F(O)UNDING CULTURE: THE EXPERIENCE OF CENTRAL EUROPE AND THE USA – An international symposium with Krzysztof Czyżewski

Czech Center New York
May 22, 2013

New York, May 10, 2013 —The Polish Cultural Institute New York is proud to join forces with The Czech Center New York, the Aspen Institute in Prague, the Austrian Cultural Forum New York, and our EUNIC partners to present Krzysztof Czyżewski, one of Poland’s leading thinkers about the idea of “deep culture” and its relationship to regional identity, at a one-day symposium on the role of culture in diplomacy and on how to support Central European culture on the international stage, entitled F(o)unding Culture: The Experience of Central Europe and the USA

This symposium, featuring speakers such as political theorist Benjamin Barber (author of Jihad vs. McWorld), sculptor David Cerny, and Borderlands Foundation originator Krzysztof Czyżewski, will address the issue of supporting art, both financially and organizationally, using positive examples from the Central Europe and the United States. In two discussion panels, artists, civil servants, businessmen, art managers and philanthropists will discuss the meaning of art in public diplomacy and business now and in the future. How can we learn from the experience of the USA and Central Europe and secure a sustainable development in the field of art and culture? Is there a space for mutual cooperation among institutions or shall we rely on supportive individuals only?

Krzysztof Czyżewski is a social activist, theater producer, essayist, publisher and the founder and director of the Borderlands Foundation (Fundacja Pogranicze) in Sejny, Poland near the Lithuanian border. After graduating from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan with a degree in Polish literature, he co-founded in 1977 the world-renowned Gardzienice Theater Company in Lublin, which collects ethnographic materials from around the world to create what they call an "ethno-oratorial song theater." Czyżewski's methodology based on his work in theater involves whole communities, especially young people. His mission is to educate them to be community builders, and one of its first principles is that in order to shape the future one must first understand the past. Czyżewski has brought the Foundation's model to regions of ethnic tension around the world, such as Armenia, Bosnia, Georgia, Indonesia, Mongolia, and Tadzhikistan, initiating cultural projects to foster intercultural and inter-religious dialogue where peaceful communication has been obstructed by current or remembered ethnic conflicts. In 2008 he served as Polish Ambassador to the European Commission's European Year of Intercultural Dialogue. In May 2012, he was appointed Artistic Director of Wroclaw – European Capital of Culture 2016.

Organized by the Czech Center New York, the Aspen Institute in Prague, the Polish Cultural Institute New York, and the Austrian Cultural Forum under the auspices of EUNIC, the European National Institutes for Culture in New York.


For pictures, more information and all inquiries, please contact David A. Goldfarb, 
212-239-7300, x 3002


WHAT:  Founding Culture:  The Experience of Central Europe and the USA

A one-day symposium featuring speakers such as political theorist Benjamin Barber, sculptor David Cerny, and Borderlands Foundation originator Krzysztof Czyżewski to address the issue of support for the arts, both financially and organizationally, using good examples from the Central Europe and the United States.

WHEN:  Wed, May 22, 2013, 2-7pm

WHERE:  Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street, New York, NY 10021

ADMISSION: Free; online registration required

Detailed program:  http://www.aspeninstitute.cz/en/calendar/2013-05-22-f-o-unding-culture/ 
and www.PolishCulture-NYC.org

The POLISH CULTURAL INSTITUTE NEW YORK, established in 2000, is a diplomatic mission to the United States serving under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland.

The Institute’s mission is to build, nurture and promote cultural ties between the United States and Poland by presenting Polish culture to American audiences and by connecting Polish artists and scholars to American institutions, introducing them to their professional counterparts in the United States, and facilitating their participation in contemporary American culture.

The Institute has been producing and promoting a broad range of cultural events in theater, music, film, literature, the humanities, and visual arts. Among its American partners are such distinguished organizations as Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts; Brooklyn Academy of Music; The Museum of Modern Art; The Jewish Museum; The PEN American Center; The Poetry Society of America; National Gallery of Art; Yale University; Columbia University; Princeton University; Harvard Film Archive; CUNY Graduate Center; Julliard School of Music; The New Museum; La MaMa E.T.C.; and many more. Our programs have included American presentations of works by such luminaries as filmmakers Roman Polanski, Andrzej Wajda and Jerzy Skolimowski; writers Czesław Miłosz , Adam Zagajewski and Wisława Szymborska; composers Krzysztof Penderecki, Witold Lutosławski and Mikołaj Górecki; theatre directors Krystian Lupa, Jerzy Grotowski, Tadeusz Kantor and Grzegorz Jarzyna; visual artists Krzysztof Wodiczko, Katarzyna Kozyra, Alina Szapocznikow; and many other important artists, writers, historians, scholars, musicians, and performers.