Creative Current 2023-2024 | Page 15




Jacksonville University and the Linda Berry Stein College of Fine Arts & Humanities presented a $ 17,225 check to the Global Outreach Charter Academy Foundation ( GOCA ), which will help fund the school ’ s efforts in educating Ukrainian refugees at its East Arlington campus .
Thanks to funds raised from a benefit concert featuring renowned Ukrainian violinist Anastasiya Petryshak at Jacksonville University on Oct . 26 , GOCA is able to better assist the nearly 40 Ukrainian refugee students on its Jacksonville campuses . The concert was part of the Stein College ’ s annual Creative Arts Series and was made possible by the generous support of Mr . Mike Cirino and Aegis Consulting .
GOCA CEO Ilya Soroka said at the check presentation ceremony that he hopes for more involvement with Jacksonville University ’ s Linda Berry Stein College of Fine Arts & Humanities , especially with its GOCA Arts School , which is planned to open next year . helping families get on their feet once they arrive in the country . GOCA also emphasizes teaching students foreign languages , providing them with a global perspective and offering a variety of after-school classes .
The relationship between the two schools began when Dr . Tim Snyder , Dean of the Linda Berry Stein College of Fine Arts & Humanities , wanted to find a way for the community to benefit from Petryshak ’ s performance . Talks of the concert began in 2019 , but were put on hold in 2020 because of the pandemic .
As planning for the concert restarted in January 2022 , Ukraine was days away from war breaking out with Russia . So rather than the concert raising funds for JU , Snyder wanted to give back to Petryshak ’ s homeland of Ukraine . He researched opportunities for Ukrainian refugees in Jacksonville , and found GOCA .
Petryshak has performed across Europe and the U . S . with the likes of Sofia Gubaidulina , Salvatore Accardo , Gianluigi Gelmetti , and Andrea Bocelli , and released her first CD “ Amato Bene ” in 2018 . Her latest album “ Ange Terrible ” came out in January .
The concert was free , but donations were encouraged and totaled more than $ 17,000 . Members of the community , GOCA representatives and Jacksonville-area Ukrainians were all in attendance .
“ I have a feeling this will be the start of a longer partnership with Jacksonville University ,” Soroka said .
In addition to teaching students at GOCA , the school also helps refugees when arriving in the U . S ., which can mean providing computers for refugee students who can ’ t afford them and
“ It was so meaningful for Anastasyia to have people from her homeland in the audience at her concert ,” Dr . Snyder said . “ From there , we were able to connect her with the Cathedral Arts Project , with Douglas Anderson School of the Arts , and she hosted a master class at JU for the community . It just turned into a really wonderful cultural exchange .”