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Mutual Inspirations Festival 2017 - Gregor Mendel


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Prelude: Fashion Show

September 12, 2017, 6:00 PM

The Ambassador of the Czech Republic, H.E. Hynek Kmoníček, and his wife, Indira Gumarova, will host a fashion show Translations by Czech designer Iva Pfeiffer, as a special prelude to the Mutual Inspirations Festival 2017 – Gregor Mendel, on September 12, 2017, at 6 pm, at their private residence.           

The designer’s newest collection highlights the fusion of cultures — Indian block printing and the distinctive blueprint design of her Czech homeland region of Moravia, the same area where father of genetics Gregor Mendel lived and conducted his revolutionary research. Guests will enjoy the aesthetics of both the serene garden and luxurious designs, which are environmentally friendly and sustainable creations. The collection will make its public debut at Milan Fashion Week in September 2017.          

Festival Launch - POSTPONED to Sept. 21

Festival Launch - POSTPONED to Sept. 21

September 14, 2017, 6:00 PM

POSTPONED to SEPTEMBER 21

The Embassy of the Czech Republic will launch the festival with lectures by Director of the Mendel Museum Ondřej Dostal on Mendel and the Laws of Inheritance and Villanova University Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics Edward Guinan on Beyond Peas and Genetics - Gregor Mendel’s “Other” Sciences: Bees, Sunspots, Meteorology and Tornados on September 14, 2017, at 6 pm. The launch will include the opening of the exhibition Gregor Johann Mendel – Science, Beliefs, Politics. The internationally recognized founder of modern-genetics Gregor Mendel was born in a small village into a family of peasants, an upbringing that provided him with expertise in agriculture and thirst to understand natural science. His brilliance being recognized at an early age, Mendel was admitted into the powerful Augustinian, an opportunity allowing him to pursue higher education. Explore the multitude of pioneering scientific discoveries and accomplishments and political and civil contributions Mendel achieved as a teacher, monk, beekeeper, biologist, meteorologist, and ultimately Abbot, the ecclesiastical leader for sixteen years. In the end, was he a man of God or a man of science?

Special Lecture by Holocaust Survivor: Mendel under Communism

Special Lecture by Holocaust Survivor: Mendel under Communism

September 18, 2017, 6:00 PM

The Embassy of the Czech Republic in collaboration with the Czechoslovak Society for Arts and Sciences will host a special lecture by Holocaust survivor and renowned Czech-American geneticist Renata Laxova on Monday, September 18, 2017, at 6 pm. Laxova will share her childhood story of survival about her escape from Czechoslovakia in a kindertransport, organized by British humanitarian Nicholas Winton on the eve of World War II. She will also talk about her return to her homeland to study and pursue a career in genetics and the ruling Communist Party’s  pseudoscientific take, under the Soviet direction of Trofim Lysenko, on Mendel’s principles of inheritance.

Film & Beer: Rebels

Film & Beer: Rebels

September 19, 2017, 7:00 PM

Bistro Bohem will screen the love story Rebels (Rebelové), on Tuesday, September 19, 2017, at 7 pm. Called "jaw droppingly buoyant" by Variety critic Eddie Cockrell, the film follows three boys in pursuit of three beautiful girls on break from final exams. Tereza (Zuzana Norisová) catches the eye of Simon (Jan Révai), and the girls are swept off their feet, only to realize the boys are military deserters. Meanwhile, there is a looming tension foreshadowing the 1968 Soviet Invasion. The film features stellar 1960s music, including Josef Zima’s “Gina” and Karel Svoboda's and Ivo Fischer's “Shadow of the Cathedrals.” Savor a brew of beer while enjoying this Czech classic. (Dir. Filip Renč, 2001, 109 min., Czech with English subtitles)

