KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Ukrainian musician and educator taped a performance Sunday night at Union Station to celebrate Ukrainian culture after the image of Union Station illuminated in blue and gold won national support for its image of solidarity with Ukraine.
Union Station President and CEO George Guastello said understanding the importance of cultural diversity is key.
“Celebrating Ukrainian culture, life and people with music, moments to send this around the world to show Ukrainians that Kansas City stands united with them for freedom and democracy,” he said. .
Performer Sergei Shapoval, a member of the Union Station exhibit team, has lived in Kansas City for nearly 30 years.
While his son and wife are with him in KC, the rest of his family is back in Ukraine.
“I just hope this conflict gets resolved as soon as possible because people are already dying and we have to stop, we have to put an end to this,” Shapoval said.
He mentioned that he was doing his best to call home and send emotional support, but it was difficult.
One of the ways he was able to show solidarity with his country was to perform three pieces of traditional Ukrainian music on Sunday night on a 600-year-old 63-string instrument.
“Music is an international language,” Shapoval said. “Art is an international language. You don’t have to speak languages. You can just listen, look and feel. And through the songs, even if you don’t understand what people are singing, you understand the energy.
Shapoval said part of his heart and soul is in Ukraine, but he knows his country will be fine in the end.
“We will win. Ukraine will be free. It is always dreaming of freedom. We are free for eight years and we will be forever,” he said.
Union Station remained lit in solidarity Sunday night.