Cultural Front & European Centre for Culture and Debate GRAD

Kulturni front & Evropski Centar za Kulturu i Debatu GRAD

At this conference Culture Front & Grad are represented by Dejan Ubović, Director, and Nevena Janković, Project Manager.

Brace Krsmanovic 4, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Contact: Dejan Ubović

social/community center (art, culture, but also other fields)
non-profit association / NGO, established in 2000 by a group of citizens; GRAD was established in 2009

The European Centre for Culture and Debate, GRAD, is a venue established as an initiative by the NGO Cultural Front in April 2009 in an old storage building in the former centre of Belgrade. Technically, GRAD operates as a gallery, concert place, conference and debate hall, small cinema, design shop, library, and bar – in one word, a meeting point. GRAD’s mission is to redefine the concept of the cultural centre as an institution active on a local, national, and international level, open to citizens and financially independent from political and ideological structures.

Cultural Front / European Centre for Culture and Debate GRAD

Decision-making: GRAD as an institution operates under the control of 7 people – a director, an art director, a program coordinator, a designer, a project manager, a communication coordinator, a financial and event coordinator, and a technical coordinator. Based on the general strategy (e.g. target groups, long-term partners, cultural policy, communications plan) and depending on the issues, decisions are always taken by a group of people, and in fact almost all decisions are the result of an internal consensus.

Organizational openness: Openness is paramount in the process of making an independent institution possible and sustainable. Dialog with – artists, partners, citizens, competitors, media…

Venue/s / resources:

  • Venue of 400 m2
  • Audio/light/video equipment fully suitable for concerts, conferences, debates, exhibitions, etc. at the venue
  • 8 people in the office
  • 7 people at the bar
  • 3 people at the store
  • 4 people in the library
  • 5 to 15 volunteers at different projects/events

Cultural Front / European Centre for Culture and Debate GRAD

Budget: more than €100,000 and less than €300,000

Co-productions: Our usual co-production model is that we as a venue and group artist share the basic costs of the program – equipment, electricity, security, cleaning, etc.

Hosting: This can obviously not be a unique model or price list but depends on who is asking and for what – for how long, how many people have to be involved, what kind of equipment will be used, whether the event is commercial, nonprofit or completely artistic. To summarize, the calculation always involves a lot of flexibility and sensitivity and a little mathematics.

Services: GRAD usually offers the venue for free to local organizations or artists, if they are non-commercial or are on the same or similar aesthetic directions to GRAD.

Cultural Front / European Centre for Culture and Debate GRAD

Neighborhood: No special relations or activities yet, but plans are underway.

Municipality: Relations with the municipality are good, very technical, and could be much, much better.

Advocacy / activism: Since last year we have been working at the forefront of improving the independent sector’s position and visibility in culture on a local and national level. One of the first steps was the Declaration of the Development of the Independent Scene, signed by 70 NGOs from all over the country. It’s a long-term process and the first results could be visible in 2011.

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