How to work miracles? Art meets philanthropy on the Ship of Mysteries

The Forman Brothers’ Theatre has been one of the most original artistic groups in Czech theatre for about as long as Via Foundation has been supporting community initiatives. The two came together, merging the worlds of generosity and innovative art, in a recent Via fundraising event on the Vltava River.

The Forman Brothers with their floating theatre on the Ship of Mysteries are an integral part of the social life of Prague’s Vltava River bank. The theatre sets sail from here to cities near and far, bringing alternative theatre to the public and giving locals a chance to meet. Matěj Forman, one of the brothers, also connects people through art in his own community: in Suchdol, he and his neighbors organize a community cultural festival called “SLON” (“Elephant”), which Via Foundation was also able to support thanks to the generosity of our donors.

On Monday, September 18, 2023, the worlds of generosity and magical art merged on board and below deck of the Ship of Mysteries. Via Foundation donors and supporters came together for an evening of theatre, music and film. Thanks to donor generosity, Via Foundation is able to support, among other things, small cultural initiatives across the country that uplift community life and strengthen neighborhood relations. Culture happens wherever people meet: beyond large institutions, art festivals grow out of the enthusiasm of local people and new traditions are created. Via Foundation will use the gifts made by guests at the event to create such islands of art.

The first performance on the Ship of Mysteries spun its magic some 23 years ago. “Purple Sails”, based on a poetic story by Alexander Grin, spoke of “the miracles we are to perform for others with our own hands“. Our donors also enable small miracles to happen and we thank them for their generosity.

We would also like to thank the Forman Brothers Theatre and the crew of the Ship of Mysteries, Kolby and Reisten winery and Fresh & Tasty from the Zátiší Group.

Below we share a selection of photos from our evening of art and philanthropy.