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2010 Avtomat Grant Candidates



Please choose top 3 projects for Avtomat Grant 2010

Arkady Averchenko plays to film (Aleksandr Yakubson)   (2%, 33 Votes)
Z-Exit (Sergey Kuzmenko)   (48%, 1,032 Votes)
Pop-Art Support (Andrei Robakov)   (2%, 38 Votes)
"On The Edge" CD Release (Michael Kurbeko)   (2%, 37 Votes)
Concert Performance (Alexander Alabin)   (1%, 24 Votes)
"Only the Sky" CD Release (Ellina Graypel)   (21%, 447 Votes)
Cultural Exchange Event in Penza City (Grigory Gurevich)   (1%, 30 Votes)
APRELEVA-trio CD Release (Alisa Apreleva)   (19%, 415 Votes)
Red Marines 2010 Festival (Eugene Tarasov)   (3%, 71 Votes)
TTPOOM (Eugene Tsimmerman)   (4%, 96 Votes)
Russian Cultural Producers in America (Joseph Crescente)   (17%, 357 Votes)

Total Voters: 2,140

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The grant was made possible with a partial contribution by Zarya US

Sergey Kuzmenko

Project Name: Z-exit
Short Bio: I was born in 1984 in Kiev. In the year of 2000 I started my own band. We were doing Kino covers and originals.People started to tell me, that I look like Victor Tsoy, and when I moved to US in 2002 I had the same reaction with Russian immigrants.I have a CD with my original songs  http://www.z-exit.ru/?mode=afisha also I play concerts around US for Russian immigrants and young americans to introduce them to Russian Rock, the real one with a protest contest.

Project Description:

Here are couple of V.Tsoy covers, the once I translated for American audence:

Instead of fire – there’s only smoke.
Instead of warmth – cold.
Another day is crossed out on the calendar grid.
The red shining sun has completely burned out,
And this day goes out with it,
And over a glowing city, the shadow will fall

We want changes!
It’s the demand of our hearts.
We want changes!
It’s the demand of our eyes.
When we laugh, when we cry when we feel the pulse in our veins.
We want changes!
We are waiting for change…

Bright electric light continues our day,
And the box of matches is empty,
But in the kitchen, like a blue flower, gas burns.
Cigarettes in our hands, tea on the table,
So this scheme is easy,
And there’s nothing more left, it’s all up to us.

We cannot brag about the wisdom in our eyes,
And our gestures are not very skilled,
But even without all of that – understanding remains.
Cigarettes in our hands, tea on the table,
That’s how the circle is filled,
And suddenly we’ve become scared to change something.


On the cover of international Magazine “Neural” have played Russian spy:

http://sh-sh.ru (main character ( I play V.Tsoy look-alike)

Eugene Tsimmerman

Project Name: TTPOOM
Short Bio: Three musicians from the former Soviet Union met in NYC in 2005. The trajectories of their lives forever changed once they recognized their
mutual passion and ambition for creating thoughtful and innovative
music. The collaboration produced a unique sound, blending rock, funk,
electronica, and Russian ballad. Some songs are in English, others are
in Russian, and many are in fact a mixture of the two. This
alternation between languages is a reflection of the cultural
assimilation that these musicians, like many people in their
community, have experienced. For Eugene, Andrey and Oleg, creating
music and songwriting has thus become a way to stay connected to their
Russian heritage as well as to integrate their American and world
influences.  By embracing their new found home, while using personal
memories and Russian cultural concepts, TTPOOM embodies the
Russian-American experience both in musical style and lyrics. This
Nyurussian rock band can only be truly summed up by the drum sound
Project Description: This grant would be used to release an album of 10 original songs and to organize a CD launch concert. Please enjoy the title track”TTPOOM” Thank you


