Statement of Open Arts Foundation about NIGHT/Plovdiv 2018 from 12.03.2018

Official statement of Vesselina Sarieva, Director of Open Arts Foundation and organizer of NIGHT/Plovdiv, with reference to a statement of Mayor Ivan Totev at a press conference in Plovdiv on 12.03.2018.

Today at a press conference in Plovdiv Municipality Mayor Ivan Totev stated that last Friday, Vesselina Sarieva, organizer of NIGHT/Plovdiv, had said in an official press release that she would not realize the event this year and for this reason he will appoint to MF Plovdiv 2019 to organize such an event on 20, 21, 22 September 2018.

Vesselina Sarieva and the team of Open Arts Foundation categorically declare that we find this to be a manipulation of public attitudes. We have never published or provided such information, and we have not given up the realization of the event. On the contrary, we entered an official letter in the Municipality of Plovdiv on 22 February 2018, in which we reject the municipal funding and declare: "...The festival team continues the work on the 14th consecutive edition of NIGHT/Plovdiv, which will be held on 14 and 15 September 2018" (see enclosed copy of the letter).

Today's statement by the Mayor of Plovdiv Ivan Totev (following his threat to Vesselina Sarieva at the press conference on 14 February 2018) once again brings instability to the organization of the largest Plovdiv cultural festival NIGHT/Plovdiv 2018. This is a speculation that kills the cultural climate in Plovdiv, where the NIGHT brings together over 40 local cultural organizations, the work of the organizers with the traditional partners and sponsors of the event and, last but not least, an obstacle to the development of Plovdiv and the potential that the NIGHT provides for the economy and the private business.

We also find threatening the fact that, with such a single-person statement, the mayor Totev once again demonstrates dictatorship over the management of the Culture and Tourism Department of the Municipality of Plovdiv and the Municipal Foundation Plovdiv 2019. This fact is threatening and symptomatic of the future of the city and leads to disintegration.

After today's events, Open Arts Foundation could not continue to work on the organization of the cultural festival NIGHT/Plovdiv 2018 until it receives a formally agreed opinion by the mayor of Plovdiv Ivan Totev, Department "Culture and Tourism" at Plovdiv Municipality and Municipal Foundation Plovdiv 2019.

Listen to the statement of Mayor Ivan Totev from the press conference on 12.03 and the answer of Vesselina Sarieva to BNR Plovdiv.