Summary of 2013 by Tamás Fellegi, President/CEO of HIF
2013 was an incredibly existing year for The Hungary Initiatives Foundation.
Our first Board meeting was held in May, where we have officially started our operations. The first program we supported was the „Hungarian Heritage: Roots to Revival” program at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in July. We sponsored the amazing ReConnect Hungary program in the summer, the first birthright program for young Americans and Canadians with any degree of Hungarian heritage. The trip was an outstanding success, and we hope many more will follow it in the future. We have participated in presenting amazing Hungarian art to American audiences with the “Art as Ambassador: Hungarian Masterpieces from the Nancy G. Brinker and Christian L. Sauska Collections” exhibit in September.
The Foundation sponsored several outstanding events in the fall: the annual Strategy Forum conference of the Central European Policy Analysis, which brought together the best and brightest from both sides of the Atlantic to discuss the important aspects of the transatlantic relationship; the 7th Hungarian Americans Together (HATOG) conference in Atlanta, where Hungarian American leaders gathered together to discuss ideas regarding community building and strengthening linkages with Hungary; the 1956 Commemoration of the American Hungarian Foundation; and the fortieth anniversary gala performance of the Cleveland Hungarian Scout Folk Ensemble.
We have established important strategic partnerships: HIF has donated $260,000 to the Congressional Internship Program of the Hungarian American Coalition and worked with the Transatlantic Academy of the German Marshall Fund to establish a Hungarian Public Policy Fellowship. We have announced grant application opportunities for website development, language education, and art and culture projects. We received almost 100 project proposals.
We await 2014 with a lot of ideas and plans. There will be more grant opportunities, more events, and more exciting projects. As our mission statement says, our goal is to build lasting value by reviving and strengthening the cultural, educational, and emotional bonds between the United States and Hungary as well as the large and diverse Hungarian American community and its mother nation.
I know that this mission is shared by every single member of the Hungarian American community. I had the chance to attend several events and meet a lot of wonderful and dedicated members of our community. I have the utmost respect for the work all of you have done for the diaspora and the strengthening of US-Hungarian relations, and I hope we will work together on many wonderful projects in the coming year.
I wish you all very happy holidays and a wonderful and successful New Year!
The Hungary Initiatives Foundation