Festival Launch, Lecture, Documentary: Mendel - Father of Genetics

Festival Launch, Lecture, Documentary: Mendel - Father of Genetics

September 21, 2017, 6:00 PM

Break out your best green for the launch of the Mutual Inspirations Festival 2017 – Gregor Mendel, celebrating the founder of modern day genetics. The evening will include a lecture by Villanova University Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics Edward Guinan on Beyond Peas and Genetics - Gregor Mendel’s “Other” Sciences: Bees, Sunspots, Meteorology and Tornadoes on September 21, 2017, at 6pm. The launch will also feature the opening of the exhibition Gregor Johann Mendel – Science, Beliefs, Politics, and the screening of the documentary Mendel – The Father of Genetics

Lecture & Concert Documentary: Mendel – The Legacy

Lecture & Concert Documentary: Mendel – The Legacy

September 27, 2017, 6:00 PM

Director of the Mendel Museum of the Masaryk University Ondřej Dostál will lecture on the work of the founder of modern genetics Gregor Mendel and Dr. Marnie E. Halpern of the Carnegie Institution for Science will speak on Mendel's Impact on America at the Embassy of the Czech Republic on September 27, 2017, at 6 pm. Their reflections will be followed by a concert documentary screening of Mendel: the Legacy, a recorded video-mapping multimedia extravaganza projected on the Augustinian Abbey, where Mendel conducted his research. The video features animation by Emmy and BAFTA winning animator Drew Berry accompanied by a live full-orchestral score by composer Duncan Hendy.

Symposium: Mendel's Peas and Today's Genes

Symposium: Mendel's Peas and Today's Genes

September 28, 2017, 10:00 AM

The Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University, in collaboration with the Embassy of the Czech Republic, presents the symposium Mendel’s Peas and Today’s Genes: Healthcare, Ethics, and Genetics, on September 28, 2017, at 10 am, in the Fisher Colloquium at Georgetown University, with opening remarks by Czech Ambassador Hynek Kmoníček. The keynote address on Gregor Mendel and his legacy will be delivered by Ondřej Dostál, Director of the Mendel Museum in the Czech Republic, followed by an expert panel discussing topics such as inherited breast cancer by Professor of Oncology and Senior Genetic Counselor at the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Beth N. Peshkin, reproductive ethics by legal expert Susan Crockin, genomic medicine by Oncology Professor Kevin FitzGerald, and eugenics by Kennedy Institute of Ethics Professor Emeritus LeRoy Walters. Explore the new era of genetics as well as the questions that have arisen as the result of scientific advancements.  
Lecture: Slavic Trees

Lecture: Slavic Trees

September 29, 2017, 12:00 PM

Radim Zenkl, Slavic tree enthusiast, will give a lecture on Slavic trees on September 29, from 12-1 pm, in the Conservatory Classroom at the U.S. Botanic Garden. In his lecture, Zenkl will discuss Slavic trees, their varieties, and how to recognize them. Of particular note will be the linden tree, which is the national tree of the Czech Republic. The program will feature samples of actual leaves from the featured trees. Delve into this beautiful botanic garden exploring the splendor of trees.
 

Garden Concert: Mandolin Music and More

Garden Concert: Mandolin Music and More

September 29, 2017, 6:30 PM

U.S. Mandolin Playing Champion Radim Zenkl will perform an evening of mandolin, mandola, ethnic flutes, didgeridoo, and vocal music in the Conservatory Garden Court of the U.S. Botanic Garden. During the performance, Zenkl will play original music crossing the tracks of folk, bluegrass, jazz, new age, flamenco, gypsy, Irish, and classical music, combined with Czech and eastern European traditional songs and instrumentals. Along the way, he will talk about the specific woods used in the construction of his instruments, as well as his original “Zenkl style” technique, in which a single mandolin sounds like two. 

