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May 22, 2013 2:00 PM - 6:00 PM

F(O)UNDING CULTURE - Experience of Central Europe and the United States

Symposium organized by CZECH CENTER NEW YORK and the ASPEN INSTITUTE PRAGUE on the occasion of the Czech Center's presidency of the European Union National Institutes for Culture in New York (EUNIC).

This one-day symposium will address the issue of supporting art, both financially and organizationally, using good examples from the Central Europe and the United States. In two discussion panels, artists, civil servants, businessmen, art managers and philanthropists will discuss the meaning of art in public diplomacy and business now and in the future.
How can we learn from the experience of the USA and Central Europe and secure a sustainable development in the field of art and culture? Is there a space for mutual cooperation of institutions or shall we rely on supportive individuals only?

The event is organized in cooperation with the Consulate General of the Czech Republic, Austrian Cultural Forum, Polish Cultural Institute and the Vaclav Havel Library Foundation.


Supported by Staropramen.

                     Martin Dvorak,
Consul General of the Czech Republic in New York   

                     OPENING SPEECH
                     Benjamin Barber
, Senior Research Scholar at the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society at The Graduate Center, CUNY

 2:30 – 4:00 pm    ART AND DIPLOMACY

Much of US culture through the 20th century was inspired by European artists, intellectuals and scientists, many of whom escaped Europe either because of the promise of the New World or because of the World Wars and racial and political oppression and persecution. European talents contributed to the hegemonic position of the United States after WWII when Hollywood, abstract visual art, counterculture of the 1960s and Pop art became the US metaphors for freedom, well-being and democracy. The European integration process after 1989 modified this picture. Europe’s cultural and intellectual production is again strongly present in the US, although nowadays in competition with the influences coming from Asia and Latin America. Still, the US and Europe continue to be linked by strong political, economic, and, last but not least, long-lasting cultural ties.

The first panel will discuss the concept of advancing public diplomacy through the arts and its presence in Central European policy-making. Panelists will also debate national schemes for supporting the arts and ways of improving the current situation. Although art is a crucial tool of public diplomacy, it is not given much of a systematic attention in foreign policies in Central Europe.



Benjamin Barber, Senior Research Scholar at the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society at The Graduate Center, CUNY

Jan Bondy, Director, Public Diplomacy Department, Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Fritzie Brown, Executive Director, CEC ArtsLink

Krzysztof Czyzewski, Head, Cultural Program for Wroclaw Cultural Capital of Europe 2016

Wendy W. Luers, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors, Vaclav Havel Library Foundation

Andreas Stadler, Director, Austrian Cultural Forum New York

4:00 - 4:30 pm                 COFFEE BREAK 

 4:30 – 6:00 pm    CULTURAL BONDS

The American business and institutional environment is much more conducive to artistic activity since art is seen not only as a free time activity but as part of industry, as investment tool and an instrument of public diplomacy. This approach is only slowly being adopted in the Central European countries that often lack a strategic concept that would coordinate the support of art and creative industry by using the powers of the state as well as business leaders.

The panel will focus on the relation between art and business. Can we speak of the return of art patronage in Central Europe? Is and should art be perceived as an investment tool or is its support more sentiment-driven? How could business, artists, and civil servants better cooperate in the field of public diplomacy?



Petr Hajek, Director, Chemistry Gallery
Jakub Kokoszka, President of the Board, Art & Business
Kristian Nammack, Activist, Curator, Educator and Consultant
Augusto Razetto
, Director, Eleutheria Foundation

Chair: Maria Staszkiewicz, Aspen Institute Prague

6:00 - 7:00                       BEER & WINE RECEPTION


 Download program PDF


Benjamin R. Barber is a Senior Research Scholar at the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society of the Graduate Center at the City University of New York. He is also founder and president of the Interdependence Movement and professor emeritus of political science at Rutgers University. He is the author of the upcoming book If Mayors Ruled the World.

Jan Bondy serves as the first Director of the Public Diplomacy Department within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic. He has previously served as the Czech ambassador to Cyprus as well as head of Czech Centers. He has dedicated his work-life to cultural management and gives regular lectures about this field of expertise.

Fritzie Brown
serves as Executive Director of CEC ArtsLink prior to which she served as Senior Program Director. She also produced FlipFest! (2008) bringing in a range of performing artists to celebrate the 15th anniversary of ArtsLink Awards as well as 2004’s Flipside, a visual arts exhibition. She studied fine arts at San Francisco State University.

Krzysztof Czyzewski is a social activist, theater producer, essayist, publisher, and the founder and director of the Borderland Foundation in Sejny, Poland. Since 2003 Krzysztof Czyzewski has been an active member of the European Culture Parliament. He was appointed Artistic Director of Wroclaw - European Capital of Culture 2016 in May 2012.

Wendy W. Luers, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Vaclav Havel Library Foundation, is the founding president of the Foundation for a Civil Society, a democratization and non-profit organization, as well as co-founder and co-chair of The Project on Justice in Times of Transition.

Andreas Stadler is currently the Director of the Austrian Cultural Forum in New York. He previously served as the advisor for science, arts and culture to the President of the Republic of Austria. He is considered a leading Austrian diplomat, curator, writer, lecturer and political scientist.

Petr Hajek is currently the Director of the Chemistry Gallery, a young dynamic creative institution dedicated to the serious commercial and professional presentation of the works of contemporary young artists from the Czech Republic, and also from abroad. He graduated in law form the Charles University. Previously, he worked in CzechInvest as well as in The Office of the Government of the Czech Republic.

Jakub Kokoszka is the Chief Executive Officer of Auction House Abbey House SA. Kokoszka is also the youngest CEO of a company present on the Warsaw Stock Exchange’s alternative market NewConnect. He also serves as the Chairman of the Board for the Polish publication Art & Business.

Kristian Nammack is an activist, curator, educator and consultant.  He works with various Occupy working groups, has recently established the non-profit ACTIVATE ! NY, and consults to patrons, artists, and arts organizations via his business, Nordstierna. He is curating an upcoming show at the Abrons Art Center about art and activism this fall.

Augusto Razetto studied architecture in Venice after which he founded his own company, Architectural Consulting, Ltd. In 2008, Razetto established Fund Eleutheria. He now acts as president of Endowment Fund devoted to organizing exhibitions and publications that deal with the exhibited art.

Maria Staszkiewicz currently serves as Deputy Executive Director at the Aspen Institute Prague where she joined from the Association for International affairs having served as Director there. Staszkiewicz has also served as European civil servant in the Secretariat General of the Council of the EU in 2008-2010.

Mr. Wayne Jehlik 

3115 NE 65th Street 

Seattle, WA 98115 


Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street
NY 10021 New York
United States


May 22, 2013 2:00 PM - 6:00 PM


Czech Center is a coorganizer of the event

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