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Czech Center Museum Houston
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Vedem - The Secret Magazine of the Terezin Ghetto
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PRESS INFORMATION FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE             Aug. 14, 2017 


VEDEM: THE UNDERGROUND MAGAZINE OF THE TEREZIN GHETTO IS FEATURED AT THE CZECH CENTER MUSEUM HOUSTON 

HOUSTON – The Vedem Underground Project is proud to present VEDEM: THE UNDERGROUND MAGAZINE OF THE TEREZIN GHETTO at the Czech Center Museum Houston from Aug. 14 through Nov. 30, 2017. Called “the Dead Poets Society of Terezin” by Los Angeles’s Jewish Journal, VEDEM: THE UNDERGROUND MAGAZINE OF THE TEREZIN GHETTO is an art installation that deconstructs and reinterprets the literary work of the teenage Jewish creators of the longest-running underground magazine in a Nazi camp. From 1942 to 1944, Vedem (“In the Lead” in Czech) chronicled life within the walls of Czechoslovakia’s Terezin Ghetto, and was a symbol of protest, rebellion and creative activism by some of the era’s youngest resistance fighters. The exhibit premiered at the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles in 2016, and has since been presented in Houston, El Paso, Austin and Sacramento. It is scheduled to travel to at least ten additional U.S. locations, including San Antonio, Amarillo, Dallas, Milwaukee, Portland, Oregon, and St. Petersburg, Florida by 2019. Additionally, a Vedem illustration will be taken into space in 2018 by NASA astronaut Andrew Feustel as a tribute to the courage of the magazine’s creators. 

Using a combination of pop-art graphics, archival photographs and cartoons, and the prose and poetry created by the magazine’s contributors, VEDEM: THE UNDERGROUND MAGAZINE OF THE TEREZIN GHETTO celebrates the artistic and cultural legacy of Vedem by breaking down its 83 weekly issues totaling the 800 pages, then reconstructing them in the form of a contemporary magazine.

VEDEM: THE UNDERGROUND MAGAZINE OF THE TEREZIN GHETTO was produced and curated by Rina King, whose grandfather led the resistance at Lithuania’s Kovno Ghetto and who is also co-writing the companion book Vedem Underground: Pages of Resistance and producing the Vedem Underground documentary film with an Oscar- and Emmyaward winning team; Los Angeles-based art director Michael Murphy, who conceptualized the exhibit as a merging of punk subculture-inspired art and the 1940s-era ‘zine aesthetic; and Los Angeles-based writer and journalist Danny King, who is producing and co-writing the companion book. 

As a tribute to the Vedem creators’ fearlessness and spirit of exploration, NASA astronaut Andrew Feustel will bring an illustration from the magazine into space when he begins his mission as commander at the International Space Station in March 2018.

“These children came together in the most dire circumstances, and continued to hope for the future of all humankind,” said Feustel. “Our missions are carried out for the betterment of humankind through space research and exploration.” 

“It’s been an honor to showcase the incredibly courageous and creative work by some of the youngest resistance fighters of the World War II era,” said Rina King. “These teenage boys refused to give up their identity, their humanity and their fighting spirit.” 

“I was motivated to combine the feel of a 1940s-era ‘zine with something that would be more relatable today, especially to younger people,” said Murphy. “These boys were rebels, so I took a more contemporary, almost punk-rock approach.” 

“These boys were risking their lives in order to do this and they used nicknames to hide their identities,” said Danny King. “Vedem reflected the stark reality of life inside Terezin, but it was also an escape for them. They expressed their opinions with humor, cartoons and poetry. They could forget that they were in prison.” 

VEDEM: THE UNDERGROUND MAGAZINE OF THE TEREZIN GHETTO was the winner of the 2016 WORD Grant: The Bruce Geller Memorial Prize, a project of American Jewish University’s Institute for Jewish Creativity. The exhibit has also been generously supported by the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles. Other support for the project comes from Steven Spielberg’s Righteous Persons Foundation and The Ziering Foundation. 

CONTACT: 
Rina King 
Founder and Executive Director, 
Vedem Underground 
Bluelemon3@yahoo.com 
323.397.6423 
www.vedemunderground.com. 

