Another year has passed and we have seen the continuing interest of the members in pursuing the visions and goals of IOV through the many activities that were held. We look forward to a more productive 2013. We hope to have increased interest in folk art by the coming in of new members.
Allow me to share with you some of the activities held in the past year 2012.
In March, in recognition of an outstanding artist, Emma Chen Hoefler, IOV Vice President and Head IOV China, organized an event in which the Chinese artist Cui Zimo was given an award by the IOV President and the IOV Secretary General for his excellent paintings which were displayed in some prestigious galleries in Beijing and in his privately – owned gallery in Xian. The ceremony was well attended by the officials of Beijing and widely covered by the press.
The IOV General Assembly which happens every four years was held in Prague in April, 2012. The agenda covered the presentations of IOV accomplishments which was started by an overview presented by the IOV President, the Regional reports presented by the Regional Heads and the Commission reports presented by the Commission Chairs.
Elections were held for all the officers of the IOV. The names and positions of elected officers are listed below. This was followed by the review of the IOV statutes presented by the newly elected Secretary General. Amendments were discussed, voted upon and accepted.
After the General Assembly some were given a short visit to the Roznov Museum, an open air museum under the management of Dr. Koukal, IOV National Section Head of The Czech Republic. The museum is a four-hour train ride from Prague and is located in a beautiful mountain ski resort. In contnrast to the heat wave that we experienced in Prague, Roznov was cool during the day and very cold in the evening. The open air museum was a well laid out complex of houses and structures typical of the early days of the countryside. It happened to be a weekend so the museum workers were not in action. We could imagine the occupants of the homes, the business establishments and the church in continuous activities during the week. This was a living museum to provide a glimpse of how people lived during those early days.
Dr. Koukal attended to our needs by providing us a very articulate guide and billeted us in a quaint and lovely mountaintop hotel. We are grateful for the opportunity to see this other side of the Czech Republic. I was in the company of the Bahrain delegation headed by Ali Abdulla Khalifa, IOV
Vice President, the French and Polsih delegates.
In June, the Third World Youth Congress was held in Sweden. This was organized by the IOV Youth member from Sweden, Mia Lindgren. This was participated in by a hundred young professionals and university students between the ages of 20 and 35. The one week congress opened with a crafts exhibit in Stockholm organized by the National Crafts Association of Sweden. The success of the Congress was sufficient proof of the direct involvement and interest of the young in promoting folk art worldwide. More details will be disseminated by Mia in future publications.
September was the annual festival of the Sounds of Eurasia held in Ulan Ude, east of Russia. This wasa gathering of folk musicians now on its 12th Year. This year IOV was directly involved as a copresentor and coorganizer. IOV members contributed their talents and musical skills in concerts and participated in the scientific conference which coincided with the festival. The event was sponsored by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Buryatia and the East-Siberian State Academy of Culture and Art under the leadership of the Rector, Dr. Raisa Ivanovna. Coordinator was Dr. Victor Kitov, IOV Russia. Representing IOV were the IOV President, Secretery General and Dr. David Carlquist, IOV USA.
In November, Ali Abdulla Khalifa organized a Scientific Congress in Bahrain. This was participated in by scholars from the Middle East and from other continents. The high calibre paper presentors were invited by Dr. Al-Nouiri, IOV Tunisia, assisting the Middle East Head, Abdulla Khalifa.
In December, the IOV President participated in the NGO Forum and general meeting of the Intergovernmental committee (IGC) of the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) held in Paris. The NGO forum members are the accredited organizations of UNESCO. Their purpose is to assist the IGC by contributing their expertise to the process of evaluating nominations to the ICH registry. The IOV President was tasked to read the NGO statement in behalf of the members. This statement contained the concerns of the NGOs regarding the IGC process.
Throughout the year, e-meetings were held by the Executive Council to followup decisions of the GA and to discuss issues regarding the management of IOV.
I wish to thank our ExecutIive Council and the Executive Board for the hard work and cooperation which they showed for the past months. Each one contributed to the success of the projects undertaken by IOV in many countries. I would like to thank and invite the members to keep sending in their news and feature articles for the IOV website to inform our members worldwide of the interesting work and contributions that they do to put IOV prominently on the map.
Let us bring peace, mutual understanding, tolerance and harmony among nations through our cultural work.