50 YEARS LATER: Remembering August 21, 1968 and Alexander Dubcek

Tuesday, August 21, 2018 at 8:00pm
at Bohemian National Hall
321 E 73 St, New York City

Join us at a special exhibition of photographs of the fateful day in Bratislava by Ladislav Bielik and a screening of a documentary film Dubcek 70 (Sedemdesiatnik Alexander Dubcek, 1991, 24 min., English subtitles). In the interview, made one year before his tragic death, the 70-year old Dubcek reflects on events that affected his personal journey as one of the protagonists of the “Prague Spring.” An accompanying exhibition Dub?ek will also be on display.

Where were you on Aug 21, 1968? Come share your memory for our oral history video project!

Organized in cooperation with the Consulate General of the Slovak Republic in New York.

RSVP: newyork@svu2000.org
Free and open to the public.
Suggested donation $5.00

Please note: This is a joint program with the Czech Center.
The Czech Center‘s program will start at 7pm by an opening of a photo exhibit August 21 on the second floor, and a screening of a film.(TBA) The film will be looped in the cinema on the ground floor.

Light wine and beer joint reception will be on the 3rd fl.


Photo (c)Ladislav Bielik

The Golden Age of Czech Operetta with Bellissime

Friday, August 24, 2018 at 7:00pm
Bohemian National Hall
321 E 73 St, New York City

A recital of songs by the renowned composers Rudolf Friml (later in Hollywood), Oskar Nedbal, Rudolf Piskácek, Jirí Beneš, Roman Blahník and Jirí Steblický.

Bellissime Vocal Duo
Gabriela Miková Johnson – mezzo soprano
Anna Butkiewicz – soprano
Tána Vanecková – piano
Produced by Moart
Photo by Monika Kosanová-Zaluská

RSVP: newyork@svu2000.org

Free and open to the public.
Suggested donation $15.00
Bellissime 2

Gabriela Míková Johnson, a graduate of the Janá?ek Conservatory in Ostrava, is a singer, actress, and dancer based in New York. She has twice performed as soprano soloist in Händel’s Messiah for Gordon Stewart’s period-instrument production with the Philipstown Philharmonia. Before moving to the U.S., Gabriela performed many operatic, dramatic, and musical comedy roles in central and western Europe. Her career includes six seasons as featured soloist at Plze?’s J.K. Tyl Theatre (including Euridice in Orpheus in the Underworld, Mable in Pirates of Penzance , Roxie in Chicago, and Aldonza in Man of La Mancha), Bernstein’s Mass with the State Philharmonic of Brno, concerts with both the Janá?ek and the North Bohemian philharmonic orchestras, and three European tours of West Side Story. She teaches singing at the Storm King School in Cornwall, New York, where she has been Adjunct Instructor of Voice since 2013.

Anna Butkiewicz is a classically trained singer living and working in Warsaw, Poland, where she recently performed with Opera Kameralna. She received her Master’s degree from Ostrava University, Czech Republic, and for fifteen seasons was a featured soloist with the National Theatre of Moravian Silesia in Ostrava, where she performed many opera and light-opera roles, including Elisabeth in Land of Smiles by Franz Lehár (for which she received a Thalia Award nomination), Hana Glavari in The Merry Widow, the title role in Giuditta, and Helena in Offenbach’s Beautiful Helena. She has performed concerts with the Janá?ek Philharmonic Orchestra, and has also sung concerts in Japan and Austria. For five years she taught operatic singing at Ostrava’s Janá?ek Conservatory.

Tania Van??ková is a Czech concert pianist living and working in Plze?, Czech
Republic. After graduating from the State Conservatory in Plze?, she joined the J.K. Tyl Theatre as accompanist. There she worked with the opera, light opera, and ballet divisions for twenty seasons. She teaches piano at the School of Arts in Plze?, and regularly performs with the Gala Strauss Orchestra in Austria and Germany.