ABOUT VEDEM UNDERGROUND: Vedem Underground is a multimedia project that celebrates the courageous, heartbreaking and ultimately victorious legacy of Vedem (“In the Lead” in Czech), the longest-running underground magazine to be regularly produced by prisoners inside a Nazi concentration camp. The project teaches tolerance and encourages artistic activism through Vedem's historic and cultural lessons. The project includes a museum exhibit, a documentary feature film, a companion book and a cutting edge educational program. The exhibit premiered in May 2016, the book will be completed in early 2018 and the film is slated for release by the end of 2018. 

ABOUT THE CZECH CENTER MUSEUM HOUSTON: The Czech Center Museum Houston (CCMH) was created to celebrate, share and promote the rich cultural abundance of the Czech people and their history. In 2007, the CCMH joined a group of 18 museums in the Museum District of Houston. The CCHM houses valuable Czech paintings, artifacts, photography, sculpture, porcelain, crystal, and examples of folk art in both permanent and changing exhibitions. 

CONTACT: 
Communication & Development Director, 
Czech Center Museum Houston 
development@czechcenter.org
713 528 2060






PRESS INFORMATION FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE             Aug. 14, 2017 

NASA ASTRONAUT ANDREW FEUSTEL HONORS UNDERGROUND MAGAZINE BY BRINGING ILLUSTRATION INTO SPACE 

HOUSTON – Vedem Underground, the multi-media project celebrating longest-running underground magazine to be regularly produced by prisoners inside a Nazi concentration camp, is proud to announce that NASA astronaut Andrew Feustel will bring an illustration of one of the magazine’s cover into space next year as a tribute to the courage of the magazine’s creators. 

Feustel, who has flown on two Space Shuttle missions and will launch to the International Space Station in March 2018, will bring with him a cover illustration from the magazine Vedem depicting a rocket shooting out of a scroll towards Earth. Houston-based Feustel, who will serve as the space station’s commander, will also bring a drawing by Vedem editor Petr Ginz in tribute to both Ginz and to late Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon. 

From 1942 to 1944, Vedem (“In the Lead” in Czech) chronicled life within the walls of Czechoslovakia’s Terezin Ghetto, and was a symbol of protest, rebellion and creative activism by some of the era’s youngest resistance fighters. The story is explored by Vedem Underground’s exhibit VEDEM: THE UNDERGROUND MAGAZINE OF THE TEREZIN GHETTO, which will be presented both at the Czech Center Museum Houston from Aug. 14 through Nov. 30, 2017, and by the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission (THGC) at the Brenham Heritage Museum through Aug. 31, 2017. 

“These children came together in the most dire circumstances, and continued to hope for the future of all humankind,” said Feustel, who has long felt a bond with Czech culture through his Czech wife. “Our missions are carried out for the betterment of humankind through space research and exploration.” 

Called “the Dead Poets Society of Terezin” by Los Angeles’s Jewish Journal, VEDEM: THE UNDERGROUND MAGAZINE OF THE TEREZIN GHETTO is an art installation that deconstructs and reinterprets the literary work of the teenage Jewish creators of the longestrunning underground magazine in a Nazi camp. Using a combination of pop-art graphics, archival photographs and cartoons, and the prose and poetry created by the magazine’s contributors, VEDEM: THE UNDERGROUND MAGAZINE OF THE TEREZIN GHETTO celebrates the artistic and cultural legacy of Vedem by breaking down its 83 weekly issues totaling the 800 pages, then reconstructing them in the form of a contemporary magazine. 

The exhibit premiered at the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles in 2016, and has since been presented at museums in Houston, El Paso, Austin and Sacramento. It is scheduled to travel to at least ten additional U.S. locations, including San Antonio, Amarillo, Dallas, Milwaukee, Portland, Oregon, and St. Petersburg, Florida by 2019. 

In addition to the Vedem illustration, Feustel will also bring with him on his voyage a copy of the illustration “Moon Landscape,” which was drawn by Vedem editor, teenage prodigy and Holocaust victim Petr Ginz. A copy of “Moon Landscape” was previously brought into space by Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon, who along with six other astronauts died aboard Space Shuttle Columbia in 2013. 

