The Hungarian American Coalition is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization founded in 1991. Its mission is to identify and promote the interests of the Hungarian-American community. Its goals are:
- To foster appreciation of Hungary’s history and culture;
- To protect and preserve the human and minority rights and cultural heritage of Hungarians throughout the world;
- To encourage educational and cultural interaction between the people of the U.S. and Hungary;
- To support democratic institutions and economic development in Hungary.
Education and Culture
- Participated on June 11, 2021, in the 14th annual Roll Call of Nations Wreath Laying Ceremony organized by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. Over 50 embassies, representatives of captive nations, and human rights organizations joined virtually in honor of the more than 100 million victims of Communist tyranny since 1917.
- Continued the administration of the Bognár Family Hungarian Scholarship Fund. With the help of the Ambassadors of the Future, fourteen students received stipends for the 2021-2022 academic year: two scholarship recipients are enrolled in universities in Hungary; three scholarship recipients are studying at colleges in the Subcarpathian region of Ukraine; and nine scholarships were awarded to Hungarian students admitted to universities in the Transylvania region of Romania. On November 14, 2021, California-based The Ambassadors of the Future (AF) hosted a Benefit Gala at the historic Cicada Club in downtown Los Angeles, CA and raised $5,000 in support of the Fund. Dr. Ágnes Virga represented the Coalition.
- Awarded 10 Hungarian university students the Dr. Elemér and Éva Kiss Scholarship Awards for the 2021-2022 academic year. The winners are: Ábel Bagdy, enrolled at Columbia School of International and Public Affairs’ (New York, NY) Master of International Relations Program; Lea Bagi, an undergraduate student pursuing the Bachelor of Fine Arts Program at Savannah College of Art and Design (Savannah, GA); Dezső Farkas, an MBA student at Babson College (Wellesley, MA); Norbert Gogan, admitted to Washington State University (Pullmann, WA) studying Strategic Communication, Business, Psychology; Anna Kornis, admitted to Berklee College of Music (Boston, MA); Máté József Kószó, attending American University Kogod School of Business (Washington, DC); Viola Kovács, pursuing Graduate Performance at The Boston Conservatory at Berklee (Boston, MA); Csilla Moran, enrolled at the University of Illinois (Champaign, IL) pursuing Global Studies; Enikő Samu, admitted to the Advanced Performed Studies program at Bard College Conservatory of Music (Annandale-on-Hudson, NY); and Zsófia Tamás, an undergraduate student in Public Relations at Abilene Christian University (Abilene, TX).
- Awarded the “Hungarian American Coalition Award” presented to four students of the Bolyai Farkas High School in Marosvásárhely. Totaling $2,500, the awards were presented for the third time. The recipients were: graduating seniors Sándor Zsolt Szilágyi, Attila Nagy, László Szepessy and 11th grader Dávid Székely, who were recognized for their outstanding academic achievement and community service. The awards were made possible by a donation to the Coalition from the Cultural Foundation for Transylvania (CFT).
- Accepted a donation of artworks by Árpád Kallós, a Hungarian portrait painter who lived and worked in the United States between 1921 and 1960. The collection 8 oil paintings and 6 drawings was donated to the Coalition by Brian R. Fahs, great-great grandson of the painter. The Coalition agreed to transfer the artwork to Hungary for donation to suitable museum or other cultural institution.
- Publicized and distributed two 2021 issues of the Hungarian Review the English-language affiliate of the bi-monthly journal, Magyar Szemle, edited by Gyula Kodolányi and John O’Sullivan. These important editions provide a comprehensive overview in English of the current political and cultural situation in Hungary.
Information and advocacy
- Operated an Office of Information in Washington, D.C. since 1991.
- Maintained contact with US Embassy officials in Hungary.
- Maintained contact with Hungarian government officials – Ms. Zita Bencsik, Director of the North American Department at the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade; János Árpád Potápi, Secretary of State for National Policy; Péter Szilágyi, Ministerial Commissioner responsible for Hungarian communities abroad; and Judit Pirityiné Szabó, Head of Department at the State Secretariat of National Policy.
- Coalition President Emeritus, Max Teleki met with officials at the State Department, the National Security Council and Congressional offices, as well as with Hungarian Ambassador, Szabolcs Takács.
