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Community Engagement

Part of our mission is to work to enhance knowledge and understanding of Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia and their cultures in the wider Macalester community, in area schools, businesses, civic and nonprofit organizations, the media, and the general public. Macalester students, and our Russian Studies majors in particular, are often the first to initiate a new program.

Recent Activities & Opportunities

  • Russian language students taught an introductory Russian class for 8th graders at Capitol Hill Magnet School in Saint Paul. The middle schoolers, who will have the chance to take Russian starting in high school, were taught the Russian alphabet and key Russian words, shared what they already knew about Russia, and snacked on Russian sweets from Minsk Market.
  • This semester, student Russian tutors debuted Checkpoint Charlie, a Russian-German radio show on WMCN 91.7 FM, Macalester College Radio. For an hour every Sunday, they shared their favorite contemporary Russian tunes (with some Kino and other classics thrown in on occasion for good measure), read poetry, and interviewed Russian Studies professors and students, with programming entirely in Russian. This show, intended for native Russian speakers, all levels of language learners, and music appreciators alike, aimed to provide local listeners with a greater understanding of Russian popular culture.
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota is home to the United States’ largest Russian art museum, The Museum of Russian Art (TMORA). Current and former Russian Studies students attended the opening of the museum’s newest exhibit, The Body in Soviet Art.
  • Kasia Majewski ’19, Dan Szetela ’19, and Zosha Winegar-Schultz ’16 discussed their perceptions of a porcelain exhibit at The Museum of Russian Art for Voice of America (Голос Америки), a Russian-language U.S. government television program that seeks to provide Russian speakers across the world with a better understanding of life in the United States.
  • Faculty and students from our Advanced Russian class visited the Walker Art Center to see an illuminating lecture-performance by internationally-renowned artist collective Slavs and Tatars focusing on the construction of race in the Soviet Union. They also explored an exhibit with thematic links to the performance: a reading room designed by Mac alum Siah Armajani ’63 in collaboration with Slavs and Tatars.
  • Every year in May, the Festival of Nations, a multicultural festival that seeks to inspire people to discover more about our world and embrace the rich cultural diversity in our community, takes place in Saint Paul. Students can volunteer there and help give visitors an insight into Russian culture!
  • The Advocates for Human Rights, a Minneapolis-based organization that works to implement international human rights standards to promote civil society and reinforce the rule of law, accepts Russian-speaking volunteers as interpreters and translators.
  • The Neighborhood House invites Russian students and speakers to volunteer. As the local food shelf is frequented by Russian speaking clients, the volunteer’s responsibilities would include welcoming clients to, and helping them navigate the food shelf.
  • In addition, we have ongoing events that are open to the public, such as cultural events at the Russian House, lectures, the development of web-based resources, and our annual conference.
  • If you have an idea for collaboration, send us a note — we want to hear from you!