Concert: Libor Smoldas

Concert: Libor Smoldas

October 03, 2017, 6:00 PM

Czech jazz guitarist Libor Smoldas will perform songs from his album "Blue, Smoldas Plays Ježek" at the Czech Embassy on October 3, at 6 pm. The evening will include such greats as Tmavomodrý svět (Dark Blue World) and Klobouk ve křoví (Hat in the Bushes). Smoldas dedicated the album to Jaroslav Ježek's legacy. He says, "Before I fell in love with the music of Charlie Parker, Chet Baker, Miles Davis and other greats of American jazz, I listened to jazz of premium quality and yet wholly Czech – music of a genius musician, Jaroslav Ježek – I loved it." Join us under the stars for this incredible night of jazz at the Czech Embassy.  

Photo courtesy of Antonio Porcar

Libor Smoldas Organ Trio

Libor Smoldas Organ Trio

October 04, 2017, 6:00 PM

The Libor Smoldas Organ Trio, comprised of European jazz guitar star Libor Smoldas, organist Gregory Hatza, and drummer Leland Nakamura, will perform a groovy mixture of jazz, blues, soul and funk, at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage on October 4, at 6 pm. All About Jazz calls Smoldas "one of the fastest-rising talents on the Prague jazz scene." The program will include his original compositions mixed with jazz classics. Savor a concert of unforgettable jazz at the Kennedy Center.  

Photo courtesy of Antonio Porcar 

Exhibition: Czech Scientists and Their Inventions

Exhibition: Czech Scientists and Their Inventions

October 10, 2017, 6:00 PM

The Embassy of the Czech Republic will open the exhibition Czech Scientists and Their Inventions accompanied by a comparative lecture on education and research systems between the US and the Czech Republic by Dr. Jakub Kostal, Assistant Professor of Chemistry at The George Washington University, on Tuesday, October 10, 2017, at 6 pm. This educational exhibition is composed of caricatures of leading Czech scientists and their most famous discoveries. A part of the Open Science projects of the Czech Academy of Sciences, its goal is to  shed a spotlight on the pioneering steps these brilliant researchers took and to recognize and present their achievements before new audiences, especially younger generations.

Lions of Czech Film: Schmitke

Lions of Czech Film: Schmitke

October 11, 2017, 8:00 PM

The Avalon Theatre will screen the dark mystery / comedy Schmitke on October 11, 2017, at 8 pm, followed by a Q&A with screenwriter Tomáš Končinský. In the film, Julis Schmitke is a wind turbine engineer of few words, employed by a German power company. His life proceeds as usual, until he is invited to Crimeleva, a small mysterious town in the Ore Mountains of the Czech Republic. He travels there to repair a seemingly unrecoverable turbine. However, something lurks behind the bushes—a mysterious growling from the forest. Soon he must deal with the seemingly benevolent village inhabitants as well as the mysterious creatures within the woods. The experiences just might change his life forever. (Dir. Stepan Altrichter, 2014, 97 min., Czech with English subtitles)

 
Presentation: South Moravian Region

Presentation: South Moravian Region

October 17, 2017, 6:00 PM

The Embassy of the Czech Republic will host a unique presentation on the South Moravian Region of the Czech Republic on October 17, at 6 pm. Gregor Mendel spent most of his life, studying and conducting his pea experiments on the Laws of Inheritance in the charming and fertile wine region of Southern Moravia. To this day, this area is dotted with romantic villages, majestic castles, and UNESCO Heritage sites; yet, it is also booming with progress and prominent universities and research institutes on the verge of the world’s next great scientific discovery.  Hear, see, and taste the region via a talk, photos, song and, of course, wine.

Girls in Kroj in Vlčnov
Photo courtesy of Lukáš Žentel

Concert: Sounds of Moravia

Concert: Sounds of Moravia

October 18, 2017, 6:00 PM

Czech pianist Tomáš Kačo will perform the program Sounds of Moravia, featuring folk songs such as Small Cherries (Čerešničky) and Beskyde, Beskyde, his original composition Hope, and the classic song Over the Rainbow by Harold Arlen at the Czech Embassy on October 18, at 6 pm. As a solo pianist, Kačo’s unique style is an interesting fusion of classical, jazz and gypsy music. His piano recitals are based on improvisation. The main idea of these improvisations is a “renaissance” of gypsy music, often improvising on traditional gypsy themes. Soak in the sounds of Moravia, performed by the gifted pianist Tomáš Kačo.

