Mar 14

UIMA: Remembering the Words of Our Poet

Remembering the Words of Our Poet

Sunday, March 30th at 1 pm

The Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art commemorates the 200th Anniversary of the birth of famed Ukrainian Poet Taras Shevchenko Sunday, March 30th at 1 pm at St. Nicholas Cathedral .

Performances by:

Mixed Choral Ensemble
Northwest Chicago Symphony
Michael Holian, Conductor

Guests from Ukraine: 

Bohdan Kozak, narrator
Nazar Dzuhryn, cello
Nataliya Pelekh, piano
Liudmyla Ostash, soprano

Premier performance of choral work “Poslaniye”
by composer Yuri Laniuk

Desired donation $20: All proceeds are designated to the families of the fallen heroes of the Maidan

Mar 14

UVNA March 2014 Meeting Notes

Thursday March 20th, 2014 – 6:30pm – St. Helen School Cafeteria

Officers and UVNA Board Members in attendance:

  • President:  Paul Matwyshyn
  • Treasurer: Harriet Siller
  • Secretary: Samantha Arnold
  • Board Members: George Matwyshyn


Discussion of Possible Historic District Expansion

In light of the recent demolition of the New Hope Bible Church on Leavitt street, and the purchase of the Hoyne Avenue Weslyan Church by a developer (see this link for a further discussion of these properties in our February Meeting Notes)  we started a discussion with our members and Alderman Fioretti from the 2nd Ward, and his Chief of Staff Tim Stevens,  at this month’s meeting about the status of the current historic district. We dicussed properties included and excluded from the district, as well as how we could best go about protecting the building stock of our neighborhood that is not within the boundaries of the Ukrainian Village Historic District.

We reviewed the areas that are currently outside the historic district boundaries as well as some of the churches that are excluded and determined that if we would like to propose another extension to the historic district, that we should start with a small management geographic area.  Based on this, we decided to start with the properties along Augusta Avenue between Western and Damen that are currently outside the existing boundaries of the historic district. This area includes the St. Helen school and church on the south side of the street, as well as St. Stephen King of Hungary Roman Catholic Church near Augusta and Damen.

We need to survey residents/building owners along this stretch of Augusta as the Alderman has suggested that we would need approximately a 50% or higher approval of the property owners within the proposed extension boundaries in order to move forward with proposing the extension to the Chicago Landmarks Commission.

  • Steve Niketopolous volunteered to talk to residents along Augusta between Hoyne and Damen Avenue
  • Samantha Arnold and Paul Matwyshyn will talk to residents along Augusta between Leavitt and Hoyne
  • Harriet Siller will talk to St. Helen’s Parish and St. Helen School between Western and Augusta

We will report back our findings at the April Membership Meeting.

Downzoning of Property at 1137 N. Leavitt Street

Alderman Fioretti, who was also in attendance at our meeting, proposed that his office downzone the now vacant property at 1137 N. Leavitt, formerly the New Hop Bible Church, as a method to insure that the developer will need to meet with the neighborhood association to review his plans and zoning requests before construction begins.
Discussion of possible Expansion of  the boundaries of the neighborhood association

There has been some discussion among some members and some potential new members about expanding the boundaries of the neighborhood association to match that of the officially declared neighborhood which goes south of Chicago Avenue to Superior Street, as originally declared by Mayor Byrne in 1983.    If there is sufficient interest from residents in that area, we could put the issue before the board.  However, there is also a survey circulating to residents beteween Chicago, Grand, Damen, and Western, about the interest in a neighborhood association to serve the entire area as well.  The survey can be found here. 

Chicago Architecture Foundation Open House – October 2014

The CAF has expressed an interest in including the Ukrainian Village Historic District in it’s fall Open House.  The board members will be meeting with CAF and will bring more information to the April meeting.

Clean & Green Events

Many wards, including the 2nd ward, are hosting Clean & Green neighborhood clean-ups on April 26th.  Contact the 1st or 2nd ward offices for details on events or to coordinate a clean-up event on your block or in your neighborhood.

Mar 14

Museum Exhibit: 200th Anniversary of Taras Shevchenko

"Kateryna" by Taras Shevchenko, 1842, The National Museum of Taras Shevchenko, Kyiv, Ukraine

"Kateryna" by Taras Shevchenko, 1842, The National Museum of Taras Shevchenko, Kyiv, Ukraine

A Museum Exhibit in honor of the 200th Anniversary of the birth of Taras Shevchenko

The Ukrainian National Museum has prepared an exhibit to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Taras Shevchenko, Ukraine’s greatest literary figure, poet, artist, thinker and freedom fighter. The exhibit opens on Friday March 7th at 7 pm with a special opening night featuring the recitation and musical presentation of Shevchenko’s poetry as well as a video presentation of the current events on the Maidan.  The exhibit will feature a special collection of rare kobzar’s from the Museum’s library, an assortment of extraordinary posters and a treasure of vintage postcards.  Interspersed among these artifacts and treasures are antique Ukrainian rushnyky. The exhibit willcontinue through April 27, 2014.

