In 2001, the Euzkaldunak Board introduced the Legacy Award. This award is given to individuals who have exhibited a long-term commitment to the goals of Euzkaldunak. The following is the nomination letter for the 2023 Legacy Award recipient, Juliana Aldape.
Juliana first appeared on the Basque scene as the youngest cast member of the Song of the Basque in 1949. Later she was one of Jay Hormaechea’s students for Sunday jota lessons, and she was in the first “New Kids” group in 1961 in the newly formed Oinkari Basque Dancers. You can find her pictured among the dancers in the Oinkaris’ first Super Trip tothe 1964 New York World’s Fair. Juliana remained active as an Oinkari alumna and supported events when her children Johnny and Jill were dancers. She continues to work and recruit others for fundraising activities such as working the Oinkari Fair Booth or soliciting donations for the Sagardotegi Dessert Auction.
Juliana was a founder of Aiztan Artean, currently celebrating 50 years as a club for women who are Basque or married to a Basque. Since the beginning, she has served in various leadership positions. Juliana promotes Aiztan’s goals of maintaining a social group for women and donating service to the Basque Center and community. In that regard, she volunteers and recruits others to work at monthly dinners on a regular basis (even through Covid Pick-Up dinners).
When Juliana served on the Board of Directors from 1997-1999, she became aware of the importance of the original 516 people who were charter members. She pretty well singlehandedly set up and organized the annual recognition of the surviving Euzkaldunak Charter Members who are honored each spring at the April Anniversary Dinner.
For the 16-month committee work for Song of the Basque 2, Juliana served as the Board’s secretary through the May 2019 production. Currently, she serves on the Basque Center’s Renovation Committee. As an added note, she is always willing to jump in as a Mus game substitute.
Quietly and without fanfare, Juliana has supported the Basque Center and community for well over 50 years. Juliana is an excellent candidate for the Legacy Award.
Zorionak to Juliana on earning this well-deserved recognition for your dedication, service, and passion in working to promote and preserve Basque culture. Eskerrik asko!