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December 2003

Second Raccoon Newsletter is now mailed out. There you can find about our new programs and about Raccoon's trip to the countries of former Yugoslavia this summer (trip), and read the report on our meeting with the Commissioner of NYC Mayor's Office on Immigrant Affairs.

Raccoon Space currently featured Ceramic Exhibition by Denis Licul: "mi(nd)les and more"during the month of November

December 2 Long Island City Open Studios: Artist Olja Stipanovic will present an installation of approximately 150-200 small format drawings in graphite and white gold leaf on paper; 6 PM. Exhibition will be available for viewing for the month of December.

December 5 Music Night Sounds of the Balkanoia experiments in "ethnotronica", by Igor C., 8 pm.

December 6 Children Cross-Cultural Workshop, 11 am

December 6 Second Reconciliation Poster Workshop, 6:30 pm

December 9 Film night., 7 pm

December 10 Our Language Class changes teachers. Bojana Zezelj comes instead of Indira Kajosevic, 6:30 pm.

December 12 A chance to recall - Remembering grandma monthly program starts: Through conversation women go on a "journey back home", a recollection, memory exploration.; at 6:30 pm with Indira Kajosevic.

November 2003

November 1 Poetry Reading by Anja Mutic, Sketches from a journey, 6 pm. In her first reading, Anja Mutic tells the story of a journey and waxes poetic, nostalgic, nomadic, manic...

November 2 Talk about the international conference of Women in Black held in Italy. Rebecca Johnson, London; Indira Kajosevic, New York; Jane Toby, Woodstock; and other women will report. From 4 pm on Sunday, November 2nd. For further information contact Indira at (718) 784-9121.

November 7 Music Night Sounds of the Balkanoia experiments in "ethnotronica", by Igor C., 8 pm.

November 11 Film night.

November 14 Second Reconciliation Poster Workshop - 7 pm - Participants will create scrap posters out of postcards from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia. Finished products will be framed and permanently exhibited on the walls of Raccoon Space. All interested call Raccoon to sign up: 718-784-9121

November 15 NADA program presentation at the Bosnian-American Association of NYC, 7PM. Call 718-784-9121 for directions.

November 18 Picture slide-show from the co-directors trip through the region in Summer 2003; 7 PM.

November 22Children Cross-Cultural Workshop

November 25 Save the date! Film evening showing Hot in the City by Slovenian film-maker Jasna Hibernik. This is a documentary about the New York City post Sept. 11. Some of the people featured in the movie are Ervin Hladnik-Milharcic (acclaimed Slovenian journalist) and Bronwyn Jones (program coordinator for NYU Peace, War and News Media). Bronwyn will be available for a follow up discussion after the movie.

October 2003

October 24 Ceramic Exhibition by Denis Licul: "mi(nd)les and more", 6 pm

October 25 First Children's Cross Cultural Workshop, 11 am

October 24-26 First Festival of Bosnian Film in New York. Check the news section.

October 28 Raccoon Film Evenings Resume, 7 pm. Film Schedule 2003-2004

October 30 Reconciliation Poster Workshop - 6:30 pm - Participants will create scrap posters out of postcards from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia. Finished products will be framed and permanently exhibited on the walls of Raccoon Space. All interested call Raccoon to sign up: 718-784-9121

September 2003

September 11 Film Screening on Thursday, September 11th at 7pm: View an exclusive presentation of filmmaker Ozren Milharcic's documentary film "Paper Enemies" - a provocative look at how voices of dissent are treated in post 9/11 US - and participate in a discussion of the effects of September 11th on your life.

September 20 Workshop on Saturday, September 20th at 4pm: The workshop will cover the services and support still available to those members of our community who are suffering after September 11th. Experts and staff will be there to answer your questions.

If you are - or someone you know is - still having problems coping after September 11th terrorist attack, please come to discuss those issues.

Raccoon's NADA PROJECT will present RESOURCE GUIDE in English and translated into Albanian, Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian language for your convenience. Take this opportunity to find out about services and assistance still available.

At this time, some of the major agencies formed to deal with this disaster are closing their doors despite the fact that many individuals are still having difficulties coping with the effects of the terrorist attack.


