T h e U k r a i n i a n M u s e u m
222 East 6th Street (bet. 2nd and 3rd Aves.) New York, NY 10003
Wed. thru Sun. 11:30 am - 5:00 pm (212) 228-0110 * e-mail: info@UkrainianMuseum.org
The Ukrainian Museum's ANNUAL MEETING 2000
The sweltering heat of Sunday, June 11th did little to discourage many members of The Ukrainian Museum in attending the Annual Meeting of the institution. The goal of the Meeting is to provide a forum for the Museum leadership as well as its members - the former to report on the completed agenda and financial state of the institution for the previous year, the latter to express their thoughts and feelings concerning various related issues. This year, as in the past several years, the main topic of interest remained the new museum building project.
The Meeting was chaired by Dr. Askold Lozynsky, President of the World Congress of Ukrainians, as well as the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, who conducted the proceedings most expertly and with good humor. Barbara Bachynsky, Museum Board member, served as recording secretary.
Board President Olha Hnateyko asked the assembly to remember the Museum members and friends who had died in 1999. A minute of silence honored their memory.
Iryna Kurowyckyj, President of the Ukrainian National Women's League of America, the founders of the Museum, brought greeting from UNWLA and assurances that her organization will continue to support the institution. O. Hnateyko congratulated UNWLA on their 75th anniversary being celebrated this year, and led the assembly in a rousing rendition of Mnohaja Lita.
The better part of the Meeting was devoted to various reports. O. Hnateyko, the first to report, said that finally, after thoroughly examining and reviewing all options pertaining to the Museum's building project, the Board decided to proceed with building a new facility on East 6th Street. The project will utilize the design plans prepared by architect George Sawicki, but will incorporate some changes into these plans to cut costs and save money. Several times she emphasized the continuous conscientious effort and hard work by the Board members in searching for the best possible outcome for the Museum in the long quest for its new home. She also credited the Board for successfully completing this assignment.
The process in examining the viable options before the Board took some time, said the Board President. She also explained the outcome of each option. For instance, the negotiations with respect to the purchase of the landmark building on East 7th Street and 3rd Avenue took approximately one year. This objective, diligently and vigorously pursued by the Board, was not realized due to the fact that the sellers changed their minds about selling. Other options were to build apartments over the museum facility, either with developers or alone. However, after careful study, both options were not financially optimal for the Museum.
Although the Board has now chosen a path of action, according to Olha Hnateyko, it will take some time for the development of the various phases of the project, such as the incorporation of the changes into the design of the new building and the approval of these changes by the city.
Director Maria Shust gave a detailed summary of the Museum's activities during the reporting period. She spoke about the unique gifts the Museum received to its collections and library, among them antique maps of Ukraine, many books, paintings and drawings of noted Ukrainian artists, and numerous folk art objects. The Museum also received the archive of the Philadelphia Branch of the Brotherhood of the 1st Ukrainian Division, Ukrainian National Army.
The Director spoke about the exhibition and related programs presented during the reporting period (1999 and highlights of 2000). The Planning Committee on the Board, working in cooperation with the Museum staff is responsible for this agenda. She enumerated the exhibitions that were mounted and said that they reflected the Museum's celebration of the passage into a new century and millennium. The important role of collectors was acknowledged in the formation and enrichment of museum collections, in both fine arts and folk art exhibitions. The Museum honored the life-long contributions to Ukrainian scholarship and culture of art historian Hryhorij Lohvyn in a photographic exhibition of Ukraine's architectural monuments. For a two-week span, the Museum mounted a "farewell" exhibition of paintings by Mykola Krychevsky, which were on route to museums in Ukraine. And, at the moment of passage into the new millennium, the Museum chose to show the art of Vasyl Hryhorovych Krychevsky, who to a great degree embodied the creative spirit of the early part of the 20th century in Ukraine.
The Museum's educational programs were highlighted by a series of lectures on archaeological themes. The Museum invited Ukrainian American art historians and archaeologists as speakers. The lectures, presented on separate days, in English and Ukrainian languages, brought new audiences to the Museum. With the aim of developing a program of events aimed to more closely involve young people in Museum activities, the newly-formed Public Relations Committee of Young Professionals organized a gallery talk and a reception at the closing of the Vasyl H. Krychevsky exhibition.
Maria Shust also spoke about the Museum's efforts to keep its programs in the public eye by utilizing the resources of the Ukrainian and American media, its home page on the internet, as well as its in-house publications. She said that the popular fundraiser events organized by the Special Events Committee on the Board, which gives museum members and friends the opportunity to provide support for the institution in a social setting, were enriched this year with the new, very successful New Year's ball - Malanka, which, it is hoped will become a tradition with the Museum family.
Both the Board President and the Director thanked Museum members, friends, members of the Ukrainian National Women's League of America, the Museum's founding organization, and members of the immediate and greater community for their continued, most generous support.
Treasurer Oleh Sawkiw reported concisely on the financial state of the Museum, inviting the audience to review the report on the pages of the Annual Report, which was distributed to each member. Wasyl Sosiak, chairman of the Auditing Committee reported that his committee found the financial state of the Museum sound and commended the exemplary bookkeeping. The Nominating Committee proposed list of candidates for the Board was approved, reelecting Olha Hnateyko as Board President and welcoming new Board members - Ulana Baczynsky, Ulana Kobzar and Rostyslaw Milanytch.
The questions from the audience reflected for the most part the Museum members' interest and concern about the building project. Two years ago the project came to a halt due to the fact that not enough money was raised to begin construction. Now, that the Board has decided on a course of action, and the building project on East 6th Street has been reactivated, fundraising will be the prime issue in this endeavor.
Olha Hnateyko explained that the cost of the building construction is not the only important factor within the Museum's fiscal parameters. Once the new building is built the cost of its maintenance will have to be met. The other factor will be to support the expanded day-to-day programs and larger staff of an active institution. Toward that end, the new Board, scheduled to meet in the early part of summer 2000, will design a strategy and draft a plan for a major fundraising campaign. The campaign, both short range - to cover construction of the new building, and long range - to support maintenance of the new building and the activities of the Museum - will target every possible funding source.
The Ukrainian Museum, presently located at 203 Second Avenue, is open to the public Wednesday through Sunday, 1-5 PM. Our telephone number is 212 228-0110, E-mail: UkrMus@aol.com. For additional information about the Museum please see our web page: www.ukrainianmuseum.org.
Board of Trustees of The Ukrainian Museum 2000
Members of the Board
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