* “Operetta” refers to a theatrical entertainment that, like opera, tells a story through music, but which unlike most opera treats of light subjects, usually romantic love, and in a comic style (no death or Germanic mythology here!), and whose music may be less sophisticated or complex. In the twentieth century this form gave rise to the American musical.

** https://youtu.be/mCH4Gs8Oaco

For more info, please visit Bellissime@GabrielaAnnaVocalDuo


Rudolf Piská?ek – “Jen jedenkrát”; “Když Máj jde k nám” from Perly Panny Serafinky
Rudolf Friml – “Only a Rose”; “Love for Sale” from Vagabond King
“Indian Love Call”; “L’amour Toujours” from Rose Marie
Jara Beneš – “Já mám dev?t kanár?”; “To ti dám pi pi písemn?” from Uli?nice
R. A. Dvorský – “Slune?nice” from film Hotel Modrá Hv?zda
Jaroslav Ježek – “Kytice”
Josef Stelibský – “Láska brány otevírá” from Ostrov Milování
Oskar Nedbal – “Blondýnky sladké” from Polská Krev
Rudolf Piská?ek – “Ty ?eské Panenky” from Perly Panny Serafinky

Field Trip: Flower Communion in Brooklyn Heights

(Meet at 10:30 am.)

Come to participate in the Flower Communion as part of the 100th anniversary celebration of the founding of Czechoslovakia.

First Unitarian Congregational Society
50 Monroe Place at Pierrepont St.
Brooklyn Heights, NY

The First Unitarian Church in Brooklyn Heights has historic ties with Czechoslovakia. Brooklyn-born Charlotte Garrigue Masaryk (1850-1923), later the First Lady of Czechoslovakia, was its very active member. She was instrumental in developing close ties with the Czechoslovak Unitaria and cooperation with Norbert Capek, the founder of Czech Unitarian Church in Prague and creator of the Flower Communion. Both her husband Tomas Garrigue Masaryk and her son Jan spoke from this church’s pulpit. You can see some memorabilia and photos in the church.
Free and open to the public.

About the Flower Communion:

We will visit the church and participate in the Sunday Flower Communion service.
Bring a flower to exchange it for another after the ceremony.
Review the song below. It is traditionally sung at this occasion. In Czech!! Its text will be available to non-Czech speakers in a phonetic transcription.

Aj lucka, lucka siroka,
roste na ni­ trava,
roste na ni­ trava vysoka.

After, we will walk around Brooklyn Heights and have lunch in a local restaurant.

PLEASE LET US KNOW if you will join us for lunch so we can make a reservation.

Organized by Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences in New York (SVU NY)
and The New York Czech Slovak Meet Up

100 Years of Czech and Slovak Literature

Wednesday, June 20 at 7pm
Bohemian National Hall, 3rd Floor

Books An evening with Christopher Harwood, PhD, Lecturer in Czech at Columbia University, and Charles Sabatos, PhD, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at Yeditepe University in Istanbul, Turkey. They will present highlights of the past century of Czech and Slovak literature. Their talk will be accompanied by readings in English from six literary works—three Slovak and three Czech. Reading the excerpts will be Katarina Vizina and Alex Zucker. Alex will have copies of his translations for sale.

In cooperation with the Consulate General of the Slovak Republic.

Free and open to the public. Suggested donation $5.00
Light refreshments.

RSVP: newyork@svu2000.org

Christopher Harwood is a Lecturer in Czech in the Slavic Department of Columbia University. He also works occasionally as a freelance translator (from Czech and Russian to English) and interpreter (between Czech and English). His professional interests focus on methods for teaching Czech as a foreign language and on 20th- and 21st-century Czech literature and culture. He holds BA (1990), MA (1992) and PhD (2000) degrees in Russian literature from Columbia University. Chris is the President of the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences (SVU), New York Chapter.

Charles Sabatos is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at Yeditepe University in Istanbul, Turkey. He is the author of many articles on Slovak literature, as well as on topics in Central European, Turkish, Russian and American literature and culture. He holds a PhD from the University of Michigan.

