In order to commemorate three centuries of the Almaš neighbourhood in Novi Sad, Nemanja Milenković, CEO of the ‘Novi Sad 2021’ Foundation announced reconstruction of the fourth cultural station and creation of cultural quarter in place of the former silk factory, important industrial heritage of the city located on the corner of Kosovska and Pavla Stamatovića streets, during the gala event in ‘Jovan Jovanović Zmaj’ grammar school on Tuesday, 17 October 2017. In this way, with the reconstruction of the former ‘Petar Drapšin’ factory, the Foundation transforms the two oldest objects of industrial heritage in Novi Sad into cultural venues.
In order to commemorate three centuries of the Almaš neighbourhood in Novi Sad, Miloš Vučević, Mayor of Novi Sad, the Most Reverend Dr Irinej Bulović, Bishop of Novi Sad and Bačka, Sombor and Szeged, Dr Radivoj Stojković, Headteacher of the ‘Jovan Jovanović Zmaj’ grammar school, and Nemanja Milenković, CEO of the ‘Novi Sad 2021’ Foundation, as well as Almaš church choir, choir of the ‘Jovan Jovanović Zmaj’ grammar school, choir and folklore ensemble ‘Vila’ participated in the cultural-artistic programme of the gala event.
Nemanja Milenković, CEO of the ‘Novi Sad 2021’ Foundation stated: ‘In addition to the fact that the reconstruction of the former ‘Petar Drapšin’ factory into a centre of creative and cultural industries, following the recommendation of the expert Panel of the European Commission, the ‘Novi Sad 2021’ Foundation, in order to commemorate 300 years of the Almaš neighbourhood, initiated the idea of one more cultural district in place of the first factory that marked the beginning of the industrialisation of Novi Sad’. At the corner of Almaška and Pavla Stamatovića streets, in the immediate vicinity of the silk factory, there is the depo and workshop of the Serbian National Theatre and branch of the Academy of Arts, University in Novi Sad, which together with renovated cultural station is a huge potential. ‘By revitalising the new cultural quarter in Podbara, the ‘Novi Sad 2021’ Foundation creates another cultural core that will train future producers, light, sound and programme designers, where theatre workers will be able to implement art productions by creating elements of stage design. This place will also create opportunities for new artistic and cultural workers, as well as products of culture intended for audience in Novi Sad’, stressed Mr Milenković. The implementation of the Cultural Stations project in Novi Sad, which is part of the bid-book for the European Capital of Culture, envisages reconstruction and construction of new places intended for civil activism in the field of cultural and creative industries.
The ‘Novi Sad 2021’ Foundation conducted mapping and public opinion surveys that show great interest of citizens for reconstruction of the former silk factory, as well as high level of awareness about investment into cultural infrastructure. It should be stressed that this is one of the most frequented locations, since Dunav and Podbara local communities are one of the most populated ones in Novi Sad. During 2017, in the ECoC bid-book, the plan was to reconstruct three cultural stations, but the above mentioned reasons and commemoration of the 300 years of Almaš neighbourhood initiated work on the fourth one.