At open house in The Longwood Center for the Visual Arts on Thursday, August 18 the workshop on art-therapy was held.  The workshop was inspired by the LCVA’s current exhibition My Ukraine, which features work created during the outbreak of the current war in Ukraine. Panelist Anastasiia Cifers traveled with her husband Luther throughout the country to aid fellow citizens in their escape to Poland.  Once in Warsaw, where housing and care was provided, the Ciferses gave the children art supplies so that they might process their pain, anxiety, and confusion through art. Every evening these children – all under the age of 14 - create works of art to find some sense of comfort during a traumatic and violent time.

“Created by children, the My Ukraine exhibition speaks volumes about the power of community and the importance of art as an expression of fear, anger, and hope. All are enhanced - the viewer increases understanding and empathy and the artist processes their personal experience which promotes eventual growth and healing,” remarked Dr. Walls-McKay. 

In addition to Dr. Maureen Walls-McKay (Dean of Wellness and Director of Longwood University’s Counseling and Psychological Services), the panel includes individuals who have incorporated therapeutic art techniques into their daily practice: Mindy Osborn (Upper School Counselor and Registrar, Fuqua School), Todd Stonnell (Licensed Professional Counselor and Registered Art Therapist), Anastasiia Cifers (Gender, Social Inclusion and Governance Expert, VNG International, Kyiv, Ukraine), and Emily Grabiec (LCVA Director of Education and Outreach).

The Longwood Center for the Visual Arts was visited by the First Lady of the State of Virginia Mrs. Yanking with her teamr. Ms. Youngkin met with LCVA staff, University management, Farmville community leaders and active community representatives. During the visit, Mrs. Youngkin had an online teleconference with the representative of the Ukrainian Parliament - congresswoman Maria Mezentseva, who is deputy head of the committee on integration of Ukraine with the European Union in the Parliament, head of the subcommittee on approximation of Ukrainian legislation to EU legislation, head of the Permanent Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

Mrs. Yangkin also carefully studied the drawings of Ukrainian children at the "My Ukraine" exhibition, noted the special talent of the authors and the emotional richness of the presented work. The First Lady also kindly expressed solidarity and support for Ukraine and the Ukrainian people in these dark times. 

«Our original intent was just to give the refugee children something to do to distract them from the war and to keep their minds occupied, since they were constrained to cramped living quarters. At first, we weren’t even sure they would use the supplies. But to our surprise, painting soon became a nightly outlet for them.

We found that the things these kids were dealing with created a lot of "whys", but offered few answers.  This created great unspoken emotions in their hearts, and they readily expressed these emotions in art. Our project is designed to encourage the children to share these emotions, and in doing so, we say to them, "You are not alone. We are with you, the whole world is with you, and we all support you."

Another important component of this project highlights the resourcefulness of the Ukrainian people. The actions of every day citizens, both small and heroic, are changing the outcome of this war. With this in mind, we realized that we could empower these children to make a difference through their artistic expressions. Through fundraising efforts, our project aims to give children the opportunity to act as advocates and actors who can change the situation for the better and save someone's life».

Luther and Anastasiia Cifers


You can support the families by donating to the Cifers Foundation at the following link:

More is on The Longwood Center for the Visual Arts website


The Cyphers Foundation received unique leaflets in one copy of each of our partners "We believe in victory!". From now, if you make a donation of $ 100 or more through our site, you will automatically receive a wonderful gift card by post-mail.

More about our partners. The project "Virymo u Peremogu!" ("We believe in Victory!") collects children's drawings about war and peace in Ukraine. These drawings are a projection of Ukrainian reality - the horrors of the war, but at the same time, they are full of hope for peace, kindness, love and support. Our main goal is to support Ukrainian fighters, those who went to defend our country, who had to leave their homes, family and friends. Our volunteers in Ukraine help to distribute the drawings in the hospitals and at the military checkpoints. We also want to help the children of Ukraine affected by the war by participating in the collection of funds for their treatment. We collect drawings from kids from all over the world, who want to express their support for Ukraine.

On June 28, on the Day of the Constitution of Ukraine, more than a thousand Ukrainians and foreigners in different parts of the world united in the performance of the song " Oh, there's a red viburnum in the meadow" - the famous song of the Ukrainian Sich riflemen, which has now become a real anthem of Ukraine's struggle against the Russian invaders for its freedom and independence. The central location of the event was the city of Lviv. Live broadcasts were carried out in 47 countries from 60 locations.

In Poland the song was sung in three cities: Warsaw, Wroclaw and Krakow. The participants of the presentation of the educational manual Book for Preschoolers, published for Ukrainian children abroad within the financial support of the Cifers Foundation, joined in setting a song record in Warsaw. The event took place in the Warsaw Public Library, where adults and children, mostly refugees from Ukraine, gathered.

The goal of setting the record was to raise funds for the "1000 Freedom Cars" project and draw attention to Ukraine of the world. "Oh, there's a red viburnum in the meadow" is not just a popular Ukrainian musical piece. Today it is the most famous song in the world, associated with the will, invincible spirit and great patriotism of the Ukrainian people, who are heroically resisting the Russian invaders. "Red viburnum" is sung by soldiers on the front lines and children in courtyards, artists at concerts and believers in churches. Even Pink Floyd released a cover with Andrii Khlyvniuk's vocals. The world supports Ukraine in various ways. And by participating in the setting of this song record, we demonstrate not only our support for Ukraine, but also show that we are united in our love for it, in our desire for a peaceful sky over the Ukrainian land, and in our desire to win over the enemy. And looking at the enthusiasm with which little Ukrainians sing this song, the belief that Ukraine will overcome any enemy and everything will be fine increases a hundredfold," shared her impressions of participating in the event, co-founder of the foundation Anastasia Cifers.

The initiator of setting the song record was the International Headquarters for Aid to Ukrainians, and the organizer was the Lviv Regional Military Administration with the assistance of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.

See more about the event at the following links: 


The Cifers Foundation was founded by Cifers family to help Ukraine and its people, who are fighting hard against the Russian aggressor. We help with military protective equipment and other things needed to protect people and settlements. We also aid families affected by the fighting.







Mailing address:

The Cifers Foundation
PO BOX 654
Farmville, VA 23901



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