Project Q’Art to Breathe New Life Into Ilica Street in Zagreb

Total Croatia News

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A plethora of cultural events will liven up the deserted spaces along Ilica street

Ilica Street, flowing through the centre of Zagreb like an urban river – dotted with bright blue trams and sprinkled with pedestrians. It’s an eternally lively traffic route, but not much is left of the formerly thriving commercial and social life that was once buzzing in the spaces lining the street. Nowadays, Ilica’s courtyards are deserted, its business spaces vacant, shop windows covered in a layer of dirt.

All that is about to change, though, at least for a week – Project Ilica: Q’Art will once again breathe life into this urban vein. From May 18 to 25, locals and visitors will be able to enjoy a plethora of entertaining cultural events, ranging from music and literature to dance, film, and art. The programmes will be taking place at Rokov Perivoj (art and music), the park of the Academy of Fine Arts and nine empty courtyards in Ilica (exhibitions, art workshops and literary events). Some 20 shop windows will transform into small gallery spaces, filled with work created by students and artists. The park between Ilica and Dalmatinska streets will host daily film screenings for kids and adults, while the Britanski Square will present us with its very own artistic story.

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Visitors can look forward to 26 workshops, 19 lectures and presentations, 16 artistic performances, 9 exhibitions and 8 concerts of jazz and classical music. This exceptional project aims to improve the quality of life in the city, as well as to encourage a dialogue between the citizens and the public administration so the abandoned spaces in the city centre could again fill up with culture and various content. Another goal of Project Ilica is to entice entrepreneurship and productivity in the local community, inspired by the 76 abandoned business spaces lining Ilica street.

The roots of Project Ilica: Q’Art can be traced back to 2000, when Aleksandar Battista Ilić launched a project named Community Art, hosted by a deserted courtyard at Ilica 89. Battista Ilić is the dean of the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, but also a social activist, a performer and a visionary with a line of inspiring projects to his name. He launched Project Ilica: Q’Art in collaboration with Ivana Nikolić Popović, an artist of an entrepreneurial spirit and the president of two associations: the Croatian Cluster of Competitiveness of Creative and Cultural Industries (HKKKKI), and the Network for Development and Creativity (MRAK).

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The creative duo teamed up with several partners this year: the Faculty of Architecture in Zagreb, FabLab, Cocktail Week, Croatian Radiotelevision, Croatian Composers’ Society, Digital Radio 808, Dance Centre Tala, Zagreb Film Festival, Cyclists’ Union and Art Park. The project is held under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of State Property, Zagreb Tourist Board and the University of Zagreb. Its value, heavily based on social responsibility, has been recognised by many sponsors, including Mastercard, Julius Meinl, Coca-Cola Hellenic, Igepa Plana, Pivnica Medvedgrad, KerschOffset and the Croatian Chamber of Trades and Crafts.

Nothing left to do but to explore Ilica’s many hidden gems and enjoy the attractive events prepared by the creative team. You can find more information about the project here, and follow the Facebook page Projekt Ilica for regular updates.


Photo credit: Press release


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