THE HISTORY OF ZNOJEMSKÁ BESEDA
Beseda Znojemská is a historical concept, dating back to 1870 and connected with the 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 (in English "discussion club") was the centre, from which sprung 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 the reading of books and magazines, entertainment through reading out loud, declamation, music, dance, allowed games, playing theatre pieces, as well as organising group outings to the country and other places and taking part in public festivities, as well as enhancing and deepening knowledge in trade, industry and farming, lectures held 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 the Znojmo region that supported the starting up of new associations and corporations; the first was a finance company, than a schooling association Matice and the like. Since the very beginning, Beseda Znojemská organised theatre performances, held concerts, balls and every year put on several theatre premieres.
Today's Znojemská Beseda is pursuing this copious tradition as a cultural and social organisation striving to meet the interests and needs of citizens in the areas of cultural and social life, education and other areas as well.
Znojemská Beseda was founded on the basis of an agreement of the statutory representatives of the District Office in Znojmo and the City of Znojmo,–this by the merging of two cultural organisations - the Municipal Edification Discussion Society and the District Cultural Centre in Znojmo. It became an allowance organisation, managing its own and entrusted assets and funds provided by the founder, the City of Znojmo.
The aim is for Znojemská Beseda to maintain all the significant and valuable cultural and social events in town. However, local associations, clubs and centres are just as significant. Znojemská Beseda mainly uses its potential to ensure a high standard of cultural life in the city that would be satisfactory for its citizens.