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Across Midtown this weekend, Broadway and the small business community rallied to support the people of Ukraine in a series of events and initiatives designed to raise funds and awareness of the ongoing conflict.

Times Square Broadway Ukraine event
The Broadway community gathered in Times Square for a musical vigil today. Photo: Alyssa Neely/Times Square Alliance

Powering through the raw, rainy weather, the Broadway community, in collaboration with Times Square Alliance and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids, the Broadway Advocacy Coalition and The Broadway League gathered on the Red Steps in Duffy Square on Broadway and W47th Street on Sunday for a morning of song and solidarity hosted by actress and activist Shakina Nayfack and Ukrainian journalist Maksym Erisitavi. Nayfack is best-known for her roles on the TV shows Difficult People, Transparent, and NBC’s Connecting, in which she was the first transgender actor in a starring role on a network comedy. Eristavi is known for his coverage of the intersection of identity politics, disinformation, and Russian colonialism. 

YouTube video

The event began with a land acknowledgment by representatives from the Lenape people who made a statement of solidarity and the importance of standing against imperialism “for all peoples, including Ukraine.” 

Construction workers raise a Ukrainian flag in Times Square
Construction workers at the new TSX Complex raise a Ukrainian flag overlooking Times Square. Photo: Damon Webster

Representatives from the casts of several Broadway shows as well as the Broadway Inspirational Voices choir then joined to sing the Les Miserables classic  Do You Hear the People Sing? as the Times Square Alliance flew a Ukrainian flag over digital billboards at Luxottica, JCDecaux, Sherwood Equities, American Eagle Outfitters, T-Mobile, Clear Channel Outdoor, and Branded Cities. In a particularly powerful moment, one of the verses of the Boublil-Schonberg revolutionary standard was translated into Ukrainian. 

Sullivan Street Bakery Ukraine Cookies

Further west on 47th Street, Sullivan Street Bakery kicked off their own fundraiser with a week-long “Bake for Ukraine” initiative, in which 100 percent of the company’s signature chocolate chip cookie sales will be donated to Sunflower for Peace, a nonprofit humanitarian aid organization dedicated to providing medical equipment and first-aid to responders and citizens in Ukraine. Sullivan Street kicked off their fundraiser by distributing over 200 cookies to the Madison Square Garden Chase Lounge for Saturday’s Knicks game. 

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1 Comment

  1. The entire free world and most of the rest of the world sees clearly the crimes Russia is committing in/to the Ukraine. And the Ukraine is, with limited free world help, valiantly militarily defending it’s homeland. Unfortunately the Russian propaganda control is preventing the good Russian people any honest perspective or reality about what Putin is doing to the Ukraine under the Russian banner.

    Inside Russia there is a great need for a second information front that helps the Russian people learn the truth. How this is best done is really up to those few inside Russia that truly know the truth and for them to mount a Civil resistance of information about what Putin’s crimes in the Ukraine are.

    How Civil resistance to Russia’s war against it’s Ukraine neighbor/brother is best pursued is really up to those who embrace the task. As angry as the Ukraine people are, I don’t believe they want the same for their Russian brothers. The Civil resistance could/should start a clandestine information front inside Russia. Perhaps leaflets are distributed at Russian schools, church’s, civilian centers, hospitals asking/pleading with the Russian population to stop Putin’s war crimes within the Ukraine. The leaflet should point out that instead of a leaflet it could have been a bomb but they don’t want their Russian brothers to feel the pain Putin is inflecting upon the entire Ukraine.

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