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About Us

The Foundation for Culture and Society (FCS) is a small New York based nonprofit organization (501 (c) 3), founded by Wendy Luers in January 1990 as Charter 77 New York to respond to the needs Czechoslovakia faced as it  transitioned to democracy with offices in New York and Prague. In 1992 it changed its name to The Foundation for a Civil Society. Following the split of Czechoslovakia, FCS established an office in Bratislava, Slovakia in 1993. In the late 90’s and continuing to this day as affiliates of FCS, these offices became the highly successful indigenous NGO’s: Nadace VIA and Nadace Pontis. At the height of its programming in 1996-97, FCS had a staff of 42. On July 31, 1999 the Foundation assumed a new form: smaller, with fewer staff and lower overhead with a major focus on the transfer of “lessons learned” by Czechs and Slovaks to other countries — particularly, but not limited to, the Balkans. FCS possesses strong experience in grants management, technical assistance and training, and was pivotal in the establishment and strengthening of the non-profit sectors in the region. FCS occasionally travels to and does business for the YVAA, Iran Project and general programming in the various countries: the Czech Republic to Slovakia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia, Albania and Bulgaria

 

Current Programs

YVAA

The Foundation for Culture and Society (FCS) with affiliates in ten countries in Central Europe and the Balkans has organized a major international award and residency program for young visual artists in the region (YVAA). This unique program was established with President Havel and a group of artists in Czechoslovakia in 1990. Since then this highly successful annual program with national exhibitions and awards, including travel fellowships to the United States for artists under the age of 35, has now been expanded from the Czech Republic to Slovakia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia, Albania and Bulgaria.

Iran Project

Since its beginning in 2002 the main objective of The Iran Project has been to promote and assist official contacts and discussions between the United States Government and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the US.

 

The Foundation for Culture and Society

25 East End Ave, 1B

New York, N.Y. 10028

(212) 980 4584

 

FCS Staff:

Wendy W. Luers, President

Eriola Pira, YVAA Program Director

Jaroslav Sorm, Accountant and IT Support

 

FCS Board:

Carolyn Seely Wiener, Chairman – Attorney at Law
Wendy W. Luers, President – The Foundation for a Civil Society
M. Bernard Aidinoff -Sullican & Cromwell
Countess Maria Beatrice Arco – American Asset Corporation
Adrian A. Basora – Foreign Policy Research nstitute
George Biddle – International Rescue Committee
Catherine Cabaniss – Artist
Robert P. Devecchi – International Rescue Committee
Milos Forman – Film Director
Slavka B Glaser – J.P. Morgan
James Greenfield – Independent Journalism Foundation
Jeanne L. Hilsinger – CEO Mavel A.S.
James F. Hoge- Foreign Affairs
Geoffrey Hoguet – GRH Holdings
Robert Hutchings- Princeton University
Rona Kiley – Teach First/Education Consultant
Charlotta Kotik – Curator
Katerina Mathernova – European Commission
Timothy Phillips – The Project on Justice in Times of Transition