ACTIVITIES SPILL OVER INTO NE MISS.
By Tom Pittman
Northeast Mississippians can experience part of the Russian style closer than Jackson. Or, they can volunteer to work in the exhibit.
– New Albany’s Garden Club will host a slide presentation on the Jackson exhibit at 3 p.m. Thursday at the New Albany library. Susan Harrison, who is the volunteer landscape coordinator for the “Palaces of St. Petersburg: Russian Imperial Style” exhibit, will present the program and give an update on the project. More than 8,000 trees, shrubs and flowering plants will be planted outside the Mississippi Arts Pavilion, which will house the exhibit. Mrs. Harrison and her husband, Dr. Brent Harrison, have been instrumental in forging personal relationships with Russian doctors in the “Mississippians Reaching Out” effort. More information on the presentation is available from Jolyn Cooke at 534-9834.
– The St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra will perform in Northeast Mississippi before the Jackson exhibit opens. St. Petersburg has enjoyed a worldwide musical reputation at least since its native son Tchaichovsky premiered his works such as “Swan Lake” and “The Nutcracker” in what was then the capital of Russia. The city’s 72-member orchestra, whose average age is 27, will play two concerts each for school students Feb. 23 in Senatobia, Feb. 26 in Oxford and Feb. 28 in Tupelo. Public concerts will be Feb. 24 in Senatobia, Feb. 25 in Oxford and Feb. 27 in Tupelo. More information is available by calling the “Palaces of St. Petersburg” office at 1-800-960-9900.
– Separate from the exhibit, but in the same Russian artistic spirit, the Tupelo Artist Guild will display artwork by Russian children beginning April 16. These children, aged 7 to 15, were taught by special methods in the former Soviet Republic of Kyrghystan, which borders China. About 80 pieces were collected and brought back by two Jackson residents. More information is available by calling Tina Lutz at 844-2787.
– Exhibit organizers have worked with the state Department of Education to develop “Palaces of St. Petersburg” guides for all Mississippi public school teachers and students. The 72-page teacher’s guide is filled with information about Russian life and history as well as lesson plans. The student guides prepare young people to enjoy and learn from the exhibit. More information is available by calling the exhibit offices at 1-800-960-9900.
– Zoia Belyakova, who has taught the tour guides of St. Petersburg and written three books on Russian royalty and their palaces, will visit the University of Mississippi on March 4 and Mississippi University for Women on March 7. In her flawless English, she will tell the stories she has discovered in her research, including biographies of the czars. Many of the czars are little known even in Russia because information was withheld or distorted under Communist rule. More information on her lectures is available by calling Vicky Fioranelli at Delta State University, 601-846-4660.
– Mississippi’s Educational Television plans to devote March 3 programming to Russia. The St. Petersburg State Symphony’s concert at Delta State University will be televised at noon, a special on “The Hermitage: A Russian Odyssey” at 3 p.m. and a documentary on the “Romanovs,” focusing on the last Russian czar, at 6:30 p.m. Public Radio of Mississippi plans a simulcast of the concert. More information is available by calling ETV at 601-982-6565.
– Northeast Mississippians who can be in Jackson regularly can involve themselves more in the Russian imperial style by working as volunteers. Commitments of16 shifts of 3.5 hours each are being sought. Volunteers will help with everything from audio-visuals to the gift shop. Handbooks with background, instructional and resource information will be provided along with required orientation sessions. More information on volunteering is available by calling Candace Crecink at 1-800-960-9900.