- Andrea Lauer Rice gave an interview Hungarian newspaper Magyar Nemzet in April, 2021 about the power of the Hungarian diaspora as well as the Coalition’s role, our goals and accomplishments as the largest umbrella organization of the Hungarian diaspora in the US. She was also interviewed on three occasions for the Hungarian Living podcast on this year’s commemoration of the 65th anniversary of the 1956 Revolution.
- Coalition Chairman Csilla Grauzer attended and spoke at the Human Rights Workshop organized by the Hungarian Human Rights Foundation (HHRF), held on August 6-7, 2021 at the bucolic Bercel Castle conference venue in Bercel, Hungary. The innovative workshop brought together ten ethnic Hungarian young professionals from minority communities in the Carpathian Basin and young Hungarian-Americans, who participated in HHRF’s ReConnect Hungary cultural immersion program. The goal of the conference was to encourage cooperation and advocacy on current human rights issues affecting Hungarian minorities.
- Continued to update the Coalition’s home page (www.hacusa.org). In March 2021, the Coalition launched a newly updated website. The goal was to streamline the design, make information more easily accessible and to highlight our most important projects and accomplishments. The project was made possible by a grant of the Bethlen Gábor Fund.
Hungarian American Community Affairs
- In her capacity as US President of the Hungarian Diaspora Council, Andrea Lauer Rice hosted quarterly community update calls in both English and Hungarian with 50+ community leaders. She gave welcoming remarks at the virtual American Hungarian Schools Association(AMIT) conference and attended virtual events of member organizations.
- Sponsored the English subtitles for the documentary entitled ‘Liberty and the Hungarian Ideal’ directed by Kálmán Kázsmér on Kossuth’s 6-month tour of the US and its impact on Hungarian American and US politics.
- Published the inaugural Hungarian American Community Yearbook for the year 2020. This new initiative was a partnership between the Coalition and member organizations: American Hungarian Foundation and HungarianHub. The Yearbook – comprised of reports from 72 organizations – provides a summary of the unprecedented challenges of 2020 and how the Hungarian American community as a whole responded with new and innovative community activities and resources.
- Andrea Lauer Rice gave an interview to Bocskai Rádió in August 2021, on the occasion of the organization’s 30th anniversary.
- Coalition Program Coordinator Noémi Bánhidi and several former LTP interns attended the Zebegény Alumni Summit on September 26, 2021 in Zebegény, Hungary organized by the Hungary Foundation (HF) and Quinnipiac University. This event brought together the alumni of all Quinnipiac- and HF-sponsored scholarships, internships and fellowships and their allies from the business, non-profit and government sector.
- Held its 30th Anniversary Virtual Gala and Concert honoring the Coalition’s founding individual and organizational members and featuring musical performances by opera singer Levente Molnár and the Béla Bartók Choir and Chamber Orchestra on October 7, 2021. His Excellency János Áder, President of Hungary, was Honorary Chairman of the event. Many participants attended via zoom, but the main celebration was held at the Cleveland Hungarian Museum, a longtime Coalition member. In addition, regional watch parties were held in San Francisco, CA by Board member Eva Voisin and Boston, MA, by Coalition VP, Dr. Ágnes Virga.
- Attended and co-sponsored Hungarian Night at the Chagrin Documentary Film Festival organized by Coalition Board member George Pogan in Chagrin Falls, OH on October 8, 2021. A full house attended the international premiere of “The Memory Project: 1956/2021”, a compilation of life-history interviews conducted by Coalition member Réka Pigniczky and Coalition President Andrea Lauer Rice for the eponymous Memory Project Archive that they founded in 2015.
- Partnered with several Georgia-based organizations to create a “Freedom Fighter” statue in Georgia for the 65th anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. The GA56 statue project was launched one year ago by the Coalition and John Parkerson, Honorary Consul General of GA, with an initial grant from the Embassy of Hungary, Washington DC. Since then, the project has raised close to $90,000 from more than 50 individual donors and 10 organizations. The most recent grant was made by the Hungary Foundation for $25,000. On October 23, 2021, more than 125 people came together at Stan Mullins Art Studio in Athens, GA, to witness a studio unveiling of the Freedom Fighter statue. In 2022, the statue will be completed and installed in its permanent location.
- Organized the traditional end-of-year Coalition events in Washington, DC. The events included the annual Mikulás Dinner, and the Annual General and Board Meetings. The keynote speaker at the Mikulás Dinner was The Honorable Zsolt Németh, Chairman of the Hungarian Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs.