az ARS SACRA Fesztiválhoz
a Nyitott Templomok Napjához

Ars Sacra Festival

16-24 September, 2017

16 September, 2016

Contact us with your high level artistic programs!

"Don't be afraid!" Jer 42:11

Professional report of the 9th Ars Sacra Festival (2015)
Motto: „Be saints!”
1Pt 1,16
The international Jury awarded to the Ars Sacra Festival the qualification EFFE Label 2015/2016. Thus the Festival got a position among the best festivals of Europe and became the member of EFFE Platform. Accordingly we are entitled to use the logo at our programs.
About 60 000 visitors attended the Ars Sacra Festival in 2015, organized in 12 branches of art and including 580 events at 142 locations.
Guided walks, exhibitions of fine arts, concerts, theater and movie performances, architectural and inter designer conference, literature and children programs made the offer colorful. The high quality and free programs were popularized in a special edition of the Fidelio magazine (40 000 examples), on online surfaces and by media spots. We organizied direclty one part of the outstanding programs, further programs were realized on our appeal by artists, organizations and church institutions.
To announce the Ars Scra Festival in advance, a short video was prepared on the square in front of the Saint Stephen cathedral. Pupils of the Kodály Zoltán Hungarian Choir School – directed by Ferenc Sapszon conductor – and the Nádizumzum Orchestra of Ipolytölgyes – directed by Luca Tölgyesi – with cummulatively handicapped musicans among them, participated in this project.
Press material of the Festival was sent to the representatives of the press in advance inviting them to the Opening Ceremony. Some 20 of them were present on the event.
The opening ceremony of the Festival took place in the Hungarian National Museum. Dr Péter Erdő cardinal was the main patron on behalf of the church and Mrs. Anita Herczegh wife of the president of the Hungarian Republic was the secular patron. Dr Tünde Császtvay deputy of the director general of the Hungarian National Museum welcomed the participants, thereafter cardinal Péter Erdő opened the 9th Ars Sacra Festival. The Anima Musicae Chamber Orchestra and János Lackfi poet participated in the program. The ceremony started with the performance of the motet „Trees of the mountain.” (Barnabás Dukay)
Cardinal Péter Erdő remembered on the beginnings and said: the first Ars Sacra Festival took place in 2007 when the City Mission was going on in Budapest, and when the question arose how should the Church address people in the present world. It was found that art has a prominent role among the different means of communication. „Art creates a bridge between faith and the universal human mentality and emotions. This can motivate the sympathy of people far from the world of faith just for this series of programs” said the cardinal.
The first day of the Ars Sacra Festival is The Day of the Open Churches. On this occasion the doors of 108 churches were opened at 62 communities. We organized this program in co-operation with the Cultural Heritage Days. Communities of the participating churches presented to the visitors the artistic values and history of their church, organized tower climbing, visits of the bells, night torchlight processions, concerts, literature programs, organ performances, laser animation, and addressed creatively the visitors. The programs were followed by common meals and conversations.

Samples of the programs of the Day of Open Churches
A concert was given by the Voces 4 Ensemble and the Balázs Elemér Trio in the Parish Church Árpádházi Saint Erzsébet (Budapest) with the title: meeting of renaissance compositions and of jazz. The audience applauded a world-class production.
The Bihari Múzeum at Berettyóújfalú organized a walk to visit and a presentation of churches of different religions.
„Snail Cathedral” – A special experience for cildren was a playful guided tour in the Cathedral of Esztergom. They learned unthinkingly the difference among notions such as relief, statue, painting or fresco.
In Pannonhalma there was a great interest for the museumpedagogical programs where families, children groups, pupils studying religion got acquainted with the Benedictine spirituality and with the life of Saint Benedict.
At Füle Erika Miklósa, Kossuth prize laureate opera singer gave a concert under the title „saluting the Blessed Virgin”.
At Mátramindszent the performances were surrounded by the beautiful works of Enikő Orient and Margit Jager.
At Péliföldszentkereszt students of the classic singing faculty of the Budapest Liszt Ferenc Music Academy gave a candellight concert.
In the Calvinist Church of Szilágyi Dezső square (Budapest) colourful programs were organized under the title „with pipes, drums, cheese and wine”.
From countries over the frontier the catholic church of Stuttgart and Beregszász furthermore the synagogue of Krakkow joined to the Day of Open Churches.
The Square of the Monks opened up on the Day of Open Churches and an exhibition connected to this event was available for the public in the FUGA architectural center.
Selections of the outstanding programs of the Ars Sacra Festival

Architect conference
The 9th Sacral Architect Conference was held under the title „Silence”. It was open and free for university students as well as for professionals, and for any non-professional. The visitors were first welcomed by György Fekete professor emeritus, president of the Hungarian Academy of Arts. Professionals from abroad were also invited as for exemple: Karol Badyna Polish architect and Zofia Wlodarczyk Polish garden designer. They presented some of their realized church designs and biblical gardens. An exhibition was opened from their works in the Polish House and we are planning further cooperation.

