From Jewelry to Sound Recording

A talk by Filip Šír, National Museum in Prague

Friday, SEPTEMBER 30 at 7 pm
Bohemian National Hall, Cinema
321 E 73 Str, Manhattan

Etiketa cylinder

Free and open to the public
Suggested donation of $5.00

Wearing a face mask is recommended.


Filip Šír will present the story of Edward (Ed) Jedlicka, a Czech jeweler and watchmaker who emigrated to the United States in 1895 and settled in the Czech neighborhood on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Jedlicka was a man of many interests and talents. He created a silver branch of a linden tree, which in 1901 was presented by an association of sixty Czech societies to the famous Czech violinist and composer Jan Kubelik, when he performed for the first time at Bohemian National Hall in New York City.

lipova vetev
Jedlicka was passionate about emerging photography and sound recording technologies and was the first to use them to document the Czech community’s rich cultural life in New York City. He took photographs of Alphonse Mucha’s studio and the Bohemian National Hall, among others. In 1903, he registered his label Ed.Jedlicka and produced over five hundred two-minute brown wax cylinder recordings of Czech songs and stories.

In 2019, the University of Iowa received a donation of Jedlicka’s brown wax cylinders. Several cylinders pre-date the label registration or are the only copy of a particular title, making them exceedingly rare.

Now, come hear recordings made 120 years ago just two blocks from the Bohemian National Hall!

filip sir

Filip Šír is an expert sound archivist at the National Museum in Prague and the principal researcher for the New Phonograph: Listening to the History of Sound project, which studies early Czech sound recordings in the Czech Republic and the USA. He received his degree in Library Sciences from Charles University and is a member of the International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives (IASA). In 2016, he received the INFORUM 2016 Prize for the Virtual National Phonotheque project. In 2017, with Gabriel Gössel, he was awarded the ARSC Certificate of Merit for his contribution to the Recorded Sound in Czech Lands research project. He conducted research at libraries worldwide and lectured at Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library at Harvard University, New York University, and elsewhere. He also conducted a two-day workshop at Fonoteca Nacional de México. He will be joining us on his way from the international IASA conference in Mexico, where he presented a paper on Voskovec&Werich, Transatlantic Battlefront: Czech Comedians Fight Hitler in the Shortwave Trenches.


A screening of the animated autobiography Drawn from Memory (56min) by the Czech American award-winning animator Paul Fierlinger. With voices of Jan Triska, Václav Havel and Miloš Forman. The program also included a short video with an introduction by Paul Fierlinger and an overview of his work, More Vivid than this Morning’s News.

Thursday, JUNE 16 at 7 PM
Bohemian National Hall, 3rd floor
321 E 73 St, Manhattan


This event was part of the “Ticket to the New World” multimedia project of the Czech National Trust curated by Czech photographer Eva Heyd in 2018 in Prague. Eva Heyd presented her book Ticket to the New World / Lístek do Nového sveta presenting sixteen accomplished Czech émigrés, 1938-1939, who found refuge in the USA. The book is available online:

PAUL FIERLINGER, born in 1936 in Japan, is an award-winning Czech American animator. His father, Jan Fierlinger, was a Czechoslovak diplomat, and his uncle,,Zdenek Fierlinger, an infamous prominent communist apparatchik (1948 -1968). Paul spent the WWII years in Vermont, where his busy parents left him in foster care. Later, back in postwar Czechoslovakia, they “parked” him in a boarding school in Podebrady. Here, his schoolmates were Miloš Forman, Ivan Passer and Václav Havel. Paul later captured his dramatic young life with its twists and turns in his feature biopic animated film Drawn from Memory.

Fierlinger established himself in 1958 as Czechoslovakia’s first independent producer of animated films. In 1967, he escaped from Czechoslovakia and eventually arrived back in the USA. He introduced himself to the American public with a black and white emotional film Prague 68′ Summer of Tanks, with authentic footage from the August 1968 occupation of Prague shot by his Czechoslovak colleagues. His personal experiences as an immigrant, traveling through various countries, were reflected in a 1978, fifteen-minute-long praise to America titled Rainbowland. Fierlinger triumphed in 1980 with It’s So Nice to Have a Wolf Around the House, for which he received many awards, including an Academy Award nomination for the best animated short film.

Fierlinger became a steady provider of many TV commercials and sales films for US Healthcare (now Aetna), winning various international awards. Together with his wife Sandra, they developed a small series of interstitials for Nickelodeon called Amby & Dexter: The Way of Silent, a Sesame Street series called Alice Kadeezenberry, and a twenty-minute film of children’s songs for the Children’s Book of the Month Club called Playtime.

In 2001, Fierlinger created a half-hour PBS special called Still Life with Animated Dogs, a film about dogs and other things of a divine nature. He also made an animation series for Oxygen Network, Drawn from Life, two-minute films that feature real-life women’s voices and simple stories. The Fierlinger’s own production of My Dog Tulip, based on the book of the same title by British author J. R. Ackerley, featured the voice talents of Christopher Plummer, the late Lynn Redgrave, and Isabella Rossellini.

