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July 25, 2013

A taste of Russia in Manchester

MANCHESTER — Cape Ann residents can get a rare taste of the richness of Russian culture beginning Friday when the Manchester Community Center hosts an exhibition showcasing fine art, Russian handicrafts, food, live music and some historical connections between Russia and New England.

Friday’s debut, which runs from 5 to 9 p.m., will feature an opening reception, hosted by Olesya and Jerry Koenig with free refreshments. Jazz music will be performed by virtuoso improvisational pianist Leo Loginov Katz.

On Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., there will be “A Russian Treasure Hunt” encouraging visitors to “find connections between Russia, North Shore and Manchester-by-the-Sea over the past 200 years.

Saturday’s program will also include a roundtable discussion led by Margaret Coleman of Manchester. The discussion will highlight people, places and events with Russian ties to Manchester and Cape Ann; The treasure hunt will be conducted after, and forms will be given to the participants to complete and return to the Center by Aug. 3 for a review and prize.

Coleman, who is director of the non-profit organization called the Russian American Cultural Center at Russia Wharf, Inc., is a major organizer of this event, along with From Russia with Art Gallery in Cambridge and the Manchester Community Center.

The “From Moscow to Manchester-By-The-Sea Art & Culture Exhibit,” which will run through Sunday, Aug, 4, features artwork by 13 Russian-American artists from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Ukraine and the Greater Boston area, including American Impressionist and Signature Member of the Oil Painters of America, Anatoly Dverin.

Although Massachusetts is known for its role in colonial history, Coleman noted that there was a unique partnership between the young nation in the wake of the American Revolution and Imperial Russia, which is often overlooked in history books. There was also a prosperous trading relationship between the two nations.

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