In the Museum of Applied Arts carved wood miniature works of ortodox monks were exhibited under the title masterpieces of „Athos”. Zsombor Jékely deputy director welcomed the guests.
„The masterpieces of Athos created with devotion of so much time and love „know” everything what a fresco of several quadratmeter knows, the difference is, that they are portable” stated Gergely Nanicsák at the opening of the exhibition and added that these objects ask also from us patience and love.”
Source: Hungarian Kurir
In the Éva Erdei Gallery in Csepel an exhibition of contemporary sacral textiles was opened by professor Mária Prokopp. The exhibited works helped us to gaze amazingly on the Creator and to fill us with enthusiasm and joy for the every day life.
In the Communal House of Pestszentimre an attractive installation of Zolta Árvay was put on show. In one corner of the gallery there was a white altar where the bred of life and the wine of the spirit played the main role, whereby in the other corner stood a black altar covered with gold and money. Warning of the artist: we should hear not only the jingle of money but we have to go to the altar of the faith to make clear what is really important in our life. Wealth and money are perishable but faith gives eternal support to man.
Petőfi Literature Museum: Wars and peaces – an exhibition of Zsuzsa Péreli
„Wars and peaces, darkness and light, our life passes between these two contradictory powers… Although I live in peace, wars are with me, wars that are raging in other parts of the world and initiated by more and more sophisticated, false hearted, learned brains … I woved the works of this exhibition hoping a spiritual balance as reply to this situation.” The ceremony hall of the Petőfi Museum was full on the occasion of the opening of Zsuzsa Péreli’s exhibition. The welcome words of father Imre Kozma was read by a collaborator of the Museum.
Veszprém, Saint Imre Piarist church and Church of the garrison: Exhibition of István Madarassy with the title of „By fire and flame”.
Blessed Gizella Collection of the Main Diacese presented an exhibition which showed a harmony between Man and Heaven and expressed a message of the vital importance of biblical, historical, European and national values.
In the new building of the Catholic Club Saint Charles in Rákosliget a high level exhibition „Escape to the Lord” was organizied. At the opening, the hall was crowded with visitors. The audience was fascinated by a special atmosphere through invisible antennas, they felt something beautiful, the attraction of strength and secret. People were impressed by a pure harmony dominating the room.
Body and soul in the Big War – an exhibition of the Blessed Gizella Collection focused attention on the military priests, physicians, nurses and nursing monks who tried to save souls and human beings from the horrors of war.
Last but not least we organized the exhibition Ars Sacra Debreceniensis in the new reconstructed Várkert Bazár. The exhibition presented a selection of the material of an exhibition, under the same title, organized in Debrecen on the 300th anniversary of the return of Catolics to Debrecen.

Theater performances
Spiritual flight – A poetic performance about the life of Saint Theresa of Avilla, nun of the order Blessed Virgin of the Mount Carmel.
The beggar of wonders – the recently finished drama of Zsolt Pozsgai evokes the life of Saint Martin. The performance of the young Transylvanian actors and of the Hungarian director were highly appreciated by the audiance. The venue, the undercroft of the Kiscelli Museum was an excellent background to the production. This play will be set on the next year program too, but not in the present lecturar theatre form.
Heart of hundred roots – In the theatre at the Bethlen square, great number of audiance could see a multiartistic production evoking the rich life-work of Sándor Sík. It was shown how the piarist father with Jewish origin struggled to find his identity, whereas he possessed completely the consciousness of a Hungarian. We could see Péter Dóczy in the role of Sándor Sik, Bernadett Szemerédi who personalized his spirit, and Gabriella Jónás who played the role of his mother, and Melinda Szathmáry who made the experience complete with her singing and gitar playing.
Exhortations of Saint Stephen – In the aula of the Budavár Municipality Kinga Újhelyi actress and Miklós Lukács cymbalo actor performed the exhortations of king Saint Stephen to princ Emeric in a modern translation. The text was accompanied by a colorful music embracing Gregorian, Hungarian folk music, jazz, Far-Eastern motives as well as harmonies of contemporary music. The audiance rewarded the production with a frenetic applause. We plan to spread this performance.
András Visky: Porno – The Kossuth Club was full of curious people. The play studies the issue of kidnapping, slave-trade, restricting personal freedom in Ceausecsu’s Roumania. Performers: Csilla Albert, member of the Hungarian National Theater Cluj, Attila Antal, member of the Hungarian Opera Cluj, contrabass, director András Visky.
William Nicholson: Shade country – the Hungarian National Theatre took part for the first time in the Ars Sacra Festival. This was a „full house” performance. Two witty, sentimental people gave wittness of sincerity, love and faith, in a humorous way and brought tears to the eyes of the audiance.
Language of love – 2015 could not pass either without the presentation of this literary evening being almost inseparable from the name of Ars Sacra Festival. This time the venue was the Óbudai Társaskör, the actors were as usually Kitty Kéri and Pál Oberfrank. The literary evening showed the love of a couple with the aime of contemporary poems.
My pocket-knife and my heart are open –The Kulturkúria Klebersberg hosted a poetry-theatre evening of Mariann Tallián and of Balázs Lázár. The relation of man to woman was expressed in an almost dreamlike surrealistic performance and the timeless poems of Margit Szécsi and of László Nagy were presented in a special new light.

