Czech Center Museum Houston NEWS FROM THE CZECH CENTER MUSEUM HOUSTON - SEPT. 19, 2014
From the Heart of Europe to the Heart of Houston
The Czech Center Museum Houston

4920 San Jacinto Street, Houston, Texas 77004 - 713.528.2060
czech@czechcenter.org    www.czechcenter.org
Open Monday - Saturday 10:00am to 4:00pm
September 2014 Topics
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Saturday, November 15, 2014 – A festive celebration of the birth of a free and open Czech Republic, which is remembered on November 17th of each year marking the Velvet Revolution. September 1, 2014 marks the tenth anniversary of the opening of the Czech Center Museum Houston, and there are plans to honor this date with a gathering on November 15th, 2014 to toast (1) The culmination of the span of ten years of operation in our magnificent baroque building. (2) Highlight the completion of a beautiful mural underwritten by the Houston Arts Alliance and (3) Promulgate a series of events in and around November, all with intent of focusing on Endowment for Perpetuity contributions to the campaign around the theme of "Ten Years – Ten Million" for our future generations! Dinner and drinks will be served, and the entertainers of the night are the talented big band Jazz Medics. The night includes a ceremonial re-unveiling of our beloved Charles Bridge mural on the north side of our building, as well as live and silent auctions and dancing. Please watch for your invitation. Information or RSVP call: 713.528.2060 or email us: czech@czechcenter.org. Ready to book, click here...
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Hello and Greetings from Effie
The task to rebuild health to a body ravaged from a stroke is a continuous and really arduous process. It's not for "sissies" but I have managed to keep working and thinking about our Czech Center Museum Houston. I thank God that the stroke did not impair my thought process. As I am in a nursing facility for rehab I have witnessed the devastating effect on many here who have impairments of the brain. However, thoughts of what we have all accomplished and created (we should all be so proud) have comforted me during this rehabilitation process. I console myself thinking, "When you create something you never know who you will inspire and that you make friends along the way." We have found warm friends, lasting friendships and fellowship with them as we have all Members and Friends. We continue working with you and for you!
For your information and for many reasons, we will dispense with our annual Gala this year which usually took place in late August or early September. Normally, we celebrate an Oktober Fest and give notice to the happenings in the Czech Republic on November 17, 1989, but this year I have proposed we have a dinner celebration of the event above on November 15, 2014 in lieu of the annual gala (Watch for your invitation). For this, we will need your help to make sure this event is successful. We ask for your ideas, physical presence and input to make this happen. At the same time, we need to feature the completion of the Prague Charles Bridge Mural and to invite some of the persons from the Houston Arts Alliance and City Council to thank the City of Houston for funding this informative mural. In this way, we can help to inform them tangibly of our mission. Other events are planned throughout the year, all marking the fact that we are in our beautiful building for its tenth year anniversary.
   It is an exciting time for CCMH and the City of Houston as we will showcase our wonderful City, most diversified city in the world now, with 104 distinct heritages – 98 distinct languages – and 96 countries represented by various Consuls including our Mr. Ray Snokhous Hon. Czech Consul Gen. to the Czech Republic for the State of Texas who we thank for his many years of volunteer service representing the Czech Republic and at the same time honor all Honorary Consuls who represent their countries here in Texas who serve around the world.
   We plan to invite Consuls and Mayor's Office Representatives. Indeed, we have so much to showcase, including a most beautiful piece of public art, the lovely mural of historical Prague's Charles Bridge outside our building accomplished with help of City funds through the Houston Arts Alliance with whom we collaborate through this city's great Museum District of which we are proud to be the 20th member. Houston is the hottest city for business opportunities in oil and gas, the Texas Medical Center, nanotechnology at Rice University, all our colleges and universities, best restaurants, best many things, and for all its heat it does have the best air conditioning in the world! Don't forget the entertainment industry, ballet, opera, symphony, and theater. We should be more than proud!
   We, the CCMH, are a real asset as well. A cultural heritage and history museum through which we connect to our visitors, members and friends. We are told we are a role model – just ask the volunteers who tour all our international visitors from over the world – they are awed!
   Therefore, perpetuity for this Museum is a given – we have built for future generations – those who come after us. And of course we can't let down those of you who have given so much, especially financially, with commitment and caring to not become a Houston tear down, but rather a cultural asset to this city, this community. We Americans are all products of an earlier immigrant group – ancestors should be celebrated forever. It's what makes us good Americans, to remember our heritage. Our foundation line is as a tree – its roots are personal history, and culture is as a river – it must keep its source to survive. We are only a better fit in this global community of today. Education and involvement is what we do in the community – look at these forthcoming Celebration events.
