On 17 September, Plovdiv is organizing its seventh consecutive Night of Museums and Galleries. Citizens and guests of the city will have the opportunity to attend a program of art events whose range goes well beyond that which is offered by traditional art festivals. The second of the Night’s three main programs – Culture & Club – includes contributions from the city’s cultural institutes, as well as from bookshops, clubs and informal art spaces, and is evidence of Plovdiv’s vibrant cultural scene.
Below are some of the highlights in the Culture & Club Program:
The most ambitious event in this program is the Music Under the Stars concert, organised at the Roman Amphitheatre by Maxim Eshkenazy and the America for Bulgaria Foundation as part of the Fortissimo Fest. The goal of the Fortissimo Fest is to present to Bulgarian audiences with the best examples from the classical music scene in Bulgaria and the United States, encouraging a deeper mutual understanding between the two cultures. The festival strives to attract new audiences to classical music concerts and foster a new attitude and taste in this valuable art form. The program at the Roman Amphitheatre in Plovdiv will include unique arrangements of Bulgarian folklore with the accompaniment of a philharmonic orchestra, music from popular movies as well as a selection of classical music favourites. The Fortissimo Fest will continue with another six concerts in Sofia in October.
The Surp Kevork Armenian Apostolic Church and the Armenian Cultural Centre will be joining the Night of Museums and Galleries for the first time this year. They will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Armenia with a program of music and dance (the Erubini Group) and presentations of Armenian rites, rituals and cuisine.
Plovdiv’s cultural institutes have prepared a dynamic and interesting program of events. The Plovdiv State Archives are unveiling an exhibition entitled Plovdiv’s Hills, which traces the history of the city’s landmark hills through old prints, maps, photographs and documents. Code 1969 – an exhibition of oil paintings by a collective of artists, organised by the White Zone Gallery, will be on display at the Radio Plovdiv Cultural Centre. The regional studio of the Bulgarian National Television is screening a documentary dedicated to the studio’s 40th anniversary. The exhibition Generations – with works by well-known artists and visual arts teachers – is celebrating the 50th anniversity of Plovdiv University. Penka Kalinkova’s photography exhibition The Floral Fantasies of Arch. Kamen Petkov will also shown in the University’s building.
Plovdiv’s libraries and bookshops are also taking part in the Night of Museums and Galleries. The Ivan Vazov National Library has put together a photography exhibition entitled Bulgaria’s Wars, while in another part of the building library staff will be showing their own artworks. Writer Kalin Terziyski is organising a literary game called Powerful Unfree Associations in the Helikon Bookshop. The Children’s Program at the Hermes Bookshop will start as early as 4 p.m. with the drawing workshop My Favourite Literary Character. The Children’s Department of the Ivan Vazov National Library has an offering for the youngest too – the Symmetry on Cellophane and Paper workshop, which will be hosted by Maria Petrova. Artist Milen Siromashki is organising a children’s workshop at the Artists’ House.
The exhibition Revolution Now by Nadezhda Kyupova at the Studio 9 Gallery, which is inspired by the street protests in London this summer, stands out in the program of independent art spaces. The Gallery in Gardens – a private home with a small park in the outskirts of Plovdiv – will be opened to the public for the first time, hosting an exhibition with works by Plovdivian artists and a program of documentaries. True to its mission, The Tea House stays focused on Eastern philosophies with the exhibition The Spirit of Zen by Liliya Zaikova.
According to tradition, the Clubs Section of the Night offers a selection of cross-over events targeted at younger audiences. The evening’s theme at the Acoustic Bar, a new participant in the Night, is jazz: there will be a live performance by Zhivko Bratanov (piano) and Edith Undzhiyan (voice) and an exhibition with photographs of the participants in the A to JazZ festival. Another jazz offering is the exhibition and live performance dedicated to Miles Davis – with the participation of Roko Zahariev (trumpet), Vassil Spassov (piano), Atanas Popov (drums) and Dimitar Karamfilov (double bass) – at the Maria-Louisa Club. Oil paintings and an unplugged rock concert by the band Chapter One are the bill at the landmark Naylona Club. A poetry reading by the young Bulgarian poets Yassen Vassilev, Ivan Dimitrov, Radoslav Chichev and Miroslav Hristov will be on at the Fabric Bar.
The artnewscafe is hosting a lecture-performance by Sophie-Therese Trenka-Dalton entitled An Expedition to Assyria. The young Berlin-based artist is in Bulgaria with the support of the Goethe Institute to take the audience an unexpected journey from the ancient images of Mesopotamia to contemporary architecture. She will later be making a presentation of the Berlin magazine for art and culture Basso, of which is a contributor. The program at the artnewscafé also includes a live music performance by Pistamachina, their first in Plovdiv.
Additional information, including interviews with some of the artists, will be posted daily on the festival’s blog – www.gallery-night.info/blog, while fresh news will be uploaded regularly on the Night’s pages in Facebook and Twitter. The full program will be made available at www.gallery-night.info after 1 September.
The Plovdiv Night of Museums and Galleries is organised by the Open Arts Foundation in partnership with the Municipality of Plovdiv and the financial support of the America for Bulgaria Foundation and Vivacom.
For additional information:
OPEN ARTS FOUNDATION
Organiser of the Plovdiv Night of Museums and Galleries
36 Otets Paisiy St., Plovdiv 4000, Bulgaria
www.openarts.info, +359 888 520375, +359 885 550993, firstname.lastname@example.org