Strolling down Fifth Avenue at the corner of 79th street, it is difficult not to notice the most elegant, grandiose building structure of the XIX century, Fletcher – Sinclair estate, build in the style of the French Renaissance. This architectural monument belongs to the Ukrainian Institute of America, since 1955. The estate is located right across from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and by the way, both structures used to be connected throughout history. The original owner of the estate, Isaac Fletcher, after his death, left the house and his art collection to the museum. Shortly after, Metropolitan Museum sold this estate to the Oil Magnate, Harry Sinclair, and that’s when the Fletcher Fond was created. The gallery purchased many paintings with this money, and after several owners had changed, the estate became the sole property of the Ukrainian Institute of America.
Throughout the last 67 years, the Institute continues to be one of the most influential organizations in the Ukrainian Diaspora, preserving and highlighting Ukrainian culture in America. Various concerts, symposiums, exhibitions, and conferences introduce Americans to Ukrainian talent and their achievements in all spheres of culture, arts, and sciences.
The main goal of the Institute founder, William Dzus was to create an opportunity for the Ukrainians to stay connected to their roots. The Ukrainian Institute of America created many educational programs, allowing Ukrainian Diaspora the opportunity for the young generation to learn Ukrainian language and culture, and always stay connected with each other and their respected roots. These projects are very important for many people, to stay in connection and learn the history of their homeland.
In 1913, seventeen-year-old William immigrated to America from a small village of Chernikivtsy, Ternopol Region. This young man had precise talent in engineering, which he developing through his childhood. William had uncanny ability as an inventor and it was thoroughly enhanced through his hard work.
In 1932, Dzus founded the company for manufacturing fasteners for military planes, thus making a great contribution to the victory of the World War II. William became very successful, while helping fulfill his dream in honor of his Ukrainian roots and supporting the development of the Ukrainian Diaspora.
More than six decades of existence of Ukrainian Institute of America, 7 Presidents and 750 members of organization created various programs that influenced the lives of many Ukrainian emigrants.
Chairman of the Ukrainian Studies Fond founded departments of the Ukrainian studies in the best higher educational institutions throughout the USA. Franklin Ford announced in the year 1969, as the opening of the Ukrainian Research Institute at the prestigious Harvard University. Students of the Ukrainian descent were able to study there and receive support and scholarship.
Fabulous exhibits of artworks created by outstanding Ukrainian artists are always displayed on the territory of the Ukrainian Institute, as well as, various art events and expos are always in effect. The Institute has two unique collections: 40 icons of Vasyl Dyadyunik and collection of Balabanov’ spouses.
“Musical program” was developed at the Institute in 1989, introducing variety of rare compositions of the Ukrainian music. Award ceremonies are performed in honor of the outstanding contributions and in development of positive image for Ukraine. Among these outstanding programs are: Jack Pelens, Lidia Krushelnitskaya, George Soros, Alexander Omelchenko, Vitaliy and Vladimir Klichko and many others.
Ukrainian Institute of America dedicated the entire year, 2014 to the Revolution of Dignity. From the initial days of the tragic events, up until today, the Institute supports Ukraine. The respectable President of the institute, Daniel Swistel, an Art Director, and Chairman of the Program Committee, Walter Hoydysh, all together organize exhibitions and concerts dedicated in support to indestructibility of the spirit for the Ukrainian people in these difficult times.
The Institute opens its doors to the humanitarian events, such as, “Celebration of Life” presented by American-Ukrainian, cultural arts magazine, InLove, bringing together Ukrainian Diaspora with many other prominent supporters, supporting and helping Ukraine through these difficult times.
Behind the carved gates of the exquisite estate, the important work continues to be preserved and Ukrainian Culture is being highlighted throughout United States. As you visit this amazing institution, you will experience an authentic Ukrainian hospitality through the echo of numerous Ukrainian generations, feeling you with pride and joy.
Iryna Tretiakova and Olga Tretiakova.
To subscribe or purchase the magazine http://inlovemag.com/subscribe/