The Centre for Culture and Civic Initiatives is a cultural institution established in 2008 by the Municipal Council of Podkowa Leśna.
The Centre for Culture and Civic Initiatives in Podkowa Leśna is a place where the inhabitants of Podkowa Leśna, south-west of Warsaw, can meet. Its mission is to strengthen the local community by inspiring, supporting grassroots activities and cultural education of the inhabitants of Podkowa, so that they consciously participate in culture and contribute to their "little homeland". Therefore, they work with local partners such as cultural and educational institutions, NGOs, parishes, volunteers, informal groups, local leaders, and individuals. People not only participate in the proposed activities, but create their own activities, e.g. during its flagship event "Open Gardens". They try to guarantee that the activities they propose empower the development of potential for everyone, regardless of individual artistic or other abilities. They are open to dialogue and discussion, because culture is a great platform to build bridges over divisions.
The Centre organises the following activities:
- Cyclical events: Open Gardens Festival, European Heritage Days, Congress of Polish Garden Cities
- International cooperation with garden cities (Hellerau in Germany, Letchworth in the UK, Wekerletelep in Hungary, Meżapark in Latvia)
- Presentation of the work of local artists
- Open Generation University - a comprehensive offer for seniors (lectures, meetings, visits to museums and territories, dance, recreation, theater, art classes)
- Project Cinema and Outdoor Cinema (presentation of an ambitious repertoire of Polish and world cinema - without commercials and popcorn!)
- Concerts of classical and jazz music
- Promotion of local cultural heritage related to Podkowa Leśna and its history and the idea of garden cities
- Cultural education (music, theatre, cinema, art)
- Supporting creative groups (singing, dancing, theater)
- Art exhibitions
- Theater and performative activities in public space, theater performances and city games.
The Centre for Culture and Civic Initiatives is runned by a team of 10 people, and welcome the citizens of Podkowa and offer them its program in its two premises provides its program to the citizens of Podkowa. They receive a targeted subsidy for their main activities, but also find additional external funds and operate commercial activities.
Why did they join the ENCC?
The Centre is willing to be more in contact with other cultural centres across Europe, exchange experiences and find partners for international projects. “Podkowa Leśna can be an interesting and unique partner due to the fact that it is a garden city. Topics such as sustainable development, ecology in arts and cultural activities, cultural and natural heritage protection and promotion are of interest to us and can be attractive to potential partners of a similar profile. We are also interested in projects highlighting the specificity of the cultural sector in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe.”