Kararina Vizina a native of Bratislava, Slovakia, holds an MA in Musical Theater from The Janá?ek Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts in Brno, Czech Republic and an MFA in Acting from Brooklyn College (CUNY). Katarina co-founded Cabaret Metropol, a band featuring many singers, each specializing in a different language. Katarina was featured with Cabaret Metropol as the pre-show for the 2014 off-Broadway production of Václav Havel’s The Pig. www.katarinavizina.com

Alex Zucker is a translator of Czech literature. His translations include novels by J. R. Pick, Petra H?lová, Jáchym Topol, Heda Margolius Kovály, Tomáš Zmeškal, Magdaléna Platzová, Josef Jedli?ka, Patrik Ou?edník, and Miloslava Holubová. From 2014 to 2016, he served as co-chair of the PEN America Translation Committee. In 2010 he won the ALTA National Translation Award for Petra H?lová’s All This Belongs to Me. You can find Alex’s database of Czech literature in English translation at bitly.com/czechlitinenglish. Visit his website at www.alexjzucker.com.

Free books courtesy of SVU NY.

Books-for-sale will include: Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, by J. R. Pick; Three Plastic Rooms and All This Belongs to Me, by Petra H?lová; Angel Station, City Sister Silver, and A Trip to the Train Station, by Jáchym Topol; The Attempt, by Magdaléna Platzová; Love Letter in Cuneiform, by Tomáš Zmeškal; Innocence; or, Murder on Steep Street, by Heda Margolius Kovály; Case Closed and The Opportune Moment, 1855, by Patrik Ou?edník; More Than One Life, by Miloslava Holubová; The Drug of Art, by Ivan Blatný; plus Czech Plays: Seven New Works, an anthology of Czech drama, and The Man Between, a collection of essays on the life and work of translator Michael Henry Heim.

The Tradition of Czech Puppetry: More than Entertainment

Wednesday, MAY 30, 2018 at 7pm
Bohemian National Hall, 3rd floor
321 E 73 St, New York City

RSVP: newyork@svu2000.org

Join us for an evening with Vít Horejš who will discuss subversive puppet activity over three centuries and demonstrate magic marionette manipulation. The presentation will be followed by a screening of the award-winning documentary film Faust on a String, which traces the history of the centuries old Czech marionettes–sleeping beauties that came back to life – at Jan Hus Church on Upper East Side in New York City.

Vít Horejš is the Artistic Director of Czechoslovak American Marionette Theatre (CAMT) based in New York City. He is currently working on his next production “Duke Oldrich & Washerwoman Božena, the True Story”, a non-traditional staging of a traditional marionette play based on the story of love at first sight; and featuring the 11th century Duke who disregarded class boundaries in his marriage but forgot to mention some minor relationship details to his beloved. The show will run in November 2018 at the Jan Hus Playhouse. Visit czechmarionettes.org for more information.

* Czech and Slovak puppetry has been declared an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2017.

In cooperation with the Consulate General of the Slovak Republic.

Free and open to the public.
Suggested donation $5.00
Light Refreshments


Our events are made possible by the support of the Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association (BBLA).

The Six-Minute Challenge VIII

March 21, 2018 at 7pm
Bohemian National Hall, New York City
Czech and Slovak artists, professionals, students and scholars at universities and institutions in the USA are challenged to present the subject of their project, their studies or research in a short presentation limited to six minutes. In English.

Moderated by Christopher Harwood, PhD, Columbia University
Presenters were: Veronika Cibulková, Aneta Chaloupková, Karel Hermánek, Renáta Kamenárová, Nora Kurzová, Pavel Kraus, Viktor Kryštufek, Dušan Prištic and Matej Vakula.

Organized in cooperation with the Slovak Consulate General in New York with the support of the Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association (BBLA).


Video available upon request.

Your tax-deductible contributions are welcome and appreciated.

The Art of the Traditional Easter Egg

Monday, March 26 at 6pm, 3rd floor
Bohemian National Hall, 3rd Fl.

