THE HISTORY OF ZNOJEMSKÁ BESEDA
Beseda Znojemská is a historical concept dating back to 1870 and connected to a name of the Czech revivalist and notary Jan Vlk. It was the first Czech association in the town of Znojmo and its mission was to act as a counterweight to the German element and to support the Czech language and Czech culture. It was the cradle of national awareness on the South-West Moravian border. Since its founding, Beseda, “discussion club”, was the centre of origin of various individual associations, among them e.g. Sokol in 1882.
The Statutes of Beseda Znojemská from the year 1870 show how wide its mission was. Quote: “The purpose of this discussion club is educating through reading of books and magazines, entertainment through reading out loud, declamation by music, dance, allowed games, playing theatre pieces, as well as organising group outings to countryside and other places, and taking part in public festivities, as well as enhancing and deepening knowledge of trade, industry and farming, organizing lectures on these topics by members and guests, and presenting proposals or petitions regarding these matters to pertinent authorities as resolved.”
Beseda Znojemská was the only national institution in Znojmo region that supported establishment of new associations and corporations; the first was a finance company, then a schooling association Matice, and suchlike. Since the very beginning, Beseda Znojemská organised theatre performances, held concerts, balls and every year put on several theatre premieres.
Today's Znojemská Beseda continues the copious tradition as a cultural and social organisation striving to meet the needs and interests of the residents in the areas of cultural and social life, education and other areas as well.
Znojemská Beseda was founded on a basis of an agreement between the statutory representatives of the District Office in Znojmo and the city of Znojmo by merging two cultural organisations: Municipal Edification Discussion Society and District Cultural Centre in Znojmo. It became a public-benefit corporation that manages its own and entrusted assets and funds provided by its founder, the city of Znojmo.
The aim of Znojemská Beseda is to continue all the significant and valuable cultural and social events in the city. However, local associations, clubs and centres are just as important. Znojemská Beseda uses its potential mainly to maintain the high standard of cultural life in the town, such that would be satisfactory to all its residents.