Most Americans living and working in Prague consider themselves incredibly lucky. Every day is potentially a new adventure. Isn’t that why we left the states? And yet…sometimes you just want to kick up your feet, drink an enormous “americano” and read the latest copy of Oprah. And, surprise! You can! In fact, after you renew your passport at the embassy, you can simply stroll down the street and catch up on all the latest periodicals, books, and DVDs straight from the good ol’ U.S. of A.
The American Center in Prague, opened by the U.S. embassy in 2006, has a rather interesting history. These centers were initially opened during the Cold War, to share American ideals and values behind the Iron Curtain. However, with the fall of communism, the centers were mostly closed. The terror attacks of 2001 renewed the importance and urgency of American diplomacy abroad and saw a number of centers reopened.
The goal of the American Center in Prague (along with the “American Corner” partnerships at Universities in Brno and Plzen), is primarily outreach to the local Czech community, but this does not mean there aren’t valuable resources for Americans living abroad. Quite the contrary. The library alone at the American Center is worth a visit. The library has hundreds of titles available for loan with topics ranging from fiction to politics to a complete collection of the Encyclopedia of American Law. You can also register to gain access to huge educational databases usually only available in U.S. universities.
The library isn’t the only reason to visit. The Center offers frequent film screenings and exhibitions, all of which are free of charge. Screenings are usually of hard-to-find titles and social commentary documentaries followed up with a Q & A session.
The staff at the Center welcomes anyone from the local community to come and see what they’re all about and get in touch with the actual good parts of American culture. Check out their calendar of events and don’t miss the February 26th screening of “The Semantic War” and March 19 screening of “14 Women,” both of which are sure to be the start of some interesting dialog.
List of Events: http://www.americkecentrum.cz/en/program
How to Get There:
Tržiště 13 (1st floor)
118 01 Prague 1 — Malá Strana
By Tram: Malostranské Náměstí
Trams 20, 22, 12, 15