Prague’s Academy of Performing Arts will hold multiple celebrations in the upcoming academic year 2020/2021. The 27th of October marks precisely 75 years since the President of Czechoslovakia, Edvard Beneš, signed a decree confirming the foundation of an unprecedented higher educational institution in our country. Since 1945, AMU has been educating students in the fields of theatre, film, television, music and dance. The celebrations will start on 1 October, which is also the official beginning of the new academic year, and will last until its end on 30 September 2021.
Early in October, AMU will release special well-wishing videos as part of the celebrations through its social media and official website; in the videos, congratulations will come from current students, teachers and employees as well as from famous graduates who are now luminaries of the world of art. Congratulators include Polish film director and scriptwriter Agnieszka Holland; student Daria Kashcheeva whose bachelor film, Daughter, won the prestigious Student Oscar; National Theatre actress Taťána Medvecká; and globally renowned harpist and a Royal College of Music in London teacher Jana Boušková. AMU has shot a symbolic 75 videos to mark its remarkable anniversary.
Well-wishing videos to AMU also come from the Deans of all three Faculties, Doubravka Svobodová (DAMU), Andrea Slováková (FAMU) and Ivan Klánský (HAMU), as well as from Jan Hančil’s Vice-Rector team. The Rector says on the major anniversary: “AMU is launching the celebration of 75 years of its existence in a year when it is also facing unprecedented challenges caused by a pandemic that is severely affecting the social, cultural and artistic life in the Czech Republic and across the world. I am convinced that AMU will use all the creative potential of its teachers, students and everybody who supports teaching art so that the school emerges from this difficult situation enriched by new educational ideas. By overcoming issues and restrictions, art teaching and art as such gain strength and find new avenues.”
The extensive programme that AMU will offer during the year will be accessible to the academia and the general public.
Although AMU in cooperation with its Faculties have prepared many events to commemorate its 75th anniversary in various ways, it also expects their dates and forms to adapt to the current epidemiologic situation.
During the academic year, the school will bestow three honorary doctorates and three gold medals, one for each Faculty. Divadlo Inspirace will host the seventh edition of Territories of Art, a conference for doctoral art students that AMU organises in cooperation with other higher art schools, on 6 November. A day for children from children’s homes, which AMU organises along with the Children in Action Foundation, will take place on 12 February 2021. On the occasion, almost thirty children from primary and secondary schools who consider studying art will tour the school. Each Faculty will prepare a special programme for children to illustrate the opportunities of such studies.
AMU to launch an outdoor exhibit mapping the 75 years of its history late in June
The exhibit to mark 75 years since the foundation of the Academy of Performing Arts will feature a slice of history of all three Faculties and present their major personalities and events associated with them. The exhibit will be held outdoors so that it can be accessible to the general public. The exhibit will also expand the range of the planned anniversary events with a special programme.
The celebrations will end in the autumn of 2021 with a large concert, currently being prepared by HAMU.
Talented and passionate students, committed and good teachers and employees and successful graduates – such is the wish from Rector Jan Hančil to AMU on its 75th anniversary.
Petra Soukupová, a graduate of HAMU’s Music Management Department, founded an orchestra with her brother in the small town of Police nad Metují nine years ago. Petra won several awards for her activities, including the British Ambassador Award in the “Young Person of the Year” (under 30 years) category.
Braňo Mazúch, the current Head of the Department of Alternative and Puppet Theatre, teacher and theatre director, wishes AMU strong immunity and nerves for the future.
Marie Hasoňová, Judita Škodová and Kateřina Ochmanová are HAMU students who form Quasi Trio, a musical ensemble focusing primarily on classic works from the Baroque to the 20th century. All three musicians wish for AMU to raise more successful and talented performers.
Daniela Jobertová is the Vice-Rector of AMU for Student Affairs and Quality Assurance, and has been the Head of DAMU’s Department of Theory and Criticism since 2001. With her as the Vice-Rector, AMU obtained the institutional accreditation last year.
Current Vice-Rector for Development, PR, Research and Development, Japanologist, art historian and teacher. According to him, what AMU needs most for the future years is freedom, tolerance, less bureaucracy, peace for work and a good budget.
Ondřej Šejnoha, Director of FAMU Studio, is wishing AMU well as well giving it a notional gift. With him at the helm, a cinema is returning to FAMU Studio after thirty years of absence, following an extensive refurbishment project of several years: the unique Reference Screening section with four screens and a rare design of the operator’s cabin, which is prepared for screening nitrate films, among other material.
Agnieszka Holland joins those who congratulate AMU on its 75th anniversary. The Polish film director, screenwriter and alumna of the Film and TV School of AMU is one of the leading lights of the current global cinema.
Jana is currently preparing a film about Robert Richardson, cinematographer and a long-time collaborator of Quentin Tarantino, whom she met during the work on her thesis. Watch her special video wishing that she sent to AMU from the US.
Ingeborg Radok Žádná is AMU’s Vice-Rector for International Relations and Artistic Activity as well as a teacher at HAMU’s Music Management Department. She wishes AMU primarily understanding between students, teachers and employees in the years to come.
There is likely no one who has not heard about Daria Kashcheeva, an up-and-coming hopeful filmmaker sand FAMU student. Daria wishes for AMU to continue providing shelter and support for young authors in their work; the support that she received has helped her achieve her successes.
Today’s video well-wishing for AMU comes from Ladislav Bilan, young and talented percussion student. He made his successful debut at the Prague Spring festival this year.
Professor Jan Dušek started teaching at DAMU in 1978 and has been the Head of the Department of Scenography since 1992. He was appointed a Professor at CAT Sevilla in 1993, taught at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, and designed stage sets for theatres in Monte Carlo, Los Angeles, Düsseldorf and elsewhere.