Since founding his animation studio in 1971 in Philadelphia, PA, Paul has authored over 700 projects. Many of his films received considerable recognition, such as Fellowship in the Arts (1997), two Grands Prix at the Ottawa International Animation Festival (2000 and 2004), Peabody Award (2001), First Prize at the 2002 Zagreb World Festival of Animated Films (2002), a nomination at Annecy International Animated Film Festival (2009) and other prestigious awards.

Paul Fierlinger about his life

Animated films by Paul and Sandra Fierlinger
For a private demo of Drawn from Memory, please contact:

This event was produced by the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences (SVU), New York Chapter, to accompany the “Ticket to the New World” exhibition at the Bohemian National Hall, NYC, curated by Czech photographer Eva Heyd for the Czech National Trust. In association with the Vaclav Havel Library Foundation/ Rehearsal for Truth Festival, and the Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association (BBLA).

A Woman to Remember: Marie Provazníková (1890-1991)

A tribute to a visionary innovator in international women’s gymnastics.

Sunday, APRIL 10, 2022, at 2 PM (EST) on ZOOM

PART 1:LIFE IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA (1890-1948)(63 min.)

PART 2: LIFE IN EXILE (1948-1991) will be available later. We are seeking funding for its processing and editing.

Join artist Anna VA Polesny (granddaughter) and playwright Petr Dudek, in conversation with historians, colleagues, family members, and friends, remembering and celebrating the life and work of MARIE PROVAZNÍKOVÁ.

A visionary innovator in international women’s gymnastics, progressive Czechoslovak Sokol* leader and powerful proponent of women’s rights, Provazníková received the French Legion of Honor for her work. When President of the Women’s Technical Committee of the International Gymnastics Federation, she led the Czechoslovak gymnastic team to a gold medal at the 1948 London Olympics and became one of the first political defectors at the games. A victim of the Cold War, Provazníková continued dedicating her life to democracy and the survival of Sokol ideals, tirelessly working in the United States until her death at the age of 100.

MP young Slet

*Sokol celebrates its 160th anniversary this year!

Sokol (falcon): a gymnastic society founded in Prague in 1862 with the goal of utilizing a system of gymnastics training that would 1) develop sound minds in sound bodies, 2) motivate the Czech people to revive a personal and national consciousness and 3) enhance the concepts of democracy, brotherhood, equality, liberty and civic responsibility.

Sokol was founded on the philosophy that physically fit, mentally alert and culturally developed people can make a nation strong. The word “sokol” translates to “falcon” and is symbolic of the Sokol ideals: Courage, Strength, Endurance, Fraternalism, Love of democratic principles, and Pride in the country

Anna Polesny Bartoli and Petr Dudek

SPEAKERS include historians Harry Blutstein, PhD, Cold War Olympics, Jean Dusek,Václav Sotola, The Struggles, and Development of the Women’s Sokol Movement as Illustrated by the Life of Marie Provaznikova (1996), Robert Tomanek, PhD, Czech Immigrants and the Sokol Movement (2021); Milan Kocourek, BBC reporter at the 1982 slet in Vienna, Jean Hruby, American Sokol president, Norma Zabka, Sokol NY president emeritus and U.S. Gymnastics Hall of Fame member, Katerina Pohlova and Martin Klement, Sokol archivists in Prague, Jitka Zobal Ratner, MD, Sokol summer camp participant and family members Zuzka Polesny Eggena, MD, granddaughter, and Alex Schay, great-grandson.


Organized by Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences (SVU), New York Chapter, in collaboration with Czech Sokol (Ceska obec sokolská) with the support of the Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association (BBLA) in New York.

The War in Ukraine: Putin’d Yearning for Empire

A talk by Igor Lukes, Boston University
On Saturday, APRIL 2 at 4 PM EST, On ZOOM

The presentation stresses the geopolitical centrality of Ukraine for the overall balance of power. It places the present war in a historical context that includes Swedish Vikings, Mongols, the Polish Commonwealth, Tsarist Russia, the Bolsheviks, the Third Reich, and the Soviet Union. The concluding argument is that, in the past, the West sought to contain and isolate crises. This is what led to the Munich Conference of 1938 and characterized western behavior throughout the Cold War. Putin expected the West to respond to his aggression with containment. Instead, he found himself baffled with the consequence of a new doctrine: defend forward.


This event was organized by the Czechoslovak Society od Arts and Sciences, New York Chapter



A talk by PAUL SAMAN, PhD
Moderated by Christopher Harwood, PhD

Special guests: Richard HASEK, grandson of Jaroslav Hasek, and Jomar HONSI president of the International Hašek Society in the Czech Republic,

Sunday, FEBRUARY 6 at 2 pm EST ONLINE


This talk aims to expose and debunk a persistent myth surrounding the sudden death of the irreverent Czech writer Jaroslav Hašek, whose influential satirical novel The Good Soldier Svejk has been translated into more than fifty languages. An analysis of the available documentation from the last weeks and days of his life demonstrates that, contrary to the prevailing belief, Hašek had been in stable health until the last few days of his life, and cannot plausibly have “drunk himself to death,” as the myth has it. Prof. Saman will present questions, arguments, and testimonies of Hašek’s contemporaries, which he has analyzed together with medical expert Dr. Frank Loskot.

