Floods in the Czech Republic

It can certainly rain and flood in the Czech Republic just as in Houston!

Unfortunately a state of emergency has been declared as a flash flood swept through Moravia last night.

Photo from CTK
Photo from CTK

Hundreds of people were evacuated from the towns of Nový Jičín and Jeseník nad Odrou and so far ten have died.  In 1997 this region was hit by a devastating flood that claimed 50 lives.

Let’s keep those families affected by this trama in our prayers in the coming week.

Czech Crystal on Sale!

The Czech Center Museum Houston is celebrating Father’s Day all month long with a sale in our Prague International Gift Shop!  As we close in on the final week of June, we want to give everyone the chance to see what we have to offer and even buy an item or two online.  Featured below are several of the lovely pieces reduced in price at this time.

Antique Green Stems from the First Republic of Czechoslovakia 1918-1930.
Antique Green and Clear Wine Stems from the First Republic of Czechoslovakia 1918-1930. These are $180.00 for a set of six. An excellent price for antique crystal from this era.
These Lace Wine Glasses are handcut 24% Pbo lead crystal made by Rossi.
These Lace Wine Glasses are handcut 24% Pbo lead crystal made by Rossi. Rossi Crystal is a family owned business founded in 1991 by Antonin Malek. The new generation who is now running the company since Malek's death in 2003 has continued with their tradition of classical crystal products. These glasses are available for $219.95 for six in our Prague International Gift Shop
Rossi Crystal is a family owned business founded in 1991 by Antonin Malek.  The new generation who is now running the company since Malek's death in 2003 has continued with their tradition of classical crystal products.  These glasses are available for $219.95 for six in our Prague International Gift Shop
These finest cut Liquer or Sherry glasses are handcut 24% pbo lead crystal of the First Republic era.
We have two of these strong gorgeous crystal decanters in our gift shop.
We have two of these strong gorgeous crystal decanters in our gift shop. Made from Bohemia crystal, these decanters go for $159.95 each.

Crystal Decanter

To purchase any of these fine items, to request more information or to see what else we have in our gift shop, please call us at 713-528-2060 or email us at czech@czechcenter.org.

Remember that until the end of June, each of these is an amazing 20% off!

Thanks!

“Life is Just an Accident”

An interesting exhibition that was just brought to our attention yesterday on Jaroslav Jezek, a distinctive and pioneering Czech composer from

Composer Jaroslav Jezek, 1906 Praha - 1942 New York
Composer Jaroslav Jezek, 1906 Praha - 1942 New York

between the wars.  Originally put together for the Czech National Museum in 2006 to mark Jezek’s anniversary, we are fortunate to now have the exhibition touring in the U.S.  There are four main topics of the exhibition include Jezek’s childhood and youth, his work in classical music, his activities associated with the Liberated Theatre, and his life in the U.S.  An addition to the American version of the exhibition will be a new documentary about Jaroslav Jezek made by Czech Television.  Currently you can find this exhibition at the Czech Center in New York.

Jezek worked with Czech legends George Voskovec and Jan Werich, who were also involved in Osvobozene divadlo (Liberated Theatre).  He was innovative in his creation of a modern type of instrumental setting in his works for piano and in his approach to applied genres where he was a founder of the tradition of the modern Czech dance song as well as the political song.  Futhermore, in the field of jazz he could match any of the leading international figures of his day, although sadly he was only recognized abroad after his death in 1942.

We are always looking for Czech activities and exhibitions in the U.S. and abroad so if you have any news, please don’t hesitate to contact the Czech Center Museum Houston at events@czechcenter.org.

Thanks!

Distinguished Visitors & a Gala

Father Paul (a wonderful patron of CCMH), Effie Rosene (Founder, Chairman, CEO of CCMH), Ambassador Eisenbruk, Dr. Jurkovicova and Sandria Hu (artist).
Father Paul (CCMH Boardmember), Effie Rosene (Founder, Chairman, CEO CCMH), Ambassador Eisenbruk, Dr. Jurkovicova and Sandria Hu (artist, University of Houston Clear Lake).

This past Sunday, June 7 Ambassador Vladimir Eisenbruk, Prague Commissionor for Czech Communities Abroad and Dr. Nora Jurkovicova Counselor of the Czech Embassy Washington DC honored CCMH for a tour and luncheon in Prague Hall before their departure from Texas that day.  Prior to accepting his present post Ambassador Eisenbruk has done a lot to strengthen relationships between the Czech Republic and numerous countries in Central America including Mexico and Belize.

Consul General Nikolay Babich
Consul General Nikolay Babich

June 12, the Russian Consul General Nikolay Babich and Mrs. Valentina Babich celebrated Russian National Day with a large gathering of Consuls, corporate and family friends in Brno Hall.

Sunday, June 14 tour guide Maria Slamova brought guests from Moravia, Prague and Switzerland following a Mass at Father Paul’s St. Justin Martyr Church to the CCMH for lunch and a tour.  Talk about a fun group!  We joined them in Sokol song and performance before they left to see the rest of Texas.

St. Justin Martyr Church
St. Justin Martyr Church

Enough about the past!  In the coming months the Czech Center will be bustling with activity for our AUGUST 1st  GALA. This will be the fifteenth Annual Benefit Gala, so between all those years of experience plus our experience doing weekly events, you can rest assured that it will be an epic bash.

