AHF Cultural News: 2009 Year of Culture - Hungary
11/21/2007 - "Year of Culture - Hungary, 2009" - Hungary is planning to present a cultural program in the United States in 2009, titled “Year of Culture-Hungary.” Hungarian ambassador Ferenc Simonyi met with representatives of various Hungarian organizations, including AHF, at the embassy in Washington, to announce the program and to obtain feedback from Hungarian-American organizations. The program will be patterned after a similar Hungarian cultural project in England recently, and currently in China. Other countries stage similar presentations in the U.S., for example Japan’s “A Month of Japanese Culture” was presented in Washington, D.C. in February 2008.
At the October 11, 2007, meeting Ambassador Somogyi offered a general outline of the program, currently being planned. He explained that New York and Washington, D.C. have been selected as the venues for the performances and presentations; cooperating American institutions include the Library of Congress and the Morgan Library. As part of the program, composer Gyorgy Kurtag will be commissioned to compose a piece for the occasion and he will participate in the performance. The ambassador indicated that the embassy will reach out to the Hungarian community to be involved in the program. Meeting participants raised a number issues:
On November 19, invited representatives of Hungarian-American organizations met again with Ambassador Somogyi and his staff, for further, this time more detailed, discussions. All participants agreed that Hungarian-American organizations are interested in participating in the program and will continue providing assistance and support, during both the planning, as well as the implementation phase of the project. A number of participants urged that the venue-designation be expanded, to include Chicago and Cleveland and other cities with large Hungarian populations. Others suggested that a “grassroots approach” be utilized, using the talents and input of grassroots Hungarians, both individuals and organizations, for more effective implementation of the program.
At the conclusion of the November meeting, Ambassador Somogyi indicated he will consult with the program planners in Hungary and at some future date, the group will meet again for more detailed deliberations and decisions about “division of labor” with regard to the project and about specific program issues.
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