There are international standards how to develop art institutions in order to attract broader public. There are also local specifics that need to be taken into account. The intersection between these two positions might be a successful formula for a vital and perspective museum, gallery or art center. Go small! Big institutions are remnants of the past.”

Maria Vassileva (curator)

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The above words come as a reaction to a most prolific and interesting discussion organised on the occasion of the visit of Pedro Gadanho in Sofia, where he delivered a lecture on the new role of the museum and the challenges it faces in terms of programming, education, audience and marketing and communication. Тhe meeting with local culture activists happened as a leisure breakfast lead by us, Studio Komplekt.

Pedro Gadanho is an architect, curator and writer. For four years he was a curator in the Department of Architecture and Design in MoMA, before quitting the job and becoming the first director of the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology  in Lisbon, Portugal – MAAT. He aims to turn the museum into a place with a unique space for exhibitions and collaborations, events, educational programs and other diverse activities.

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We were most honoured to meet Pedro Gadanho in person and listen to his insightful stories. Through his personal experience he touched upon such pertinent and interesting topics as grabbing opportunities in the independent cultural sector, starting an ambitious new museum and turning it into more than an exhibition space and keeping the audience coming through strong and interactive content but also through a landmark architecture point in the city.

The discussion turned out to be a dynamic and engaging one also due to the participation of such bright minds like: Architect Aneta Vassileva (WhAT Association), Architect Angel Zahariev (Grupa Grad), Velislava Popova (editor in chief, DNEVNIK daily), Vessela Gertcheva (Program and exhibitions director, Muzeiko), Architect Ina Vulkanova, Kalina Zhuleva (clinical psychologist and design thinking lecturer, Generator), Architect Mariana Sarbova, Maria Vassileva (curator), Sevdelina Voynova (program director, Sofia Development Association), Zornitsa Mitkova (public relations).

Content: Adriana Andreeva and Boiana Gjaurova, Studio Komplekt (journalists, curators, cultural managers)

Organization: Zornitsa Mitkova (public relations) 

Photography and Editing: Ilian Ruzhin

Sound design and mixing: Yordan Markov

Music: BenSound

Special thanks to: architect Ina Vulkanova, the Embassy of Portugal in Bulgaria and Instituto Camões Sofia

The podcast is available –> here.