WEST HOLLYWOOD—Each May, the city of West Hollywood celebrates the heritage and culture of its Russian-speaking community with a series of events presented through the Russian Advisory Board. This year, the 16th annual Russian Arts and Culture Month will take place from Saturday, May 6, to Sunday, May 21, according to a press release from the city.

About 11 percent, or 3,872 people, of West Hollywood’s population identify a region of the former Soviet Union as their main ancestry, according to a 2013 survey. Creative identity is expressed through language, visual arts, and history. Sharing values and beliefs throughout the community instills cultural pride. According to an event description, West Hollywood intends to promote understanding and appreciation between its citizens and to demonstration the contribution of the Russian-speaking community to the city and the country as a whole.

The 72nd Anniversary of Victory in Europe Day event took place on Sunday, May 7, at the Fiesta Hall in Plummer Park, at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard. The event honored Russian-speaking community members who are veterans of World War II and have made social, cultural, and civic contributions to West Hollywood. Victory in Europe Day, also known as V-E Day or VE Day, was initially celebrated at the end of Wold War II in Europe on May 8, 1945, after the Allied Forces’ formal acceptance of Nazi Germany’s surrender. Before the ceremony, the Immortal Regiment March took place on Santa Monica Boulevard, from Fairfax Avenue to Plummer Park. Community members honored family, friends, and loved ones who fought in the war by marching with their portraits.

On Sunday, May 21, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., the 16th Annual Russian Arts and Culture Festival will take place at Plummer Park. The festival is free, and the public is welcome to celebrate the heritage of more than 500,000 members of the local Russian-speaking community through a day of entertainment, music, food vendors, and Russian crafts and jewelry. From 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., the Annual Children’s Concert will take place on the Big Stage on the lawn. An Annual Gala Concert will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The 12th Annual Russian Community Awards will be held on the main stage at Plummer Park on Sunday, May 21, at 4 p.m. The Russian Advisory Board of the city of West Hollywood will present three awards in recognition of individuals, businesses, and organizations that have had a positive impact on the Russian-speaking community in West Hollywood and Los Angeles.

Additional events will take place throughout the month. A screening of the Vakhtangove State Academic Theatre of Russia’s production of “Eugene Onegin” was held on Saturday, May 6, at the Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room. On Saturday, May 13, at 6 p.m., Nikitins, a family of Russian bards, will perform “Big Secret” at Plummer Park’s Fiesta Hall. USSart, an art exhibition reflecting upon the culture and history of the former Soviet Union, will be held at Plummer Park’s Great Hall and Long Hall on Saturday, May 20, and Sunday, May 21, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. On Saturday, May 20, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., an artists’ reception will take place.

For a complete schedule, visit www.weho.org/russian. For more information about the events, please email westhollywoodrussianfest@weho.org or call Tatiana Rodzinek, the city of West Hollywood’s Russian Community Outreach Coordinator, at (323) 848-6826. For people who are deaf or hearing impaired, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.