SamanPAUL SAMAN was born in Istanbul in 1928 and grew up in Prague, Czechoslovakia. He holds a PhD in Turkish, Persian, and classical Arabic from Charles University. His academic work before emigrating in 1960 included teaching at the Oriental Institute in Prague, and publications on Central Asian folklore for academic journals, radio, and television. He worked for American intelligence for two years in Germany. After moving to the United States, he became professor in the Foreign Languages department of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he taught until the 1990s. Now retired, he lives in Asheville, North Carolina.
Organized by the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences with the support of the Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association (BBLA)

Please note: Last April 2021, we have organized ŠVEJKathon, an online nine-hour nonstop reading with 59 readers. Here is a link to the first hour recording. SVEJKathon Video #1 on our YouTube Channel. We recommend watching at least the introductory remarks by Václav Paris, PhD, an expert on Jaroslav Hašek.


A book talk by author Harry Blutstein
Sunday, February 27 at 4 pm EST ONLINE


Harry Blutstein will introduce the US edition (McFarland 2022) of his book and discuss the cold war climate of the post-war Olympics focusing on two Czechoslovak cases that made the international news. The 1948 London Olympics saw the first defection, as Czechoslovak gold medal-winning women’s gymnastics team leader, Marie Provazníková, refused to return home. In 1956, in defiance of her government, Czechoslovak discus thrower, Olga Fikotová, refused to renounce her love for US athlete Hal Connolly, creating an international incident. The book also exposes the activities of the KGB and secret police from Eastern European countries to spy on their own athletes and countermeasures taken by the West.
Link to the book Cold War Olympics:

Harry Blutstein, PhD, former Adjunct Professor in the School of Global Studies, Social Science and Planning at RMIT University, is a fellow at the University of Melbourne, Australia. Since 1972, he has been a freelance journalist and published feature articles in op-eds in major Australian newspapers on a wide variety of topics. He is also the author of Games of Discontent on the 1968 Olympic Games.



A talk by MICHAEL BECKERMAN, New York University, Music Department

In person!

Monday, NOVEMBER 29 at 7 PM
At Bohemian National Hall
321 E 73 St, 3rd floor, New York City


Musicologist and author MICHAEL BECKERMAN presented the remarkable Czech composer, phenomenal pianist and elemental musician Jaroslav Ježek (1906-1942) and his last years in New York where he lived in exile after fleeing the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1939. Professor Beckerman discussed Ježek’s final composition, the Piano Sonata, which he completed shortly before his death in 1942 in New York.

In the USA, Jaroslav Ježek performed for Czech Americans and expatriates with Jiri Voskovec and Jan Werich, his fellow exiles and protagonists of the popular Prague’s political antifascist revue troupe, the Liberated Theater. (Photo from the left: Ježek-Werich-Voskovec)

The brilliant pianist Siyumeng Wang, a native of Beijing and current student at The Juilliard School performed selections from Ježek’s Piano Sonata. Prague-born and Berlin-based jazz singer Martina Barta performed five of Ježek’s songs in Czech accompanied by Francesco Pollon from Treviso, Italy. Both accomplished artists are currently students at the Manhattan School of Music. (See below the English translation of the songs.)

MICHAEL BECKERMAN is Carroll and Milton Petrie Chair and Collegiate Professor of Music at New York University and a Vice-President of the Dvorak American Heritage Association (DAHA). He has written many studies and several books on Czech music topics, including New Worlds of Dvorak (W.W. Norton, 2003), Dvorak and His World (Princeton University Press, 1993), Janacek and His World (Princeton, 2004), Janacek as Theorist (Pendragon Press, 1994), and Martinu’s Mysterious Accident (Pendragon, 2007), as well as articles on subjects such as Mozart, Brahms, film scoring, music of the Roma (Gypsies), exiled composers, and music in the camps. Dr. Beckerman has been a frequent contributor to The New York Times and was a regular guest on Live from Lincoln Center and other radio and television programs in the United States, Europe, and Japan. He is a recipient of the Dvorak Medal and the Janacek Medal by the Czech Ministry of Culture, and is also a Laureate of the Czech Music Council; he has twice received the Deems Taylor Award. He served as a Distinguished Professor at Lancaster University (2011–2015) and was The Leonard Bernstein Scholar-in-Residence at the New York Philharmonic (2016-17). In 2014, Dr. Beckerman received an honorary doctorate from Palacký University in the Czech Republic. This year, he was awarded the Gratias Agit Award from the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Harrison Medal from the Society for Musicology in Ireland.

Born in Beijing, China, pianist Siyumeng Wang is a rising star in the international music scene. A winner of the Gina Bachauer Competition, Leonore Kraeuter Scholarship award, and Kovner Fellowship, Siyumeng studies with Veda Kaplinsky and Julian Martin at Juilliard. Currently working towards the Master in Music degree, Siyumeng earned the B.M. degree in 2021, won prizes at Oberlin International Piano Competition, Beijing All-Star Cup Piano Competition, Hope Cup Piano Competition, studied at Music Academy of the West, Manchester Music , Piano Texas, and Belvoir Terrace. Siyumeng performed at Alice Tully Hall, David H. Koch Theater Lincoln Center, and throughout China. She performs for audiences in health care facilities and community-based organizations as a member of the Gluck Community Service Fellowship Program.

