TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – As the war in Ukraine enters its fifth month, Ukrainian-Americans in the Capital Region connoted their fight against Russian aggression. This time with song and dance.

“As a community we want to continue fighting. We want to continue our resistance that has been in the culture for centuries and centuries. And what an amazing time to live. What an amazing privilege for me to spread the word and promote beautiful Ukrainian culture,” says Songs from the Heart organizer Irina Petrik. Proceeds from the concert will go towards artists in Ukraine as well as towards more humanitarian aid being sent by local group 518Ukrainians.

Petrik, a soprano, performed several times in the Ukrainian city of Bucha and recently evacuated her mother from the country. Petrik’s mother was in attendance at Sunday’s concert. It was the first time she was able to see her daughter perform since 2017.

“It was extremely hard. She did not want to leave her homeland. Th at’s her everything. That’s her entire life,” Petrik says, “but just for her safety because she is a heart patient and not in the best of health, my sisters and I had to bring her here. But of course her being here tonight means the world.” 

For artists like Braden Jarosz who performed at Sunday’s concert, they say it was a privilege to share the state with so many who are directly affected by the war. “It’s kinda hard to watch the news right now obviously and I’m not one who watches it a lot but to come here and see all these people who are actually really affected by this war is really humbling.”