Man stands surrounded by people, answers questions (Photo by State Dept)

Emmy Award-Winner Promotes Recycling and Filmmaking in Vladivostok

Chris Beaver, an Emmy Award-winning film director from California, conducted an extensive three-day Speaker Program in Vladivostok promoting San Francisco’s “zero waste” initiative and educating Vladivostok enthusiasts on basic film-making techniques.  On February 9, Mr. Beaver presented his documentary, “Racing to Zero: In Pursuit of Zero Waste,” to 100 spectators at the Ocean IMAX movie theater.  The movie, which investigated

People sit, watch TV (Photo by State Dept)

Super Bowl Screening at the Consulate Promotes Sports, International and Inter-Generational Dialogue

Thanks to Houston’s location 16 time zones away from the Russian Far East, the Consulate in Vladivostok was able to broadcast the Super Bowl on Monday morning in a spectacular Public Diplomacy event promoting sports, a healthy life style, mutual understanding, and inter-generational dialogue. The core groups of participants were university-aged football players and school-aged students from Vladivostok and Artyom

Man stands in front of a poster (Photo by State Dept)

Consul General Greets U.S. University Representatives and Russian Academics

On January 29, 2017 Vladivostok U.S. Consul General Michael Keays hosted a reception for more than 40 guests in his residence. The event was held in honor of admissions officers visiting from four U.S. universities to participate in an education fair sponsored by EducationUSA and was attended by prominent academics from several local universities and secondary schools as well as

Two men stand, talk (Photo by State Dept)

U.S. Consul General’s First Visit to Ussuriysk

U.S. Consul General Michael Keays visited Ussuriysk for the first time on January 27, 2017 to meet with retired Colonel Vladimir Kaplyuk, President of the “Soldier” Fund, a charity and organization that looks out for the welfare and well-being of veterans of local and international military conflicts.  Mr. Kaplyuk gave the Consul General a tour of his office, reviewed with

Jack London Op-Ed by CG Keays.

Vladivostok CG Honors Jack London Anniversary by Op-Ed in Novaya Gazeta

On November 24,  Novaya Gazeta vo Vladivostoke published an Op-Ed by Vladivostok CG Michael Keays honoring the 100th anniversary of the death of Jack London, one of the most celebrated American writers in Russia.  Michael Keays told the paper audience about his personal experience of reading London’s prose and explained why Americans still consider him an “outstanding writer and an

Pumpkin Pie Online: Vladivostok CG Highlights Thanksgiving Traditions

On Thanksgiving Eve, Vladivostok CG Michael Keays participated in a popular cooking show “Weekend Recipe” ran by principal regional online news agency Primamedia.  The kitchen in the CG residence was remodeled into a photo studio:   Primamedia correspondents filmed a detailed report on the “secrets of pumpkin pie recipe”.  While mixing, stirring, kneading and baking Michael Keays was also telling journalists

CG Michael Keays with high-school students

International Education Week in Primorye

On November 14-18, Consul General Michael Keays, Public Affairs Officer Erik Pugner, English Language Officer Jerry Frank and English Language Fellow William Smith launched International Education Week for over 600 high-school students and teachers in Vladivostok, Artem and Nakhodka by conducting a series of presentations that covered such topics as US education system, presentational skills for teachers, approaching the teaching

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Consul General Michael Keays Visits Art School for Children in Vladivostok

On October 6 Consul General Michael Keays visited Art School for Children # 3, which has partnered with the Consulate on many occasions. Many U.S. musicians and dancers have conducted master-classes for children and teachers at the school, sharing their experience and providing invaluable inspiration to future musicians and dancers. CG Keays met with Principal and Vice Principal. During his visit,

A group of people stand, pose for a photo (Photo by State Dept)

International Day Celebration at the International Linguistic School

On October 13, Consul General Michael Keays and his spouse Andrea attended the annual International Day event organized by the International Linguistic School, Vladivostok State University of Economics and Services. This year’s theme was “The History of Cinema.” Teams of high school students gave impressive presentations on international film, and then children invited guests to Russian, U.S., Japanese, Chinese, South

Photo exhibit poster.

