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За Виолета Желязкова на български

Violeta Jeliazkova,
Founder and Director of the Bulgarian-American Cultural Center "Madara", Boston, MA

More about Violeta Jeliazkova, you can learn from the nomination for Medal "Ivan Vazov" filed by BCNE, below in this text.

Award celebration in honor of Violeta Jeliazkova for receiving the medal "Ivan Vazov" from the State Agency for Bulgarians Abroad will be held on November 11, 2018 in Boston. More information here.

Nomination letter
Short biography
Nomination letter

To: Mr. Peter Haralampiev
State Agency for Bulgarians Abroad
Bul. "Dondukov" 2A, SOFIA-1000

We present to your attention Violeta Jeliazkova for honorary medal of the SABA
June 27, 2018

Dear Mr. Haralampiev,
We write to you on behalf of the Bulgarian center in New England, USA - a nonprofit organization with mission to unite the Bulgarian community in New England and attract people from different backgrounds who are interested in Bulgarian culture, art, history and traditions. The Center includes representatives of the Bulgarian Church "St. Petka", the Bulgarian School "St. St. Cyril and Methodius", the Bulgarian-American Cultural Center "Madara" and other groups and organizations in the area.

We present to your attention Mrs. Violeta Jeliazkova, Director and founder of the Bulgarian-American Center Madara in Boston, USA, for an honorary medal of the SABA, on the eve of the 20th anniversary of her service in the United States. Violeta Jeliazkova is a patriotic and talented Bulgarian who has in the past 20 years worked diligently to unite the Bulgarian community in Boston and in the US and to promote Bulgaria and Bulgarian culture in the US, Canada and worldwide.

Violeta Jeliazkova is from the town of Tvarditsa, Sliven region. From a young age she loves art and mathematics and she chooses the profession of Engineer completing her higher education at the Technical University in Varna. Soon after immigrating to America in 1998, Violeta begins working on her profession. At the same time, she helps Bulgarians in the Boston area by organizing various cultural events and tours of Bulgarian artists and musicians visiting the United States. In those years Violeta invests great effort into this noble idea and her activities laid the foundation of one of the most united and active Bulgarian communities outside Bulgaria.

Jeliazkova bears the honor to have significantly contributed to promoting the Bulgarian cultural heritage in the US as well as in the development of the Bulgarian national self-awareness and cultural identity. This proposal is based on her overall contribution over the course of 20 years, and the anniversary of the inception of this idea and numerous activities of Violeta following her arrival in Boston, USA.

In the past two decades Violeta organized and supported nearly 500 public events in the US and Canada. They are listed in detail in the annexes to this letter, but here are just a few examples. Events include celebrations of Bulgarian national and cultural holidays, celebrations, exhibitions, sporting events, educational initiatives, lectures and more. She is the founder and organizer of the Bulgarian Cultural Festival in Boston that has had 8 issues.
Traditionally every year, Mrs. Jeliazkova gathers the Bulgarian community in Boston to celebrate the National Holiday of Bulgaria. There she presents local talents and guests from Bulgaria. It is the most visited Bulgarian event in the state that has united all Bulgarian organizations in the region and many talents and businesses. Celebrations always are meant for and support a charity cause.

Jeliazkova actively participates in organizing polling stations for the Bulgarian elections, maintains contacts with the Bulgarian Consulate in New York, the Embassy in Washington and organizes regular visits of the Consuls to Boston; she organizes visits of Bulgarian state delegations and individuals in Boston. She generously shares her experience with other organizations, in Boston as well as in other cities in North America - a good example is the tour of Theodosii Spassov in 2009 when Violeta encourages organizers of the Bulgarian cultural centers in Atlanta and Seattle to present the concert in their cities as well. One of Jeliazkova’s main goals is to assist the Bulgarian talents coming from Bulgaria and those living in the US to preserve the Bulgarian traditions, language and culture abroad - examples of which are abundant.

Key Contributions of Violeta Jeliazkova include
• Founder and director of Bulgarian-American Cultural Center Madara (www.centermadara.org). The center was housed in the building of American art center Springstep. Violeta receives an offer that Madara should become an affiliate organization of Springstep that initiates a number of joint cultural events such as exhibitions of Bulgarian artists, concerts and receptions with Bulgarian participation. Many of the funds raised from concerts and cultural events Jeliazkova donates to various Bulgarian organizations in the United States and Bulgaria, including orphanages in Bulgaria. Violeta becomes a member of the board of Directors of Springstep whereby the Bulgarian-American center Madara becomes the only Bulgarian center in America that operates jointly with an American cultural center.

