The Oklahoman (Oklahoma City, OK)
Posted on July 31, 2005
By John Greiner
Five Russian women, most of them from Siberia, got a warm Oklahoma welcome when they arrived in the state last week.
"When we came off the plane, we didn't think we would make it to the entrance of the building," Yuliya Kudryashova said. "The weather is shocking."
The women's 10-day tour of the United States is part of the Open World Program, authorized by Congress in 1999 to enable Russian leaders to experience United States democracy and free enterprise in action in communities across America, according to the Open World Web site.
The Russian women work in the field of arts and culture, and visited places including Washington, D.C., Tulsa and Oklahoma City to talk to their professional counterparts in America.
The Russian women talked with Oklahomans about funding for arts and culture. They learned that a major source of funding for the arts is private in the United States.
In Russia, most of the funding is provided by the state, Kudryashova said.
The women are scheduled to leave Oklahoma today.
Copyright 2005, The Oklahoma Publishing Company
[Reprinted with Permission]