CULTURAL and Science Counselor at the Slovak Embassy in the US, Igor Otčenáš, ended his four-year term in Washington on August 31. He returns to Slovakia to work at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
During the years spent in America, Otčenáš has worked with many Slovak artists who have come to perform or exhibit at the new Slovak chancery gallery in Washington, dedicated to the most prominent Slovak artist of the 20th century, Koloman Sokol. The gallery was opened in December 2002 on the occasion of the painter's 100th birthday.
Among the artists who came to perform for the American public were opera soloists Peter Dvorský and Sergej Kopčák, artists Miroslav Cipár and Laco Terén, photographers Andrej Bán and Martin Kollár, musicians Elena Letňanová, Jozef Lupták, the Funny Fellows, and the Vidiek band.
Stanislav Štepka also visited with his Radošínske naivné divadlo, and Milan Sládek performed his idiosyncratic mime shows. The embassy also hosted Slovak-American artists and performers such as Craig Cahoon, Eleanor Kotlarik-Wang, Monika Gabriny Rokus, Kitty Klaidman, Gabriel Ariel Levicky, Rasto Brezny and Ernest Strednansky. It also invited along Bob Brozman, the American guitar virtuoso and a frequent visitor to Slovakia, to play the special steel guitar called the dobro.
Otčenáš will be replaced by Stella Kukučková from the First Territorial Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.