The idea of holding a Festival about Russian literature and culture, mainly intended for American youth of various backgrounds, required much thought and a studied approach, especially since it had, to a certain extent, an academic level of round-table discussions. It was an unanimous decision of the Organizational Committee, that two working days of the Festival, fully dedicated to address Dostoyevsky’s contribution to the world literature, will be sufficient at least to assess his role in Modern American Thought. Daily sessions consisted of selected themes with introductory reports followed by round-table discussions followed by screenings of three movies based on his novels (“Boys,” “Crime and Punishment” and “The Brothers Karamazov”). The writer’s great- great-grandson, Alexei Dimitriyevich Dostoyevsky was invited as the Honorable President of the Organizational Committee and participated as a guest-speaker (he played the principal role in a movie based on the chapter 10 from “The Brothers Karamazov” – “Boys”). His reminiscences from acting in this movie when he was 15 years of age, were highly appreciated by the audience. Russian actor and reader, Yuriy Dobrovolsky, added to the authenticity of the presentation of Dostoyevsky’s opus by delivering in an oratorical way some excerpts from his speech glorifying Alexander Pushkin (given in June 1880).
During the Festival was presented an art show of paintings-portraits by a contemporary Russian artist, Sergey Morozov - it created an appropriate ambience in the Karl Anatol Center, where most of the activities took place. The key exhibit was his portrait of F.M. Dostoyevsky (36”x 48”), replica of a famous painting by Vasili Perov, offered through auction at the closure of the Festival, together with four smaller (12”x16”) replicas of his well-known portraits (sold all of them).