Bohdana Bashuk, Executive Director Shevchenko Foundation.
Emerging Canadian artists Anna Bucciarelli, Natalya Gennadi, and Stacey Yerofeyeva (Nastasia Y) will share the $25,000 REACH Mentorship/Residency for the Arts 2021 award, a project of the Shevchenko Foundation in partnership with the Ihnatowycz Family Foundation.
Now in its third year, the REACH program calls on emerging Canadian artists to reach for their career dreams by seeking opportunities for mentorship, residency, internship, training, workshop, and research.
Anna Bucciarelli, a Toronto-based visual artist and arts educator, received REACH funding for research related to her initiative to preserve and advance the tradition of Ukrainian folk art by adapting Petrykivka painting techniques for the digital age. When notified of the award, Ms. Bucciarelli said, “I am thrilled to accept this REACH grant. My project will preserve and popularize centuries-old painting techniques via emerging online learning platforms. I hope to bring the excellence of Petrykivka into the world of digital illustration, advancing the painting technique beyond traditional mediums.”
Natalya Gennadi, an opera singer living in Toronto, received REACH funding for mentorship and a self-directed residency to advance the professional training that will enable the creation of her Ukrainian vocal music project. “I am beyond grateful for this REACH grant,” said Ms. Gennadi. “The funding will support my self-created development program curated by four exceptional music specialists: Krisztina Szabó, Patricia Green, Frédérique Vézina, and Maika’i Nash. Upon completion, I will have specific skills to produce my dream project – an online series of Ukrainian classical vocal music involving international artists.”
Stacey Yerofeyeva (Nastasia Y), a Toronto-based multi-genre vocalist and keyboardist, received REACH funding for virtual mentorship by ethnomusicologist Marichka Marczyk and select Slavic and Balkan voice specialists. “I am beyond grateful to the REACH program for the opportunity to undergo a year of deep dedication to my vocal technique, with a focus on Ukrainian and Eastern European folk tradition,” said Ms. Yerofeyeva. “In such unstable times, this gift will greatly better my craft by expanding my connection to Ukrainian-Canadian and other Western audiences. I am eager to make the most of it.”
The REACH adjudication panel included Victor Malarek, multiple-award-winning investigative reporter and broadcast journalist (The Globe and Mail, W5, the fifth estate), and author of numerous internationally successful books and screenplays; Carissa Klopoushak, violinist (Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra, Ironwood Quartet) vocalist (Tyt i Tam turbo-folk band), recording artist (SOUNDWORLDS), and artistic director (Ottawa Chamberfest); and Gordon Gordey, internationally recognized professional arts stage director, producer, and librettist/writer of 25 original dance works (Shumka Dancers), recognized as one of the 100 most influential people in the development of theatre in Alberta in Theatre 100.
Mr. Malarek complimented “the many outstanding and promising” funding applications, and highlighted Anna Bucciarelli’s “impressive proposal,” which “takes a unique folk art form … and catapults it from the studio onto social media.” He noted that Ms. Bucciarelli’s artistic style, influenced by generations of Ukrainian folk masters, was represented in her previous collaborations with the Royal Canadian Mint and Starbucks.
Ms. Klopoushak recognized Natalya Gennadi and Stacey Yerofeyeva (Nastasia Y) for their “clarity of artistic purpose, a wealth of skill and talent, and a strong ambition to stretch themselves.” She noted that the mentorship they receive through REACH funding stands to “benefit not only the artists involved, but also the Canadian artistic community as a whole.”
Mr. Gordey praised the 2021 REACH applicants, describing them as “valued voices in shaping our national identity.” He described the REACH funding program as a “portal for artists who may have felt left out of traditional funding models. It enables their professional growth in a rapidly changing arts landscape.”
The REACH Mentorship/Residency for the Arts was established for emerging artists who are 40 years of age or younger; have a connection to Ukrainian heritage through background, art, culture and/or language (with no requirement to be Ukrainian Canadian); and work actively within the Ukrainian arts community in Canada and/or worldwide. Applicants are also required to have practiced at a peer-recognized advanced career level for a minimum of two years in visual, literary or performing arts, new media, or arts management. Applications for REACH 2021 funding came from Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan.