Acclaimed Ukrainian-American Pianist, Educator to Keynote Induction Ceremony for Immigrant Heritage Hall of Fame

Connecticut by the Numbers

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Angelina Gadeliya, Professor of Piano and Coordinator of Keyboard Studies at the University of Connecticut, will be the keynote speaker for the Immigrant Heritage Hall of Fame induction ceremony this summer. Gadeliya, who spend her youth in Ukraine, also serves as the President of the Fryderyk Chopin Society of Connecticut.

The Immigrant Heritage Hall of Fame (IHHF) will be adding four iconic contributors to the fabric of life in Connecticut and America, representing vast accomplishment and varied backgrounds and religious traditions. The induction ceremony by the National Immigrant Heritage Center will take place on Thursday, July 14, 2022 at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville, CT. Tickets are now on sale at www.immigrantheritage.org.

Gadeliya’s work with Ensemble Connect and the NYC-based Decoda ensemble has frequently brought her to the stages of Carnegie Hall and the Juilliard School, as well as to Germany, South Korea, Abu Dhabi, and the Trinity Wall Street series. Her festival affiliations include the Beijing International Music Festival and Academy. Praised for her “refined and exceptionally phrased and stylized” playing (Telavivcity.com), and “rare ability to make music speak” (The Colorado Springs Gazette), she leads a rich musical life as a soloist, chamber musician, a new music expert, and educator, and has been featured in performances across the U.S. and internationally. Moving to the U.S. from Ukraine, she has been a resident here since 1990.

The new class of IHHF inductees on July 14 will include distinguished individuals who have been leaders, activists and scholars in education, human rights, science, philanthropy, and interreligious understanding. They are:

  • Judith Altmann, educator, human rights activist and Holocaust survivor
  • Marilda Gándara, corporate attorney, business and philanthropic leader
  • Aida Mansoor, Islamic Chaplain, scholar, and activist for interreligious understanding
  • Radenka Maric, Interim President, University of Connecticut

“We are very pleased to recognize this inspiring group of individuals who embody the kind of perseverance, commitment to excellence and notable achievement that have made our world a better place,” said Demetrios Giannaros, president of the National Immigrant Heritage Center, based in New Britain, CT. “And we look forward to the inspiring words and perspective of our keynote speaker, a highly regarded educator and accomplished musician, particularly at this pivotal time for the country of her youth.”

The mission of the National Immigrant Heritage Center is to “celebrate, preserve, publicize, and promote immigrant heritage and cultural diversity as defining characteristics of the American Nation, and the contributions of Immigrants and Immigration to American economy, culture, and civil society.”

The upcoming IHHF Induction Ceremony and Gala – honoring Judith Altmann, Marilda Gándara, Aida Mansoor and Radenka Maric - will mark the first time in which an entire class of IHHF inductees are women, highlighting the indispensable role of women to America’s immigrant heritage.

The number of individuals and families honored by the Immigrant Heritage Hall of Fame since its inception in 2013 will total 35, with the four new inductees. Detailed inductee profiles – for the 2022 honorees and previous inductees - can be seen on the IHHF website at immigrantheritage.org.

In addition to honoring each inductee, the July 14 event honoring the new inductees will also include an artistic program featuring performances reflecting the cultural backgrounds and heritage of the inductees. The annual induction ceremony was postponed due to the coronavirus and limitations on public gatherings during the past two years.

New Nonprofit Operates Immigrant Heritage Hall of Fame

The Immigrant Heritage Hall of Fame was initially a project of the Polish American Foundation of Connecticut, Inc., a 501(c)3 charitable organization, which launched and operated the Hall of Fame from inception. It was succeeded by the establishment during 2021 of the National Immigrant Heritage Center (NIHC), an independent 501(c)3 organization established as a multi-ethnic Center, inclusive in its mission, structure and governance.

NIHC aims to promote and publish research, lectures and conferences on the many dimensions of Connecticut’s immigrant heritage and the role of immigration throughout the American economy and culture. Its work, and the annual Immigrant Heritage Hall of Fame induction ceremony, is to be supported by an endowment that organizers anticipate will sponsor, support and provide research fellowships, to further these activities and expand public awareness and understanding.

The IHHF celebrates the diverse ethnic heritage of Connecticut by honoring individuals and institutions who exemplify the best of their immigrant heritage and who have made outstanding contributions to the cultural, economic, and civic development of our state and nation. The IHHF preserves heritage through publication of biographies and histories, and strives to educate the public about the importance of immigrant heritage to the identity of America and about the contributions of immigrants and immigrant communities.

A wide variety of sponsorships are also available to support the event and the National Immigrant Heritage Center. For up-to-date event, ticket and sponsorship information, visit immigrantheritage.org or call (860) 614-3488. For questions or additional information, contact info@immigrantheritage.org.

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