An orphaned serf, Taras Shevchenko was a fearless poet who suffered imprisonment and exile to become the voice of his people. Shevchenko’s influence on facets of Ukrainian intellectual, literary and national life is still felt to this day. Recognized by the world as the Bard of Ukraine, Shevchenko’s poetry served as inspiration to the Ukrainian nation in its fight for freedom and independence. As a historical and political activist Shevchenko gave forceful expression to his countrymen’s sentiment at a time when culture and language was being suppressed by the Russian czar.  In his poem published in 1857, Shevchenko asked

 “When will we greet

Our own George Washington at last

With the new law of righteousness”

 Beloved and renowned for his literature, poetry and art, Taras Shevchenko was also honored for his fight for freedom and against slavery and serfdom. A notable page in Shevchenko’s life was his friendship with Ira Aldridge, an African American who became a well-known British actor.

Admission for the Opening Night: $10.00

Location: 2249 West Superior Street

Hours: Thursday through Sunday, 11 am to 4 pm

General admission:  Adults $5.00, Children under 12 – Free. 

Mar 14

UVNA February 2014 Meeting Notes

Thursday February 20th, 2014 – 6:30pm – St. Helen School Cafeteria

Officers and UVNA Board Members in attendance:

  • President:  Paul Matwyshyn
  • Treasurer: Harriet Siller
  • Secretary: Samantha Arnold
  • Board Members: George Matwyshyn
Updates on status of neighborhood churches


St. John’s Lutheran Church (913-925 N. Hoyne)
Nothing further has happened with this development since the UVNA agreed to the curb cuts and zoning change requested by the developer.  The 2nd ward alderman’s office has no updates and has not spoken to the developer since the last discussions in late 2013.  UVNA will try to contact the developer for an update


New Hope Bible Church (1137 N. Leavitt)
A demolition permit was issued for this property 0n 2/13/2014.  This church was built in 1894 as the First Evangelical Lutheran Church, though the architect is unknown.  It was not listed/identified in the Chicago Historic Resources Survey ,  not orange rated (meaning a property that possess some architectural feature or historical association that makes it potentially significant in the context of the surrounding community). It was not  considered for inclusion in the original historic district –  sounds like there was little interest to include it at the time, and the congregation may not have been interested either.  According to Chicago Landmarks , all of these things mean that they have no means to stop the demolition.  (thanks the 32nd Ward office for providing more info on this property)


Hoyne  Avenue Wesleyan Church (2108 W. Iowa St)
This church was sold on 12/2/2013 to an LLC .  This church is also not orange rated and was not originally considered for inclusion in the historic district. As of this meeting, no permits have been requested for this property. (thanks the 32nd Ward office for providing more info on this property)

It appears that neither one of these churches could be added to the district on their own,  like St. John’s church was, as  St. John’s was part of the  historic context of Ukrainian Village.  While the historic district is rather tightly framed as residential,  St. John’s  congregation played a very active role in the historic residential development of Ukrainian Village.  That history helped link St. Johns to the residential context of the village two years ago.

These recent sales have raised concerns by many neighbors about other churches that may not be landmarked and how we can protect them from demolition.  Based on some very preliminary research, it appears that the best route to preserve existing structures not already within the boundaries of the Ukrainian Village Historic District, might be to request another extension to the district that combines parcels that currently exist outside the boundaries.  Churches that may be outside the boundaries at this time include:

  • St. Helen Parish (2315 W. Augusta Blvd)
  • St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral (2250 W. Cortez St)
  • Saints Volodymyr & Olha Ukrainian Catholic Church (2245 W. Superior)
  • St. Stephen King of Hungary Church (2015 W. Augusta Blvd)

In order to start this process we will need to, among other things, review property in the neighborhood and make a proposal to Chicago Landmarks.  We will follow up on this at the next meeting. Neighbors interested in assisting with this effort should contact the UVNA at info@uvna.org.


Eddie Winters – Democratic Candidate for State Representative

Eddie Winters is seeking to become the Democratic nominee for State Representative in the 10th district. The primary election will be held March 18th, 2014.  He stopped by our meeting to meet with neighbors in our area.   You might remember him from his 4-month term as representative when he replaced the expelled Derrick Smith.  More info can be found on his website here.

UVNA Officer Elections

Elections for new officers (President, VP, Treasurer, Secretary) will take place at the April 2014 meeting.  In order to run for office you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a current member of UVNA (dues paid by the March 2014 meeting)
  • Be part of a slate – meaning that in the election members will vote on proposed slates of 4 officers
    • one member may only be on 1 slate
    • slates consist of president, VP, treasurer, secretary

Board members and committees are appointed or approved by the officers.

You can join online on our membership page or bring cash to the March 2014 meeting.   If  you have any questions about membership, send an email to info@ unva.org.

Feb 14

11th Annual Live & Silent Auction at the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art

Mark your calendars for 6:30pm, Saturday March 1st, 2014 and stop by the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art for an evening of good art, music, conversation, and food and drink.  And there will be a Silent Live auction featuring a wide array of exceptional art.  Help support the museum in preserving and promoting contemporary art and  strengthening the cultural understanding and diversity of the Ukrainian and American experience.

Tickets are $50 and available for online purchase here

Please RSVP by February 22nd, 2014

773-227-5522 or auction@uima-chicago.org