Bulgaria Personal Descriptions of Cultural Managers

Aleksandros Vagenidis and Jorj Yordanov
© Goethe Institut e.V.

“Art is beautiful, but it’s a lot of work," Karl Valentin once said. During a one-week learning journey in Berlin, artists and cultural managers from Bulgaria experienced and discussed how artistic and cultural projects can be successfully initiated, coordinated and financed today. In a few selected personal descriptions, the guests tell us about their favourite cultural events, ideas and suggestions on this learning journey.   

  • Iva Paneva © Goethe Institut e.V.
    Name
    Iva Paneva

    Age
    38

    Origin
    Bulgaria, Sofia

    Profession
    Project Coordinator and Our World Association Performer

    My favourite event/cultural project on this trip was...
    ... a dance performance at the Ufer Studios for contemporary dance, in which more than 100 people took part.

    The best advertising/marketing for cultural projects is...
    ... showing rousing images in videos or photographs.

    My ideas for promoting culture and acquiring funding ..
    ...to open Our World Theatre for an evening for artists and performers to present their ideas and projects to the audience.

    This is what we can learn from Germany/Berlin:
    ...that there can be great diversity within a city and that deserted buildings can be transformed into creative places.

    And this is what Germans should definitely see in Bulgaria:
    Bulgaria’s cultural scene in summer in Varna by the Black Sea and of course in Sofia!
  • Ivan Yanakiev © Goethe Institut e.V.
    Name
    Ivan Yanakiev

    Age
    28

    Origin
    Bulgaria, Sofia

    Profession
    Conductor of the 432 Chamber Orchestra in Sofia

    My favourite event/cultural project on this trip was...
    ...of course – the visit to the Berliner Philharmoniker.

    The best advertising/marketing for cultural projects is...
    ...when you inspire people with examples and excerpts from the artistic product.

    My ideas for promoting culture and acquiring funding ..
    ...is not only to move the audience through music, but also to transform it, to pull it out of its passivity.

    This is what we can learn from Germany/Berlin:
    ...culture takes place here at diverse levels simultaneously, not just for an upper class.

    And this is what Germans should definitely see in Bulgaria:
    The unadorned Bulgaria, not what is presented by the Ministry of Culture, which unfortunately is often still over-dominated by a post-communist mentality and passivity.
  • Aleksandros Vagenidis and Jorj Yordanov © Goethe Institut e.V.
    Name
    Aleksandros Vagenidis and Jorj Yordanov

    Age
    26 and 57

    Origin
    Bulgaria, Sofia

    Profession
    Vagenidis works at the Sredets cultural centre; both sing in “Vox Orphikus”, an a capella ensemble.

    My favourite event/cultural project on this trip was...
    ...is no doubt still to come.

    The best advertising/marketing for cultural projects is...
    ... when art impresses first the audience, and then policymakers are impressed to give projects financial support.

    My ideas for promoting culture and acquiring funding ..
    ... to be present in the media and to use them for advertising.

    This is what we can learn from Germany/Berlin:
    ...it’s the same here, “no money no fun”, as they say. And that there are many good ideas for financing culture independently from politics or in alternative ways.

    And this is what Germans should definitely see in Bulgaria:
    One of our Vox Orphikus concerts, of course, best of all in a historical setting!
  • Irina Beleva © Goethe Institut e.V.
    Name
    Irina Beleva

    Age
    50

    Origin
    Bulgaria, Plovdiv

    Profession
    Consultant for the Bulgarian-Chinese Business Development Association

    My favourite event/cultural project on this trip was...
    ...that we as a group engaged in very lively debate among ourselves and with our German contacts.

    The best advertising/marketing for cultural projects is...
    ...you post your projects on social networks such as Facebook.

    My ideas for promoting culture and acquiring funding ..
    ...to rely more on cooperation and, when organising major cultural events, to address new markets, particularly in China, Vietnam or Singapore.

    This is what we can learn from Germany/Berlin:
    ...as an artist, you can always become active yourself and can join others to form cooperatives.
  • Aleksandra Genova © Goethe Institut e.V.
    Name
    Aleksandra Genova

    Age
    28

    Origin
    Bulgaria, Sofia

    Profession
    Cultural entrepreneur and member of staff of the Association for Urban Libraries

    My favourite event/cultural project on this trip was...
    ... Berlin nightlife at the club “Kater Blau”.

    The best advertising/marketing for cultural projects is...
    ... leaving traditional paths and spreading new artistic and innovative ideas via social networks.

    My ideas for promoting culture and acquiring funding ..
    ...to launch cultural projects without any initial funding if necessary and to convince financial backers in the process.

    This is what we can learn from Germany/Berlin:
    ...that art enjoys high status here, both as an economic and locational factor, and that art conveys important values to society.

    And that is what Germans should definitely see in Bulgaria:
    They should see nightlife in Sofia and experience people in the city.
  • Martina Staneva © Goethe Institut e.V.
    Name
    Martina Staneva

    Age
    41

    Origin
    Bulgaria, Sofia

    Profession
    Staff member, Project Coordinator, Group Analyst and Philosopher at the Don Bosco Bulgaria Foundation/Centre for Culture and Debate Red House Andrey Nikolov

    My favourite event/cultural project on this trip was...
    ... getting to know the city’s self-organised, independent art scene and artists‘ initiatives that shared their knowledge with us.

    The best advertising/marketing for cultural projects is...
    ... when people start to talk and tell other people about their art project.

    My ideas for promoting culture and acquiring funding ..
    ...getting more involved with crowdfunding and with EU funding programmes, urban initiatives and also cultural institutes such as the Goethe-Institut.

    This is what we can learn from Germany/Berlin:
    ... to uphold values such as acceptance, tolerance, diversity, freedom and also punctuality :) just as they do.