During 2015, Viitorul Roman Society (VRS) persevered on the fulfillment of its mission to preserve and promote the Romanian heritage and culture in Southern California through events of high professionalism and indisputable quality. Additionally, 2015 was a year of change. New board, new members and new mode of operation, all these great transformations brought a different, refreshing dynamic to the society.
On January 25, 2015, VRS celebrated the Union of Romanian Principalities and the National Culture Day at the Catalina Bar and Grill. The event was well attended and greatly received, thanks to the efforts of our dear past President, Ms. Ionela Kloes.
Between April 30 and May 7, 2015, the Society provided support to the South East European Film Festival (SEEfest), a 30 plus film event which took place in Los Angeles. The opening night gala, held at the prestigious Writers Guild Theater, featured SEEfest’s inaugural Lifetime Achievement and Legacy Awards, presented in absentia to the legendary Romanian actor Victor Rebengiuc, who also starred in the evening’s feature presentation “The Japanese Dog”, directed by Tudor Cristian Jurgiu. At the gala, in the Writers Guild Theater hall, VRS curated an exhibition of Romanian movies posters, with original prints courtesy of Tudor Petrut and Viitorul Roman Society.
Next, VRS provided financial and logistics support to the European Heritage Festival, which took place on May 17, 2015, at the Ukrainian Cultural Center in Los Angeles. The Festival was a major success with more than 600 people in attendance.
The most culturally significant event of the year took place on the evening of June 13, 2015, at the Fran Norris Scoble Performing Arts Center – Westridge School, when the Society, in collaboration with ICRNY and Dr. Miron Costin and Ms. Speranta Costin, hosted a literary event with the writers Ana Bladiana and Romulus Rusan, along with Doina Uricariu, the director of ICR New York. The writers shared with the audience their remarkable insights regarding the Memorial of the Victims of Communism and of the Resistance, institution which they have created and fostered since 1993. In the second part of the event, the revered guests read from their seminal literary work.
On August 30, 2015, the Society organized “The Romanian Language Day” in Los Angeles, as integral part of a worldwide cultural celebration of the Romanian language and culture. The event took place at the Dunarea restaurant in Anaheim, and was held as an open-mic night, to the enjoyment of all the participants.
As the Society’s representative we attended the Alianta Awards Gala, which took place in Washington, D.C. on October 7, 2015, at the Organization of American States (OAS) headquarters. As part of the Science/Health working group, we proposed the launching of a Center of Excellence for Fundamental and Applied Research in Bucharest, a project that at this time is still under consideration as part of the Alianta portfolio of activities.
On November 14, 2015, the Society hosted the Annual Ball at the Cima restaurant in the Pacific Palms Resort, City of Industry. The sold out party was the zenith of another great year in the history of our Society, and included three musical numbers, and a raffle fundraiser for the victims of Collective nightclub fire in Bucharest. The fundraiser efforts continued on the VRS website and Facebook page, raising more than $1,500, funds that were sent to two of the victims of the fire.
The last event of the year and the first geared towards to a universal audience, was the “European Carol Concert”, which took place at Fran Norris Scoble Performing Arts Center, in Pasadena on December 19, 2015. The two musical groups delivered a wonderful performance, however the event was a financial disappointment.
In closing, I want to thank all of you for your invaluable contributions in keeping the organization vibrant and visible among the Romanian-American community here in Los Angeles and abroad. Thank you to all the members of the board: the Vice-President, Mr. Adrian Barbu; the Secretary, Ms. Georgeta Bostean; the Treasurer, Mr. Marian Sarbu; the Auditors, Ms. Ionela Kloes and Mr. Vee Petrescu; the Member at Large, Ms. Mara Chindris; and to the officers, the Cultural Director, Ms. Aura Imbarus; the Webmaster, Robert Sarbu; and the Principal Advisor to the Board, Ms. Dana Moldovan; and to our visual media curator Ms. Susan Petrescu, for their sustained efforts behind all the activities of the society and to all the members, old and new, for their continued support.
President, “Viitorul Roman” Society
February 28, 2016