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The Opening of the Creative Center PROSTOR in Petrovaradin: New Possibilities for the Revitalization of the Lower Town

A new creative center, PROSTOR, will open its doors to the public on September 1st, which will be the first step towards the continuous stimulation for the awakening and revitalization of the Lower Town of the Petrovaradin Fortress – it was announced at the today’s media conference by the Art Association Inbox, with the participation of the mayor of the city of Novi Sad, Miloš Vučević. What was also announced is the beginning of this year’s Street Musicians Festival – Gradić Fest – the 18th Street Musicians Festival, which will take place from August 30th to September 1st, in the Lower Town of the Petrovaradin Fortress.

The Art Association Inbox intends PROSTOR to be a place for exchanging knowledge, experience and ideas, but also a place for joint work and creation. PROSTOR will be a place for conferences, seminars, lectures and workshops on various topics, but also a place for exhibitions, art performances, acoustic concerts, film projections, and other activities.

The mayor of the city of Novi Sad, Miloš Vučević, has expressed his gladness about the fact that a new space for cultural and diverse creative content will be opened in a part of the city that until now has not had an institution of that kind. He has also emphasized the importance of the Street Musicians Festival in terms of the initiative to revitalize the Lower Town and to give it a new purpose, make it a valuable and beautiful city quarter with a rich cultural offer, more attractive for tourist visits, life and work than it has been so far.

“The festival has shown independence and persistence in terms of the idea of revitalization, and the very relocation of this manifestation to the Lower Town has shown that our city can have polycentric cultural politics, with successful events organized outside the Street Zmaj Jovina and the center”, said Vučević, and added that the opening of the creative center PROSTOR is a sign of support for all those who work in the domain of art and culture, as well as the announcement of the new concept of the Lower Town, in whose revitalization the city of Novi Sad will continue to invest.

As an especially important moment for the completion of the idea of the repurposing of this city quarter of great historical significance, Vučić highlighted the recent full activation of the newly built Žeželj Bridge, which will create the conditions for an additional reduction of the traffic and its eventual reregulation and possible relocation outside the Lower Town. This possibility was also mentioned by Darko Polić from the Urban Planning Institute of Novi Sad, who also emphasized the fact that the city urbanists are currently considering the question: what to do next in that case?

“Historically speaking, The Lower Town has always been on the line of communication between Belgrade and Budapest, but the Street Musicians Festival has made us see new possibilities for this quarter. A similar situation happened on occasions when the center of Novi Sad was closed for the traffic”, said Polić, and emphasized that the opening of PROSTOR additionally indicates this environment’s new potentials.

“A rich and interesting content is what the visitors to the creative center PROSTOR can expect starting from September 1st, immediately after the end of the Street Musicians Festival – Gradić Fest”, said the executive director of the Art Association Inbox, Natali Beljanski Popović.

“Gradić is just one of the issues we are going to address through this creative center’s work and programs, and we will gladly share PROSTOR with other associations, organizations and individuals who can help us to become better. All programs and contents at PROSTOR will promote equality, solidarity, human rights, association and the freedom of expression”, said Beljanski Popović, and added that a great help and support for the realization of this idea, as well as for the revitalization of the Lower Town, was given by the Community Center Petrovaradin, the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of Novi Sad, and by the residents of the Lower Town themselves.

The first activities at PROSTOR will be visible as soon as during the upcoming Street Musicians Festival, when, among other things, the conference and round table “Use of Heritage”, and the audio-visual event “Different Trains” by Bilitis Quartet will take place. The opening of the Street Musicians Festival will take place on August 30th, with the ceremonial parade of the festival’s participants and citizens going from Trg Slobode Square to the Belgrade Gate, and a spectacular concert by the Spanish pianist and performer David Moreno.

The Street Musicians Festival – Gradić Fest – is organized by the Art Association Inbox, with the sponsorship of the city of Novi Sad and the Provincial Secretariat for Culture and Public Information.

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