Selection of the concerts
Common musical devotion of the four big historic Churches – musicians of the Jewish, Catholic, Calvinic and Lutheran Churches performed psalms. Guest of the event was the Anglican Church. The spirituality of unity could be felt at this concert.
Bach for three pianos – The Ránki family played in BMC (Budapest Music Center) Bach and a transcription of Bach „Transience and Eternity” composed by Barnabás Dukay.
Colours and hearts – The concert of Borbála Dobozy harpsichord artist and then one of the Anima Musicae Chamber Orchestra in the MOM Cultural Centre attracted several hundred visitors.
In heaven and on earth – On the 21st September no better program was ever possible in heaven and on earth than the common evening of Ágnes Herczku, János Lackfi and Róber Sinha. The program was given the title identically with the expression at the beginning of the preceding sentence. More than 100 people could get place in the cupola hall of the MOM Cultural Center at 7 o’clock p.m. and they were rewarded by a very special experience.
Quartet Júlia Karosi – Júlia Karosi gave a concert with her orchestra under the title „Hidden Roots”. In her own songs and texts she often applies ancient topoi such as the time, the faith, the eternity, the transience or the story of the talent in the Bible and the history of Noah’s Ark.
Closing concert in the Church of Saint Theresa of Avila – the church was selected as venue of the concert on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the birth of the saint. The „Bogányi piano” and the concert attracted so many people that there was no room to swing a cat, approximately 800 people were present in the church.

Literary performances
The volume of „Manuscript fragments of the Káldi-bible” was introduced by cardinal Péter Erdő who’s name is connected to the discovery of the fragments.
„Other type of time” – literary evening with the participation of Anna Kubik and Anita Miskolczi (contrabass) in the Lutheran Church Fasor.

Some of the movie programs
„In the net of stars” – Memories of the trips in Europe of János Pilinszky (document) and a conversation.
„YOLO – You Only Live Once” premier of the document film presenting us the example of insistence on real values during our life.

Samples of the walks
Sacral walk in Buda Castle – Under the guidance of Dr. András Végh archeologist, art historian, we visited visible and invisible sacral relics of the Castle. There was great interest for this program.
Hope and ressurrection – During the walk in the National Graveyard of Fiumei út we visited graves of artistic value preaching the joy of resurrection and saw also graves of poets whose poems fill hope in our hearts.
In the footstep of monks – in the course of a walk in the City we visited the Clarissa Convent, the Pauline Monastery, the Franciscan Church and the Servite Church.

The next Ars Sacra Festival will be the 10th, it will be organized between 17. and 25. 09. 2016.
Motto: „…to give you a future and a hope” (Jer 29,11)
We wish that the events of the Ars Sacra Festival be present in several Europen cities.

Budapest, 27 October, 2015
Márta Dragonits
Ars Sacra Foundation

After Paris, Vienna, Lisbon and Bruxelles City Mission was organized also in Budapest in 2007. We endeavoured to connect Budapest to this international series of programs through its cultural life too. Therefore we contacted the organizer of the European Heritage Days initiated by the Council of Europe and ever since we have been in close cooperation in organizing the Ars Sacra Festival. Following Budapest the program has reached a nation-wide level, and gradually it exceeded even the borders. It is organized on voluntary principle. The most important museums, libraries, culture centres and artists take part in this series of programs organized every year in the third week of September. The Ars Sacra Foundation publishes calls for proposals at arts faculties and organizes workshops.
The Ars Sacra Festival presents the roots of the European culture which are connected to the common Christian-Jewish cultural heritage from architecture to painting and other visual arts and to the world of music and dance. Participants can have the feeling of being members of a community and they can have a deeper insight into their own cultural tradition. With the aid of art we show real values, beauty, goodness and truth.
The number of visitors of our Festival grows by about thirty percent annually. We wish to draw more and more countries of Europe into Ars Sacra Festival. By building personal relationships we are able to discover the values in each other and the hope hidden in our culture. We submitted our grant proposal for the realization of these goals.

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