September 23 Resumption of our free language class; 6:30 PM

September 29 Raccoon Staff meets Sayu Bhojwani, Commissioner for Immigrant Affairs, New York City Mayor's Office. Considering that New York 5 boroughs are home to 7 million people, and that in more than a half of all New York city households English is not spoken as a native language, Ms. Bhojwani caters to the constituency the size of population of Bosnia-Hercegovina.

Her office prepared to pieces of legislation that Bloomberg recently signed (articles 34 and 41), limiting the abuse of immigrants under the Patriot Act, by the city’s authorities, agencies and services.

This meeting came after Raccoon’s successful completion of the domestic violence program (working with NYPD) on the grant from Mayor’s office on domestic violence.

Commissioner found striking similarities between behavior of Balkan and South-Asian immigrant communities, particularly in the wake of September 11 tragedy. For example, she said, it is as impossible to draw Pakistanis and Indians together to support common South-Asian initiatives, as it would be for Serbs and Bosnians to do so for the Balkans (South-East Europe).

Raccoon, because it insists on reaching out to all SEE ethnic groups, is, therefore, particularly vulnerable to ostracism. On top of that, those groups grew up in the communist society, where the culture of giving and the sense of civic duty was deliberately not developed, contributing to Raccoon’s problems in raising funds within its constituency.

Recognizing our important work with the Balkan immigrant community and the reasons why we cannot draw funds from the community, the commissioner was eager to try to help us find more resources.


August 2003

At our annual fundraiser event on June 26, we noticed that many of our guests did not know how to dance Balkan folk dances (kolo) to the fabulous music played by Zlatne Uste. Therefore,
Erik Tanchorov taught a beginner class last month. Click here for a ten second video instruction.

August 9,Saturday, 4:00-6:00 pm. Dear Kids! You have read and watched so many kids stories and fairy tales that somebody else wrote. Have you ever wished to create one of your own? A story with characters that You imagined, placed in time and space You want them to be in?
Erik Tanchorov leads this workshop for kids and adults - everybody is welcomed to create your unique story using your creativity. RACCOON Space provides certain accessories that will help you make your creation visual.


July 2003

July 10 ART AND RECONCILIATION: WARS IN FORMER YUGOSLAVIA ON FILM - WESTERN VIEW!
With Branislav Bata Jakovljevic & Pavle Levi. Hosted by Dejan Kovacevic
A decade of wars following the breakup of Yugoslavia is obviously an intriguing era for filmmakers. The times were dangerous and full of everyday challenges: the politics got confusing, ethical behavior all but abandoned. Liberal, democratic states had to make a stand, put their power behind right decisions and choose a side in these conflicts.
So how did the western filmmakers tackle these issues? How did they picture those conflicts and portray their role in them? And what is the role of art in rebuilding bridges of newly established Balkan states and the West?
Continuing the movie series presentations in RACCOON SPACE, this panel will try and explore some of the issues mentioned.
Please come and be part of the discussion.
The film selection will include excerpts form Academy Award nominee "Before The Rain," "Peacemaker," "Behind Enemy Lines" and some more.


July 27 DANCE CLASS, Sunday, 4 PM. At our annual fundraiser event on June 26, we noticed that many of our guests did not know how to dance Balkan folk dances (kolo) to the fabulous music played by Zlatne Uste. Therefore, we are inviting you to attend this beginner class in KOLO. The class will be taught by Erik Tanchorov

June 2003

June 8 Raccoon Visits the Bronx Zoo. People often ask me why did we call our organization Raccoon - allegedly that is also name of a small, pesky animal - and we are not an animal protection, but a human protection organization.
Honoring the animalist origin of our acronym, Raccoon will organize an annual outting: visiting the Bronx ZOO.
Visit will take place on Sunday, June 8, from 1pm - 5:30pm.
Group package includes: admission, shuttle ride, monorail ride, cable car ride over the zoo, children zoo, congo gorilla park.


June 19, 6:30 PM: RACCOON invites you to a meeting/discussion on the findings/results of the New York City Mayor's Office to Combat Domestic Violence project in which RACCOON participated.
We would like to review and discuss the conclusions reached by the Mayor's Office regarding the various ethnic immigrant Community Based groups invited to participate and the opinions/problems/conclusions reached by the New York City Police Department Domestic Violence officers who servicethese immigrant communities.
Refreshments will be served


June 26 Special! Free poster for Cyber-Yugo fundraiser Thursday, June 26th at the Meeting House, 15 Rutherford Pl., New York. 6:30 PM. Regional food. Music by DJ Keny & DJ Mike and brass band ZLATNE USTE. Magic show by Igor. Macromedia Cyber-Yugo presentation. $15 suggested donation. June 26th is also The International Day of Victims of Torture and Trauma.

