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    Professor Renata Holod elected President of the Board of Trustees
    Annual Meeting brings changes to by-laws and new board members

    July 22, 2013


    Renata Holod

    Renata Holod is Professor, and Curator in the Near East Section, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. She holds a Ph.D. in Fine Arts from Harvard University, an M.A. in the History of Art from the University of Michigan, and a B.A. in Islamic Studies from the University of Toronto. She has conducted archaeological and architectural fieldwork in Syria, Iran, Morocco, Central Asia, Turkey and Ukraine. She completed an archaeological/ethno-historical survey on the island of Jerba, Tunisia. Supported by a Getty Collaborative Grant, she presently leads a team currently engaged in the analysis of the grave goods of a medieval kurgan from the Black Sea steppe.

    She has co-authored and edited several books including: City in the Desert: An Account of the Archaeological Expedition to Qasr al-Hayr al-Sharqi, Syria, Harvard Middle Eastern Monographs XXIII/XXIV, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1978; Architecture and Community: Building in the Islamic World Today (Aga Khan Award Series), Millerton, NY: Aperture, 1983; and Modern Turkish Architecture, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1984, 2nd ed. Istanbul, 2005, among others. A monograph The Last Kurgan: A Thirteenth Century Prince's Burial in the Black Sea Steppe is in preparation.

    Renata Holod is the Curator of the Near East Section at the University of Pennsylvania Museum. She is member of the Advisory Boards of Muqarnas, the annual on Islamic visual culture, of Ars Asiatiques and of the International Journal of Islamic Architecture. She serves on the Scientific Committee for the Fondation Max Van Berchem, Geneva. She is Past-President of the Historians of Islamic Art Association (HIAA). She is member of the Shevchenko Scientific Society of America, and of the Ukrainian Free Academy (UVAN). She joined the editorial board of Arkheolohiia, journal of the Institute of Archaeology, Kyiv in 2010, and was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Ukrainian Museum, New York in 2011.

    At the annual meeting of The Ukrainian Museum on June 23, 2013, Professor Renata Holod, University of Pennsylvania, was elected President of the Board of Trustees. She succeeds Mykola Darmochwal, who served as president of the board since June 2011. A highly accomplished art historian, Professor Holod's election was enthusiastically received by the members present at the meeting. She has been a Trustee since 2011.

    "It is an honor to be elected President of the Board of Trustees of such a distinguished institution as The Ukrainian Museum," said Prof. Holod. "Its record of exciting, ground-breaking exhibitions reaches back nearly forty years, and I look forward to helping it to inaugurate another forty. I see my tenure as one during which the baton of leadership can be prepared to pass to the next generation. Supported by the engagement and financial resources of all generations of Ukrainians within the far-flung Diaspora as well as in Ukraine, this institution has developed into a real jewel locally and globally. With its exhibitions, publications, collections and associated events, it has the required experience, energy and know-how to foster and develop cultural ties, to illuminate past historical narratives, and to shape our understanding of the visual cultures of Ukrainians past and present, near and far. I look forward to working with its excellent Board and the dedicated staff to achieve the highest profile and impact for the Museum's activities."

    Annual Meeting recap

    Mykola Darmochwal, the outgoing president of the Board of Trustees, started off the annual meeting by thanking the director, Maria Shust, her staff, and the Museum's volunteers for their work and dedication. In 2012, he said, the Board continued to focus on organizational issues, and among other initiatives, revision of the Museum's bylaws. Looking to the long term, Mr. Darmochwal stressed the need to reevaluate the Museum's goals and objectives, identify future demographic sources of members and supporters, and determine the types of exhibitions, events, and programs that should be held at the Museum.


    Mykola Darmochwal at the podium

    Vice-president Marianna Zajac expressed her gratitude to Mr. Darmochwal for his two productive and dedicated years as president of the Board. She noted his emphasis on increasing awareness among the trustees of their obligations to the institution, and his efforts to introduce improvements intended to strengthen the Museum's operational structure.

    Director Maria Shust gave a detailed review of the Museum's activities in 2012 and early 2013. She listed the exhibitions that had been presented and were currently in development and noted the Museum's numerous public events (concerts, book presentations, lectures, and film screenings) and expansive educational program, which in 2012 added a new folk art workshop in tapestry weaving and included a special Summer Session for children and youngsters. She also acknowledged the efforts of the Board of Trustees, volunteers, and staff in reaching out to the local and Ukrainian American communities and in raising funds for the Museum's operations by organizing a variety of events throughout the year. One of the year's highlights, she said, was the coverage garnered by several exhibitions in such prestigious American media outlets as The New York Times and the weekly PBS program NYC-ARTS.

    Ms. Shust drew attention to the importance of the support of the Museum's programs provided by funding agencies such as the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. She expressed her appreciation to her small staff for their commitment and creativity in the face of increasing workloads and mounting pressures. Noting the critical role played by each of the Museum's volunteers, she paid tribute to the late Yaroslava Luchechko, who had been a driving force behind many volunteer efforts and whose death had left a void in the Museum community.

    Every year, the Museum's collections of fine art, folk art, and archives "are enriched thanks to contributions from generous donors," said Ms. Shust. "One of the most notable gifts made in 2012 is a collection of twelve works by the distinguished artist Sviatoslav Hordynsky. The artworks were donated by his daughter Larissa Hordynsky upon the conclusion of the exhibition The Worlds of Sviatoslav Hordynsky."

