Newsletter. UCAO publishes an e-newsletter, in English and Ukrainian, twice a month. Delivered directly to your inbox, it keeps membership informed about upcoming events. Please sign up here!
Malanka. The Old Country tradition of greeting the coming new year on St. Melania’s feast day (New Year’s Eve, old calendar) finds a modern incarnation each year as UCAO hosts a festive dinner with entertainment, auctions, raffles, and lively conversation. The annual event draws guests not only from the metro Columbus area, but also Athens, Cincinnati, and Dayton.
Cultural Workshops. We share the love of our culture through many types of workshops throughout the year: cooking, various cultural crafts, and the ancient art of writing pysanky. Each year, UCAO conducts pysanka workshops for the general public at various venues around Central Ohio. In addition, individual members conduct pysanka demonstrations at the request of local schools, churches, youth organizations, community centers, and retirement homes. Check our Events page for dates on our workshops and registration information.
Community Festivals. For more than 30 years, UCAO was a major presence at the Columbus International Festival, winning numerous awards for our exhibits. In 2016, together with the Ukrainian Society of Greater Cincinnati and Dayton, UCAO participated in A World A’Fair, Dayton’s international festival, which is held each year in late May and draws more than 30,000 visitors. Our two organizations brought back Ukraine to the international exhibition for the first time in 15 years. The Ukrainian booth featured folk art (ceramics, woodcarvings, bead work, embroidery), music, books, and children’s items, and held pysanka demonstrations throughout the day. In keeping with the official theme designated each year at the Dayton festival, we presented “Sorochynsky yarmarok” as part of the “Marketplace” theme. We’ve also participated in the Westerville Arts Festival and look forward to many more events to share our love of Ukrainian culture and raise awareness of Ukraine.
Ukrainian Relief Initiative. In light of the crisis in Ukraine in the winter of 2013-2014, UCAO launched the Ukrainian Relief Initiative (URI) in September 2014 with the purpose of raising monetary and goods donations to be sent to volunteers and families displaced or affected by the conflict. In 2022, our efforts have been doubled as the needs of Ukraine have reached critical proportions because of the Russian invasion.
In the two years after Maidan, we raised more than $15,000 through various fundraising events and from private donations. Help came not only from our Ukrainian communities in Columbus, Athens, and Cincinnati, but also from American communities that learned of the plight of Ukrainians under siege in the Donbas. For several years we regularly sent large parcels to Ukraine containing warm clothing, footwear, school supplies, toys, and medicines — everything geared to requests coming from grass-roots volunteers who knew the immediate needs on the ground.
For several years we held the Great Ukrainian Garage Sale in the church hall of St. John Chrysostom Byzantine Catholic Church in Columbus, with all proceeds going to the Ukrainian Relief Initiative. Scores of volunteers sorted through the hundreds of donations received for the one-day sales. Crowds came looking for a bargain and a taste of our homemade pastries. Through just the garage sales alone, we raised more than $4,000.
In 2016, the English Language Year in Ukraine, we collected and sent English-language books for young readers to school libraries in Ukraine. We collected more than 500 books, which we sent to a school in Zmiiv, Kharkiv oblast, to grammar school #14 in Lutsk, and a school in Marganets, Dnipropetrovsk oblast.
Community Events. Over the years, UCAO has sponsored theater, music, and dance groups, art competitions, and wine tastings. We have invited authors, filmmakers, artists, and scientists to speak and have screened documentaries and movies. Our goal is to keep Ukrainian culture alive and well in Columbus.
We also regularly mark historical or cultural events or figures important to Ukrainian tradition, such as Taras Shevchenko, the Chornobyl disaster, and the Holodomor of 1932-1933. See the Events page for details on the Holodomor Commemoration, November 20.
Sviatyi Mykolai (St. Nicholas). We have been honored by visits from Sv. Mykolai in recent years. He has arrived accompanied by angels, as well as a mischevous devil, but always bearing chocolates and clementines for the good children of Columbus.
Cultural Support. Since 1994, UCAO has provided financial support to various cultural institutions in Ukraine and the U.S. They have included privately run, Ukrainian-language elementary schools, the arts journal Narodne Mystetstvo, Children of Chornobyl Fund, Smoloskyp Publishing, Ukrainian Museum-Archives in Cleveland, Ukrainian studies programs at the University of Pittsburgh and at Columbia University, and many more.
Hosting. UCAO has hosted hundreds of official groups from Ukraine—members of the Supreme Court of Ukraine, the Arbitration Courts, the Ministry of Justice; various visiting scholars; and study groups of lawyers, teachers, librarians, entrepreneurs, and nongovernment officials.
The Association works closely with organizations that sponsor Ukrainian visitors, including the Supreme Court of Ohio, the International Visitors Council, The Ohio State University, and both the Governor’s and Mayor’s offices.