ORPHEUM THEATER, DAILY SUN STAFF
The Orpheum Theater will host an emergency fundraiser in response to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.
On February 24, 2022, Russian forces invaded Ukraine, a major escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian war that began in part with the 2014 annexation of Crimea. The United Nations estimates that at least 2 million refugees have fled Ukraine since the invasion began.
“Whenever tragedy strikes, the Flagstaff community always comes together to help in any way we can,” said Molly Baker, director of marketing for the Orpheum Theatre. “As a major community venue and cultural center, the Orpheum is committed to providing a place for people to gather, mourn, and respond to the devastating events happening in our world today.”
The details of the fundraiser are still being gathered as the Orpheum recently made the decision to host the event as the situation in Ukraine escalates daily.
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“It was a quick turnaround for us because we felt the need to do something, especially since we didn’t see many organizations in the city doing a lot, so we wanted to host an event [other] companies and artists to get involved,” Baker said.
Currently, several musicians will perform at the event on two stages, the main stage at the venue and another acoustic stage that will be set up in the Orpheum’s lounge area. Nolan McKelvey, Tow’rs’ Gretta and Kyle Miller, Enormodome’s Adam Bruce and Mike Seitz are all on the achievement list.
Local artists and businesses have also donated items for silent auctions, with all profits going directly to Ukraine through three different organizations, the United Ukrainian American Relief Committee, Voices of Children and Razom.
The Orpheum has already received several items for auction and raffles, including gift baskets from Dark Sky Brewing Co. and Rainbow’s End, whose Basket includes a $100 gift card to the store. Findlay Toyota donated a VIP Lowell Observatory experience that includes a drive to the observatory and a VIP tour of the observatory followed by a drive home from Findlay.
Local artists currently on the list to contribute works for the auction are painter Dana Kamberg and multimedia artist Kayley Quick. And the venue still is issue a call-to-action for artists and companies. If you want to donate something, you should Email the Orpheum with a description of their donation and a starting bid price.
“We invite everyone who can contribute to this event to contribute in any way they can,” said Susan Walter, general manager of the Orpheum Theatre. “The aim is to raise as much money as possible for Ukraine and the inevitable reconstruction of their country.”
And it wouldn’t be an Orpheum event without a special drink to mark the occasion; in this case the “Zelenksy”. Named after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the cocktail contains, in Baker’s words, “zero vodka, but only rum.”
A local Ukrainian Greek Catholic priest of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church will also present.
For those who cannot make it to the fundraiser in person, all donation links can be found on the Orpheum website.