Wave Staff Report
WEST HOLLYWOOD — The city will host a fundraiser for refugees from Ukraine in place of its annual Russian Arts and Culture Festival programming. The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 22 at Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Blvd.
The event will allow members of the to share the deep historical elements of Russian culture within a broader understanding of support for Ukraine. Donations will be collected to support organizations assisting Ukrainian refugees. Other events during the month of Russian Arts and Culture Month will also be refocused to serve as fundraisers for people in Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees.
The city also has activated its West Hollywood Responds program to help encourage contributions to agencies and organizations that are working to help people in Ukraine. The city has assembled a list of organizations on its website at www.weho.org/wehoresponds and is encouraging community members to take part in donating to organizations that are in urgent need of contributions.
West Hollywood is home to a large community of people from regions of the former Soviet Union. According to a 2013 community survey, there are 3,872 people who live in the city who identify a former region of the Soviet Union as their primary ancestry. That total is approximately 11% percent of the city’s population.
Many Russian-speaking community members established roots in West Hollywood after fleeing from discrimination and antisemitism. In the early 1970s, the then-USSR experienced a wave of emigration due to the politics of the government.
Many people chose to come to Los Angeles to embrace the future opportunities of a free world for themselves and their children. They came here by way of support provided by local programs and nonprofits to assist Jewish immigrants in what would become incorporated in 1984 as the city of West Hollywood.
Since 2001, the city has recognized Russian Arts and Culture Month to bring to life the cultural and creative traditions of Russian-speaking community members with programming highlighting visual arts, performing arts, language and history.
For additional information, call the city’s Russian Information Line at (323) 848-6501.