Mutual Inspirations Festival Launches
Cultural Attache Šárka Ponroy Vamberová spoke about the 10th anniversary of the Mutual Inspirations Festival and Marta Kubišová, who she called “a symbol of Czech history...a popular singer and star of the late 60s.” Kubišová was banned by the communist regime for 20 years, but helped lead the Velvet Revolution with her ballad “A Prayer for Marta.” Vamberová said during the festival she is trying to feature strong women artists.
Professor Renáta Fučíková opened the exhibit The Velvet Effect, created by her and Professor Ditta Jiřičková's students of Ateliér didaktické ilustrace Media and Didactic Illustration from the Ladislav Sutnar Faculty of Design and Art at the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, Czech Republic. The exhibit uses illustrations to capture the significant moments of the Velvet Revolution and their effect on society.
Reflecting on her own personal experience during the Velvet Revolution, Fučíková said, “We all made this sign,” she said holding up the peace sign. “It makes me cry...We were ringing the keys and these moments remain in our hearts.”
Following the opening, Czech mezzo-soprano Pavlina Horakova and pianist Camilla Mraz performed some of the most beloved songs in Marta Kubišová’s repertoire, including "Mamá," "Řekni, kde ty kytky jsou" (Where Have All the Flowers Gone), and "Ring o Ding." The audience even sang along to her cover of "Hey Jude."
The last song, “A Prayer for Marta” concluded the program and brought a standing ovation. Horáková mentioned that she was very honored to sing the renowned ballad which Marta Kubišová sang to unite the people during the Velvet Revolution. Horáková said, “‘The Prayer’ became the unofficial anthem of the Czech and Slovak people.”
Photo: Professor Renáta Fučíková, Professor Ditta Jiřičková, and Cultural Attache Šárka Ponroy Vamberová - photo credit: Mary Fetzko