Press conference of the Magdalena Kožené Endowment Fund for the seventh annual national festival of primary art schools, May 17, 2023, Rudolfinum, Prague. From the left, the director of the ZUŠ Open festival Irena Pohl Houkalová, the patron of the organizing foundation fund singer Magdalena Kožená and the director of the Association of Basic Art Schools Ivona Křivánková.
Prague – From Sunday, May 21st to June 4th, the ZUŠ Open Festival of elementary art schools will offer over 500 concerts, theater or dance performances, exhibitions and other events throughout the country. The program was prepared by 439 elementary art schools as part of the 7th year of the festival. Parks, squares, churches and many other public places come alive with art. The festival culminates on June 3 in the Valdštejnská garden in Prague. The singer Magdalena Kožená, who is the patron of the organizing foundation fund of the festival, will hold a benefit Concert for the Future on June 8 in the Vladislav Hall of the Prague Castle for the benefit of the ZUŠ Open. Journalists were informed about this by the director of the ZUŠ Open festival, Irena Pohl Houkalová.
The aim of the festival is not only to present the work of individual secondary schools, but also to draw attention to the irreplaceable role of art education. The long-term mission of the festival is also to support cooperation between individual secondary schools across regions and to develop mutual inspiration. Under the festival motto ZUŠ Open helps, the program will also include events with a significant social impact towards helping those in need and with the involvement of pupils with a medical handicap or social disadvantage.
“For a long time, I perceive the need to support the ZUŠ in that they have conditions for the development of the education of children and youth whose lives are accompanied by a health handicap or social disadvantage. Proceeds from the June Benefit Concert for the Future at Prague Castle will be dedicated to this very purpose,” said the patron of the organizer of the Magdalena Kožená foundation fund.
On June 1, the patron of ZUŠ Open will be actively involved in some regional art shows. In Olomouc, Kožená will perform on Horní náměstí with the String Orchestra of the Uničov School of Music, the Joint String Orchestra of the Olomouc Region School of Music and the Joint Choir of the Olomouc Region School of Music. In Veselí nad Moravou, they will support the South Moravian Regional School of Education at an open-air show on Náměstí Míru, where they will perform with the Brno Radio Orchestra of Folk Instruments and selected children's soloists. They will also head to Nové Jičín, where they will visit the pupils of the local ZUŠ directly in class.
This year, the ZUŠ Open festival will offer several premieres. For example, united choirs from all over the Czech Republic will perform cantatas by Eduard Douš and Jaroslav Pelikán in the Senate, the F. X. Šalda Theater in Liberec will present a unique project Cesta, the basis of which is a staging of the opera Brundibár, a children's opera by Hans Krása based on the libretto by Adolf Hoffmeister, which was staged in 1943 in Terezín ghetto.
The network of elementary art schools in the Czech Republic is one of the world's unique. They are currently attended by nearly 250,000 pupils and students. There are currently 507 primary art schools operating. They offer four basic fields of study – music, dance, art and literary-dramatic.