Česká centra, Czech Centres

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Nov 17, 2017

The Velvet Reunion

A night of celebration for the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution on November 17, 1989.





6PM - 6:45PMProfessors from universities in New York City, Professor Claire Nolte of Manhattan College, Professor Rosemary Wakeman of Fordham, Professor Thomas Ort of Queens College, Professor Mauricio Borrero of St. Johns, and Professor Katherine Pennce of Baruch, discuss the importance and significance of the Velvet Revolution in the grand scheme of communism's fall in the Eastern Bloc and Soviet Union. 


7PM - 8PM: The film The Gentle Revolution uses archival footage to uncover the emotion and struggles of the transition to a democratic society in Prague. 



7PM - 11PM: "The Velvet Revolution in Photographs" by Pavel Stecha. A series of photos by Stecha depicting the personality of Václav Havel and euphoric Czechoslovaks celebrating a sense of justic during the Velvet Revolution. 


8PM -  9:15: Drew Valins is a NYC and international performer in various forms. He is an active member of the downtown NYC Shakespeare in the Parking Lot Company performing in numerous productions. He is also proud member of DC’s Alliance for New Music Theater, where he plays Vaclav Havel’s alter-ego “Vanek” in various productions. His ongoing solo project, “Franz Fragments,” in which he theatrically probes the many works of Franz Kafka, has appeared on numerous stages and alternative spaces far and wide.

Stand-Up Comedy

9:30 - 10PM: The 7th installment of the CCNY flagship project, Prague-NYC Effects. Mirenka Cechova, Robert Janc, and Quentin Heggs meet to explore the differences between Czech and American life through  three styles of stand up comedy from ironic storytelling, clown humor, and improvisational stand up.

Live Music: 

10PM - 11PM: Simone Reisman performs the music that inspired the Velvet Revolution with the hits of the Velvet Underground. 

The Velvet Revolution marked the end of Communnism in Czechoslovakia after student protestors packed the streets of Prague, forcing the Communist governement to seize power.

Pictured above and below is Václav Havel, leading dissident voice in the the Velvet Revolution, playwright, and first President of the Czech Republic.

The name Ferdinand Vanek was Havel's stage name in theater. A birthday annoucement for Vanek was posted in the popular Communist State newspaper, Rudé Právo. Havel was a known dissident in Czechoslovakia, so the paper's annoucement suggested that the Communist state supported a celebration of him, even while they outwardly condemned all of his work against the state. This publication helped to spread the face of Havel and continued to make him a popular symbol in the fight for civil liberties against the state.

Below is the orginal publication: 









Beer provided by:


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


Nov 17, 2017


Czech Centre

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