Alisa Apreleva

Project Name: APRELEVA-trio CD Release
Bio: Alisa Apreleva is a Russian born singer, poet and composer. Her songs are the strange, atmospheric mixture of classic, rock, free jazz, ethnic and sacred elements, which takes the audience beyond the point of just listening to the music and gives you a chance to go for a mystical journey toward true yourself. The most recent Alisa’s project – a series of art songs for three celli and voice, written in both English and Russian, – is an attempt to transfer the most unique and the most fundamental elements of Russian spirituality and traditional culture to American soil, to connect the two nations, the two worlds – through music. The project was first premiered in Moscow, Russia, on November 15th, 2009, with APRELEVA-trio band, featuring Peter Akimov (cello), Peter Suraykin (cello) and Stanislav Perevesentsev (sound). The American premiere took place in Old South Church, Boston, MA, on April 28th, 2010, with the American line-up of the trio, featuring cellists Halley Feaster and Dean Capper. Currently, the project is in search of funding to make a quality recording possible.

Project Description:

APRELEVA-trio premiere in Moscow, November 15 2009; “Dacha no Pokrovke” club. Russian line-up: Peter Akimov and Peter Suraykin. In Russian – celli; Stanislav Perevezencev – sound.

1) American line-up of the trio (Halley Feaster, Dean Capper) performs “Tishina” (“Silence”) in Old South Church, Boston, MA, on April 28th;; bilingual version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7_julFN-S0

2) “Probuzhdenie” (“Awakening”); Russian line-up; Moscow, 2009, in Russian:

3) “Comuunion”; Russian line-up; Moscow, 2009, in English:

4) “Chto v nashih vorotechkah”, Russian line-up, Moscow 2009, traditional Russian song, impovisation:

5) “Golgotha”; Russian line-up; Moscow, 2009, in English; music by Akimov & Apreleva, lyrics by Apreleva:

Joseph Crescente

Project Name: Russian Cultural Producers in America: Redefining Russian Culture, Redefining the American Experience

Bio:As part of the doctoral program in Culture and Media and the Department of Anthropology at New York University, I seek to make a thesis film detailing the activities of Russian cultural producers in and around New York City. As a fourth generation American, I came to explore Russian culture as an undergraduate in Russian language courses, followed up by a year of study at St. Petersburg State University in 2001-2002. Upon graduation I returned to Russia for a year where I worked as a journalist, editor, actor and teacher in 2003-2004. I completed an MA degree in Russian and East European studies at Indiana University in 2007. I also made work and study visits to Russia in 2007 and 2009 and plan on making a brief research visit in August, 2010. In addition to Russia I have visited Ukraine, Estonia, Lithuania, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. I have written extensively about Russian and post-Soviet culture in Art Margins, Kinokultura, the Encyclopedia of World Film, Ab Imperio and the St. Petersburg Times.

While my larger academic project involves shifting notions of class, social distinction, consumptions and sociality in post-Soviet Russia, I feel that the Russian experience in America, as well as diaspora Russian communities in general, has been inadequately depicted in the media. My hope is that this film will contribute to an understanding of that experience by both non-Russian Americans as well as citizens of the Russian Federation. I would seek to submit the film to film festivals upon completion in America, Europe and Russia.

Project Description:
As stated above this film is being made in conjunction with the graduate program in Culture and Media and the Department of Anthropology at New York University. While I made some amateur films as an undergraduate, I will take an intensive film course this summer, as well as a year long production seminar during the academic year 2010-2011. It is in this context that I intend to shoot and complete this film. I have already identified and made some contact with approximately 10 Russian cultural producers in and around New York City, much of it through social media, a burgeoning site of Russian cultural production in America. Those I have in mind to participate range from owners and editors of Russian-language magazines, to event promoters and producers and public relations specialists. They are largely responsible for Russian cultural activities in America, as well as play the mediating role between the Russian community and the larger American society. Quite often they began second careers when they came to America.

