visual and performing arts, language, and history. Cultural pride is derived from sharing Russian values, beliefs, identity, and self-expression with family, friends, neighbors, and the entire Southern California community. For questions call the City’s Russian Information line at (323) 848-6501 or email wehorusevents@weho.org

The second half of May will offer an array of virtual activities and events that introduce the flavor of Russian culture and arts to the community at large, all of which are presented by the City of West Hollywood and its Russian Advisory Board. For updated event information, please visit: www.weho.org/russian and www.rufestusa.com.

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Upcoming event highlights include:

  • Saturday, May 15, 2021 at 10 a.m. — How did a gal from Kalamazoo end up writing a novel set in Russia? — Molly Gartland, the author of The Girl from the Hermitage, will speak about working in Russia in the 1990s and how this experience influenced her debut novel. She will also explore how a painting, which she purchased while in Moscow, inspired her to write historical fiction some 15 years later. This event will be held virtually via the Zoom platform. Register via Eventbrite.
  • Sunday, May 16, 2021 at 5 p.m. — Paris Chansons Live Facebook Concert — Join Julia Kantor, a producer/vocalist originally from Ukraine, but her heart resides in France. Together with her husband, Jacob, a Russian-born singer/songwriter, she has appeared at clubs and festivals throughout Los Angeles. They began singing on their first date and have continued ever since, in French as well as English and Russian. View this event live on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Paris-Chansons-475343269241794/. A recording of the performance will also be made available for future viewing on the City’s Russian Arts and Culture Festival YouTube page.
  • Tuesday, May 18, 2021 at 7 p.m. — Russian Classical Music Night — This year, the program will feature five countries, ten performers, and eight instruments. From the golden fields of Zurich, Switzerland, to the Concert Hall in Moscow, from a private antique instrument museum in Germany, to an Italian conservatory concert hall, and finally to a home music atrium in Los Angeles. All the performers are proud to be a part of West Hollywood and global Russian-speaking community and represent the best the Russian-speaking community can offer to the world. The program will feature: Alexander Boldachev (harp), Dimitry Olevsky (violin), Evgeny Tonkha (cello), Svetlana Smolina (piano), Lilit Mardiyan (guitar), Maksim Velichkin (cello, harpsichord), Philip Vaiman (violin), Roksana Zeinapur (soprano), and others. For more information, please visit the
  • Russian Arts and Culture Festival website.
    Thursday, May 27, 2021 at 7 p.m. — 15th Annual Russian-speaking Community Awards Presentation — This event will recognize individuals, groups, and businesses that have had a positive impact and bettered the lives of members of the community in West Hollywood and the Los Angeles region. This year, the 15th Annual Russian-speaking Community Awards Presentation will be streamed online during Russian Arts and Culture Month, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The community will be honoring those who devoted a significant amount of time, energy, and/or resources to fight the pandemic locally. The awards will be given in the following categories: Outstanding Medical Professional; Outstanding Frontline Worker, First Responder, Police Officer; Outstanding Educator; and, Outstanding Achievement in Business. For more information, please visit the Russian Arts and Culture Festival website.
  • May 2021 — Tour West Hollywood Virtually — Learn about the City of West Hollywood’s history, architecture, and famous residents in this tour led by Alla Feldman in both English and Russian. This is a pre-recorded program available on the Russian Arts and Cultural Festival YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKeyb4_kezk.

For a complete up-to-date list of Russian Arts and Culture Festival activities and a list of businesses offering discounts and giveaways during the month of May, please visit www.weho.org/russian.

The City of West Hollywood is home to a large community of people from regions of the former Soviet Union. According to a 2013 survey of the community in West Hollywood, there are 3,872 people who live in the City who identify a former region of the Soviet Union as their primary ancestry. This represents approximately 11 percent of the City’s total population of 34,399 people. For additional information, please visit www.weho.org/russian.

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