Flowers of Hope –

History interrupts our regularly scheduled lives. This all happened before, roughly a century ago, with first a pandemic, second an economic crisis and, third, war in Europe. Now there’s a big reboot that, despite the technological advances, nobody really likes.

We watch on whatever screen through which we digest the dismal news with incredulity and overwhelming sensations. There may be a benefit (in the yellow and blue shadings of that word) to get out and do something.

For example, recently at The Hof the 30-year-old, Richmond-based and internationally renowned band Bio Ritmo wanted to celebrate themselves and the re-release of one of their earliest recordings, “Piragüero/Asia Minor.” The group dedicated its performance to benefit the nonprofit Ukraine Alive 2022, which has organized to assist those displaced by the conflict and support the Ukrainian military. you can view the show here.

More of these dedicated occasions are occurring or on the way. A list below comes from the Richmond-based Lift up Ukrainemade up of Ukrainians who live in Richmond and their friends.

Jenni Kirby, director of the Crossroads Art Center, like many people, found herself watching the terrible pictures of the Ukraine invasion on television. One of these broadcasts informed her that the sunflower is the country’s botanical symbol. Sunflowers burst with springtime hope, and, due to their sometimes enormous growth and huge heads that ultimately slump, they can resemble weary persons or soldiers holding a line.

“I put out a call for artists,” Kirby says, and the response turned into the Sunflowers for Ukraine Project.

“We’ve had 95 pieces submitted and sold 37 pieces so far. We’re identifying a responsible nonprofit so the funds will go directly to those who need it.”

The sunflower idea is growing. Lynn Black, who started Paint for Good in 2018, is motivated by bringing art into people’s lives for the greater benefit of others.

Prior to the time of the pandemic, Paint for Good raised $3,000 for various Richmond charities.

She’s putting her brush to the world canvas and would like 20 to 40 people to join her for a painting fundraiser at Castleberg Brewery from 6 to 8 pm on Friday, April 22.

For $20, she’ll guide painters of any or no experience level to create their versions of “Yellow Flowers of Hope.”

“One person can make a difference,” Black says. “People can come by, paint or make a donation, and have a little left over for a few beers. If we need to, we can get 40 painters in there.”

Ukraine Relief Events

For further details see, Lift up Ukraine and Ukrainians in Richmond on Facebook, and @liftupukraineorg on Instagram.

March 30, all day: Tony’s Italian Restaurant Fundraiser for Ukraine

Seating is limited; call to make a reservation or place a to-go order.

50% of the day’s sales will go to Lift up Ukraine.

3409 Cox Road, 804-270-0999

April 5, 5 to 9 pm: Balkan Restaurant

Limited seating, call to make a reservation or place a to-go order.

100% of proceeds going to Lift up Ukraine

8905 Patterson Ave., 804-754-2255

April 9, noon to 9 pm: Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery, End of Despot Days

Special guests TBA

Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery, 4100 Knolls Point Drive, Goochland County, 804-314-2093

April 19, 7 to 9 pm: El Paso Mexican Restaurant

Seating is limited; call to make a reservation.

3417 Cox Road, 804-346-8889

May 9, 4:30 pm: Concert Ballet of Virginia, “Giselle”

Tickets are $25, with 50% of proceeds going to Lift up Ukraine.

Discovery United Methodist Church, 13000 Gayton Road; Concert Ballet of Virginia, 804-798-0945


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