   Please know and thank our Volunteer Docents who have so diligently and caringly, with great commitment, overseen general daily operations under James Ermis' supervision. And yes, they have had some exciting events occur, i.e. the great flood from a malfunctioning 2nd floor men's toilet commode valve and the necessary restoration of walls, painting, etc. As a result, we cannot be more grateful also to our friends at Marek Bros. Family Companies, who have worked closely with us in this regard! Our quest to fund an Endowment for Perpetuity is ongoing and vital at this stage of our organization's life and you all need to be a part of it in some manner.
   Thank you very much to all who have extended their best wishes for my continuing to recover all my body's health, for it is those thoughts and prayers that have given me the strength to continue my physical rehabilitation to return to work that has continuing need.
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Thanks to Friends of the Czech Center Museum Houston (See Table of Contributors here...) who have made a contribution to the CCMH Endowment Fund 2014 Appeal. We are grateful to these supporters who will help our museum remain one of Houston's treasured gems and who have recognized, in their generous and thoughtful gifts, this critical component of support to establish an Endowment to allow CCMH to continue its mission for future generations. The Endowment will relieve the constant striving for funds over, above and beyond basic admission and membership dues. This effort continues, so please consider Gifts to the Endowment Fund 2014 at this time. Our thanks for the contributions by Julie Kloess; Jerrie H. Collins; Henrietta & John Haessly; Virginia Hodge; Meril & Michael Markley; Cindy Miskell; Sylvester Suda; Catherine & Theodore Hajdik; and Robert Sveter, Jr. since our last newsletter. Your gift may be made on-line right here, or make a check payable to CCMH.
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Czechs Annually Celebrate November 17th, a Day to Remember the Fall of Communism. In 1989, 20,000 students marched in a peaceful demonstration down Wenceslas Square in Prague, only to be brutally suppressed by riot police, who beat students with clubs and sprayed them with tear gas. After the failure of the Prague Spring, many Czechoslovaks rightfully held doubts about the possibility of revolution, but as events starting in with Solidarity in Gdansk, Poland and continuing in the other Bloc countries seemed hopeful, the revolution in Czechoslovakia became inevitable.
   On this day, November 17, the Velvet Revolution began in Czechoslovakia. Almost every day afterwards until the end of December brought more protests with more and more people participating. By November 20 an estimated half-million of peaceful protesters took to the streets, up from the 200,000 of the day before. A general two-hour strike that involved all citizens of Czechoslovakia was held on November 27th (various video clips from these protests and from the Warsaw Pact invasion of 1968 can be seen at the Museum of Communism in Prague). After that, demonstrations were being held almost daily in Prague as well as in Bratislava. Within ten days, a group of dissidents known as the Civic Forum had ousted the Communist leaders and formed a new democratic government. One of the most important developments was the establishment of the Civic Forum by Vaclav Havel and other prominent members of Charter 77 and other dissident organizations, which would establish much of the post-revolution leadership, including Havel as president. The Forum was a mass popular movement for reforms that called for the dismissal of top officials responsible for the violent attack on the students, an independent investigation of the incident and the release of all political prisoners. Communism fell first in Poland in June 1989 and then in Hungary in October, and finally, the Berlin Wall fell on November 9, 1989.  “In Poland the transition [from communism to democracy] lasted ten years, in Hungary ten months, in Czechoslovakia ten days,” wrote journalist Timothy Garton Ash, who witnessed the revolutions throughout central and east Europe. The Velvet Revolution would not have been possible were it not for the monumental events unfolding in the other Communist Bloc countries. The Estonian Snging Revolution was well on its way in Estonia, not to mention the election of Solidarity members to Poland’s government. On August 23rd, 1989, two million people from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania joined hands along a 600km stretch of road between Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius. Also, on December 4th the border to Austria was opened, effectively ending the Iron Curtain division of East and West.
  On November 28th, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia sensed its defeat and agreed to give up their monopoly on political power. On December 10th, Communist President Gustav Husak appointed the first largely non-communist government in Czechoslovakia since 1948 and resigned. Alexander Dubcek was elected speaker of the federal parliament and Vaclav Havel became the first president of a free Czechoslovakia since 1948 on December 29, 1989. With Havel as president, the students ended their strike and the Velvet Revolution ended. Afterwards, the first democratic elections since 1946 were held in June 1990, and brought the first completely non-communist government to Czechoslovakia in over forty years.
   Every year, the Czechs celebrate November 17 as a national holiday, the Day of Struggle for Freedom and Democracy (Den boje za svobodu a demokraccii). Worldwide, it is known as International Student Day, but to the Czechs, it is the day their revolution began, led by students, intellectuals, poets and playwrights – the people who had been marginalized and blacklisted under communism. Their first president after communism was playwright Vaclav Havel, a former dissident who symbolized the transition from the cold, unfeeling technocrats of the Communist regime to an open, principled government with democratic values.