Traveling to the Old Country This Summer?!

PAN LINE travel
1-800-479-5387, 1-718-278-8395 fax:1-718-278-8396
41-04 30th Ave Astoria NY 11103
Saka, Zenaida Radoncic

Croatia & Bosnia Travel
1-800-662-7628, 1-718-726-6700, fax: 1- 718-956-3988, sales@croatiatravel.com
32-66 Steinway St. Astoria NY 11103

Air Bosna
1-718-777-8609, 1-718-777-8614 fax:1-718-777-5345
31-01 Steinway St. Astoria NY 11103

ADRIA
1-718-777-0555
Queens, NY


May 2003

May 9DJURDJEVDAN celebration! (Dragon Day), 6 pm

since April 26 Saturdays, 4:00-6:00pm, RACCOON will continue with six months cycle of group discussions about issues associated with prejudice. Topics of discussion include ethnicity, religion, gender and relationships.
Join RACCOON's Discussion Group in a safe and respectful space. Together we can share and re-evaluate our personal experiences with the other members of the group.
Moderator: Erik Tanchorov


May 29 Starting that Thursday at 7 pm.: ART AND RECONCILIATION: WARS IN FORMER YUGOSLAVIA ON FILM
A decade of wars following the breakup of Yugoslavia is an intriguing era for the filmmakers. The times were dangerous and full of everyday challenges: the politics got confusing, ethical behavior all but abandoned, "national survival" became an imperative.
So how are the filmmakers to tackle these issues? And what is the role of art in rebuilding bridges of postwar societies? Continuing the movie series presentations in RACCOON SPACE, this panel will try and explore some of the issues mentioned.
Please come and be part of the discussion.
The film selection will include excerpts form Academy Award winner "No Man's Land," "Pretty Village, Pretty Flame," "Savior" and some more.
With curators/panelists: Dejan Kovacevic, Pavle Levi, and Branislav Jakovljevic.


June 26 Special! Free poster for Cyber-Yugo fundraiser Thursday, June 26th at the Meeting House, 15 Rutherford Pl., New York. 6:30 PM. Regional food. Music by DJ Keno and brass band ZLATNE USTE. Magic show by Igor. Macromedia Cyber-Yugo presentation. $15 suggested donation.

NUSRETA FUND Nusreta Sivac, the judge featured in Calling The Ghosts [view one hour documentary], who continues to this very day to testify at the ICTY, was forced to buy her apartment back from the very powers that first expelled her. Raccoon helped her in that and she is back home, now. This project is over, as of May 23, 2003

April 2003

April 22Meeting of Raccoon community with journalists from Hayat TV at 6 PM. Under the sponsorship of the United States Government, Hayat TV of Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina is to send a two- person television crew to New York and Chicago and several other American cities for a two-week working trip. The purpose of the trip is to produce a series of television programs on "The life of ethnic groups and religious groups in the U.S." to be broadcast in Bosnia. The Bosnian journalists wish to conduct interviews with clergymen, social workers, neighborhood organizations, and community leaders to understand the life of different ethnic groups and religious groups in the U.S. The goal of the project is to show how different ethnic and religious groups co-exist in a multi-cultural and democratic society. The Bosnian journalists wish to film the everyday activities of the members of these groups and how immigrants participate in matters that affect the welfare of their family and their community in general. The journalists also would like to see how various groups working together to meet individual needs and common goals.

