We have the honor of presenting another five projects supported through our Living Communities program. Community leaders are working to enliven Czech communities in notable and diverse ways: making a printing press a community gathering place, restoring a former ruin in the Sudetenland and creating a community garden on the site of a former dumpsite, for instance. These projects just go to show that anything is possible!
Printing press gathering
Cerekvice nad Bystřicí, Hradec Kralove region
ART-Tellier brings together people interested in art and culture who use the public studio of artist Stanislav Štěpa. The studio is connected to a secondhand bookshop located in a former textile shop on the square in the small town of Cerekvice nad Bystřicí. The project idea is to bring people together to create art on a printing press, which is an uncommon phenomenon in rural Czech communities.
The intention is to imbue community life with a new dynamic through the printing press, which will be used both in the studio and outside. Beginner’s printing techniques such as linocutting can be used to make dramatic designs and appeal to those new to art. Community art activities are a way to encourage people to step out of their traditional comfort zones, interact with different people and develop their artistic abilities and aesthetic sense.
Don’t stay home, join us at the village commons!
Podbořánky, Central Bohemia region
A group of residents in the town of Podbořánky seeks to build a pergola on the village commons as a community gathering place. The town currently lacks a site where cultural, social and sports events can be held. The pergola will be located next to a new playing field, where it can host new activities and encourage people to gather. The site formerly served as a dumpsite and its improvement will also enhance the community’s sense of wellbeing and pride in general.
Neighborhood garden at the Sheltered Living Facility
Štětí, Ústí nad Labem region
The civic association Dobro-volně (“Volunteer”) is gradually improving a garden adjacent to the Sheltered Living Facility in the town of Štětí with the help of resident volunteers. The garden had been seldom used to date but now, with a newly planted field of lavender, raised beds and a sensory walking path, the garden is being reinvented as an attractive place for people of all generations to interact. The garden will serve as a place for rest and freetime activities and will also house vegetable beds, herbs and berry bushes.
The Sheltered Living Facility is located on the outskirts of the town, which means that the residents tend to be cut off from community life. This garden is one avenue to connect them to the community in real and everyday ways.
Park as an instrument to build community
Prace, South Moravia region
The goal of this project is to improve relations between people with an emphasis on encouraging a healthy lifestyle. With the support of the municipality and community leaders, this group will build a park to host regular sports, cultural and educational activities for people of all ages and walks of life, thus creating a place where people can meet regularly and engage in community life.
The project is based on volunteer work. The site is a former dumpsite that has been neglected and overgrown for many years. Aside from bringing people together, improvement of the site will enhance the town as a whole.
Good neighbors are more than distant friends
Libčice nad Vltavou, Central Bohemia region
The civic association ARTO.TO runs an art gallery in the town of Uhelný mlýn. Along with local residents, members of ARTO.TO want to make part of a converted former factory publicly accessible. The site is envisioned as a location for various community events, such as an open-air cinema, festivals, workshops, etc. It is a unique opportunity to tie into the town’s industrial heritage (the factory was founded in 1873!) and provide residents with a new social and community asset that reflects contemporary needs. One of the key challenges of the project will be enlisting the support of the municipality and demonstrating to residents the potential of this site, which is unparalleled in the area.