• One of the founders of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church "St. Petka" in Boston, a member of the board of directors for nearly 12 years. During this time, Violeta is the main coordinator of all charity events for the church: picnics, celebrating the church patron holiday, service and Easter lunch and more. On her initiative, the Bulgarian church becomes twinned with the Serbian Church in Boston. Both churches maintain joint services, which fosters the unification of the Bulgarian and Serbian communities in Boston.

• Member of the Board of Directors of the Bulgarian School in Boston "St. Cyril and Methodius" for six years, since its inception. This is one of the first Bulgarian schools in America. Violeta still supports the school with various initiatives.

• Member of the Board of Directors the Bulgarian Center in New England from its inception; currently an honorary board member

• Member of the Board of Directors of the non-profit "English at large" the main purpose of which is to provide free English training to immigrants. Many Bulgarians attend the classes of the organization and have a free personal tutor to help them overcome the language barrier.

• Member of the board of directors of the non-profit organization „Springstep cultural center“. The building of the organization has long been home of the BACC Madara.

• Violeta also helps the Boston magnificent Dance Ensemble "Ludo Mlado". With the revenues from the Bulgarian Cultural Festival in 2006 organized by Violeta, the first costumes for the ensemble were purchased.

Violeta is the only member of our community who has been involved in the foundation and leadership of our main organizations - the Bulgarian Church "St. Petka", the Bulgarian School "St. Cyril and Methodius", BACC "Madara" and the Bulgarian Center in New England. For years, she was concurrently a board member of three organizations that contributed to the improved communication between the organizations and their joint work.

For her active and dedicated service, Violeta receives numerous awards from Bulgarians in the United States as well as from prestigious American institutions, media and organizations. For example, she was awarded by a US non-governmental organization with the distinction "Inspiration Award" for public service and personal achievements.

Even at times of ill health, Violeta Jeliazkova invests all the strength she has to assist the Bulgarian community in Boston and organize events with the support of many volunteers and friends.

We recommend Violeta Jeliazkova for an honorary medal not only for her tireless work for various Bulgarian and American organizations, for organizing numerous events, tours, for rallying the Bulgarian communities together in the US and Canada, but also for her shining qualities of a person with great integrity and a Bulgarian patriot that show through her actions. Her enviable energy, dedication and generosity are an example for many Bulgarians around the world. Violeta Jeliazkova is a valuable friend, a sincere and modest person, who unequivocally deserves the distinction!

Warm regards,
Irina Todorova,
On behalf of the Board of Directors
Bulgarian Center in New England,
irina@bulgariancenter.org, bulgariancenter.org

Letter translation Nora Kerina

Short biography

Violeta Jeliazkova grew up in the small town Tvardica, Bulgaria. She attends and graduates with honors from the Technical University of Varna, Bulgaria with a concentration in “Machine-Building”. By result of her academic success, she wins a scholarship from the Technical University in Vienna, Austria to study “Computer Systems and Robotics”. She interns at the German multinational company BMW and at electronic manufacturer “Grundig” to name a few. She receives an offer to continue her education in Vienna, but she politely refuses in order to go back to her homeland. Upon returning to Bulgaria, she spends 2 years as an aspirant of the department “Machine Elements”, specializing in “Industrial design”. She teaches Graphic Engineering while simultaneously working on her dissertation and as a graphic designer at one of the nation’s leading Newspaper publishers “People’s Work”.

Violeta has a PhD ABD in Artificial Intelligence and Expert Systems from the Technical University of Varna, Bulgaria.
In 1998, along with her family, Violeta wins a Green Card and leaves for Boston, Massachusetts. She uncoincidentally lucks out her very first week and starts a job as an engineer. In addition to her professional accomplishments, Violeta has been skilled at dancing, singing, reciting, drawing and event organizing, to name a few, from a young age.
The same passion and dedication with which she organizes each and every event was not lost in her move to the States, where she immediately involved herself in helping out the Bulgarian community. Through organizing events, fundraising, and creating occasions to bring the Bulgarian people together, Violeta’s efforts on uniting the Bulgarians in Boston were unparalleled. While doing this, she still upholds her profession as an engineer, but soon realizes her true passion in life- helping people and making sure not only that no one feels alone, but that everyone feels together. What began as a realization quickly transformed into a calling, and the Bulgarian community felt it too. She is a master of all- helping out as a marketing consultant, graphic and web designer, translator and drawing upon all of her skills for each applicable situation she believed she could be of help in.