Martina Barta is a multitalented singer and musician born in Prague, based in Berlin, performing in diverse music projects at national and international music festivals and venues worldwide. In 2016, she received her Bachelor of Music degree from the Jazz Institute at the Universität der Künste in Berlin, where she took vocal lessons from Prof. Judy Niemack and Prof. David Friedman. In 2017, Martina represented the Czech Republic at the Eurovision Song Contest in Kyiv. She is currently pursuing a Master of Music degree at Manhattan School of Music, where she takes classes in the Jazz Arts Masters Program with Prof. Theo Bleckmann. Full bio. Facebook

Francesco Pollon is a pianist, composer, and educator born in Treviso, Italy. Since the age of fifteen, he has been on stage as a musician, performing throughout Italy and in Croatia, Israel and Palestine, Qatar, Poland and Romania. He played with the jazz legend Chick Corea in Vicenza and with the resident band at the prestigious jazz club The Club at St. Regis in Doha, Qatar. Francesco is also an accomplished classical guitar player. Francesco received his M.A. in Jazz Piano Performance from the Conservatory of Venice in 2018 and the Best Instrumentalist Award at the 2019 Sibiu Jazz Competition. In 2020, he published his debut solo piano album Catch Me. Since September 2021, Francesco has pursued his studies at Manhattan School of Music in New York.

This event is organized by the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences (SVU), New York Chapter, in association with the Dvorak American Heritage Association (DAHA) and with the support the Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association (BBLA).

(c)2022 Translation by Suzanna HALSEY [Improvements are welcome-)]

1. DAVID AND GOLIATH [David a Golias]
People are nasty to each other,
It’s a dog-eat-dog world.
Just look at them! One must lament!
A giant is beating up a little guy,
thinking he’ll win.
Just let’s sit nicely in a chair and read the Bible.
The whole story is in there:
The Book of Samuel tells us
how a great misfortune befell the Jews,
how the lousy Philistines were not lazy to go to a war,
until they met David, that is.
Willy-nilly did David go off to war,
carrying little cakes for his brothers from afar.
As he marched, he practiced his throw.
And just in case, he put three rocks in his bag.
“Hey, hey, where, you think, you’re going? You midget!”
Goliath provoked him this way,
but David just politely saluted him.
But when the giant spat in his eye,
David turned and swung his slingshot around.
Well, you’ve started it, so now you’ll get it!
You were big, but I’ve got courage!
And so now, what’s left of Goliath?!

2. HAT IN THE BUSH [Klobouk ve krovi]
The wind is blowing across the desert
driving a hat across the sand.
It drove him into the thicket,
the old black hat.
Where’s the head,
which wore that hat?
Was it black or blond?
To whom did it belong?
Who disappeared in the desert?
Where did he go and to where?
What problem did he have?
so that he was alone in the desert?
Only sand-covered footprints.
The old hat in the bush.
No one will understand.
No one will find out.
Who disappeared in the desert?
Where did he go and to where?
What problem did he have?
so that he was alone in the desert?
Only sand-covered footprints
and the old hat in the bush.
No one will understand.
No one will find out.

I don’t believe in Nirvana,
Olympus, or Heaven.
When someone complains about the world,
I always curse.
I don’t care for Infinity
with all the stars.
A few beautiful years somewhere on Earth,
that’s enough for me.
When I tell you
that Heaven is on Earth
I’m right, believe me.
I will give life for life,
although I don’t like dying, and
I’m not alone, believe me.
For the one who wants to live,
there are so many marvels in the world!
And to make Heaven from them, it’s up to you.
Only you, believe me.
It depends when the time comes
when Heaven starts for us on Earth.
For the one who wants to live,
there are so many marvels in the world!
And to make Heaven from them, it’s up to you.
Only you, believe me.

It depends when the time comes
when Heaven starts for us on Earth.
It depends when the time comes
when Heaven starts for us on Earth,
when Heaven starts for us on Earth.

4. DARK BLUE WORLD [Tmavomodry svet]
It’s not enough that it is dark,
But I also do not see.
I know that the darkness is everywhere around,
but I do not see it.

I only see that I do not see anything.
If I admit that I see
I should be seeing more.

My head, torso, two arms, legs
I do not see them.
So, where did my so far perfect vision disappear?
Everything is covered with an impenetrable blue cloud,
Dark blue cloud.

I do not know where I shall go and how.
And the fact that a dark blue hat sits on my head,
that is an illusion.

I am not hungry, so what good is it that I have an appetite.
What good it is that even when I am not hungry,
my soul is sad.

Five weeks, seven hours, three months and six years
I have observed the melancholy world,
The dark blue world.

5. LIFE IS JUST A COINCIDENCE [Zivot je jen nahoda]
Life is just a coincidence.
Once you’re down, then you’re up.
Life flows like water
and death is like the sea.
Everyone makes it to the sea,
someone sooner and someone later.