April 26 4:00-6:00pm, RACCOON will continue with six months cycle of group discussions about issues associated with prejudice. Topics of discussion include ethnicity, religion, gender and relationships.
Topic for Saturday, April 26th, 2003: Gender & Prejudice
Join RACCOON’s Discussion Group in a safe and respectful space. Together we can share and re-evaluate our personal experiences with the other members of the group.
Moderator: Erik Tanchorov


March 2003

March 15 Beginning Saturday March 15th from 4:00-5:30pm and continuing on Saturday afternoons through April 12th, RACCOON will be holding a Puppet Project for children under the age of 13.
Using the story of "Peter and the Wolf", children will have the opportunity to learn the story, create puppets and masks, and at the end of the fifth workshop give their presentation of "Peter and the Wolf".
This is a great opportunity for children to learn about art, music, storytelling and to create their own puppets. Younger children will participate with age appropriate tasks. Ideally, children should attend all five sessions.
The activity will be led by Katarina Ceman and Erik Tanchorov
There will be a brief discussion with parents after the first session to discuss the plans for the later workshops. Parents are welcome and encouraged to stay at the Space and/or participate in the workshops.
For more information contact Katarina at kceman@LHRIC.org or (718) 788-4004


February 2003

February 3 RACCOON, in cooperation with ELPIDES will provide a forum for domestic violence victims to communicate with the NYPD about their experiences with the police. At the same time, we want to take this oportunity to influence NYPD policy by providing them with information on the cultural background of Balkan women, so they would be able to develop new, culturally sensitive approaches, @ 6:30 pm

February 7 Friday at 11.30 am, talk with Klara Alcalay on immigration from women's experiences - PLEASE COME AND INVITE OTHER WOMEN - call Seida for further info at 718 784-9121

February 8THE BALKAN THEATER GROUP OPENS ITS DOORS on Saturday, February 8, at 6:00 PM, to welcome all members of the community interested in our work.
We will show a short videotape with highlights from our workshops. We will also conduct an abbreviated acting training workshop, to demonstrate to all those who may have at some point contemplated joining the group that out work is fun and that no prior skills are necessary.
Members of the audience will be invited to participate in a few exercises. We will also answer your questions.
We are very excited about our ongoing project (we are creating an original play), and we hope that you will come to the party to share in our excitement and join our group in the creative process.


February 19Community forum to help NYPD identify and develop new, culturally sensitive approaches in dealings with victims of domestic violence; @ 2:30 pm

February 20 6 pm, Project Nada presents: How to Start Your Own Business in America - workshop with Christie Evens, Instructor at CAMBA. Learn how to calculate your chance of success, find money, get licenses and permits, and plan the next step. In the U.S., approximately 70% of new businesses fail during the first year. Beat the odds by starting smart. r.s.v.p. to Dejan

WNYE outrage Bloomberg, the mayor of New York city, decided to sell WNYE FM 91.5, the only station that has an exclusive license to broadcast educational programming, and the only station in the city broadcasting non-for-profit ethnic programming, to the highest bidder. Voice of Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatian Radio, Macedonian Radio, Muslim Voice, Slovenian TV, and 18 other ethnic programs will lose their home. Faced by that common threat, directors of those programs formed Ethnic Broadcasters Action Committee to fight to stay on-air.
Meanwhile, Raccoon had included links to live programs of Radio 101 from Zagreb and Radio B92 from Belgrade, just below this Special Events window. In theory the homeless ethnic broadcasters in New York city may also look to Internet as a possible alternative.


January 2003

end of January RACCOON is about to send out its first printed newsletter. If you would like to receive a copy, please e-mail your name and mailing address to our Office Manager, Deanne, so we can make sure you get your copy, or download it here in .PDF format. (acrobat reader needed) Thank you.

Indira speaking at the Open House January 4
The Open House / Pot Luck Dinner will be held on Saturday, January 4th, 2003 from 4:00 - 8:00 pm. This will be a wonderful opportunity to share with each other, visit, and learn about activities at the Space. Please feel free to bring others who you think might be interested in learning more about RACCOON as well.
We would love to hear your ideas for future programs and activities.
As part of the event we invite you to bring something for the Pot Luck, preferably some traditional or (not so traditional) food from home.


January 14 RACCOON, in cooperation with ELPIDES will provide a forum for domestic violence victims to communicate with the NYPD about their experiences with the police. At the same time, we want to take this oportunity to influence NYPD policy by providing them with information on the cultural background of Balkan women, so they would be able to develop new, culturally sensitive approaches, @ 6:30 pm

January 21 Second Domestic Violence Forum, @ 12:30 pm


map and driving directions
Mailing address: RACCOON, Inc., PO Box 20554, New York, NY 10021
Subway directions - take to Kew Gardens