Community Grapevine

Country and Western music finds Slovak spurs

From Bratislava to Košice, the Slovak Country Music Association promotes the music genre that made Tammy, Hank and Dolly household names from Tennessee to Texas. Boris Eghard, the owner of "Country Club Barbara," calls his juke-joint in the central-Slovak town of Handlová, "a mecca" for C&W fans in Slovakia, and says he plans to organize a country music festival "this year or the next," while strengthening ties with other Slovak honky-tonks like "Stanley's Saloon & Rebel Club" in nearby Prievidza. As a rhinestone studded MC in "The Blues Brothers" told John Belushi, "We play both kinds of music: country and western." For more information on when to catch a rowdy show call Eghard at tel. 0862/475-767, or drop by Club Barbara at nám. Baníkov 1, if you happen to land in Handlová.

Romany theatrical troupe performs on stage

"Romathon," a professional theater group of Gypsy actors, dancers and musicians, is preparing a performance schedule for next month. The company was founded in Košice 5 years ago to break down stereotypes and bring traditional Gypsy culture to a wider audience, said Anna Koptová, Romathon's founding director. While few of the 60-member ensemble have formal training, Koptová says the performers draw their inspiration from living Romany folk-traditions. For more about Romathon's upcoming performances, contact Koptová in Košice at tel. 095/622-4980 or 095/622-0619.

Refrigerator mercifully needed

The Missionaries of Charity, the order of nuns founded by Mother Theresa, are providing a home for 40 single mothers with their children in a small building in the Bratislava suburb of Rača. The Sisters, however, are without a refrigerator, which means that food must be purchased each day. If anyone can provide the nuns with a working refrigerator they will be eternally grateful. For more information contact Gail Klevana, at tel. 07/531-3979; or call Ann Johnson, at tel. 531-2284, to arrange for a refrigerator pick-up.

SEED money to continue until 1999

Programs funded under the ground-breaking U.S. SEED Act (Support for Eastern European Democracy) will end this year, the U.S. Embassy in Bratislava announced this month. Since the Act was passed in 1991, SEED programs funded by the U.S. government received more than $160 million. While U.S. funding for SEED will formally end this year, the annual SEED report submitted to the U.S. Congress in February noted that SEED projects in Slovakia and Poland will not be phased out before 1999.

During SEED's remaining years with current U.S. funding, the assistance program will focus on increasing citizens' participation in political and economic decision-making, fostering effective local government and reducing environmental risks. For more about SEED's current status contact the U.S. Information Service (USIS) at the U.S. Embassy at 07/533-5932.

Jazzing it up in Banská Bystrica

Starting February 12, the best in local jazz talent will don pork-pie hats and indoor shades to turn Banská Bystrica's Arcade Disco (directly adjoining the Arcade Hotel and next-door to Kino Urpín Theater) into a smokey east-Village nightclub from 9 p.m. - 4 a.m. every second and fourth Wednesday, while blues bands will tear up the same venue every first and third Wednesday with their righteous strains. Performers have not been announced. For more contact Arcade Disco at 088/702-111.

Jan Hus foundation seeks to expand curriculum

The Jan Hus Foundation has launched a program to sponsor innovative teaching at universities and secondary schools in the Slovak and Czech Republics. In conjunction with the Slovak and Czech governments, teachers seeking to widen their school's curriculum can receive state grants through Cursus Innovati, a program which provides assistance for individual projects, while forging alliances among teachers at different institutions and with international organizations to meet their respective objectives. Imaginative teachers in any field are encouraged to contact the Hus Foundation's Bratislava office at tel./fax 07/531-5721, in Brno at tel. 425-4221-0269, or by e-mail at

Follow-up seminar on women's cancer prevention

The President of the Slovak League Against Cancer, Eva Siracká, will present a follow-up seminar to last month's general meeting of the International Women's Club on uterine and breast cancer. The second presentation, at the Hotel Danube on March 6, will provide information on prevention and treatment of both types of cancer, as well as where to seek screening. For more contact Nancy Trautman, the President of the IWC in Bratislava, at tel. 07/531-5954.

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