Central Europeans reflect on life before the fall of the Berlin Wall
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Partners and Supporters 2019 

In 2018 when I decided to revisit Voices From the Center, I had an early conversation with astronomer and physicist Roger Malina who is the President of Leonardo: The International Association for the Arts, Sciences and Technology and distinguished professor of arts and technology at the University of Texas, Dallas. We thought of different ways that we might collaborate on the project and he connected me to Jadwiga Charzyńska, the Director of LAZNIA Centre for Contemporary Art (Centrum Sztuki Współczesnej ŁAŹNIA) in Gdańsk, Poland. 

Gdańsk was central to my new research as it is the city where Solidarity was born, the union movement that helped to bring about the end of communism in Eastern Europe. My work in Gdansk was supported by a residency at ŁAŹNIA’s and the gracious staff that organized my meetings and interviews, including Lila Schally-Kacprzak, ŁAŹNIA’s Curator for Research and Curatorial Residencies, and Aleksandra Księżopolska, ŁAŹNIA’s Residency Curator. They also organized my Gdańsk assistant and translator, Mona Rena Górska. Mona’s intuition, quick on her feet thinking, grace, and humor added to the project in numerous ways.

Other people that I communicated with early on include writer, editor and international corporate trainer Janet Livingstone, who has been a trusted friend and supporter since I first lived in Slovakia in 2006. Janet has generously connected me to various people and organizations in Slovakia where she lived and worked for many years and edited my introductory essay on this website. Barbara Lanciers at Trust for Mutual Understanding early enthusiasm for my idea to revisit the project set me on the path towards success. Nora Hložekova, Executive Director of the Slovak Republic Fulbright Commission has provided support for my activities in Central Europe in numerous ways over the years, helping me to expand my work as a Fulbright Scholar into numerous directions and projects. Jan Orlovsky, Director of Open Society Foundation Slovakia connected me to people across his network in Slovakia and Budapest. Thank you to all of the above.     

This web site would not be possible without the creativity and imaginations of  Kasia Worpus Wronska and Jan Worpus-Budziejewski of Grafixpol in Łodź. Since we first worked together on Voices From the Center in 2009, they have been principal collaborators across several projects, bringing my vision to life, solving design problems and contributing artistry and thoughtfulness across mediums and platforms. 

Thank you Pamela Miller your unwavering belief and enthusiasm for my idiosyncratic ideas and projects over the past decades has helped to make it all possible, helping to keep me sure footed and forward moving throughout the process of creating my work.

And, thank you to all of the people who have shared their histories, their ideas and their time with me. Your courage and open hearts are generative and inspiring.  

Voices From the Center 2019 was produced with generous support from Trust for Mutual Understanding, Slovak Republic J.W. Fulbright Commission 25th Anniversary Fund, ŁAŹNIA Centre for Contemporary Art, Leonardo: The International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology, and Individual Donors.

Acknowledgments 2009 

It is often said that it takes a village. Producing Voices From the Center took a village and then some. At the beginning, when I had just a handful of conversations, I expressed my idea for the project to Ed Kemp, who, at the time, was the Cultural Affairs Officer at the American Embassy in Bratislava. His enthusiasm, guidance and support helped me to plant my seed in fertile soil and to give this project its form. Dana Polčíková, also at the American Embassy in Bratislava, handled the technical details of working with the embassy, connected me to several people who participated in the project, and gave me valuable counsel when I needed help navigating cultural waters that were different from my own. 

Were it not for the work and energy of my assistants and production team I’d still be in the woods. In alphabetical order they are: Oto Hudec who early on, while guiding me through Košice and Bratislava, helped me to set my course and hoist my sails; Annie Kennington, whose research not only provided the content for the timeline but also helped me on the ground throughout Central Europe; Bartek Kujawski, who as the web programmer ensured a smooth and dynamic web site; Mariana Ribeiro contributed ideas and her generous spirit to the project, and assisted in Bratislava;Magda Stanová, provided support in Slovakia and offered invaluable suggestions and feedback while assisting with transcriptions and translations; Matej Vakula, the “Jack of all Trades”, was my go to guy for anything and everything in all four countries. To my editor and friend Nanette Wise thank you for keeping me at my best and asking all of the right questions. And to Kasia Wronska and Jan Worpus, whose dedication, inspiration and creativity brought my dreams to life and made this site all that it is, my deepest gratitude.     

Thank you to the legion of acquaintances, colleagues and friends who helped to make this project possible, including: Marek Adamov and Martina Filinová at Stanica Żilina-Záriečie kultúrny uzol; Roz Adams; Fedor Blaščák; Anna Daučíková; Bud and Millie Engelstad; Jozef Gonda and Janka Gondová; Mary Greene; Pamela Miller; Agata Grenada and Anna Perzanowska, at the Polish Cultural Institute, in New York; Trevor Hagen; Nora Hložeková, Executive Director of the Fulbright Comission, Slovak Republic; Katarína Jamariková; Marianna Kianičková; Zuzana Krátke at Central European Foundation; Margit Lánc; Pam Miller; Michal Murin; Alexis Ortiz; Bruce Robbins;Rumiel Rothschild; Votěch Ripka at the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes, in Prague; Bartosz Rzepczynski; Chargé d’Affairs Keith A. Eddins, Public Affairs Officer Chris F. Sharf and Chase A. Beamer at the American Embassy in Bratislava; Janet Stapleton, Alyssa Alpine, and the people at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts helping to produce Performing Revolution ; Peter Stano and Mária Stanová; Marek Svoboda, NGO Coordinator at the American Embassy in Prague; Carrie Thompson at Trust For Mutual Understanding; and L’uba Vávrová. 

And to all of the people who so generously shared their stories I extend my heart and my deepest bow. Without out each of you, there would be no Voices From the Center.   

Voices From the Center was produced with generous support from: Embassy of the USA, in Bratislava; Trust for Mutual Understanding; Central European Foundation; The J.W. Fulbright Commission, Slovakia; Artreach; and Stanica Żilina-Záriečie kultúrny uzol. 

In-kind support: Big Media; Orange Alternative; The Czech Language Institute; Košice Interface 2013 Európske hlavné mesto kultúry, and Śtátna Filharmónia Košice. Project Partners: Artreach; Stanica Żilina-Záriečie kultúrny uzol; and The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Performing Revolution in Central and Eastern Europe, www.performingrevolution.org 

Project Director:  Janeil Engelstad.
Project Assistants: Oto Hudec; Magda Stanová; Matej Vakula.
Research Assistant: Annie Kennington.
English Editor: Nanette Wise.
Czech translation: PhDr. Lenka Davisonová at The Czech LanguageInstitute.
Hungarian Translation:  Magrit Lánc; Alex Jakab; Ildikó Vančová.
Polish Translation: Travis Currit and Agata Morka
Slovak Translation: Oto Hudec; Michal Murin; Magda Stanová; Matej Vakula.
Principle Photography: Petyo Peter Drezik; Janeil Engelstad; Oto Hudec;  Mariana Riberio; Magda Stanová; Miklós Surányi; Peter Żákovič, FOTO SME.
Web Design: Grafixpol.
Web Programming: Warsztat8r, warsztat8r.pl.