Who loves in his life,
shall not lose hope.
Only when you see miracles in life,
which only love can do,
goldfish will fly up above the clouds.
Then you’ll understand
that life is like water,
which love turns into wine.
That love is a coincidence
and without it, there is no happiness,
and without it, there is no happiness.


Thursday, DECEMBER 16, 2021, at 7 PM EST
Bohemian National Hall, 321 E 73 St, New York City

A popular series since 2011.

Meet Czech and Slovak artists, professionals, students, and scholars who will be challenged to introduce the subject of their project, research, or studies in a short presentation limited to six minutes and in the language appropriate for a non-expert audience. In English.

Moderated by Christopher Harwood, Ph.D., Columbia University

Presenting Martina Barta (jazz singer), Michal Beneš (Covid video game), Martina Forman (author), Petra Gelbart (music therapy), Vlado Kolenic/strong> (musician/restaurateur) Leoš Malec ( financial analyst), Em Šolarová (nonbinary linguistics), Barbora Zeigler (photography), and Kamila Zmrzla (visual artist)


VIDEOS on SlidesLive

Organized by the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences (SVU/NY), New York chapter, in association with the Consulate General of the Slovak Republic, and with the support of the Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association (BBLA).



“Sculpture is alive and it has to be photographed as alive.” Josef Sudek

A talk by Hana Buddeus, PhD
Institute of Art History, Czech Academy of Science

Dr. Buddeus presented world-renowned Czech photographer Josef Sudek (1896–1976) and discussed his almost unknown photographs. The talk focused on Sudek’s photographs of his beloved sculptures and will link his photographic series with his commissioned works.


The goal of the five-year Project Sudek was to process an extensive collection of photographs of artworks (approximately 20,000 negatives and positives) that Božena Sudková, Josef Sudek’s sister, donated to the Institute of Art History after Sudek’s death. The collection has an undoubtable value as it contains photographs of works by artists who are nowadays often forgotten. Sudek’s favorite sculptural motifs also included Czech Gothic Madonnas and saints whom he called “lovelies”, He photographed them at Prague exhibitions in the 1930s and then returned to them in the 1960s.
Sudek’s most important photographic series include Saint Vitus, The Window of My Studio, The Magic Garden, Labyrinths and others. His favorite motifs were Prague’s urban landscape and heritage monuments, gardens, landscapes and still lifes.
The majority of the photographs from the Sudek’s collection held at the Institute of Art History of the Czech Academy of Sciences is available in an online archive: SUDEK PROJECT

HANA BUDDEUS, PhD, is an art historian working as a research fellow at the Institute of Art History of the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague. Her research addresses the history of art in relation to photography. She is one of the founding members of the Photography Research Centre (CVF) at the Institute of Art History. Since last year, she co-curates the program of the Fotograf Gallery in Prague, she co-curated the Prague Fotograf Festival and is a member of the editorial board of the Fotograf magazine. Since 2013 she has been employed as the Director of AMU Gallery in Prague. Recently, Ms Buddeus edited a new book Sudek and Sculpture, based on the catalogue for the Lovelies from the Files. Sudek and Sculpture exhibition. It contains more than 600 pages and over 400 reproductions with texts by seven authors and attractive graphic design by Martin Groch and the Tim+Tim studio. Available through Chicago University Press:


Thursday, September 30th, at 7 pm
At Bohemian National Hall
321 E 73 St
New York City


Reading by the author Arch. MARTIN HOLUB
Q&A will follow the presentation.

Moderated by Christopher Harwood

What do Prague, London, New York, and Tehran have in common? Martin Holub has lived, designed buildings, and enriched lives in all these places.
In his two books, Martin’s Scribbles I and Martin’s Scribbles II, he presents an entertaining account of his experiences as an architect and expat. He also provides a very personal and intimate witness of the world’s recent history. Sometimes humorous, sometimes shocking, he shares memorable anecdotes and reflections that inform and amuse.

(The books are available at



A book talk by Jiri Boudnik

Saturday, September 11 at 3 pm EDT


In remembrance of the fateful day 20 years ago, Czech-American architect Jiri Boudnik will share his first-hand experiences with Ground Zero.

On the morning of September 11, 2001, Boudnik wanted to warn rescue teams of a potential collapse of the WTC Towers. Crossing the Brooklyn Bridge on foot, he reached the WTC site too late. In the early hours of the next day, he helped recover bodies and began surveying surrounding buildings for collateral damage. Within days, Boudnik started developing a series of 3D physical models of the “aftermath” WTC site as a communication tool for all the rescue and recovery teams involved.
As a form of PTSD therapy, he wrote a book TOWERS – 9/11 STORY. The book was recently published as an audiobook, narrated by Daniel Hauck and including the voice of the FDNY fireman Tiernach Cassidy who saved thirteen survivors out of the Towers’ debris.

Jiri Boudnik, born in Pilsen, escaped from Communist Czechoslovakia in 1987 with his mother and sister. Jiri just turned 17, his sister was 10. They arrived in the USA in 1989. Jiri was educated first as an artist at the Munson Williams Proctor School of Art in Utica, NY, and later transferred to The Cooper Union in Manhattan, where he received his degree in architecture. He later worked as a structural engineer and an architect on many New York high-rise buildings, including NYU Palladium and the Federal Courthouse in Brooklyn. Since then, Boudnik has worked as an architect, specializing in high-rise residential buildings in Manhattan. He’s recently relocated to Pilsen, Czech Republic, working as an architect and a designer for his Czech and American clients, keeping close ties to New York, his second home.



