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 (MIF 2010-Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, MIF 2011-Antonín Dvořák, MIF 2012-Miloš Forman, MIF 2013-Václav Havel).
It is a great pleasure and privilege for me to welcome you to the new year of the Czech Embassy´s Mutual Inspirations Festival. As in the previous years, we are again celebrating a prominent individual of Czech origin whose legacy bridges across the Atlantic, inspiring both Czechs and Americans. This time, we are paying homage to a personality who has been a source of our inspiration in many fields. However, his key legacy is mainly one of immense moral authority, courage and personal humility.
Dagmar Havlová is a patron of the festival and former wife of the late Václav Havel. She was by his side as the First Lady of the Czech Republic during the later period of his presidency. Together, they formed the Dagmar and Václav Havel Foundation VIZE 97. Sharing her passion for theater and the arts with Havel, she is also a well-known actress in the Czech Republic.
Photo courtesy of VIZE 97
Former Czech Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Karel Schwarzenberg has given his patronage to the festival. Following the fall of communism, he worked closely with Havel as one of his chancellors during his presidential tenure. Since then, their collaboration turned into a close personal friendship.
Photo courtesy of Robert Janás