Great Experimenters in Film: On the Sunny Side

Great Experimenters in Film: On the Sunny Side

October 21, 2017, 1:30 PM

The National Gallery of Art features director Vladislav Vancura's experimental film On the Sunny Side (Na sluneční straně) on October 21, 2017, at 1:30 pm. The script, composed of leading Czech avant garde writers of the period, includes the Surrealist novelist Vítězslav Nezval and the linguist Roman Jakobson. The story follows two children thrown into boarding school and lacking the supervision of their parents. (Dir. Vladislav Vancura, 1931, 72 min., Czech with English subtitles)

Photo courtesy of the National Film Archive (NFA) in Prague

Great Experimenters in Film: Such Is Life

Great Experimenters in Film: Such Is Life

October 21, 2017, 2:45 PM

The National Gallery of Art will screen Such is Life (Takový je život), a portrait of working-class Prague, on October 21, 2017, at 2:45 pm.  The film follows the tragic story of a laundry woman overwhelmed by everyday life and her abusive alcoholic husband. This psychological drama utilizes the power of close-ups and montage to draw in viewers. (Dir. Carl Junghans, 1929, 63 min., silent with English intertitles)

Photo courtesy of the National Film Archive (NFA) in Prague

 

Great Experimenters in Film: Ecstasy

Great Experimenters in Film: Ecstasy

October 22, 2017, 4:00 PM

The National Gallery of Art presents director Gustav Machatý's Ecstacy (Exstase), one of the most widely viewed films of all time, on October 22, at 4:00 pm. The romantic racy film of its time stars Hedy Lamarr who abandons her marriage to find happiness in the arms of a handsome engineer (Aribert Mog). Highly controversial for its time, the film features scenes of Lamarr swimming and running across the countryside in the nude. Now, truly remembered as a work of art, the film resonates with visual metaphors and appealing compositions. (Director Gustav Machatý, 1932, 83 min., in Czech with English subtitles)

Photo courtesy of the National Film Archive in Prague
Concert: Dream of Strings

Concert: Dream of Strings

October 24, 2017, 7:00 PM

Embassy Series presents violinist Jaroslav Svěcený and pianist Václav Mácha, who will perform the concert Dream of Strings on October 24, at 7 pm, at the Czech Embassy. The concert includes: Janáček’s Sonata for violin and piano, Beethoven’s Sonata No. 8 in G major, Dvořák’s Sonatina in G major, Op. 100, Suk’s Violin Solo from the Czech Fairy Tale ‘Radúz a Mahulena,’ Smetana’s From My Homeland, among others. Svěcený will also play his original composition Strings for NY. Svěcený has traveled throughout the world, performing at top venues and recording over 40 albums, with works by international and Czech artists. Distinguished pianist Václav Mácha catapulted to the forefront of the music scene when he was only 15-years-old. Since then, he has garnered numerous awards and performed with orchestras in his homeland and beyond. Delight in an evening of masterpieces by legendary composers performed by this talented Czech duo.

Film & Beer: Green Gold

Film & Beer: Green Gold

October 24, 2017, 7:00 PM

Bistro Bohem will present the classic film known as Green Gold or Czech Hops Pickers (Starci na chmelu), the first Czech film musical, on Tuesday, October 24, 2017, at 7 pm. The film follows the love story of classmates while hop-picking over the summer. Their bond strengthens when they are expelled from school because of a jealous rival. Enjoy a refreshing draft of Pilsner Urquell and sing Czech hits to this humorous film. (Dir. Ladislav Rychman, 1964, 88 min., Czech with English subtitles)