Sunday, MAY 30, 2021, at 5 PM EDT


Come learn about the wonder of European landscape architecture in South Moravia, Czech Republic!
Two expert landscape architects Zdenek Novák (Prague) and Stefan Yarabek (New York) will present the park and gardens of the Lednice-Valtice Estates, UNESCO World Heritage Cultural Landscape Site, Europe’s largest man-made landscape (5x Manhattan), and The Lu &Tiree Herb Garden in Valtice, unique, organic garden with 300 herb species. You will also learn about the 18th Century orphans in Valtice, Franz and Ferdinand Bauer, who later became world-renown botanic artists.


Zdenek NOVÁK, the primary author of the Lednice-Valtice UNESCO World Heritage Cultural Landscape Site report designation, will take you on a tour of this remarkable place. Some 600 years in the making, it is the largest man-made landscape in Europe, connecting two Liechtenstein châteaux eight kilometers apart. He will present the history of the landscape, activities of the Princes of Liechtenstein in agriculture, landscaping, architecture and art during the Renaissance, Baroque, and Enlightenment periods. He will also discuss the legacy of the 18th century Abbot Norbert Boccius in Valtice and of two talented orphans left in his care, Franz and Ferdinand Bauer, who later became world-renowned botanic artists.

Stefan YARABEK will then present the unique Lu & Tiree Chmelar Herb Garden in Valtice and pay homage to the late Lubomir and Tiree Chmelar, New Yorkers and co-founders of the Prague-Vienna Greenways program in the 1990s. Both were dedicated advocates of environmental and cultural preservation in Czechoslovakia after the fall of communism. They also initiated the World Monuments Fund restoration of the historic kitchen garden at the Valtice Château, the unique Lednice Conservatory and Adaptive Reuse Design Studies of both Lednice and Valtice Châteaux.



Zdenek Novák is the world-leading expert on the Liechtenstein Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape, and historic gardens and cultural landscapes. Currently servings as director of the National Agriculture Museum in Prague, he was previously director of the Monument Preservation Institute (NPU) in South Moravia, former deputy minister and general director at the Czech Ministry of Culture. Active in the Czech Heritage Fund, he is the author of the successful nomination of Lednice-Valtice to the UNESCO World Heritage List. He facilitated eight other successful nominations, including Kromeriž Château and Gardens and Tugendhat Villa in Brno.

Stefan Yarabek is a landscape architect based in Saugerties, NY, and the Friends of Czech Greenways president. Of Czech and Slovak descent, Stefan helped design and develop the Prague-Vienna Greenways project in Czechoslovakia since its conception in 1990. He contributed to creating a St. John Nepomucene trail in Tel? (UNESCO site) as well, and worked on the initial restoration plan for the town square in Valtice. His collaborative work with Zdenek Novák and landscape documentation at the 1993 and 1994 Charrettes on Conservation and Economic Enhancement of Lednice Valtice, sponsored by the World Monuments Fund, contributed to the UNESCO designation as a World Heritage Cultural Landscape. Stefan is an active member of several major Hudson River Valley heritage and preservation initiatives, such as the Hudson River Valley Greenway and the Hudson River National Heritage Area. Furthermore he designed landscape restoration of an early 17th-century Bohemian settlement in the Hudson River Valley.

Free and open to the public.
Suggested donation $5.00

The event will be live streamed on Zoom.

RSVP through Eventbrite to receive the Zoom link.

This event is organized by the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences, New York Chapter, and Friends of Czech Greenways in New York, with the support of the Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association.


ŠVEJKathon 2021

Thursday, APRIL 29, 2021
2:00 PM until 11 PM EDT

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the publication of the first part of Jaroslav Hašek’s classic The Good Soldier Švejk(Osudy dobrého vojáka Švejka za svetové války) in 1921, the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences (SVU) in New York invites you to its nonstop online reading in English.

Did you know that The Good Soldier Švejk is the most translated Czech novel? Joseph Heller said that if he had not read it, he would never have written Catch-22.

Fifty nine readers across the globe took turn reading. They included actors, translators, scholars, students, and other friends of Czech culture. Václav PARIS, Professor of Comparative Literature at City College, provided a brief introduction. Christopher HARWOOD, Lecturer in Czech at Columbia University, moderated the event.

Reading locations included New York, Prague, London, Genoa, Istanbul, Uppsala, Oman’s Salalah, Los Angeles, Chicago, and others.

The event was organized by the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences (SVU NY) with the support of the Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association (BBLA) in New York.
Media partner is Czech Center NY. Producer Suzanna HALSEY. Technical support Vera DVORAK and Kim HALSEY.

Please note that the times are only estimates and varies due to various reading speeds, and other unforeseen circumstances. The times are in EDT!

