CRACOVIA EXPRESSZ CULTURAL FOUNDATION HUNGARY – POLAND
The CRACOVIA EXPRESSZ Foundation was set up in January 2001. The aim of this public utility institution is to maintain an independent Hungarian Cultural Centre, which has been working for almos 10 years with the financial aid of foundations and sponsors.
In the last twenty-five years the idea to establish a cultural office in Cracow came up many times and when Cracow was chosen as one of the cultural capitals of the world in 2000 the Ministry of Cultural Heritage of Hungary set up a Hungarian Cultural Office for the jubilee year. Taking into account its success, the experience obtained during its activity and the future prospects though, we thought it would be irrational and uneconomical to interrupt its operation therefore we did everything in order this branch office could continue the work it started, even in a different legal form.
Accordingly the CRACOVIA EXPRESSZ Foundation was set up in January 2001. The aim of this public utility institution is to establish an independent Hungarian Cultural Centre, which will continue work with the financial aid of foundations and sponsors. Our primary objective is to ensure in the forecoming years the appropriate place for Hungarian presence in the Central-European cultural exchange.
The recent economic and political changes and the accelerated process of European integration threw new light upon the traditionally friendly Hungarian-Polish relationship placing an even greater emphasis on the need for a Central-European cooperation. The distance between our countries that used to be maintained artificially by the official politics of the 80’s seems to have been diminishing. The spontaneous initiatives of the civil sphere and non-profit organizations of the two countries play a very important role, accelerating and coordinating this process of approach at the same time opening up new perspectives for a cultural, economic and political cooperation on a larger scale.
In Warsaw there has been a Hungarian Cultural Institute operating for many years. Its activity, however, does not cover the whole area of Poland where there are several cultural centres simultaneously. On the other hand it is a historical fact that Poland’s cultural capital has been Cracow. The administration of several European countries have understood this: there is a French, an Italian and an Austrian Institute in the town, the Goethe Institute and the Pro Helvetia Foundation from Switzerland are also very active here.
The operation of the Centre can be taken as a good example and motivator for the institution system of cultural diplomacy and policy on an international scale. Its economic efficiency releases the burden of state administration, the succesful operation of the Center proves that even a small group of people with little money can achieve resounding effects enabling the institution to be present everywhere and arouse interest, curiosity and even admiration towards Hungarian culture. The small branch office in Cracow represents a new entrepreneurial and fundraising model – it can set an example for transformation of existing infrastructures into more flexible and self-sustainable one, and can be an alternative vis-à-vis the less effective cultural institutes working of a huge state budget.
– Refreshing the Hungarian-Polish cultural cooperation, providing the traditionally friendly relationship with a more effective basis, promoting mutual cultural programs, placing an even greater emphasis on the need for a Central-European cooperation,
– Developing Hungarian-Polish relationship, cross-cultural communications and “cross-borders” cooperation in the cultural field in view of preparations for accession to the European Union,
– Establishing an Independent Hungarian Cultural Centre that will be destined to realize and implement the above objectives at the same time to assure the conditions for the operation of the Centre
– Qualitative cultural policy – introducing outstanding personalities of Hungarian cultural life irrespective of party politics or personal symphaties
– Assessment and consideration of local needs – even the most ambitious ideas can turn into isolated initiatives if they are not adapted to the taste and soul of the given culture
– Economic efficiency – small office, minimum administration, as efficient activity as possible
– High quality promotion activity – good relationship with the local and national press and advertising agencies, connecting activity to other festivals and international programs in Poland.
– Organising representative Hungarian exhibitions, providing exhibition opportunity for the introduction of Hungarian culture and art, giving support for artistic initiatives,
– Supporting young artists, providing an opportunity for the publication of Hungarian books in Polish, for making documentaries, photo albums and other publications,
– Organizing film festivals, concerts, literary and authorial evenings, conferences, professional meetings, language courses, providing scholarships, rewards, conducting artistic competitions, offering other types of financial aid to promote and introduce artistic work, promoting and organizing guest performance of Hungarian theatres in Poland, promoting guest performance of Hungarian artists in Poland, organizing exchange journeys for the representatives of cultural life,
– Providing easy access to touristic information,
– Documentation: setting up a library in the Hungarian Centre in Cracow, regular collection of data, establishing and maintaining an IT database.