Embassy of the Czech Republic
September 14 – November 2, 2017

The Embassy of the Czech Republic announces the Mutual Inspirations Festival 2017 –Gregor Mendel, celebrating the father of modern-day genetics, from September 14–November 2, 2017, with over 20 events at prestigious venues in the Washington, DC, community.

The Mutual Inspirations Festival (MIF) is an annual initiative organized by the Embassy of the Czech Republic, concentrating on the mutual influence between Czech and American cultures and the feats of personalities who have led the way. In its previous seven years, the festival has highlighted such personalities as President Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk (2010), composer Antonín Dvořák (2011), filmmaker Miloš Forman (2012), President Václav Havel (2013), writer Franz Kafka (2014), author Karel Čapek (2015), and tennis legend Martina Navrátilová (2016).

For its eighth year, the Mutual Inspirations Festival honors founder of genetics Gregor Mendel (1822-84), marking the 195th anniversary of his birth. This humble genius was born and conducted his groundbreaking research on the same land he sowed and loved, today’s Czech Republic. While experimenting with pea plants, he wrote his rules of heredity, referred to as Mendelian inheritance and considered worldwide as seminal work for the foundation of the new science — genetics. Beyond his pioneering conclusions, Mendel is revered for his protracted years of meticulous and painstaking experimentation. Mendel died with little recognition, but stated, “I am convinced that it will not be long before the whole world acknowledges the results of my work.” Today, he is lauded for his trailblazing work.

The festival pays tribute to Mendel’s scientific achievements and the vibrancy of his homeland, bringing science and the arts alive through a variety of programming. Festival highlights include the symposium Mendel’s Peas and Today’s Genes at Georgetown University on the ethical issues and possibilities of modern genetics; lectures by Director of the Mendel Museum in Brno Ondřej Dostál, Villanova University Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics Edward Guinan, and renowned geneticist and holocaust survivor Renata Laxova; a garden concert in the U.S. Botanic Garden with U.S. Mandolin Champion Radim Zenkl; a performance of the Libor Šmoldas Organ Trio mixing jazz, blues, soul and funk at the Kennedy Center; the U.S. premiere of Lenka Lichtenberg’s album Masaryk inspired by the folk music of Moravia; a “Great Experimenters” film series at the National Gallery of Art showcasing the early works of Czech filmmakers, and the exhibition opening of Czech Scientists and Their Inventions at the Czech Embassy.  

This September-November, delve into the festival garden filled with a colorful bouquet of events to inspire.         
MORE PEAS PLEASE!   www.mutualinspirations.org



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