INTRODUCTION by Václav Paris, PhD, The City College of New York
MODERATED by Christopher Harwood, PhD, Columbia University
Preface: Chris Harwood
Chapter 1: Gerald Turner, Charles Sabatos, Ihsan Haluk Talay, Ali Karakaya
Chapter 2: July Hansen, David Manasian

Coming up videos


3:08 PM Bristol, UK Julia Sutton-Mattocks Lecturer in Czech and Russian literature and culture at the University of Bristol
3:14 PM Salalah Oman Karen Adams South African English Lecturer

3:22 PM Kuwait City Martin Dvorak Czech Ambassador to Kuwait and Qatar, former Czech Consul General in New York

3:45 PM Newcastle upon Tyne, UK Jane Arnfield Associate Professor of Theatre & Performance at Northumbria University
3:50 PM New York City Elizabeth Andrews Actographer

4:02 PM London Julia Sherwood Translator and Miriam Sherwood Theatre-maker and fundraiser
4:18 PM New York City Maxwell Zener Actor and audiobook narrator


4:27 PM Prague Zdenek Maryska Actor
4:39 PM New York City Debra Lass Actress

4:46 PM Prague Karel Hermanek, Jr. Actor
4:55 PM Cold Spring, NY Vit Horejs “Actor and puppeteer Czechoslovak American Marionette Theater”
5:10 PM Prague Ronald Prokes Actor and musician
5:20 PM Sydney Richard Fidler Author and broadcaster


5:33 PM Boston Veronika Tuckerova Preceptor in Slavic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University
5:42 PM Bloomington, IN Craig Cravens Senior Lecturer at Indiana University and Rebecca Cravens Russian language instructor at Indiana University
6:01 PM Rochester, NY Dustin Stalnaker Historian
6:07 PM Chicago Krista Pospisil Friend of the T. G. Masaryk School in Cicero, IL
6:13 PM Philadelphia Abigail Weil Lecturer in Czech at the University of Pennsylvania


6:24 PM Saugerties, NY Stefan Yarabek Landscape Architect and President of Friends of Czech Greenways
6:35 PM New York City Eric Oleson Actor
6:44 PM New York City Megan Metrikin Actor and writer
6:52 PM Denver, CO Jay DeYonker Actor
7:00 PM New York City Michelle Beshaw Theatre artist and performer
7:11 PM New York City J.B. Alexander Actor and playwright


7:18 PM New York City Roshi Gregory Abels Retired actor and director and Zen Master
7:25 PM Chicago William Nickell Associate Professor and Chair of the Slavic Department at the University of Chicago
7:32 PM New York City Richard Toth Actor and Writer

7:42 PM Heathcote ON, Canada Paul Wilson Translator and Patricia Grant

7:57 PM Northhampton, MA Anna VA Polesny Artist
8:06 PM New York City James Monroe Števko Dancer and actor
8:13 PM Saint Louis, MO Lynn Be Actor
8:21 PM New York City Mick O’Brien Actor


8:34 PM New York City Jaci de Villiers Director, Playwright and Actor and Gys de Villiers Actor, Playwright and Director
8:46 PM New York City Tom Dula Accountant
8:55 PM Austin, TX Christian Hilchey Lecturer in Czech at the University of Texas at Austin
9:03 PM New York City Lisa Arrindell Actor and acting instructor
9:12 PM New York City T. D. White Actor and Filmmaker
9:19 PM New York City Edward Einhorn Artistic Director, Untitled Theater Company No. 61
9:29 PM New York City Katarina Vizina Actor and singer
9:37 PM Chicago Irena Cajková “Instructional Professor in Czech at the University of Chicago, Pierce Pramuka and Meg Doucette Students of Czech at the University of Chicago


9:53 PM San Diego Markéta Hancová Music professor, translator and blogger
10:02 PM Los Angeles Eric Volkman Writer
10:09 PM New York City Véronique Firkušný Translator and Czech diction coach

10:15 PM Los Angeles Jaroslav Olša, Jr. Czech Consul General
10:24 PM New York City Ben Watts Actor
10:35 PM New York City Alex Zucker Translator

10:47 PM New York City Chris Harwood Lecturer in Czech at Columbia University



Wednesday, April 7 at 7 pm (EST)

Antonin Raymond, a Czech-American architect who helped rebuild Japan after WWII
A Book Talk by Helena Capkova, PhD


Dr. Capkova presented her new book about Antonin Raymond (1888 – 1976), a Czech-American architect who helped rebuild Japan after WWII, as seen through the lens of his friends and collaborators, his way of working, and reasons for his success in post-war Japan.

ANTONIN RAYMOND (Reimann) was born in Kladno, Czechoslovakia, as one of the Jewish merchant’s six children. He came to the USA in 1910. He lived and worked in New York City, Tokyo, Japan, and New Hope, PA, from the 1910s through the mid-1970s. During the First World War, Raymond worked as an intelligence officer with the Masaryk Group. In the 1920s, he served as the Honorary Consul of Czechoslovakia in Japan. In 1928, he was awarded the White Lion IV Order for his excellent help to compatriots. As a young architect, he worked on some of the most extraordinary buildings of the first quarter of that century, including Cass Gilbert’s Woolworth Building in New York City and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. Antonin and his wife and creative partner Noémi Pernessin introduced modern architecture and design to Japan and India, creating over 300 built works over their 50-year practice. By 1938, with war looming both in Europe and in Asia, the Raymonds returned to the United States, first in New York, and then to a farm in New Hope, Pennsylvania. The farm and studio became a working/teaching atelier, where apprentices would work in the studio and on the farm. You can visit the Raymond Farm Center in New Hope, PA

In 1945, Raymond opened a studio in New York City with his compatriot architect Ladislav Leland Rado (1909–1993). The Raymonds returned to Japan in 1948 where Antonin was a member of General MacArthur’s staff during the post-war reconstruction of Japan. In 1956 he was awarded an honorary medal by the American Institute of Architects, and in 1964 he received the Order of the Rising Sun from the Japanese government. An architectural firm bearing his name still operates in Japan.