    Ms. Shust concluded her review by informing the members present that the Museum had received two significant bequests in 2012 and early 2013, from Pauline Urban Bruggeman of Upstate New York ($500,000) and from the Museum's long-time friend and benefactor Borys Halahan ($1 million). She acknowleged their extreme generosity, foresight, and faith in the importance of the Museum's work, and saluted all the Museum's collaborators, members, and donors for their continued support.

    Board treasurer Zoriana Haftkowycz noted that the economic downturn of the past several years had had a significant impact on the Museum's fundraising and finances. She pointed out that the unanticipated bequest from the estate of Mrs. Bruggeman in 2012 (mentioned in the Director's comments above) boosted the Museum's finances substantially, thus precluding any shortfalls. (The importance of bequests as a significant source of funding for non-profits cannot be overstated.) Ms. Haftkowycz concluded by saying that the Board is continuing to enforce strict budgetary controls and to work closely with the Museum's staff, particularly long-time administrative director Daria Bajko, to monitor expenditures and income.

    The Board of Trustees of The Ukrainian Museum is comprised of representatives from the Museum's founding organization, the Ukrainian National Women's League of America (UNWLA), which occupies 51% of the seats, while the other 49% is filled by individuals elected from the broader community. Ten are members of the Executive Board, and the rest participate in the General Board. UNWLA trustees are appointed (noted below with asterisks), while community members are elected for three year terms that may be renewed.

    Two new members were elected to the General Board: Christine Bonacorsa and Chrystia Freeland. Mrs. Bonacorsa recently retired as the Administrative Coordinator for the BioMetrics Department for the Swiss global health-care company Hoffmann-La Roche (Nutley, New Jersey). Formerly with Cornell University Medical College, some of Mrs. Bonacorsa's early studies, conducted jointly with other scientists, involved research on the encephalitis virus. Chrystia Freeland is the Managing Director and Editor, Consumer News at Thomson Reuters. Prior, she was U.S. managing editor of the Financial Times. Before that, Freeland was deputy editor of the Financial Times, in London, editor of the FT's Weekend edition, editor of FT.com, U.K. News editor, Moscow bureau chief and Eastern Europe correspondent.

    The 2013/2014 composition of the Executive Board is as follows: Professor Renata Holod, President, Marianna Zajac*, Vice-President, Iryna Kurowyckyj*, Vice-President, Adrian Hewryk, Vice-President, Zoriana Haftkowycz*, Treasurer, Lilya Kalat, Secretary, Roma Shuhan*, Secretary, Orest Glut (renewed this year), Member-at-Large, Mykola Haliv (renewed this year), Member-at-Large, Motria Kuzycz, Esq.*, Member-at-Large.

    Trustees in the General Board include: Mark Bach (renewed this year), Christine Bonacorsa, Theodora Chomiak, Chrystia Freeland, Andrei Harasymiak, Esq., Chryzanta Hentisz, Esq.*, Sophia Hewryk*, Maryanna Marsch-Hoydysh*, Rostislav Milanytch, Roksolana Misilo*, Natalia Sonevytsky*, Olga Stawnychy*, Wolodymyr Sulzynsky, Oksana Trytjak*, Olha Yarema-Wynar*.

    New members were elected to the Audit Committee as well: Alex Labunka, Bohdan Sawycky, Renata Zajac, and Ihor Zwarycz. Lydia Zaininger, previously a member of the committee, was named its chair.

    The annual meeting agenda included a vote on the Museum's revised bylaws, the product of an intensive two-year review by a committee composed of Trustees Iryna Kurowyckyj (chair), Andrei Harasymiak, Esq. (whose work on this initiative was singled out by Ms. Kurowyckyj), Chryzanta Hentisz, Esq., and Motria Kuzycz, Esq., and former Trustees Andrij Lencyk, Esq., and Zirka Voronka. After a spirited discussion, the bylaws were approved.


    Olha Hnateyko

    The meeting concluded with a special presentation to a very special individual: Olha Hnateyko, former president of the Museum's Board of Trustees (1998-2008), received a plaque naming her Honorary President of The Ukrainian Museum. The award, an idea proposed by Mr. Darmochwal, recognizes Ms. Hnateyko's many contributions to the growth of the Museum during her long tenure as president and her ongoing efforts on the Museum's behalf. "You have always been, and you will always be, the soul of the Museum," said Mr. Darmochwal.

    "I often recall the humble beginnings of the Museum," said Ms. Hnateyko, who led the organization through its many fundraising drives and the construction of the new facility, which opened in 2005. "Today, I look with great pride at the major institution that it has become. The Ukrainian Museum is a testament to the outpouring of support from the Ukrainian community. It is a vital educational resource for the Ukrainian community's youth and for presenting Ukrainian culture to the world. I am delighted to have been a part of its growth and development, and am deeply honored by this unexpected recognition."

    The annual meeting was chaired by Maria Tomorug and recorded by secretary Motria Milanytch.



    About the Museum

    The Ukrainian Museum acquires, preserves, and exhibits articles of artistic or historic significance to the rich cultural heritage of Ukrainian Americans; its collections include thousands of items of folk art, fine art, and archival material. At its founding in 1976 by the Ukrainian National Womens League of America, the Museum was hailed as one of the finest achievements of Americans of Ukrainian descent. Since then, and particularly since its move in 2005 to a new, state-of-the-art building in Manhattans vibrant East Village, it has become known as one of the most interesting and dynamic smaller museums in New York City. Each year, the Museum organizes several exhibitions, publishes bilingual (English/Ukrainian) catalogues, and presents a wide range of public and educational programs, including concerts, films, lectures, courses, workshops, and special events.

    * * *

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