The Mutual Inspirations Festival (MIF) is an annual initiative spearheaded by the Embassy of the Czech Republic, focusing on the mutual inspirations between Czech and American cultures and featuring each year an extraordinary Czech personality who has greatly influenced and inspired others through his or her work. Over the years, the festival has featured former president Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk (2010), classical music legend Antonín Dvořák (2011), film director Miloš Forman (2012), former president Václav Havel (2013), writer Franz Kakfa (2014), author Karel Čapek (2015), tennis legend Martina Navratilova (2016), father of modern-day genetics Gregor Mendel (2017) and Czech Independence (2018).
The festival began as a pilot project of the Embassy of the Czech Republic in 2010, and branched out to the local DC community a year later. It serves as a platform for bringing together communities centered in Washington, DC.
The festival takes place at cultural, religious, and educational community centers through a variety of forms, such as music, art, film, science, sport, and literature. Through the celebration of the work of many famous personalities and the creations of individuals they in turn influenced, the festival aims to depict this long tradition of transatlantic inspiration and interpretation as well as to foster new works.
Now in its tenth year, the Mutual Inspirations Festival 2019 celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, featuring Czech singer Marta Kubišová. Her song "A Prayer for Marta," became a symbol of national resistance against the occupation of Warsaw Pact troops in 1968 and later served as the ballad for the Velvet Revolution in 1989 that ultimately overthrew the communist regime. She was one of the most popular female singers in the 1960s, winning the Golden Nightingale Award (Zlatý slavík) three times and recording over 200 SP records. In 1970, the communist regime banned her from performing in the country. She was a signatory and spokesperson of the human rights manifesto Charter 77 and later helped lead the 1989 Velvet Revolution with her signature ballad.
Running from September – November 2019, the festival highlights events at select venues throughout the Washington area.
Stay posted at www.mutualinspirations.org for additional details coming soon!