Lviv hosting LvivKlezFest 2013

On August 12 a department of the Lviv Museum for the History of Religion (37 Staroyevreiska St.) opened an exhibition, entitled “The World of the Shtetl.” The exhibition features works by the “Metamorphoses” Art Studio and a number of Ukrainian artists. It includes Jewish-themed artworks in various techniques (papercuts, coffee paintings, beads, felting, glass painting and batik). Running until September 1, the exhibition is one of the events of LvivKlezFest 2013 – the annual Jewish culture festival which has become a good tradition for Lviv.
 
In addition to klezmer concerts and master classes, this year’s festival program  features many theatrical plays, film screenings, media tours, thematic quests, lectures, discussions, and seminars. LvivKlezFest events take place in various venues situated in different corners of the city – the Philharmonic, the Young Viewers’ Theater (former Gimpel Jewish Theater), the Center for Urban History, as well as the Lviv’s clubs, cafes and courtyards. As usual, the festival will culminate in the Gala Concert (September 1, 2013), featuring klezmerim from Europe, Israel, and the United States, to be held in the heart of the historical Jewish district on Arsenalna Square. Festival Director Ada Dianova (who also heads the Hesed Arie Charity Foundation) stressed the significane of the place for the Jewish community of Lviv and for the festival:
 

«When we first started LvivKlezFest five years ago, we were looking for a place that had a connection to Jewish history. You can’t find a place more significant than this one – it’s the Square of the Three Synagogues – it once held a Beit Midrash and two synagogues [...] Therefore, we really wanted to reinvigorate these places, bring back the time when Yiddish was broadly spoken here, when songs were sung, when this was one of the parts of the culture of Galicia. Once a year, we do manage to do this – to organize the Feast of Staroyevreiska [Old Jewish] Street.”
 

At the same time Dianova expressed her concern for the current state of Arsenalna Square, occupied as it is by summer terraces and tables of surrounding cafes. Thus, to organize their Gala Concert, the organizers had to hold prior talks with the owners of these establishments. In discussing the “Synagogues Square” architectural competition, aimed at renovating this Jewish memorial site, Ada Dianova stressed the importance of creating a vibrant public space that would reflect and respect the Jewish identity of the area.
 

Exhibition ''The World of the Shtetl''Exhibition ''The World of the Shtetl''Arsenalna Square todayArsenalna Square today

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