NIGHT OF MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES – PLOVDIV 2011
On 17 September 2011 the seventh Night of Museums and Galleries – Plovdiv took place. This year the event included 67 participants in a total of 67 locations. The Night consisted of three major programs: Museums and Galleries (respectively 29 locations), Culture and Club (18 locations) and The City and Public Places (21 locations).
This year the Night managed to attract a considerable number of visitors again which is also due to the fact that the events were organized in just one day – 17th September (Saturday). According to statistic data from the museums, galleries and all other participants, visitors reach approximately 40 000 again in contrast to the previous year, when this number was gathered for two days, correspondingly – 25 000 on Friday (24 September) and 15 000 (25 September). (In comparison, in 2005 the Night was visited by 3000 people, in 2006 – by 7000, in 2007 – 25 000, in 2010 – 25 000 people (24 September) and 15 000 (25 September)). This year visitors consisted predominantly of guests of the city who were even more than the residents of Plovdiv.
In the Museums and Galleries program the regional museums were once again the places which drew an incalculable number of people willing to closely examine the permanent displays, specially prepared exhibitions and events. For the first time this year the Regional Museum of History took part and prepared its special program for the Night. In compliance with data from the museum, by 23 o’clock 6 000 people visited the exhibition halls. On account of the access control regime which was imposed in the larger museums such as the Regional Museum of Natural History, Regional Museum of Archaeology, Regional Museum of History – “The Bulgarian Reunification of 1885 Exhibit”, Regional Museum of Ethnography, the Ancient Bath – Center for Contemporary Art.
There was an incredible interest in the events organized for children in the Culture and Club program. Children programs took place in “Ivan Vazov” National Library, Children’s Department, “Hermes” Bookshop and “Artists’ House”, which participates for the first time in this year’s edition of the Night.
In the third The City and Public Places program were included a myriad of projects which took place in various open spaces in the city. Among the many events there are a few that stood out with greatest significance to the audience with professional interest in the area of contemporary art. These are the two international projects curated by Iara Boubnova – Vadim Fishkin’s “Lighthouse” and “East Art Map”- the work of the famous Slovenian group IRWIN.
Precisely this program comprises all projects which “Open Arts Foundation” chose by an Open call. A considerable part of them are deeds of either international authors or ones from Plovdiv. As far as the supported projects are concerned, there were 12 such in 2011 – 1 Italian, 1 Serbian, 1 German and as for the Bulgarian – 2 form Sofia and 7 from Plovdiv. The projects were financially, technically and logistically supported by “Open Arts Foundation”.
The major accents in the events and projects approved by the Open call of “Open Arts Foundation” which will leave a long-lasting imprint on Plovdiv include: the volumetric inscription PLOVEDIV in “Stanislav Dospevski” Street, a project by Milen Gelishev and Simeon Todorov as well as the project of Studio 8 ½ “Bibliobus “Otets Paisiy” Street”.
The five screenings, products of foreign and Bulgarian authors, which were set in different locations in Plovdiv and were specially selected for the visitors, can be differentiated as part of the events in the Night.
The organization of Night of Museums and Galleries – Plovdiv 2011 took “Open Arts Foundation” and its permanent team of three people half a year. The team responsible for the technical organization expanded. What is more, the contribution of the Night in a social aspect found expression in the continuation of the idea for creation of probationers’ programs and a system for participation of volunteers, which comprised a total of 38 volunteers and 15 interns.
“Open Arts Foundation” developed the existing from 2010 blog of the Night, where 70 interviews with partners and participants in the Night as well as thematic articles, concerning the different programs, and sample routes were published.
The Total visits to the website ( www.gallery-night.info) for August are 10 806 hits per day average and for September – 44 446 hits per day average. The Total visits to the blog (http://www.gallery-night.info/blog) for August are 8 604 average hits per day and for September – 28 215 average hits per day.
As a contribution to the communication strategy the Night had its own mobile applications for iPhone, IPAD, Andriod, Blackberry and smartphone containing the exhaustive program and information for the event.
To help orient and inform the visitors of the Night, info kiosk was built. The organizer made also a special map, a guide and a bilingual booklet and branding of sites.
Two of the Night’s now traditional partners hosted their own events. The America for Bulgaria Foundation, which supports the festival for the third consecutive year, presented an open-air classical music concert directed by Maxim Eshkenazi, as part of the Fortissimo Fest, at Plovdiv’s Roman Amphitheatre, as well as the A to JazZ Festival which took the form of a street jazz parade. A special video program curated by Pavlina Mladenova and supported by the VIVACOM Fund was also part of the program.
A new element in this year was a VIP event – called the Collectors’ Forum – which was from now on proceeded the official shows. Its goals were to provide visibility for successful private collectors’ practices and to encourage aspiring collectors to start and run their own art collections. Participation in the event was by invitation only.
The visual identity of the Night was the work of Poststudio for visual culture, who have developed a special font inspired by the city’s street signs, graffiti and magazines, called The Letters of Plovdiv.
Chief organizer of Night of Museums and Galleries – Plovdiv 2011 is “Open Arts Foundation”. The event received support from: “America for Bulgaria Foundation”, Vivacom Fund, EVN Bulgaria and Municipality of Plovdiv, with the latter being once again a co- organizer.
Open Arts Foundation
Municipality of Plovdiv
America for Bulgaria Foundation, Vivacom fund, EVN Bulgaria
Star Hotel, KCM 2000 AD, Fairnet Bulgaria Ltd, Billboard JSC, Duropack S.A., Goethe Institut
Main media parnters
BNT (Bulgarian National Television), BNT – RTVC Plovdiv (Regional Television Centre), BNR (Bulgarian National Radio)
Darik Radio, Programata Plovdiv Info, programata.bg, zar.bg, National Geographic Bulgaria, LIK magazine, Edno magazine, vesti.bg, sinoptik.bg, vbox7.com, For the People, Kultura newspaper, media café.bg, artinfo, On air, Marica newspaper