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Arts and Theatre Institute, Czech Republic

Sylwia Śmigiel
Martina Černá: e-mail: [email protected]
+420 602 589 513, +420 224 809 226

Institut umění - Divadelní ústav / Arts and Theatre Institute (Prague/CZ) - PRESENTATION

Information about institution: 

The mission of the Arts and Theatre Institute is to provide the Czech and international public with a comprehensive range of services in the field of theatre, and to provide individual services connected with other branches of the arts (music, literature, dance and visual arts).

The ATI collects objects and works relating to theatre, processes and provides access to these, pursues research, initiates and participates in international projects. It also publishes scholarly work.

Director of ATI is Pavla Petrová.
The most important personnel is:
Martina Černá – Department of International Cooperation and External Relations
Pavel Štorek – Department of International Cooperation and External Relations
Jana Návratová – Dance Section
Lenka Dohnalová – Music Section
Markéta Černá – Artist in Residency Programme
Ondřej Svoboda – Department Information and documentation

Short history: 

The Arts and Theatre Institute (ATI) is a state-funded organization established by the Czech Republic’s Ministry of Culture. It was founded in 1959 as the Theatre Institute. Since the middle of the 1970s it has been based in the Baroque Manhart House on Celetná Street in Prague. In 2007 the institute changed its name to the Arts and Theatre Institute (ATI).

The most important projects: 

International Cooperation and External Relations Department:

The department’s main goal is international promotion of Czech culture. International exposure of Czech theatre and information about foreign theatre in the Czech Republic is one of the department’s main priorities. It prepares the concepts, dramaturgy and production background for international and local projects, festivals, exhibitions, seminars, and conferences. The department also organizes such activities.

It collaborates with Czech and foreign theatre, as well as artistic organizations, institutions and universities. It actively participates in international networks and it develops Czech activities in the field of international non-governmental theatre organizations.

The department provides contacts and information about Czech theatre abroad and about foreign theatre domestically. It prepares publications and informational materials about Czech theatre for dissemination abroad, and participates in the preparation of books for publication by the Arts and Theatre Institute.

Main Acitivities:
production, organization and support of international events in the Czech Republic and abroad.
Examples of projects:
Czech Theatre Showcase, a biennale of contemporary Czech theatre for international audiences.
Participation in performing arts markets.

Other international cooperative projects in the Czech Republic and abroad (see current projects under the link www.czechtheatreport.cz) publications and other sources of information.

Examples of projects:
Development of an informative website about Czech theatre www.theatre.cz including an electronic quarterly in English presenting the latest information on theatre, dance, and opera in the Czech Republic.

Catalogues and promotional materials on Czech theatre (e.g. Czech Performance Collection, catalogue of Czech playwrights Let’s Play Czechs, a 89 minute film about Czech theatre, drama anthologies)

  • networking

Examples of projecst: 
Administration of the Czech centres of the international theatre organizations ITI, AICT, UNIMA, ASSITEJ, OISTAT, SIBMAS, FIRT

  • information service, marketing, and PR

Information and documentation Department:
The department provides text and image documents describing arts and authors of Czech professional theatres, festivals and cultural institutions. Information and documentation materials (programs, clippings, press material, as well as Czech theatre activities in the territory of the Czech Republic after 1945.

The department features photo archives and a video library are found. It also provides surveys about touring of Czech companies and theatre abroad, and about hosting foreign companies in festivals in the Czech Republic.

Dance Section
The Dance Section provides conceptual, organizational, coordinative and consultative service for dance. It co-ordinates the documentation of the field and organizes seminars, workshops, lectures and exhibitions. The Dance Section actively promotes Czech dance abroad.

Music Section
The Music Section provides conceptual, organizational, coordinative and consultative services for music. It also promotes Czech dance abroad. The Secretariat of the Czech Music Council is currently a part of the Arts Institute. The Czech Music Council (Česká hudební rada, ČHR) is one of the national sections of the non-government organization, Council International of Music UNESCO.

Artist in Residency Programme
The Artist in Residency Programme rests upon co-ordinating and establishing reciprocal residencies for artists.
The aim of the Programme is to aid the Czech authors with communicating their individual fields of art internationally. In addition, the Institute is concerned with providing coming artists with contacts on the Czech artistic scene. The programme has been in existence since 2004 and aims to expose artists from various artistic fields internationally.

International cooperations: 

Membership of the ATI in international networks and projects:


ATI collaborates with many Czech and foreign theatres, artistic organizations, institutions, and universities. It participates in international networks (ResArtis, HALMA, ENICPA, OTM, SPACE, Culture Action Europe, IETM). It provides contacts and information about Czech theatre. ATI is actively participating in policy making processes – for example the preparation of the first state concept of the arts “Concept for more efficient support of the arts in 2007-2013”. The Director of the ATI is the author of the national profile of the Czech Republic in the Compendium of Cultural Policies and Trends in Europe” (Council of Europe/ERICarts). http://www.culturalpolicies.net/web/countries.php



Publications of the Arts and Theatre Institute
The Theatre Institute’s Publication Department is one of the most important publishers of theatrical literature in the Czech Republic. It regularly publishes series of different theatre publications, plays, as well as theoretical and historical texts. This department publishes original works and translated works, historical and present, of Czech and world theatre, books on drama theory and criticism, theatre lexicons, and a periodical titled Czech Theatre (in English) intended for readers abroad with an interest in Czech theatre.

The institute’s Department of International Cooperation and External Relations prepares publications and promotional materials on Czech theatre intended for specialists and producers abroad.
The institute’s Department for Czech Theatre Studies publishes the results of its research in the form of dictionaries and other specialized publications.

The Arts Institute publishes work on other forms of live art, such as literature, music and dance. It also publishes expert literature prepared in international cooperatives, publications on cultural policy, studies and analyses. It also provides information about EU programmes.


Online tools:
The institute also provide online services. www.divadlo.cz is partially redacted by the Arts and Theatre Institute, and partially by the Czech public. The institutional part contains Information and Documentation Department information outputs (openings, festivals, theatre schools, institutions etc.) and news published by the ATI.

The public segments offer space for publicity, announcements and other kind of information published by the Czech theatres and the general public. www.theatre.cz has a similar structure as www.divadlo.cz. In addition to its function it contains a quarterly newsletter about current events in Czech theatre, dance, music etc. It is redacted in English and edited by the editors´ team and other specialists organized by the ATI.