HELENA CAPKOVÁ, PhD, is a Czech Tokyo/Kyoto-based curator, researcher, and art history professor at Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto. She studied transnational visual culture and Japanese studies in Prague and London. As a PhD candidate, she collaborated on international and interdisciplinary research projects such as Forgotten Japonisme (2007-2010) and later Enchanted Modernities: Theosophy, Modernism, and the Arts, c.1875-1960 (2013-2015). Since 2010, she has published and lectured extensively about the specific nature of Japanese modernism and avant-garde that she considers as an inherent part of art history, traditionally perceived as Western. Her publications on this topic include “Believe in socialism … “: Architect Bedrich Feuerstein and His Perspective on Modern Japan and Architecture (2016) and “Careless Shell”– Transnational exploration of Czechoslovak and Japanese Surrealisme (2015). In 2017, she designed a series about architect Antonin Raymond at the Tokyo Czech Center. The successful series lead to the book Antonín Raymond in Japan (1948–1976), which she edited with architect K. Kitazawa, and published in October 2019 in Japanese/ Czech edition. The English version will be published in fall 2021.
This event is organized by the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences (SVU), New York Chapter, with the support of the Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association (BBLA).


A popular online mini-series presenting three-minute videos of Czech and Slovak artists and professionals based in New York and their reflections on how the challenging Covid reality affected their work and projects. This third edition will feature three accomplished creative New Yorkers: Tom Kotik, Maria Haršániová and Anna Rathkopf.

Live Q&A will follow the screening of three 3-minute videos.

Moderated by Christopher Harwood and Suzanna Halsey

REGISTER HERE to receive the Zoom link.

Free and open to the public.
Suggested donation $5 or more. Tax-deductible.

This event is organized by Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences (SVU), New York Chapter, in collaboration with the Consulate General of the Slovak Republic, and with the support of Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association (BBLA).


TOM KOTIK, born in Prague to an artistic family, is a Brooklyn-based artist, curator and musician. He has exhibited at Lesley Heller Workspace (NYC), Fundacio Juan Miro (Barcelona), Kostka Gallery (Prague) and The House of Arts (Brno). Since 2013, Tom has been a Curator at Large for Arts Brookfield in New York organizing exhibitions of emerging artists in New York and Los Angeles. He received his MFA from Hunter College in 2004 and has been a resident artist at Meet Factory (Prague), Art OMI, Yaddo, LMCC Workspace Program and the AIM Program at the Bronx Museum of Art. He uses silence as the starting position of his artworks. Many of his works deal with both the physical aspects of silence and materials from which non-functional replicas of audio equipment generate, as well as socio-political implications of silence itself. Both a practicing sculptor and (rock!) musician, he prefers making silent works that allow the viewers to compose as they observe. Thus sound, silence and form can find true harmony.

MÁRIA HARŠÁNIOVÁ, a writer under the pseudonym Maya Reyes, comes from the small town of Modrá in Slovakia. She earned her Masters of Social Work at St. Elizabeth College in Bratislava. Maria is currently finishing a master’s degree at Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College to obtain her SW license in the USA. She enjoys psychology and is interning as a group facilitator and therapist. Before settling in New York in 2016, she lived in England, Spain, The Netherlands and Cuba. Maria’s novel Exit Havana was published in 2016 by the Motý? publishing house in Slovakia. The story is based on her experience as a breast cancer patient. Maria also enjoys photography and blogging.

ANNA RATHKOPF lived in Prague until 2005 when she met her American husband and moved to New York City. She received her MA in Jewish Studies from Charles University in Prague. Her love for reading and photography led her naturally to blogging. In her Czech blog Mama za vodou, she wittingly describes her expat life in her Brooklyn bilingual household. With her photographer husband, she formed a photography company. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 37, they decided to create a photo project called HER2 to raise awareness about the possibility of cancer in people under 40 and the importance of relationships and love during adversity. The photos documenting Anna’s journey to her recovery were published in several publications and are part of the Susan G. Komen rebranding campaign. In 2020, the Covid 19 pandemic became a new subject for the team and a new photography project. Community Heroes captures quiet heroes, mostly women, who volunteer to run food distribution centers in their neighborhood for people in need. Photos appeared in several articles and will be part of an exhibition. One of her photos was included in the ICPs exhibition ICP Concerned: Global Images for Global Crisis. Anna is also proud of her new role as a home teacher to her 1st grader, mastering songs about months or days and improving her math skills, as well.