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An overview of the Klára Kokas Agape Joy of Music, Joy of Life Foundation

The Agape Joy of Music, Joy of Life Foundation was conceived by music pedagogue Dr. Klára Kokas in 1990. According to its original Charter, the Foundation was intended to “encourage the development and creative activity of harmonious personalities inspired by refined music, capable of self-expression and human contact, evolving with hope and a joy for life”. In practice, this entailed the extension of the “Nurturing towards Humanity with the Arts” pedagogy program, launched in the 1970s. Building on the results of the Kodály concept, this involved the application of the personality-shaping Kokas method in groups of children, groups of families, as well as at teachers’ vocational training courses. In addition, books, video materials and multimedia DVDs were produced and published. 

Functioning as a public benefit organization since 1998, in addition to pedagogical workshops and training courses fostering active musical experience, the foundation organized special and integrated concerts and camps as well, striving to confront unequal access to social opportunities among Hungarian ethnic minorities and physically or mentally disabled persons. 

After the death of Dr. Klára Kokas, in 2011 the Foundation took the name of its founder and, adapting to the changed circumstances, the Board of Trustees got involved in organizational development and a series of new activities.

It started to establish the Foundation’s professional network. It set up the Klára Kokas Professional College and laid down the “Kokas Code”, formulating the essence of the Kokas pedagogy. It is developing plans to promote the integration of the Kokas-pedagogy into lifelong training and education from the fetal stage, and is committed to carry out the relevant research and scientific studies.

It has begun compiling the Kokas-archive. In collaboration with the Zoltán Kodály Pedagogical Institute of Music, the Board intends to take upon the cultivation and processing of the professional career and intellectual inheritance of Dr. Klára Kokas.

It has started to develop a state-of-the-art infocommunications and data management system, and to make arrangements for identifying forms of digital distance learning.

It continues to pursue one of the Foundation’s core activities, regularly organizing accredited teacher training courses with a constant focus on substantive improvement. It also expends effort on training innovation, and contemplates setting up new training courses in Hungarian and in English.

It continues to maintain public awareness about the Kokas-pedagogy both in Hungary and abroad, and strives to promote it further in professional and civil areas alike. It seeks to involve in its activities not only Hungarian minorities in neighboring countries, but also those living in the wider diaspora. It arranges professional days, international jamborees, camps and conferences and provides the related work programs and publications.

The Foundation’s activities and the implementation of its diverse goals represent an important opportunity for value preservation. The work of Dr. Klára Kokas (1929-2010) and the music-centered, complex art pedagogy she conceived are unique not only from the aspect of education history, but also because they belong to a Hungarian cultural heritage which exerts international impact. 

Members of the Kokas Klára Foundation’s renewed Board of Trustees have taken it upon themselves to maintain a cohesive operational system for the further utilization of the Kokas-pedagogy, and to establish the most appropriate organizational forms to ensure the continuation of her inheritance. For the time being, the Foundation’s human resources are primarily volunteers and the available infrastructure is insufficient.

The Foundation will not have a chance to fulfill its ambitious goals unless its existing, inadequate conditions are improved. Please provide the Foundation with moral and financial support to help accomplish its vital mission.

Gabriella Dr Deszpot

Additional information: www.kokas.hu

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Mailing address: Kokas Klára Agape Zene-Életöröm Foundation - H-1537 Budapest, Pf. 384. Hungary

IBAN:Bank account number:HU17 10402166-21619634-00000000
SWIFT Code: OKHBHUHB

Tax number: 18009578-1-43

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