San Francisco and Vladivostok Photographers Build a “Photo Bridge” Across Pacific

On October 7, U.S. Consulate General Vladivostok supported a spectacular international movie and photo exhibit entitled, “Freeze Frame! Look How Beautiful it is!” demonstrating “ the beauty, spirit, and similarities”  between Vladivostok and San Francisco.   The Consulate partnered with Vladivostok State University of Economics and Services (VSUES) and the local video studio “Seven”  to organize a photo exhibit of photographers

Four men play musical instruments (Photo by State Dept)

Rock Across Russia

August 17 – September 5, the U.S. Consulate General Vladivostok carried out a multi-event, multi-city music program reaching over 10,000 music fans in Vladivostok, Khabarovsk, and Irkutsk, including headlining the largest rock music festival in the Russian Far East, V-ROX. American group “Burn the Ballroom” built on their growing Russia fame by continuing the tour, with U.S. Consulate General Yekaterinburg’s

Four people stand, listen to a speech.

Sergey Dovlatov Book: A Bridge Between American and Russian Cultures

On September 5th the U.S. Consulate General, along with its partners from the Vladivostok media and cultural community, hosted a public presentation of the unique photo album “Sergey Dovlatov in Nina Alovert’s photographs and memoirs.” The book, timed for the 75th anniversary of the late, popular Russian-American writer’s birth, represents another tangible bridge between Russian and American cultures: the project

Consul General Erik Holm-Olsen (Photo by the Arseniev State Museum)

Letters of Happiness

On August 5th, the Arseniev State Museum and U.S. Consulate General jointly hosted a public presentation of the 15-minute documentary “Letters of Happiness,” dedicated to celebrated American chronicler Eleanor L. Prey. The film presents the story of Eleanor L. Prey, whose thousands of letters home from Vladivostok from 1894 -1930 captured the daily life and great historical events in of

Man talks to a group of children.

Baseball Diplomacy in the Russian Far East

June 5-20, U.S. Consulate General Vladivostok, along with the Primorskiy Kray, Vladivostok, and Khabarovsk baseball federations and partners in municipal administrations, carried out an extensive sports diplomacy project reaching over 800 children in Vladivostok, Khabarovsk, and Khorol. Nick Cappuccilli, a coach at the California-based baseball organization Lifeletics as well high school coach and teacher, led clinics for youth baseball teams,

Three musicians give an interview.

Trio from Portland Performs in Russia

May 24 – June 6, Portland, Oregon-based folk musician trio “Three for Silver” carried out a robust music diplomacy program in three capital cities of the Russian Far East.  This project was made possible when the Khabarovsk-Portland Sister City Association invited the trio to perform at the Khabarovsk City Day.  U.S. Consulate General Vladivostok expanded the initiative and helped the

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IRC Vladivostok Holds Monthly Book Club Meeting

On March 12, Information Resource Center Vladivostok held its monthly book club meeting, led by PAO Erik Pugner. Book club discussions foster a nuanced understanding of life in the United States and American culture and culture, as well as give participants an opportunity to exercise their English Language skills. At this month’s meeting, book club members discussed The Color of

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Nina Alovert’s Photo Exhibit Opens in Birobidzhan

On March 10, Russian-American photographer Nina Alovert’s exhibit “The Gorgeous Features of My Dear Friends” opened at the Museum of Modern Arts in Birobidzhan, capital of the Jewish Autonomous Region. Alovert, a celebrated octogenarian photographer and ballet critic, who was born in the Soviet Union and immigrated to the United States in 1977, had premiered her Consulate-supported exhibit in Vladivostok

Four women talk.

Navajo Nation Delegation Visits Yakutsk

On March 4-9, a delegation of cultural representatives from the Navajo Nation participated in a cultural exchange visit in Yakutsk and took part in Yakutsk’s first “ethnic nomadic fashion show” entitled “Solar Deer.” The five member delegation represented various professions and backgrounds including an elementary school teacher and former Miss Navajo, a trick horseback riding coach, a traditional dwelling construction

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“Norma Rae,” at IRC Vladivostok

On March 4, in honor of Women’s History Month, Information Resource Center Vladivostok held a screening of “Norma Rae,” the late 70s Sally Field film about a factory worker from small town North Carolina who becomes involved in the labor union at the textile factory where she works. The screening was followed by a discussion led by Consular Chief Bernadette

Four men pose for a photo.

“Soul Inscribed” Band Visits Vladivostok and Khabarovsk

On February 13-21, American hip-hop/soul fusion band Soul Inscribed visited Vladivostok and Khabarovsk as a part of the American Music Abroad program. In Vladivostok, the group wowed kids with a showcase and master class for 50 students of Art School #3, with youngsters jamming with the band and, along with their teachers and parents, learning about the many music styles

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“The Help,” at IRC Vladivostok

On February 5, in part in recognition of Black History Month, Information Resource Center Vladivostok held a screening of “The Help,” a glimpse into 1960s South and a story of a white woman capturing the stories of the African American domestic help from the maids’ perspective and publishing them in a book. The screening was followed by a discussion led

People stand, watch exhibit photos.

Nina Alovert’s Photo Exhibit Opens in Khabarovsk

On January 29, Nina Alovert’s exhibit, titled “The Gorgeous Features of My Dear Friends,” opened at the Far Eastern Museum of Arts in Khabarovsk. Nina Alovert, an internationally celebrated photographer and ballet critic, who was born in the Soviet Union and immigrated to the United States in 1977, had earlier opened her exhibit in Vladivostok, with the support of the

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IRC Vladivostok Holds Monthly Book Club Meeting

On January 23, Information Resource Center Vladivostok held its monthly book club meeting, led by PAO Erik Pugner. Book club discussions are planned to foster understanding and awareness of life in the United States and American culture, as well as to give participants an opportunity to exercise their English Language skills. At this month’s meeting book club members discussed The

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“Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” at IRC Vladivostok

On January 15, Information Resource Center Vladivostok held a screening of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” a captivating romantic comedy considered to be a classic of the genre. The screening was followed by a discussion led by Public Affairs Officer Erik Pugner during which participants discussed the plot, the main characters, the actors, the movie’s controversies, the racist portrayal of Japanese, etc.

Woman stands in front of displayed photos.

Nina Alovert’s Photo Exhibit in Vladivostok

In November 2015, Nina Alovert, celebrated octogenarian photographer and ballet critic, who was born in the Soviet Union and immigrated to the United States in 1977, presented Vladivostok with her photo exhibit called “The Gorgeous features of My Dear Friends,” opened at ARKA art gallery. On November 6, Nina gave a presentation at the Far Eastern Arts Academy to theater

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Show US! Documentary Film Program

On November 18th, Paul Lazarus, acclaimed film and TV director, well-known for his directorial work on such popular shows as Friends, Pretty Little Liars, and Beverly Hills 90210, presented his most recent documentary film “Slingshot” at the OKEAN movie theater in Vladivostok as a part of the Show US documentary film program. More than 100 people attended the free screening

Myrna Clayton.

XII Vladivostok International Jazz Festival

On November 10-16 the Primorskiy Philharmonic hosted the XII International Jazz Festival with the support of U.S. Consulate General Vladivostok. For 6 days, musicians from the United States, Japan, France, Korea, Germany, and Russia wowed audiences on the Philharmonic’s main stage. American masters performed in three concerts as the Staple Quartet, the Freedom Jazz Movement Quartet, and singer Myrna Clayton,

A woman talks to a group of young people (Photo by State Dept)

Information Resource Officer Visits Vladivostok

During her November 9-11 visit to Vladivostok, Information Resource Officer (IRO) Magia Crause from U.S. Embassy Moscow visited the newly renovated Vladivostok city library #12 and gave a professional development presentation for city library staff. She talked about current trends in U.S. libraries, including the role of social media, comic book collections, “makerspaces,” etc. The audience asked a number of

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Fight Club, at IRC Vladivostok

On October 30, Information Resource Center Vladivostok held a screening of the darkly comic cult drama “Fight Club.” The screening was followed by a discussion led by Public Affairs Officer Erik Pugner during which participants discussed the social construct of identity, effects of social isolation, emasculation and the patriarchy, and a consumerist culture. This event was part of the monthly

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IRC Vladivostok Holds Its First Book Club Meeting

On October 3, Information Resource Center Vladivostok held its first book club meeting, led by PAO Erik Pugner. Book club discussions are planned to foster understanding and awareness of life in the United States and American culture, as well as to give participants an opportunity to exercise their English Language skills. IRC Vladivostok selected and purchased fifteen copies of six

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“The Bridges of Madison County”, at IRC Vladivostok

On October 2, Information Resource Center Vladivostok held a screening of the movie “The Bridges of Madison County,” which tells the story of two people who find a promise of perfect personal happiness, and understand, with sadness and acceptance, that the most important things in life are not always about making yourself happy. The screening was preceded and followed by

Girls

First Russian Far East American Football Championship

On September 26 Lokomotiv stadium in Khabarovsk hosted an historical event – the final of the first ever Far Eastern American Football Championship. In a series of games promoting this uniquely American sport, Russian-American partnerships and a healthy lifestyle were on display. The games were organized by the Khabarovsk American Football Federation and sponsored by U.S. Consulate General Vladivostok. Vladivostok’s

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Stand by Me, at IRC Vladivostok

On September 4th, Information Resource Center Vladivostok held a screening of the movie “Stand by Me,” a 1986 American coming of age drama adventure film. The movie depicts the painful process of maturation that has plagued both teens and preteens for ages. The screening was followed by a discussion, led by Public Affairs Officer Erik Pugner, during which participants discussed

Two men play musical instruments (Photo by State Dept)

Hanni El Khatib at V-ROX 2015

From August 27 to 31, American singer-songwriter and rocker Hanni El Khatib and his band headlined the annual V-ROX music festival in Vladivostok. One of Russia’s top music festivals, V-ROX gathered 300 musicians from all over the world on multiple stages and attracted thousands of spectators from Vladivostok and the Russian Far East. Hanni’s headlining concert was hailed by the

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End of WWII 70th Anniversary Conference Held in Vladivostok

On August 25th, Consul General Erik Holm-Olsen took part in the opening of a 2-day conference on the topic of the end of the World War II that was organized in Vladivostok by the Institute of history, archeology and ethnography of the Far Eastern branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. American, Japanese and Chinese diplomats took part in the

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Sleepless in Seattle, at IRC Vladivostok

On August 7, Information Resource Center Vladivostok held a screening of the movie “Sleepless in Seattle,” considered by many an ideal romantic comedy.  The screening was followed by a discussion led by Public Affairs Officer Erik Pugner during which participants discussed romantic comedy tropes and compared them to the ones used in this particular movie, the origin of the title,

Man stands, talks to a group of teenagers (Photo by State Dept)

U.S. Coach Promotes Baseball and Healthy Life Style in Primorskiy Kray

Nick Cappuccilli, a baseball coach from California, spent ten days in Primorskiy Kray conducting clinics for junior baseball teams and performing outreach events promoting the sport along with a healthy life style. Consulate General Vladivostok worked with the Baseball Federations of Primorskiy Kray and Vladivostok as well as municipal administrations and regional youth organizations to carry out this program. Nick

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American Graffiti, at IRC Vladivostok

On July 2, Information Resource Center Vladivostok held a screening of the movie “American Graffiti,” a 1973 American coming of age comedy-drama film directed and co-written by a pre-Star Wars George Lucas. The screening was bookended by discussions led by Public Affairs Officer Erik Pugner, covering Lucas’ nostalgia for the early 60s following the societal ruptures during the Vietnam war,

Navajo Cultural Representatives Share in Yakutsk’s Summer Solstice Festival

June 26–28, Linda Davis and Kansas Begaye, cultural representatives of the Navajo nation, visited Yakutsk to take part in Ysiakh Tuymaada, the traditional Yakut solstice festival. 150,000 visitors from all over the Republic of Yakutia gathered on the sacred grounds of Us Khatin to celebrate the rebirth of nature. The celebration included horse races, traditional wrestling, singing, dancing, and Yakut

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American Artist Exhibits Indigenous Photography Project

June 5-25, American photographer Anna Reich took part in an art residency program at the ZARYA Contemporary Art Center, Vladivostok, supported in a partnership with the U.S. Consulate General Vladivostok. During her three weeks at ZARYA, Anna worked on a project dedicated to the role that colonialism plays in the identity and culture of the indigenous Udege people of Primorskiy

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A Beautiful Mind, at IRC Vladivostok

On June 5, Information Resource Center Vladivostok held a screening of the movie “A Beautiful Mind”, a 2001 American biographical drama film loosely based on the life of John Nash, a Nobel Laureate in Economics, who died in a car accident in May 2015. The screening was followed by a discussion led by Consul General Erik Holm-Olsen during which participants

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U.S. Expert Shares Filmmaking Wisdom via Skype

On May 14, the U.S. Consulate General and Vladivostok Youth Lecture Series Luch-5 held a Skype presentation with multi-award winning U.S. documentary producer Jon Alpert. The event attracted over 20 young people searching for professional guidance on modern documentary filmmaking. Alpert’s tales of creating films covering important social issues, plus his practical filmmaking tips, were warmly and enthusiastically received: the

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Rock-N-Roll as a Tool of Multicultural Communication

On May 6 Rock Brynner, historian and son of Vladivostok-born Hollywood actor Yul Brynner, gave a presentation highlighting the impact of rock-n-roll on social and intercultural communication amongst different races and nations. The event, jointly organized by U.S. Consulate and the Vladivostok University of Economics and Services , attracted considerable attention. The 25-30 person hall of VGUES’s museum couldn’t contain

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The Breakfast Club, at IRC Vladivostok

On April 29, Information Resource Center Vladivostok held a screening of the movie “The Breakfast Club” that encapsulates adolescence in the ’80s in the most iconic detention session of all time. Five high school students, all different stereotypes (a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess or a criminal), meet in detention, where they pour their hearts out to

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“Amistad”, at IRC Vladivostok

On April 3, IRC Vladivostok held a screening of the movie “Amistad” that illustrates the horrors of the slave trade, using the historical Amistad slave rebellion to examine the divisive nature of the slavery issue in the United States in the early 19th century. The film examines the tolerance of slavery by many Northerners as well as the power of

Man plays clarinet (Photo by State Dept)

Russian-American Duo Tours Russian Far East

On March 22-28, Jerry Chae (Clarinet – USA) and Andrey Vinichenko (Piano – Russia) performed a classical concert tour throughout the Russian Far East. An enthusiastic Russian public warmly welcomed the musicians in Khabarovsk, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, and Vladivostok, the latter of which hosted the duo as part of the Philharmonic’s classic music festival “Far Eastern Spring.” This tour of musical diplomacy

Man conducts an orchestra (Photo by State Dept)

American Conductor Performs with Pacific Symphonic Orchestra in Vladivostok

March 28 to April 1, American conductor and pianist Peter Freisinger rehearsed and performed with the Pacific Symphonic Orchestra in Vladivostok as part of the Primorskiy Philharmonic’s annual classic music festival “Far Eastern Spring.” Enthusiastic, broad media coverage of the festival described his concert as a “highlight” of the program, and Freisinger’s efforts were covered in a feature television piece

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PAO and State Department Speaker Visit Yakutia

On March 23, Dr. Gordon Bronitsky presented on ethnic media and ethnic journalism at the North-Eastern Federal University Department of Journalism in Yakutsk, sharing for three hours his experience of working with the indigenous peoples of North America. During the lecture, students asked questions related to ethnic media of Native Americans and the history of relations between the indigenous peoples

Group of people pose for photo (Photo by State Dept)

English Language Contest Held in Artyom

On March 11-13, PAO Erik Pugner and the U.S. Consul General’s spouse Ann Waugh participated in the annual English Language Olympiad in Artyom, where more than 600 secondary school students from the Primorye region competed in events testing their knowledge of the English language and American history and literature. Erik Pugner made welcoming remarks to hundreds of students, and Ann

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“Thelma & Louise”, at IRC Vladivostok

On March 6, IRC Vladivostok held a screening of the movie “Thelma & Louise” (1991), a now- classic outlaw road movie that deals with female oppression at the hands of men and the women protagonists’ struggle — at great cost — for respect, independence, and free will. The screening was followed by a discussion led by Public Affairs Officer Erik

DCM Lynne Tracy (Photo by State Dept)

Deputy Chief of Mission Visits Yakutia

On March 4-6, Deputy Chief of Mission Lynne Tracy made her first visit to the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). She was accompanied by Erik Holm-Olsen, U.S. Consul General in Vladivostok. In addition to meeting with officials from the Ministry of Federal Relations and External Affairs of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia), Ms. Tracy visited and met with the staff of the

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Consul General Visits Kamchatka

Vladivostok Consul General Erik Holm-Olsen made his first visit to Kamchatka, February 26 to March 2. In addition to courtesy calls with local officials, he met with members of two Rotary Clubs, the director of World Wildlife Fund’s Kamchatka office, and visited the Institute of Volcanology and Seismology. Over the weekend, the Consul General attended two dog-sled sprints associated with

Group of people sit at a table, study handouts (Photo by State Dept)

Smithsonian Expert Conducts Workshops in Vladivostok

On February 19-20, Stephanie Norby, Director of the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access, visited Vladivostok and gave 5 presentations for high school students, teachers, museum personnel, and general public. She talked about the history of the Smithsonian Institution, its structure and online educational resources for students and teachers. Workshop attendees participated in hands-on activities working in groups and

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“Blade Runner”, at IRC Vladivostok

On February 6, IRC Vladivostok held a screening of the movie “Blade Runner”; a haunting mixture of science fiction and film noir. The film raises intriguing questions such as “what is life,” “what does it mean to be human,” and if our ever-increasing dependency on technology is necessarily a good thing. The screening was followed by a discussion led by

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Local Football Players Join Consulate Staff for Super Bowl

On February 2, eighteen players of the Wild Pandas, Vladivostok’s American football team, led by U.S. coach and NCAA star Bobby Rome, came to the Consulate for a live Super Bowl party. The event was indeed a spectacular one: participants had a chance to enjoy the 9:30 AM local time kick off of the premier sporting event of the year.

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