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You Have Never Heard a Cimbal Played Like This! CimbalRoman Veverka, singer and cimbalom player, composer of songs and arrangements. Music education developed at Brno Conservatory, majoring in trombone, and the Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University Brno, musicology. He took up the dulcimer and developed his own specific style of play and introduced new sonic possibilities and the combination of colors with sound effects taking this historic instrument to a new dimension. The dulcimer or cimbal is usually seen playing traditional folklore music. Effie Rosene first heard this in her physical therapy session at TIRR. Visit our CCMH antique 1839 handmade cymbal with beautiful sound in the President's room there.
   Today his and his group's focus is mainly playing live at musical concerts - www.medicimbal.cz. Watch the group playing Desert Sky.
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The Apollo Chamber Players and European FolkscapesRegister Now! Join the Festivities! Coming Soon, The Apollo Chamber Players and European Folkscapes. Appearing on November 19th as part of "10 Years – 10 Million!" Growing an Endowment Appeal for Perpetuity - a series of Cultural Events in Houston's Museum District beginning in November. Join us in celebrating Ten Years since Opening the Baroque Palace on September 1, 2004, a museum connecting People to Heritage, History and the World. Other events are being planned.
   Ed: The Apollo Chamber Players are a quartet of string musicians who studied at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music and recently made their Carnegie Hall debut. The Chamber is sponsored by CCMH member Beryl Hogshead in memory of her immigrant father Louis Andor Komjathy who was born in Prague September 15, 1898 then in the Austrian Hungarian Empire.
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Victoria County will hold its 29th Annual Czech Heritage Festival Sunday, September 28, 2014 from 10am to 7pm at the Victoria Community Center with food, music and dance. Will also feature Ms. Daniela Sipkova Mahoney from Portland, Oregon to teach anyone interested how to decorate eggs and make dough art ornaments and decorative art from wheat straw. For information and preregistration, contact Donald Dusek at ddusek@suddenliink.net.
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You are welcome to view this organization's IRS Form 990 available on the Guidestar website. Note that this organization's name on file was the Czech Cultural and Community Center, and now does business as the Czech Center Museum Houston. Click this link.
Interested Members may also view financial records by appointment.
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What is Czech Sausage? Click to Czech out this website and give us your opinion.
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Czech Language Online Daily  It would be impossible not to learn from these simple distinct lessons. Try it now!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bY9cp7r2CZc or http://www.studyczechonline.com/free-lessons
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Good Reads Available at our Prague International Gift Shop:
Texas Czech Polka Bands by CCMH Members Jimmy Brosch with Theresa Cernoch Parker.
Rustic Baroque - A novel by Jiri Hajicek - Set in South Bohemia about a decade after the Velvet Revolution.
Border Crossings - A Memoir that Reads Like a Thriller! by Charles Novacek.
Prague, My Long Journey Home - by Charles Ota Heller. A memoir of Survival, Denial and Redemption, providing a window into one Czech American's experiences!
The Czech Pioneers of the Southwest by Dr. Henry R. Maresh - a must read for research of your genealogy.
Living Longer Than Hate - Houston's own W. J. Bill Morgan's life, a Story of Survival and Success by C.S. Ragsdale.
Fields of Light, A Son Remembers His Heroic Father by CCMH Member Joseph Hurka.
They called him “Žižka” - The One-Eyed. A grizzled warrior, he rose from service as a mere bodyguard at the court of King Wenceslas to lead armies of peasant men and women. By Jim Fuxa, CCMH member.
Marta - by Monika Koenigova - A Czech Girl's Story of Surviving the Third Reich and Its Aftermath.
For information on these books and to order, call: 713.528.2060 or visit our website.
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The Charles Bridge over the river Vltava is definitely one of the most beautiful places in Prague. It is the oldest bridge in the city, built between the 14th and 15th century, and it spans the river with 16 pillars. It is lined with statues and lamps and this scenery, together with the Gothic bridge towers on both ends, makes the Charles Bridge a breathtaking historical monument. There is no better place in Prague for a walk in the evening. Our mural of this bridge is on view outside on the north side.
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Honor and Memorial TilesThe sixth etching of the Honor and Memorial Tiles has just been completed. Four hundred and fifty tiles of sizes 4 x 12 ($250), 6 x 12 ($500), 8 x 12 ($750) and 12 x 12 ($1,000) have been etched displaying approximately 850 names.
   We will be soliciting donors for the seventh round of etchings. Your contribution to honor or memorialize a loved one will be considered a contribution to the Endowment Fund. Names will proudly be displayed at the Czech Center Museum Houston and will be considered payment for membership the length appropriate to the amount of the donation. A $1,000 contribution will classify you and your family with lifetime status. Please see the following link for more information. http://www.czechcenter.org/support/honorwall.asp