Shortly after her arrival in the States, she creates the organization “Bulgarian-American Cultural Center Madara Boston”. With the help of the team she established, Violeta succeeds in organizing and supporting close to 500 events in Boston in the last 20 years.
In order to popularize the Bulgarian culture and unite the community, Violeta invites countless Bulgarian artists and musicians to be guests of Boston and the United States: Lilly Ivanova, Shturtsite, Vasil Naidenov, Yordana Hristova, Georgi Hristov, Orlin Goranov, Kristina Dimitrova, Vania Kostova, Stefka Berova and Kosara Marchinkova, Evgeni and Yana Dushanovi, Todor Kolev, Signal, NLO, Wekeda, Teodosii Spasov, Valia Balkanska, Yank Rupkina, Kremena Stancheva, Ilian Mihov, Kosta Markov, Folk Ensemble “Kolevi”, Forte String Kvartet, Theater group “Teardrop and Sow”, Dorothea Toncheva, Stoyan Surdanov, Stefan Popov, Nevena Kaludova, Annia Pencheva, Niki Sotirov, Shkumbata, Ilia Sekulov, Stoyanka Mutafova, Vasil Mihaelov, Ivailo Hristov, Deliana Hadjiyankova, Nikola Anastasov, Vania Doicheva, Luibo Neikov, Georgi Stoilov, Anna Veleva, Andre Batashov, Adriana Andreeva, Nikolai Atanasov, Kiril Vodenicharov, and Desi Dobreva to name a few. Along with the names listed, Violeta also welcomes and houses numerous Political guests from Bulgaria.

Violeta organizes a number of successful tours of Bulgarian Stars in the States and Canada.
Below is an example of one:
In March of the year 2000, Violeta constructs a project for the first website of the Bulgarian Community in America www.bgmass.com, and along with architect Borislav Ignatov, turns it into a reality, launching one month later, in April. After some time, the website becomes the standard site for numerous Bulgarian communities in America and over the world, as it plays a role in being the main information center regarding the Bulgarian communities, upcoming events, and connecting users of the site. As of current date, the website has changed the name and address to www.centermadara.org.
In the same year not only does Violeta launch the mass Bulgarian site, but she is also one of the creators of the Bulgarian church in Boston and sits on its board for 12 years following its creation.

Violeta also participates in the establishment of the first Bulgarian School “Saint Kiril and Metodii” in Boston. She sits on the board of directors for 6 years following its creation as well.

Months following the establishment of the website, the Church, and the School, Violeta partners with American Henry Golber from Folk Art Center Boston to set up the beginning of the first Bulgarian Folklore Festival in North America, which occurs every two years. Subsequently, it grows into a Bulgarian Cultural Festival with a philanthropic goal as well.

Violeta helps out in the creation and growth of the unbelievable dance ensemble in Boston “Ludo Mlado”. With the proceeds of Violeta’s events and the Bulgarian Cultural Festival, the first traditional costumes are purchased in 2006 for the dance ensemble.

She is also on the board of directors of the American NGO “English at Large”, which focuses in helping immigrants learn English.

In 2013, the Bulgarian Center is established in New England, which unites almost all Bulgarian organizations in the region. Violeta is on the board of directors from the establishment of the organization. In 2015, due to health reasons, she leaves the board, but the organization votes to make her an honorable member of the board for life.

In the professional sense, Violeta is invited to produce and consult various American cultural and musical firms and organizations. She has a certificate for Musical Business and Electric Entrepreneurship from Berkeley, where she was taught from lecturers like the managers of Aretha Franklin, Rolling Stones, Madonna, etc. She works with the partnership of one of the biggest names in this business in Boston. Together, they organize events in the nature of Galas, Receptions, Cocktail parties, Fashion shows, Concerts and so on and so forth in the majority of Clubs and Halls in Boston.

For several years she was a member of the board of directors of the American Cultural Center “Springstep”, which turns into the home of Center Madara. BACC Madara was officially affiliated with the nonprofit organization Springstep. They had established a long-term relationship and they shared same goal of strengthening communities through dance, music and arts.