It is my goal to capture on film the daily activities of Russian cultural producers in America, and how they negotiate and mediate the concerns of the Russian community in America. I seek to ask what is specific about this experience while at the same time hope to situate their activities as part of the larger American immigrant story. How is the Russian experience being redefined and how are Russians and Russian speakers redefining the American experience? The filming will consist of long interviews as well as observation of their activities: meetings, concerts, promotions and celebrations. I intend to commence production in September, 2010 and hope to begin preliminary shooting in October. The goal is to finish shooting by February and edit the film for showcase by May, 2011. I intend the finished film to be approximately 25-30 minutes in length. I will have a small crew of about four including myself. While I will have some access to equipment, all incidental costs, such as logistics, compensation for crew members and any additional materials are solely my responsibility.

The program in which the film is to be produced: http://anthropology.as.nyu.edu/object/anthro.grad.program.cultmedia
Some writing samples on Russian and post-Soviet visual culture: http://www.kinokultura.com/2010/28r-school.shtml

Aleksandr Yakubson

Project Name: Put Arkady Averchenko plays to film
Bio/Project Description:I have a plan of putting to screen several short stories by great Russian satirist Arkady Averchenko (which, to my knowledge, has not been done of yet). also, i have plans of recording several songs with lyrics authored by American-residing authors of Russian background, both i9n English and Russian.




Eugene Tarasov

Project Name: Red Marines 2010 Festival
Bio/Project Description:On the weekend of June 18-20th, 2010 music enthusiasts from around the world will gather in the outdoors of Northern California to participate in the 6th Annual Red Marines Music Festival. Organized by Red Marines, LLC and the Russian American Cultural Foundation the main objective of this event is to bring people together through the common interests in music
and art to generate awareness and raise funds for the support of recent Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, and those in need of proper medical treatment and adequate health care. A portion of the proceeds garnered from the event is donated to the VA Medical Centers across America.
A recent study from Harvard University titled “Soldiers Returning from Iraq and Afghanistan: The long-term costs of providing veterans medical care and disability benefits,” reports that “Veterans Administration is both under-funded and under-equipped to deal with the imminent costs of veterans’ health care.” Some of the rising pressure has been alleviated by private sponsorship and individual donations, but our event will serve a necessary function of
addressing veteran issues on a larger communal scale. The festival has been successfully orchestrated during the past five years, and the coming festival is projected to be the largestone yet. More than 50 performing bands and artists, 3D modeling graphic designers, photography and art exhibitions, are all committed to the cause by displaying their talents at the coming event.


Ellina Graypel

Project Name: CD Release
Bio: Ellina Graypel (born July 19, 1972) is an award-winning Russian singer/songwriter. She was born near the Volga River in the heart of Russia. She spent most of her youth growing up on a military base near Belarus in the former Soviet Union. “The military base was underground and literally right next door to a huge cache of atomic weapons.”

As a small child, Ellina faced an hour-long drive to school inside an army truck with no windows. The soldiers would sing songs to the children to make the ride a little less scary. She found her brother’s old guitar when she was 15 years old, taught herself how to play, and wrote her first song.

She once encountered a gypsy caravan in the forest outside of her town and hiding behind a tree, listening to them play and trying to accompany them on her guitar. She was discovered by one of the old gypsy men who told her that her playing was terrible and threw away her guitar pick. He showed her how to improve her playing; that was when her interest in the guitar began in earnest.

By the time she was 16, her family had moved to Minsk. She wrote her first book of children’s poetry then. Soon thereafter she was a teen celebrity in the USSR with her own TV show. She was writing poetry, plays, stories, and many songs. One of the songs that she wrote for the documentary “Way To God” won a Grand Prix award at Yalta.

In 1992 she moved to the United States. She has performed at many venues there, including the United Nations, Pageant, The Sheldon Concert Hall, and Blueberry Hill.

Project Description:
I would like to submit my application for publishing a new CD. It is pre-recorded and waiting to be published. It has 13 tracks of original material. In order to print 1000 copies I need $1200. I would like a chance in getting some kind of help in publishing it.
This CD will be distributed all over US and I hope my music would unite Russian people all over and help spreading Russian Culture around American audience.


