A Czech and Slovak Educational Center and Cultural Museum recently opened at 8106 S. 84th St.
Colleen Kurmel, a volunteer at the center said she is Czech herself, her family coming from an area north of Prague, and has always been interested in researching and keeping her Czech culture alive and sharing it with others.
She said she tried to instill this sense of pride in Czech culture into her daughter who went on to become Miss Czech-Slovak US Queen in 2015.
The Czech and Slovak Educational Center and Cultural Museum started in 2008 by director John Rocarek.
“He was the catalyst for the national Czech museum in Cedar Rapids, Iowa,” Kurmel said.
She said percentage wise; Nebraska has the most Czechs in the United States and having a Czech museum in the state made sense.
“The Czech people have a rally strong feeling for family and for country, very hardworking, many are deeply religious and they also value,” Kurmel said.
She said this appreciation for culture can be found in many areas of Czech life such as food, music and the Kroj Czech men and women wear.
The museum certainly packs a lot into the space it has.
Highlighting everything from Czech artist, authors, Kroj, music and marionette puppets, the Czech museum items each have tell a story to tell.
Kurmel said each Kroj can tell where a Czech is from, glass wear can determine heritage as well.
Also included in the museum is a table and menus from the now closed but still famous Bohemian Cafe.
Kurmel said in an email the organization’s goal is to preserve and share the history and traditions of the Czech and Slovak cultures.
“Our facility offers a variety of displays to enjoy, merchandise to purchase and resources for those interested in researching their genealogy,” Kurmel said
Eventually the Czech museum is looking to expand to a larger area that will accommodate a museum, a chapel, restaurant and a Czech Village.
She said the museum is always looking for volunteers to help out and those interested can contact the museum at 402-686-9837.
The museum is currently open Saturdays at 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays 1 to 5 p.m.
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