Malereckz 2

What a delightful fun evening! Two folk artists Marie Švírgová and Dagmar Benešová “malére?ky” from Podluží region in Moravia, Czech Republic, stopped in NYC before their return to the Czech Republic after giving a workshop at the Czech Embassy in Washington, DC. Thank you for spending your free time with us and sharing your traditions and craft. Marie Švírgová (80), from Lanžhot, has charmed us all with her art and youthful wit. Dagmar Hermi Benešová is a founder of Výtvarná folklorní akademie (Folk art Academy) preserving the decorative folk art of the region by teaching it to new generations. Kudos to Sarka Vamberova for making this event possible! Nice working with you! With the support of the SVU-NY and BBLA team.

PHOTOS by Anna Rathkopf


Your tax-deductible contributions are welcome and appreciated.

Deception, Myth, and Reality in Czech History (1918-1948): A Perspective from the Archives

A talk by Igor Lukes, PhD, Boston University
Tuesday, APRIL 3 at 7pm

Bohemian National Hall, 3rd Fl.
321 E 73 St, NYC

Igor Lukes
Igor Lukes is a Professor of History and International Relations at Boston University. He writes primarily about Central Europe. His books include “On the Edge of the Cold War: American Diplomats and Spies in Postwar Prague” (New York: Oxford, 2012), “Rudolf Slánský: His Trials and Trial” (Washington: Woodrow Wilson Center, the working papers series, 2006), “Czechoslovakia Between Stalin and Hitler: The Diplomacy of Edvard Beneš in the 1930?s” (New York: Oxford, 1996). Lukes is also a co-author and co-editor of “The Munich Conference, 1938: Prelude to World War II” (London: Frank Cass, 1999), “Inside the Apparat: Perspectives on the Soviet Union” (1990), and “Gorbachev’s USSR: A System in Crisis” (1990).

Lukes is the recipient of the Central Intelligence Agency 2012 Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Literature on Intelligence. He was the 2012 W. Glenn Campbell and Rita Ricardo-Campbell National Fellow and the Bitton National Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. His work has won the support of various other institutions, including Fulbright, Fulbright-Hays, the Woodrow Wilson Center, IREX, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Your tax-deductible contributions are welcome and appreciated.

Czech and Slovak Studies Workshop Keynote Address

Friday, April 20 at 5:30pm
Bohemian National Hall
321 E 73 St, 3rd Fl
New York City

beckerman noty
Prof. Michael Beckerman, New York University, will deliver the keynote address “My Little Czech Fakebook” for the 2018 Czech and Slovak Studies Workshop.

Since the year 2000, the Czech (and Slovak) Studies Workshop has brought together scholars from the United States and abroad to explore Czech- and Slovak-themed topics from such diverse fields as anthropology, architecture and art history, economics, education, film, geography, history, Jewish studies, literature, music, philosophy, politics, religion, sociology, and theater.
In cooperation with the Harriman Institute and East Central European Center at Columbia University. www.czechslovakhistory.org/

Contact: Christopher Harwood, cwh4 at columbia.edu
Slavic Department – Columbia University
708 Hamilton Hall – MC 2839
1130 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10026

POSEZENÍ: Remembering New York’s “Little Bohemia”

Tuesday, February 20 at 7pm

A video will be available later.

An informal POSEZENÍ, a chat around a table with wine or beer and memories of the old timers who live(d) in the neighborhood of the Bohemian National Hall (BNH) on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Some of the speakers are also active in the Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association (BBLA), which built the hall in 1897.

Our POSEZENÍ was moderated by Vít Horejš, with a brief introduction to the history of the community by Dr. Vlado Šimko. Speakers were Norma Zabka, Irene Mergl, Edward Kasinec, Pavel Paces and Jiri Suchanek.

This event was part of a series commemorating the 100th-year anniversary of the creation of Czechoslovakia in 1918 and the contribution BBLA and New York Czechs and Slovaks made.
In English with Czech songs.

RSVP: newyork@svu2000.org

In cooperation with the Consulates General of the Czech Republic and the Consulates General of the Slovak Republic in New York