Every venue needs a secret list of ingredients to
keep the pot bubbling. In our case, we need space, time, host,
organizers, readers and
featured performers, open mike participators and the audience.
Good coffee and beer doesn't hurt.
Provide a forum that supports and nurtures creative
literary, art and performance work being produced in the Czech
Introduce the community to exciting new voices from
within the Czech Republic and abroad.
Assist and promote individuals and groups
within Prague which share our belief in a cooperative, supportive
Encourage experiments, exploration, collaboration in
any creative realm and assist people in bringing many different
projects to life.
Always welcome and appreciate comments and suggestions,
keep evolving and stay open to new ideas.
The very first Alchemy night was on July 17, 2002 in the magical
environment of The Ruins. The Ruins are in Havickovy
sady (a.k.a. Grobovka) park in Vinohrady and for many years they
provided occasional hide out to ex-pat parties.
We do not have
any pictures from this night, so you have to imagine the darkened
shapes of fake neo-romantic ruins with tens of candles carefully
set in niches and between bricks. Our small group sitting around
a fire, smelling fresh cut nettles and gazing into stars while
someone reads their poetry by the torchlight or plays moody songs
on a guitar.
A special thanks for that night goes to Ken Nash who
cut all the nettles by himself that afternoon -- auch! -- thats
called a dedicated organizer ;-) From then on, Alchemy
was pretty much steadily held in cafés, bookstores and other
slightly less weather-dependent places:
Shakespeare & Sons
cafe and bookstore. The perfect
kick start cozy
environment, well stocked bookstore, good coffee and drinks,
Vyletna - a restaurant in the beautiful Letna park. While it
was peaceful enough for our readings in the winter, this place
really rocks in the summer, with the opened beer garden and live
Arena Hostel (now A&O) - some of the best performances took
places in the medieaval cellar of this friendly hostel, which
has since been renovated.
Tulip Café -
our until 2005 when Alchemy took a break.
- The Globe Bookstore and Café
- Friends Café
- AAU Library
We'd like to thank all of the owners and management for their
People Behind Alchemy
The next important ingredient is volunteer organizers.
Namely, we need people who could find the featured readers, run
the show, maintain our website and send out promo. Over the years
this team fluctuated, but we'd like to thank everyone who helps
Conway took the difficult job of Alchemy's first host in
2002 and gave it a perfect kick start. Since then, the host's
role was ocassionally filled by other volunteers:
Jim Freeman, Chris Crawford, Bonita Rhoads, Scott Nixon and
others. However, there is one man who's co-created Alchemy and
it ever since
- Ken Nash.
In spring 2003 Ken Nash "stepped out of anonymity"
and picked up the role of Alchemy's full time host. But
well before that, he was the man who kept our e-mail list,
the flyers and did a lot of other foot work for Alchemy that
was perhaps not so visible, but much appreciated.
Ken is the author of Alchemy's name, logo, the animation
on this website and much of Alchemy's concept. He also regularly
participates in the open mic as a writer of short stories.
By profession, Ken is a web designer, illustrator, animator
and cartoonist. Check out www.nashken.com
for samples of his work.
The author and sponsor of this website is Michaela Freeman,
Czech writer, digital artist and web designer
- check out her many projects at www.michaela-freeman.com.
This is not the complete list of people behind Alchemy. We
depend on our participants, friends and volunteers for support. For
this reason, we invented Tycho - the common spirit of
the venue. The original Tycho Brahe was the main alchemist
the court of Rudolph II.
and today, he lives in cyberspace and maintains our mailing list