Alexander Alabin

Project Name: Concert performance of original music
Bio: I was born in Odessa, Ukraine (it was then a former USSR) in 1969. In 1984 after graduating from high school I was accepted into a State College of Medicine and graduated from there with a Physician Assistant Diploma in 1992. Shortly after graduation I switched to music very soon after that because I was already playing guitar and piano on a near professional level and composing original music.

In 1992 I immigrated to the United States of America. I tried to switch back to medicine once, but it didn’t work for out, so I began to pursue a career in music. The range of venues and gigs had varied from The New York City Subway System (that were the days!) to Carnegie Hall (no, I am not kidding), The Windows of the World Restaurant (that was before 9/11), The German Consulate and many others.

In 1997 I was accepted to the New School University in New York City; in 2001 I completed my BFA majoring in Jazz Composition and Arranging.

Ironically, I am working both of two worlds right now – as a Music Therapist in a Nursing Home and Rehabilitating Center, where I combine music and medicine at the same time; I also enjoy working with Village Playback Theater (more information to come). Occasionally I am doing a freelance work for The College Sports TV as a Sound Designer. Of course I haven’t quit freelance performing and composing at will.

Project Description:
A concert performance of original music pieces composed to Russian (or translated to Russian) poetry. The style of music is combination of Russian Bard Songs and world jazz and others acoustic tradition.


Grigory Gurevich

Project Name: Cultural exchange Event created by a Government of Penza City
Bio: Mr. Grigory Gurevich is a fine artist: a painter, sculptor, graphic artist, photographer, illustrator, book maker a mime and inventor. He was born in Leningrad (Sankt Petersburg), Russia, in the family of an architect. When World War II began, he and a small group of children were evacuated and went to live in Kashtak, Siberia. Parents weren’t allowed to go, but his mother couldn’t take the thought of separation and jumped on the train at the last minute. After the War, the family reunited in Leningrad (Sankt Petersburg), but their apartment was occupied. They stayed with his aunt, crowded in the dining room with one sofa. His father designed the first atomic city Dubna, located near Moscow and instead of receiving a large financial grant, he received the medal for defense of Leningrad and was fired by the government from his job because he was a Jew and had never been a member of Communist Party. Family had a difficult financial time. When Grigory was 14 years old his parents divorced and he stayed with his father. His brother Michael was 4 years old at that time. Grigory studied visual arts, theater and music. His work was first exhibited in the United Exhibit of artists in Moscow when he was fifteen years old. He received a Master of Arts Degree from the Academy of Fine and Industrial Arts of Sankt Petersburg. After the graduation he designed the interiors of public buildings in Russia. His first one – person exhibition was held in1971 at the Architectural House in Leningrad. He came to the United States in 1976 with $90 in his pocket he started to learn English. and in 1984 he was granted Citizenship and turned his attention to producing and teaching arts.

Project Description:
In July 2010 I plan to go to Penza, Russia to participate in a second Cultural exchange Event created by a Government of Penza City in cooperation with Vladimir Luzgin who is represents Garth Menagement in US and Russia.
I will make oil and watercolors images of Penza and surrounding areas and exhibit it in Museum Savitskogo in Penza. I’m also a mime who created first professional pantomime company in Leningrad and with my company performed in famous Arkady Raikin Theater from 1966-1969 and participated in many movie and theater productions.


Michael Kurbeko

Project Name: CD Release

Mihail Kurbeko, nicknamed – Игрок or Player, was born in 1988, in the city of Magadan. Moving to the city of Vladimir in 1995, where he attended High School and University. In the year 2004 Игрок became a member of “C-4”, but due to a passing of one of the members, Gdie, the band broke up. A year later Игрок и Глазун (Gdie’s brother) founded “НА КРАЮ”. In the year following both members move to the USA, where they currently reside in New Jersey. Some of the songs on the album are dedicated to Gdie.

Project Description: CD Release
http://www.avtomatproductions.com/media/NAKRAYU-TYANET.mp3 (Explicit Lyrics)

Andrei Robakov

Bio: Self-Taught Artist from Estonia now living in New York for nine years.
Project Description:  Pop-artist(acril)