- About the Celebrations
- 100 years - The Story
- Czech-US Inspirations
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The Embassy of the Czech Republic held a festive celebration to commemorate one hundred years of Czech independence. To mark the historically vital occasion, hundreds of guests filled the main reception hall of the Czech Embassy to hear the welcoming words of Ambassador of the Czech Republic Hynek Kmoníček. The Ambassador underscored the gravity of the moment and its observance in Washington, DC.
As part of the celebrations surrounding the 100th Anniversary of Czech Independence, the Czech Philharmonic, under the direction of maestro Semyon Bychkov, performed a special gala concert on October 29, 2018, in the Kennedy Concert Hall.
The Embassy of the Czech Republic held a prestigious conference, From Masaryk to Havel and Beyond: The Struggle for Democracy, with keynote speaker former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright at the Cosmos Club in Washington, DC, on October 18, 2018.
The Wilson Center, in collaboration with the Embassy of the Czech Republic and the Embassy of Slovakia, presented a historical discussion featuring Kevin McNamara, Associate Scholar at the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia, and Michal Kšiňan, researcher at the Institute of the History of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, moderated by Robert S. Litwak, Senior Vice President at the Wilson Center on October 4, 2018.
Top Czech theatre company Švandovo divadlo (Svanda Theatre) delivered memorable performances of four plays, "The Good and the True," "Pankrác '45," "Protest" and "The Debt" at Georgetown University, The Davis Performing Arts Center, in Washington, DC, on September 20-23, 2018.
The Mutual Inspirations Festival 2018 – Czech Independence launched at the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Washington, DC. In its ninth year, the festival annually honors one extraordinary personality; however, this year’s festival honors all the people who have contributed to 100 years of Czech independence.
Violinist Jakub Trasak and pianist Jiří Nedoma performed an unforgettable concert, Upbeat Strings, at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage last evening, receiving a standing ovation from the full house in attendance. Cultural Attaché Šárka Vamberová introduced the duo who performed as part of celebrations this year surrounding the 100th Anniversary of Czech Independence. Trasak and Nedoma began the show with their versions of Michael Jackson’s "Why," and Stevie Wonder’s "Sir Duke." Trasak said, “We are 'jazzers' at heart. We like to take well known songs and melodies and make them our own.”
A collection of heartwarming photographs from the communities and everyday lives of Czech-Americans from all corners and plains of the United States was displayed at the Czech Embassy.
The Embassy of the Czech Republic in Washington, DC, opened its doors to the public for six hours with a festive atmosphere on Saturday, May 12, and welcomed close to 4,000 friends, partners, and curious guests. There was much to celebrate as the Czechs are observing 100 years of Czech Independence throughout 2018. Visitors thus received a historical overview of the last centennial and learned about significant personalities who have contributed to the deep Czech-US ties across America.
The Czech That Film Festival in Washington opened at the The Avalon Theatre on April 11, at 8 pm, featuring the 6x Czech Lion awardee and Tribecca best international screenplay winner Ice Mother (Bába z ledu), by director Bohdan Sláma, with opening remarks by Ambassador Hynek Kmoníček. The internationally-hailed film centers on an older woman who unexpectedly falls in love after taking a dip into icy waters to help a man in distress. Over 100 people attended the opening night in the Avalon's historic main theatre. The festival continues on April 12, with the screening of Quartette (Kvarteto) followed by Barefoot (Po strništi bos), with Oscar-winning director Jan Svěrák!
Czech Ambassador Kmoníček speaks with Slovak Ambassador Peter Kmec before the start of the film.
On April 10, Czech Ambassador Hynek Kmoníček and Israeli DCM Reuven Azar opened the documentary Above and Beyond, a gripping story of American WWII pilots who fought for Israel in the War of Independence, training in secret in Czechoslovakia. The screening was presented by the Magen David Sephardic Congregation, in collaboration with the Embassy of the Czech Republic and Embassy of Israel, and organized by Gail Shirazi. Over 160 registered to attend the film produced by Nancy Spielberg and directed by Roberta Grossman.
Ambassador Kmoníček with Gail Shirazi and Israeli DCM Reuven Azar
In his presentation at the European Union in the United States on April 10, Prague Spring Festival Director Roman Bělor showed that throughout its illustrious history, the festival has hosted many international stars of 20th century classical music. For some, such as Leonard Bernstein, their concert in Prague was the very start of their international careers in Europe. Bělor shared a brief recording of Bernstein's last concert in Europe, also played at the festival just after the fall of the Iron Curtain. He stressed that the exchange was hardly one sided, as many of the most famous Czech musicians pursued their careers in the United States, from Antonín Dvořák to Jan Novák, Jaroslav Ježek, and George Mráz. Bělor's lecture illustrated how music can transcend language and political pressures. He remarked that the festival flourished even under the heavy cloud of Communism, when the “Prague Spring Festival was a source of joy and happiness.” It continues to be the highlight of the Prague cultural season today.
Ambassador Hynek Kmoníček kicked off the year-long "100th Anniversary of Czech Independence Celebrations" last evening at the Czech Embassy! The event featured the opening of the exhibit Masaryk as a Phenomenon, courtesy of the National Museum in the Czech Republic. The Ambassador opened the event talking of the greatness of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, the founding father and first President of Czechoslovakia, who was a personality amongst all men. Director of the National Museum, Michal Lukeš spoke about the special exhibit focusing on the life of Masaryk as well as showed a short film dedicated to the President of the First Republic. To conclude the opening, staff from the Embassy of the Czech Republic sang the Czech National Anthem. Over 150 guests attended the event and enjoyed the interactive exhibit consisting of large standing panels of Masaryk, radio talks, and video projections. The exhibit reveals Masaryk’s worldly inspiration and broad influence as well as his critical thinking and courage to oppose the majority while defending justice and human values.
The American University Museum opened the exhibition Kateřina Vincourová: Arteria curated by Karina Kottová on January 27, 2018. The exhibition focuses on the fragile nuances of interpersonal relations while at the same time abstracting these notions into an examination of time and space. In an interview with THE HOYA, Vincourová describes the atmosphere of her artwork saying, “It's as if you are stretching this kind of elastic or rubber, and basically if you stretch it too much, it’s just going to break and fall apart, and this is the moment of tension both within the art piece and with the viewer." Fragility, both literally and metaphorically, is important to her exhibition. She said, "Instead of focusing on feminity, I am most interested in the larger concept of intimacy and the openness to speak about it." Check out the full article on the exhibition as well as the exhibition itself on view at the AU Museum at the Katzen Arts Center until March 11.
The Embassy of the Czech Republic invites Czech-American individuals, schools, businesses, and organizations from around the United States to submit a photo of what it means to be Czech-American to them in order to join in the 2018 celebrations of 100 years of Czech Independence.
The Czech people celebrate 100 years of independence and sovereignty in 2018. Collaborating on security and alliance throughout the century with the United States of America, the Czechs mark a centennial of struggle for freedom as well as the resolute establishment of a thriving democracy. This year, the Czech Republic rejoices in its prosperity and industry as well as mutual transatlantic inspiration and friendship.
Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk with children in national costume and the "Truth Prevails" motto on the banner
Photo courtesy: Andrea Pohl