One of our silent auction tables from Gala 2008
One of our silent auction tables from Gala 2008

Of course there are no final details at this point, however our Gala Chairs, Nina & Ray Vitek, Henry & Barbara Hermis, and Cliff & Barbara Malek will be meeting today to discuss their plans for the Gala.  We do know that there will be a silent auction, dinner and plenty of good company.  We are accepting silent and live auction items until July 18 so don’t hesitate to contact us if you have something wonderful to contribute.  And don’t forget, it’s never to early to reserve a table!

Dancing at Gala 2008
Dancing at Gala 2008
Effie and Bill Rosene (Founders, Chairman, CEO) at our 2008 Gala.
Effie and Bill Rosene (Founders, Chairman, CEO) at our 2008 Gala.

Thanks.

Czech Finances & a New Store

According to Reuters, although some Czech Banks might suffer losses, overall the Czech bank system should be able to “withstand all projected scenarios.”  The reason for Czech banks’ ability to survive the current international recession without  bailout or collapse is the “country’s high levels of savings, high capital adequacy, very small holdings of toxic assets and small borrowing in foreign currencies.”  (http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/feedarticle/8560688)

Czech National Bank in Prague
Czech National Bank in Prague

Unfortunately, this good news for the banks does not extend to the manufacturing sector in the Czech Republic where unemployment has currently risen by 20,064 job seekers since February.  That is a 112,615 increase in job seekers from this same time, March 31,  last year.

This image, from the Prague Post, shows geographic unemployment trends in the Czech Republic.
This image, from the Prague Post, shows geographic unemployment trends in the Czech Republic.

On a lighter note but along the same vein of responses to the current economic climate, the Czech Center Museum Houston is seeing some good headway on the Annex Building located directly behind us at 4917 Fannin.  Just this morning Merck Construction came to install a new ceiling, which will embellish the overall look of the interior.  We are almost there!

The Center purchased the property for future expansion however in the meantime must find a more productive use for the property.  It was proposed to and approved by the Board of Directors to use the building to establish an upscale antiques, vintage, new and used retail shop.  Many have said how apropos this is to the present economic times.

We are of course dependent on donations for our inventory, so if you have any collectibles, china, pottery, antiques, select clothes, jewelry, books, toys, household items, tools, yard and garden furniture or tools in good condition do let us know.  Upon doing this, an IRS document will be forwarded to you.

Keep checking back for pictures so that you can see our progress (unfortunately I forgot my camera today…).

Thanks!

Little Updates

Just a portion of our beautiful giftshop
Just a portion of our beautiful giftshop

Of interest to anyone interested in beautiful things is the Czech Center’s Father’s Day Sale going on from now until June 30.  We’re open Monday-Saturday 10-4, so please do visit us at the Prague International Giftshop.  Hopefully in the future you’ll be able to find some of our merchandise for sale online, however there are no specific plans of action at this time.

Czech crystal, popularly considered to be some of the finest quality crystal in the world, dates back to at least the early Renaissance and some claim as early as the 2nd century.  Bohemian crystal enjoyed international success until the early 19th century when English lead crystal flooded the market.  It wasn’t until Czech glassmakers decided to reestablish the glory of handmade, handcut Bohemian glass, that they were able to fight back.

CCMH-Czech us out!

Hello!  Well we had to get that overt play on words out of the way first off.  As you can see in our “About us” section, the Czech Center Museum Houston is a beautiful, unique place that serves to celebrate and explore Czech heritage for the benefit of visitors from all over, but specifically in Texas.

Czech Center Museum Houston, a Baroque Palace in Houston's Museum District
Czech Center Museum Houston, a Baroque Palace in Houston's Museum District
Christiana Gentry, named Miss Harris County Czech-Slovak Queen 2008, is a member of the CCMH!
Christiana Gentry, named Miss Harris County Czech-Slovak Queen 2008, is a member of the CCMH!

There are more than one million people in Texas with Czech and Slovak heritage and we feel that they should know about where they come from.  This is also a place for people who are not of Czech or Slovak heritage to become informed on a fascinating culture that has shaped a lot of our lives.

This blog will feature information about the CCMH including events and projects we have from concerts to weddings, AS WELL AS  fun tidbits of information on Czech Culture, thus expanding our mission to include a wider audience on the world wide web.

One of our most exciting projects right now is an opera we plan to be involved in with the main character being the infamous King Wenceslas.  Venceslas is being composed by a grand supporter of ours and man of infinite talents, Board Member Robert Dvorak.

The Good King Wenceslas: immortalized in contemporary times in a Christmas carol, expanded upon in our opera!
The Good King Wenceslas: Patron of the Czech lands, immortalized in contemporary times in a Christmas carol, expanded upon in our opera!

The libretto is written by John Kaiser, also a man of abundant talent judging from his current draft of the script for the opera.

The story of Wenceslas, Duke of Bohemia in the early 10th century,  is one begging to be made into a dramatic opera.  Featuring a clash between Christianity and paganism, familial betrayal, murder, deceit and revenge, it’s a classic tale drama with much tragedy.

Preserving and celebrating Czech and Slovak heritage with the goal of promoting a global community