2022 Annual Gala: Following Dreams

Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association and Vaclav Havel Library Foundation Annual Gala: FOLLOWING DREAMS with guest of honor Peter Sís

Join us for a festive celebration of the legacy of Vaclav Havel, Czech and Slovak communities’ presence in New York, and the 10th anniversary of the Havel Foundation!

The evening’s highlights will include the 2022 BBLA Award for Unparalleled Service to the Czech and Slovak Communities to the renowned Czech-American illustrator and writer of children’s books Peter Sís, presentation of the 2022 Disturbing the Peace Award to Ukrainian writer Andrey Kurkov, live auction, and much more.

6:00 p.m. Cocktails
7:00 p.m. Dinner

Salutations: Martin Palous, VHLF President

Masters of Ceremony
Nicholas D. Lowry, President of Swann Auction Galleries
Paulina Porizkova, model, actress, author

Opening remarks: Jan Lipavsky, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic

Presentation of the 2022 Disturbing the Peace Award to Ukrainian writer Andrey Kurkov by Joanne Leedom-Ackerman, author, Vice President Emeritus of Pen International.

Excerpts from Peter Sís’s books The Conference of the Birds and Madlenka with visual images directed by Edward Einhorn, playwright and theater director, will be read by Marjan Nechat, recipient of the Sam Norkin Drama Desk Award 2022, and Alice Albright, Madeleine Albright’s daughter, introduced by Andy Schapiro, VHLF Chair, and Bill Shipsey, founder of Art for Amnesty.

Music by avant-garde jazz pianist Anthony Coleman, Susan Huang and DJ A to K.

The Bohemian Benevolent and Literary Association Award for Unparalleled Service to the Czech and Slovak Communities presented to Peter Sis, who will be introduced by Fred de Sam Lazaro, correspondent at PBS Newshour, presented by Vit Horejs, writer and pupeteer, and Joseph Balaz, BBLA President.

“Peter Sis has single handedly and undoubtedly made the largest, global artistic contribution to the legacy and memory of Vaclav Havel since his death in 2011. And he has made it in two mediums. Tapestry and Azulejo.

The giant Aubusson tapestry ‘Flying Man’, of Peter’s drawing which appeared in Hospodarske noviny a week after President Havel’s death, hanging at Prague’s Vaclav Havel International Airport, is a loving reminder of how his example, writings, legacy and memory continues to watch over us for all time.

The giant (230 feet long and 12 feet high) Azulejo mural, Velvet Bridge, soon to be placed on a wall in Prague in a joint venture with the Vaclav Havel Library Foundation – becoming the largest Azulejo mural outside Portugal – will symbolize what President Havel did best – converting a wall which divides people into a bridge which connects them.”

Bill Shipsey

Art for Amnesty Founder and VHLF Board Member