The idea of a complex Jewish cultural centre sprang from András Borgula, who founded Hungary's internationally acclaimed Golem Theatre in 2005 and has been the artistic director ever since. Working on a project-based model with renowned actors and leading theatre professionals from the Hungarian contemporary art scene, Golem has no permanent ensemble. Additionally, not having its own playhouse, the company has performed at various venues since its founding.

Borgula said: "We have always planned to move to a permanent base, which is an obvious advantage when you run a theatre. For that very reason I was delighted when, upon our inquiry, Budapest's District VII municipality agreed to lease us one of their derelict buildings, an old bakery in the very heart of the city's old Jewish Quarter.

"Given an ever-increasing appetite for arts and culture in Budapest, we decided to widen our scope and transform our operation from purely running a theatre to opening a contemporary Jewish cultural centre with complex programming.".

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The atmospheric District VII has much living Jewish and multicultural tradition dating back several hundred years. Besides housing Golem Theatre's repertoire and its performing art school, the centre will host contemporary music, dance and circus productions, as well as serve as an educational and information hub regarding today's Jewish culture. Visitors will have the chance to relax in an all-day open café featuring traditional Jewish cuisine reinvented.

The project is based on a public service contract, where the municipality provides the venue while Golem Theatre will operate the hub along its own artistic programming and business plan. The renovation works of the building are under way and the centre is expected to open in September 2020. Besides its own resources, Golem aims to fund the EUR 225,000 project with the help of private benefactors, corporate partnerships and crowdfunding.


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