Svoboda awarded the Antonovych Prize 2020

WALTHAM, Mass. – Svoboda, the oldest continuously published Ukrainian-language newspaper in the world, received the 2020 Antonovych Prize, according to the Omelan and Tatiana Antonovych Foundation.

The prize – the Omelan and Tatiana Antonovych Foundation Prize – is awarded for literary works written in Ukrainian or on Ukraine and for research on Ukrainian studies. It includes a monetary reward. This year’s award will be presented at a ceremony at the Ukrainian embassy in Washington on October 30, according to officials from the Antonovych Foundation.

Ihor Voyevidka, Chairman of the Board of the Omelan Foundation and Tatiana Antonovych, contacted Svoboda on July 13 and informed its editor that the newspaper had been chosen for the annual award, which marks the 40th anniversary of the first prize awarded and only the second given to an organization. In 1992, the prize was awarded to the publication “Literaturna Ukrayina”.

The first prize was awarded to famous Ukrainian writer Vasyl Barka in 1981. Previous winners include Alexander Motyl (2019), Anne Applebaum (2017), Timothy Snyder (2014), Borys Gudziak (2005), Zbigniew Brzezinski and Ivan Drach (1991) ), Martha Bohachevsky-Chomiak and Lina Kostenko (1989), Robert Conquest and Leonid Plyushch (1987) and Orest Subtelny and Vasyl Stus (1982).

The Antonovych Prize 2020 was supposed to be awarded last year, but due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and because officials at the Antonovych Foundation did not want to award the prize virtually, they decided to wait until they could organize the in-person award ceremony at the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington. Ukraine’s Ambassador to the United States, Olena Markarova, is expected to participate in the ceremony.

Svoboda was founded on September 11, 1893 by Reverend Hryhory (Gregory) Hrushka. It was adopted by the Ukrainian National Association (UNA) on February 22, 1894 and has been published by the UNA continuously since that date. In 1933, the UNA began publishing The Ukrainian Weekly, a sister publication of Svoboda and the oldest English-language Ukrainian diaspora newspaper in North America. Svoboda became a bi-weekly on March 1, 1894, a tri-weekly on August 8, 1914, and a daily on January 3, 1921. It reverted to a weekly on July 3, 1998.

Omelan and Tatiana Antonovych established their foundation in 1980, with the aim of advancing the study of Ukrainian culture. Since then, he has donated nearly $ 5 million to help finance the development of many academic and cultural institutions and monuments in Ukraine, including the reconstruction of the main library of Kyiv National University-Mohyla Academy , the renovation of the Vasyl Stefanyk and artists library. Palace in Lviv and the construction of the Boykivshchyna Museum in Dolyna, western Ukraine, where Omelan Antonovych was born in 1914. The foundation also provided $ 100,000 to help fund the construction of the Ukrainian Holodomor Memorial in Washington.

Omelan Antonovych spent his early adult years as a Ukrainian national activist and spent some time as a political prisoner in Polish and Nazi prisons. He later obtained a law degree from the Ukrainian Free University in Prague in 1943. After World War II he married Tatiana Terlecky, a physician who later became a world renowned kidney specialist.

After the war, the couple emigrated to the United States, settling in Washington, where Dr Tatiana Antonovych worked as an academic and taught in medical schools in the capital, while Mr Antonovych focused on the breeding and real estate. She passed away in 2001, and he passed away in 2008.

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