Our History

.: 1997

March, 1997
Verbena, an accomplished bandura trio from Cherkassy comprised of Olga Kaluna, Ludmilla Larikova and Lidiya Zainchkivska, visit Newton, Oskaloosa and Pella and perform to critical acclaim. Also, they performed at the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines, Iowa where they talked to both houses of the Iowa Legislature. They were accompanied by Viktor Sobchenko, Minister of Cultural Affairs for Cherkassy Oblast and Oksana Yankova translator.

March, 1997
Artist Marvin Campbell completed a very successful three city exhibition of his Iowa paintings in Kiev,Cherkassy, and our Sister City, Smila, Ukraine

August, 1997
Dr. Valentina Zirnyk, a children's doctor with responsibility for multiple clinics and facilities, arrives in Newton to work closely with Dr. Carol Saunders, DR. Pat Edwards and other physicians at The Newton Clinic. During her three-week stay she observes procedures at Blank Children's Hospital in Des Moines and The University of Iowa Hospitals in Iowa City and Skiff Medical Center in Newton.

September, 1997
New Ukrainian students from Smila arrive for the 1997-98 school year. Ruslan Malovichko is a sophomore at Newton Senior High School and is staying in the home of John and Mary McNeer. Oksana Krainikova is a sophomore at Colfax-Mingo High School and is living with Dr. Tim and Sharee Hagerty and family of Colfax.

October, 1997
Ukrainian Month is featured at the Newton Public Library in conjunction with Friends of the Library. Several events are held, including a book signing to promote Vladimir Bassis's new book, Cultures of the World Ukraine; a discussion of the economic situation in Ukraine; a concert of Ukrainian folk music performed by Bassis and friends from Ames; and a demonstration of Easter egg decorating by Alexander Poletz of Minneapolis. Eleven members of the OPEN board journey to Chicago for the Chinese-American community's "Ten-Ten" Celebration at the invitation of Consul General Sheng-tsung Yang. They are hosted by Simon Sung and Bruce Hung, consulate employees who have visited Newton.

November, 1997
The OPEN Annual Meeting features a concert by pianist Katherine Jui Chang of Taiwan, an internationally-experienced artist whom the contingent heard in Chicago as part of the "Ten-Ten" Celebration last month. Philip Lee of the Chicago consulate visits for the weekend.

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