Concert and art sale in Athens for the benefit of the Ukraine Trust Chain
When Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Irina Rozovsky felt helpless and angry.
“When we fled [Russia] in 88 because of anti-Semitism I was seven years old,” Rozovsky said. “And when this war started, it really struck a chord…with me and a lot of people my age who are from that part of the world, because it felt so unfair.”
As Rozovsky watched people around the world mobilize to protest the attacks, she was inspired to do the same. Within days, Rozovsky organized a rally, which was the first Ukrainian solidarity demonstration to take place in Athens.
Since then, Rozovsky has continued to participate in relief efforts, including fundraising through his photography business and other community events, such as the Interfaith Partnership of Clergy Prayer Vigil held March 15.
The next event she has organized is a Ukrainian benefit concert and art sale which will take place on Saturday May 21 at Drink on Barber Street.
“Just because it’s not in the news doesn’t mean it’s over,” Rozovsky said. “Once he’s out of the limelight, bad things can happen with a bigger impact and not be noticed as much.”
Recently, musician Denise Gateau, who goes by the stage name Turtle Grenade, was also inspired to take action.
“I felt really bad about what’s going on there,” Cake said. “And I think it just occurred to me, you know, like, people are fundraising all the time for all kinds of things, so why not?”
Cake shared her ideas with Athens-Clarke County Commissioner Mariah Parker, who introduced her to Rozovsky. Then the two got to work planning Saturday’s benefit concert at Buvez. While Rozovsky handled the financial aspects of the event, Gateau recruited a range of artists and musicians from Athens and beyond.
“No amount of money can account for the lives lost or other effects caused by war, but it is important to do what we can to help those in need,” wrote Caitlyn Riesinger, one collaborating artists. “I think my involvement is about doing what I can – I don’t have spare money that can implement big changes for others, but I have a time-consuming hobby that I hope to use for good.”
The Canary Affair group agreed, writing: “While we never agree with war, we understand that there are people who see their homes invaded and their livelihoods destroyed. If there is anything we can do to help even a little, we are happy to do so.
Local businesses including The National and Hendershots are also donating gift cards to help raise funds at the event.
Proceeds will go to Ukraine Trust Chain, a volunteer-run organization that provides medicine, first aid and food to the front lines and evacuates children and the elderly from war zones in Ukraine.
Rozovsky is touched by the support she has received, saying. “Some of the peace protests we did were amazing, because you meet Americans who have never left the country and they really care about it. “
“I think most people have been quite disturbed and agitated by the war in Ukraine and its randomness and misdirection,” said Elijah Johnston, one of the musicians at the concert.
Beyond fundraising, the event inspired community members to bring about change through art and music, things they are passionate about.
“I think the biggest benefit of any fundraiser is the community. It brings people together, keeps them informed and motivated to keep trying to make progress towards a better future, and it’s a fun way to do something fine,” Riesinger wrote.
Ukraine benefit concert details
When: Saturday, May 21, 2022 from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: Drink | 585 Barber Street Suite A, Athens, Georgia 30601
Cost: Free but donations accepted