Great Experimenters in Film: Tonka of the Gallows

Great Experimenters in Film: Tonka of the Gallows

October 28, 2017, 2:30 PM

The National Gallery of Art will screen the melodrama Tonka of the Gallows (Tonka Šibenice) on October 28, 2017, at 2:30 pm. In the film, a prostitute (played by famed actress Ita Rina) finds love in her small town, but returns to the brothel and agrees to accompany a condemned man on his last night. Her career in ruins, will love be strong enough to save her? The film uses elements of expressionism such as exceptional double-exposures to reveal the heroine's descent. (Dir. Karl Anton, 1930, 81 min., Czech with English subtitles)

Photo courtesy of the National Film Archive (NFA) in Prague

Great Experimenters in Film: Black Petr

Great Experimenters in Film: Black Petr

October 28, 2017, 4:30 PM

The National Gallery of Art will showcase director Miloš Forman's feature debut Black Petr (Černý Petr) on October 28, 2017, at 4:30 pm, opened by Director of the National Film Archive in Prague, Michal Bregant. Inspired by the vérité approach of Italian neorealism, Black Peter centers on a shy but sympathetic young store clerk who, assigned to apprehend shoplifters, lacks the nerve to confront anyone. Its warmth, ironic humor, and realism were a hit with viewers and, though criticized by the regime, the film was selected as the best picture of 1963 by Czech film critics. (Dir. Miloš Forman, 1963, 85 min., Czech with English subtitles)

Photo courtesy of the National Film Archive (NFA) in Prague

Great Experimenters in Film: From Saturday to Sunday

Great Experimenters in Film: From Saturday to Sunday

October 29, 2017, 4:30 PM

The National Gallery of Art will present director Gustav Machatý's early "talkie" From Saturday to Sunday (Ze soboty na neděli), introduced by National Film Archive Director Michal Bregant on October 29, 2017, at 4:30 pm. The screening is organized in cooperation with the Embassies of Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein.In the film, two secretaries go out on for an evening on the town. Shy Mary eludes the advances of a salacious man and stumbles into a bar where she encounters a man who just might capture her heart. This film was a masterpiece of the sound era and acclaimed jazz musician Jaroslav Ježek wrote the score for the film.  (Dir. Gustav Machatý, 1931, 85 min., Czech with English subtitles)


Photo courtesy of the National Film Archive in Prague
 

Concert: Lenka Lichtenberg

Concert: Lenka Lichtenberg

November 02, 2017, 6:00 PM

Czech-Canadian folk artist Lenka Lichtenberg will premiere songs from her newest recording album Masaryk at the Czech Embassy on November 2, 2017, at 6 pm. With a voice for the ages, this award-winning artist melds innovative expressions of traditional songs with her own contemporary compositions, combining folk, jazz and world into a unique celebration of her roots. She won the Traditional Singer of the Year at the 2012 Canadian Folk Music Awards. Marvel at the fusion of world music she brings to each performance.

Stem Cells at the Dawn of New Medicine: From Peas to Petri Dishes

Stem Cells at the Dawn of New Medicine: From Peas to Petri Dishes

November 08, 2017, 6:00 PM

The Embassy of the Czech Republic will bring the Mutual Inspirations Festival 2017 – Gregor Mendel to a close within its premises at 6 pm on November 8, 2017, with a fascinating lecture by Dr. Hynek Wichterle of Columbia University Medical Center on Stem Cells at the Dawn of New Medicine. He will discuss in detail how Gregor Mendel’s work put us on a trajectory to the revolutionary science of today, a science that endows us with the ability to program and re-program cell identities at will, and that allows us to study human brain diseases in a petri dish, without opening the skull.
 
Interestingly, Dr. Wicheterle is the grandson of renowned Czech chemist Otto Wichterle, best known for his invention of soft contact lenses. More information about his discoveries will be on display in the educational exhibition Czech Scientists and Their Inventions.

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