Thanks, that we can – This is the message we want to spread on the 17th of November on Národní street, where things started to move thirty years ago. Thanks to the Velvet Revolution on 17th November 1989, we now live in a free and democratic society. Playfully but also with dignity, we pay tribute to the actors of the revolution and celebrate the achieved goals and opportunities that were given to us. We want to actively show and demonstrate how we really benefit from the gained freedom – in arts, civic life, public space. Come to celebrate and enjoy this day with us!
What do we do?
Korzo Národní is the biggest and longest continually organized celebration of the Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day in Prague. Since 2014, it takes place on Národní street, where a massive student demonstration started the Velvet Revolution on the 17th of November 1989, which subsequently led to the fall of the communist regime.
The festival program consists of various artistic performances on the street, such as music concerts, theater performances for children and adults, photography exhibitions, educational events, authors‘ readings, representation of NGOs and much more. All events run from 10 am to 10 pm and are followed by an afterparty in the music club Rock Café. This year will perform David Koller, Aneta Langerová, Tata Bojs, Prago Union, Dagmar Pecková, Michael Kocáb, Dagmar Havlová, Václav Marhoul and more. The highlight of the program will be the lighting installation and projection called Memory of the nation: 1989 (produced in cooperation with Post Bellum nad 3dsense).
Let’s walk along the route of the student manifestation which triggered the events of the Velvet Revolution exactly 30 years ago! On 17th November we will reconstruct the student parade from Albertov to Národní St. Everybody can join us. Along the way, you will experience the atmosphere and learn what and where happened on that fateful day.
Art for Freedom! Student Exhibition
Forty students from different schools and faculties entered the competition called 30 Years of Freedom in Art. The winning student work of Dana Vojtíška, Sofia Makanová, Lucie Michnová, Kateřina Kuchtová, Dana Kinská, Jakub Ra, Jana Kvíza, Martina Kyjovská, and Jana Hladíková is displayed on advertising spaces at one of the most frequented streets of Prague and Václav Havel Airport.
Lightened monuments all around Europe
Let’s create the biggest joint celebration of freedom in Europe together. By lighting up one of the symbolic buildings of your city with a tricolor or a flag of celebrating country, in the days of specific anniversaries. We had already celebrated the anniversary of freedom in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia in this way. Look at photo reports and join us for the next action (Hungary 23th October, Germany 9th November, Bulgaria 10th November, Czechia, and Slovakia 17th November and 16th December in Romania).
The Czech Center New York together with its partners have prepared a rich and varied program of events dedicated to the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution.
The overarching theme of the events is freedom. Concerts, theater performances, exhibitions, film screenings, discussions, and other programs will be held at the Bohemian Nation Hall in Manhattan from September to November 2019.
The main events include the performance of Audience, the one-act theater play by Václav Havel, starring Jakub Špalek and Jan Potměšil. The actors are also figures who have become part of the history of the Velvet Revolution itself, and they will discuss their experiences and insights after their performance, which is part of the Rehearsal for Truth Theater Festival.
No less expected is the concert of the band Garage, one of the symbols of the Czech independent music scene. Just like Audience, the Garage concert will be performed in two other American cities as well: Washington, D.C. and Chicago.
The Czech Center New York Gallery will also present two exhibitions. The exhibition Václav Havel, Citizen and Dramatist, prepared by the Arts and Theater Institute (Prague), will be on view from September through October. In November and December, it will be followed by an exhibition of the National Museum of the Czech Republic, specially prepared for the United States and other Czech Centers in the world, called Velvet Revolution 1989.
The program of the 30th-anniversary celebration will also include a special concert performed by the New York Mannes School of Music, which will introduce Czech composers and premiere a new composition by a US-based composer in honor of Václav Havel.
Visitors will also be able to learn about the history of the Velvet Revolution during the guided tours of the Bohemian National Hall (Open House New York) and other discussions and film screenings.
The highlight of the celebrations will be on Friday, November 8, 2019, when a diverse series of events is prepared at the Bohemian National Hall in New York, including discussions, tours of the Velvet Revolution 1989 exhibition, and a reception. The main part of the evening will be the concert of the legendary Czech band Spirituál Kvintet that will perform in New York as part of their 60th – and last – concert tour season.