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Czech Wines are now available in Texas  Czech Your Bag Wine Company will now have eleven varietals of Czech Wine for sale and available to Texas residents. This groundbreaking Czech wineannouncement was made at aCzech wine  wine tasting event at the CCMH by Linda Mulkey and Jack Dicoskey on September 6, 2014 where the participants sampled all of the varietals available with commentary by Linda. The wines are labeled with the familiar famous Alphonse Mucha picture of a beautiful Czech lady. The wine tasting event was by invitation only and was attended by our volunteers and Board Members who enjoyed sampling the varietals to be available for sale. Czech wines are gaining attention, winning some of the world's most prestigious competions with global and regional varietals. With 50,000 acres under vine, Moravia is an official wine region which includes four sub-regions: Mikulovsko, Znojemsko, Velkopavlovicko and Slovacko. Did you know the wine making tradition in the Czech and Slovak Republics herald from the second century and the ancient Romans? Contact info@czechyourbagwine.com or www.czechyourbagwine.com for more information.
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AccordionAnnouncing Exhibit Opening  Texas Czechs: Rooted in Tradition. The new exhibit Texas Czechs: Rooted in Tradition captures the prevailing traditions of the Texas Czech community and will premiere at the Museum of the Coastal Bend in Victoria, Texas, September 11–December 6, 2014. Czech culture has played an instrumental role in shaping the iconic Texas landscape and its sights, sounds, and tastes can still be found throughout Texas on any given day. Like many immigrant groups, Czechs brought dance, food, music, language, and other cultural traditions with them. The Texas Czech community maintains and passes on its sense of identity by continuing to practice those traditions and creating some particular to Texas Czechs. Texas Czechs: Rooted in Tradition captures this activity on 11 photo montage panels, presenting a contemporary picture of the diversity and richness of Texas Czech culture today. It also includes photographs, artifacts, and short documentary films shown in a multi-media "station." Topics include taroky, music, language, community celebrations, food, Sokol, and more.
   The exhibit will be available to museums, schools, libraries and other spaces, and special events. It will tour through 2016. The exhibit is supported by Humanities Texas, KJT-Catholic Union of Texas, KJZT-Catholic Family Fraternal of Texas, and in Victoria by the Victoria County Czech Heritage Society and the Spoetzl Brewery. For more information call Dawn Orsak 512.448.4536 or email dawnorsak@gmail.com.
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2014 Calendar of Events
September 2014 – Anniversary of the Czech Center Opening
"Ten Year -Ten Million" Growing an Endowment for Perpetuity for future generations. Year round, we will celebrate the Opening of the Czech Center Museum Houston, September 1, 2004 to the World, in the Museum District. Special events are listed below and more will be announced.
Tom RowanFriday, October 3, 2014
Sylva Fischerová, one of the most formidable Czech poets of her generation, is coming to the Czech Center Museum Houston for a poetry reading, 5:00pm in Brno Gallery. Fischerová will be promoting a new collection of her poems in translation, Stomach of the Soul.
Saturday, November 1, 2014
Did you know that Czechoslovakians made and manufactured wonderful buttons? Did you know that the Czechs brought the pearl button business to America? Have you heard of Moonglows? Come hear Carolyn Hubenak talk about the history of the button industry in Czechoslovakia and how the Czechs brought this craft – and art – to America. Examples of Czech buttons will be displayed. Presentation at 10:00am.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Register to be notified of further details! 7:30pm at the Czech Center Museum Houston - The Apollo Chamber Players bring their well-crafted arrangements of culturally significant folk music to CCMH with their Ancestral Voices season theme.
December 6, 2014 - Always popular and well attended.
Our Saint Nicholas Eve Celebration with the Bishop, Angel, and Devil. A Holiday Dinner for friends, families, and children. RSVP to: 713.528.2060 or czech@czechcenter.org for more info.
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An Irish Toast: There are good ships, And there are wood ships, The ships that sail the sea, But the best ships are Friendships - And may they always be.
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"When you create something you never know who you will inspire
and that you make friends along the way." Effie Rosene
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"Time goes by so fast; people go in and out of your life. You must never miss the opportunity to tell these people how much they mean to you." Anonymous

"Those that say that individuals are not capable of changing anything
are only looking for excuses."
Václav Havel

"To forget one's ancestors is to be a brook without a source, a tree without a root."
Chinese and Czech Proverb

Questions or comments or to be removed, please email first and last name to czech@czechcenter.org.
Effie M. Rosene, Chair/CEO, on behalf of Board of Directors,
Volunteers and Members and Friends.

This organization is supported in part by a grant from the City of Houston through the
Houston Arts Alliance and by the contributions of our Friends, Members and Volunteers.


2014 – City of Houston, Port of Houston: We celebrate 100 years
as a deep water port (1914-2014). 
With the Panama Canal expansion opening in 2015, the Port of Houston
will be a direct conduit to Mid-America.



4920 San Jacinto
Houston, TX 77004
phone: 713.528.2060