“Ilan Ramon was a personal friend and colleague, as are all astronauts,” said Feustel. “The loss of the crew of Space Shuttle Colombia was a great tragedy and I hope that by taking the ‘Moon Landscape’ to space another time, I can not only honor the efforts of Ilan Ramon who did the same, but also keep alive the recognition and awareness of the struggles of the people who suffered genocide during World War II. Those who forget and ignore history are doomed to repeat it.” 

VEDEM: THE UNDERGROUND MAGAZINE OF THE TEREZIN GHETTO was produced and curated by Rina King, whose grandfather led the resistance at Lithuania’s Kovno Ghetto and who is also co-writing the companion book Vedem Underground: Pages of Resistance and producing the Vedem Underground documentary film with an Oscar- and Emmyaward winning team; Los Angeles-based art director Michael Murphy, who conceptualized the exhibit as a merging of punk subculture-inspired art and the 1940s-era ‘zine aesthetic; and Los Angeles-based writer and journalist Danny King, who is producing and co-writing the companion book. 

CONTACT: Rina King 
Founder and Executive Director, 
Vedem Underground 
Bluelemon3@yahoo.com 
323.397.6423 
www.vedemunderground.com. 

ABOUT VEDEM UNDERGROUND: Vedem Underground is a multimedia project that celebrates the courageous, heartbreaking and ultimately victorious legacy of Vedem (“In the Lead” in Czech), the longest-running underground magazine to be regularly produced by prisoners inside a Nazi concentration camp. The project teaches tolerance and encourages artistic activism through Vedem's historic and cultural lessons, and includes a museum exhibit, a documentary feature film, a companion book and a cutting edge educational program. The exhibit premiered in May 2016, the book will be completed in early 2018 and the film is slated for release by the end of 2018. The exhibit has been supported by the 2016 WORD Grant: The Bruce Geller Memorial Prize, a project of American Jewish University’s Institute for Jewish Creativity. The exhibit has also been generously supported by the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles. Other support for the project comes from Steven Spielberg’s Righteous Persons Foundation and The Ziering Foundation. 






VEDEM: THE UNDERGROUND MAGAZINE OF THE TEREZIN GHETTO PRODUCTION TEAM 

Rina King – Founder/Executive Director 
The granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, Rina King has produced films since 2000 and is the founder of Blue Lemon Productions, which is dedicated to creating socially conscious documentaries and exhibitions. In 2016, King produced and directed a feature documentary and curated a museum exhibit about the magazine Vedem (“In the Lead”), a teen-authored magazine that was the only underground publication to be regularly produced by Nazi concentration camp prisoners. King has also created and produced programs for the Discovery Channel, History Channel, Style Network, Travel Channel and Fox Kids. King worked on the Oscar-nominated Holocaust documentary “Prisoner of Paradise” and helped create and implement the international educational outreach program for the Oscar-winning film “The Last Days.” Her artistic endeavors also include founding an art gallery featuring emerging artists in Los Angeles. Born in Vilnius, Lithuania, King, whose grandfather led a Lithuanian partisan group in the Kovno Ghetto, received an MBA with honors from McGill University, and is fluent in Russian and Hebrew. 

Michael Murphy – Creative Director 
Michael Murphy has been a design professional in the Los Angeles area since 1997. He is currently an art director for an advertising agency. His work can be seen at www.seemikerun.com. 

Danny King – Director/Writer 
Danny King’s journalism career dates back to 1999 and includes work in documentary films, books, wire services, newspapers, weekly consumer and trade publications, websites, news blogs and radio. In addition to his work on Vedem Underground, King has served as hotels editor for Travel Weekly, the West Coast consumer reporter for Bloomberg News and real estate reporter for the Los Angeles Business Journal. His work has also appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, International Herald Tribune, Daily Variety, Seattle Times and Orlando Sentinel. King has a master’s degree from UCLA and an undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley.

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NASA ASTRONAUT ANDREW FEUSTEL HONORS UNDERGROUND MAGAZINE BY BRINGING ILLUSTRATION INTO SPACE
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VEDEM: THE UNDERGROUND MAGAZINE OF THE TEREZIN GHETTO IS FEATURED AT THE CZECH CENTER MUSEUM HOUSTON
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Dr. Andrew Feustel
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CCMH
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4920 San Jacinto Street
Houston, TX/ 77004 
Phone: 713-528-2060                            
development@czechcenter.org



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