Violeta is the holder of multiple Bulgarian and American nominations and awards.
Bio translation Iveta Stancheva


Violeta Jeliazkova, BACC Madara has coordinated a number of tours of Bulgarian stars in USA and Canada, such as several tours by the Bulgarian virtuoso Theodosii Spassov and a his group, several tours by Dessy Dobreva, duet Todor and Teodora Traichevi, rock band Signal, theatrical productions with Boyka Velkova and Stefan Spasov and others.

Here is some of them:

2009, Tour "100- years independence of Bulgaria – tour in the US", with guests Tatiana Sarbinska, the world-famous musician Theodosii Spassov and his quintet. The tour consists of 10 cities. You can see more below: http://www.centermadara.org/bgtour.html

2009, "Journey to Bulgaria" tour, USA and CANADA, with guest from Bulgaria DESI DOBREVA. It includes 13 cities

2011, The Bulgarian National Revival Day celebration in North America with special guest the world-famous musician Theodosii Spassov’s
Violeta Jeliazkova was the initiator and coordinator of the largest celebration of the Bulgarian National Revival Day in the United States and Canada, which was ever done on the continent (October-November 2011). It has become a great celebration of the Bulgarian spirit and culture and has been a unifying force for many communities - a "true cultural revolution of American soil". For the event, Violeta has invited the world-famous musician Theodosii Spassov, who presented the richness and beauty of Bulgarian folklore, together with local Bulgarian and American musicians. http://www.centermadara.org/Theodosii-Spassov-Tour2011.html

2011, Peter Ralchev's tour (Accordion), USA and CANADA
Violeta Jeliazkova helps to make the tour of one of the brightest stars in the contemporary Bulgarian music scene, recognized by the musical circles as the best Bulgarian accordionist now. It includes over 20 cities. https://www.facebook.com/groups/182415608477829/

2012, The Bulgarian National Revival Day celebration with guest DESI DOBREVA, USA
Violeta Jeliazkova has invited Desi to celebrate this holiday in the United States. With her angelic voice and the modern performance of Bulgarian folklore, Desi is a true ambassador of the Bulgarian magic among Bulgarians and Americans. The tour includes 13 cities. http://www.centermadara.org/dessy.htm

2013, Tour of Orlin Goranov and Christina Dimitrova, USA and CANADA on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the duet and the National Day of Bulgaria.
Violeta Jeliazkova together with Center STAGE, Ltd, has organized the biggest tour of Bulgarian stars in North America so far, which is held in 23 cities. http://centermadara.org/orlin-kristina-eng.htm


Violeta is famous about her great charity work.
She and her husband helped hundreds of emigrants in Boston area. Violeta has been a board member of five nonprofit organizations in Boston, contributing to dear mission and activities: Cultural Center Springstep, English at Large, Bulgarian School, Bulgarian Church St Petka and Bulgarian center of New England.

She created the first American web site for the Bulgarian community in 2000: www.Bgmass.com. Her idea was also to create a yahoo group that connects the Bulgarian community. So that she gives an example to other communities to create dear own pages and groups. Then the page has grown into the first online free newspaper in America: www.Bgfocus.com.

Violeta organizes a number of charity concerts and events such as a concert, which supports Shiroka Laka school, the School of the Blind in Varna, the Adult House in Kocherinovo, the victims of the floods in the Shumen region, the dance ensemble "Ludo Young", the American choir for Bulgarian folklore "Divi Zheni" and many others.

Mrs. Jeliazkova has organized the first large-scale charity campaign in America in 2001. The campaign is about collection of funds for emergency eyes surgery of the young Plamena Popova. She creates a web page, organizes a charity concert, and manages to make a lot of organizations and people from the biggest Bulgarian communities in the United States. On this occasion, the first Bulgarian Film Festival was organized in Atlanta. The campaign was successful, and the small Plamy is able to see again, thanks to the goodness of so many Bulgarians abroad. After this campaign, Violeta receives many calls for advices and support for other campaigns to support sick people in need. This is an example of how a charity campaign is being organized not only in America, but many people also benefit from her experience in Bulgaria.

A list of some of the campaigns organized and supported by Violeta and the Bulgarian-American Madara Center can be found here: http://www.centermadara.org/help.htm 

Tours and Charitty section translation by Petia Zheliazkova

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