Dworek Białoprądnicki Culture Centre
The Centre has its seat in a beautiful historical manor in the district of Biały Prądnik. The culture traditions of the place reach back to the 16th century when a Krakow bishop, Samuel Maciejowski, built here a stately palace to serve as the summer residence for Krakow bishops. For many years, the palace served as the meeting place for eminent minds of the times: diplomats, poets, thinkers. The palace itself, having been repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt throughout the turmoils of history, altogether lost its original silhouette and grandeur to become a humble noblemen's manor in the 19th century. In the year 1975 the place became the site of the Dworek Białoprądnicki Culture Centre, transformed into Culture Centre in March 1995.
At present, the Dworek Białoprądnicki [literally: the Biały Prądnik Manor] extends a broad cultural, artistic, and educational offer, addressed to a variety of civic and age groups. The events organised by the Centre extend beyond the local community - Sportstudio, Bajkowe Niedziele (Fairy-Tale Sundays) - to mention but a few. Some enterprises by the Dworek Białoprądnicki are addressed to the inhabitants of the whole region. Every year, on every Sunday of July and August, the Musical Bower of the manor becomes the stage for the Summer Chamber Concerts. Similarly huge popularity is enjoyed by two other concert series: Międzynarodowy kurs interpretacji dla pianistów (International Course in Interpretation for Pianists) and Międzynarodowe warsztaty muzyki współczesnej (International Workshops of Contemporary Music) organised here in September for young composers, theoreticians, and lovers of contemporary music by the Muzyka Centrum Association. The workshops are accompanied by concerts given by lecturers and participants. The major regular events include also the International Summer Organ Concertos organised in cooperation with the Krakow Academy of Music during the summer holidays, the International Festival of Street Theatres, and the Wszystkie Lalki Świata (All Dolls of the World) Children's Biennial of Theatrical Dolls. The finale of the 3rd Biennial was held in May 2000, and the post-competition exhibition was presented in Germany and Denmark, in H. Ch. Andersen Culture Centre in Odense.
Notable among the variety of forms of cultural education offered by the Centre is Poland's only professional Scena Teatralna Dzieci i Młodzieży (Children and Youth's Theatre Stage) that has operated here for over two decades. The Teatr Lektur Szkolnych (Theatre of School Readings) series offers theatre performances addressed to a variety of age groups. So far, the project succeeded in putting over 60 productions to stage; their number including Bajeczne ZOO, czyli bajka przez wieki (Fairy-Tale ZOO or Fables across the Ages) - a fable medley based on the works by the classics of the genre Aesop, Lafontaine, Krasicki, Mickiewicz, Krilov, Fredro, Kern, and Sztaudynger. At present, the repertoire of the theatre encompasses 20 titles. A younger form is the Theatre Studio, which gathers young lovers of stage art. Apart from the dance and stage movement, the young learn here the principles of proper articulation and especially group work. The youngest children, aged 4 to 6, meet in Muminek (Moomintroll) Club, run permanently, though in a retailored form, since 1976.
On every Monday, meetings of young artists, poetical evenings, recitals, and varnishing-night parties are held in the cellars of literature and music, called Piwnica XVI Muzy (Cellars of the 16th Muse) under the Białoprądnicki Manor. The Cellars are the seat of the poetic SZESNAŚCIE (Sixteen) Artistic Formation; Workshop meetings for young men of letters with recognised artists and critics continue month after month. They are conducted according to the programme devised by a Krakow poet, Maciej Naglicki in the form of "Naglisałki".
Musical Thursdays enjoy great popularity and include chamber concerts performed by professional musicians and students of Krakow music schools and Theatrical Evenings that present small theatrical forms performed by actors of Krakow stages. The structures of the Centre cover the Impresario Hub receiving commissions for events outside the seat and sales of own and third-party productions. The Białoprądnicki Manor owns a professional recording studio, which specialises in digital recording and mastering of the popular Meetings with the Ballad (Spotkania z balladą) for Polish Television. The Manor runs a painting and sculpture studio that for six years has conducted the programme of Therapy through Art devised by Elżbieta Jaros-Wasilewska, and concentrates on work with mentally handicapped persons from the Day Adaptive Centre in Krakow. Besides the regularly offered theme meetings, the studio organises exhibitions of works of the participants of the Action Therapy Workshop in and near Krakow. The Centre organises exhibitions of works by amateur artists, hobbyists, and collectors that present the broad variety of human collecting passions. The most interesting collections included miniature militaria, figures of saints, etching in glass, fabric, macramés, and embroideries. The centre organises educational programmes which cover meetings for young people interested in music, media and psychology. Worth a notice among artistic ensembles collaborating with the Białoprądnicki Manor, is the Mydlniczanie Regional Ensemble, operating in Mydlniki Culture Club, and - known all over Poland, and even in the world - the KTO Theatre, managed by Jerzy Zoń. The theatre was founded in 1978 by graduates of the Jagiellonian University. During the many years of work, the style of the theatre evolved into forms alluding to the traditions of medieval fair theatre. The medium of the theatre are the actor's body, movement, music, and also - in a highly limited scope - the word. The theatre staged several productions (including Ogród rozkoszy (The Garden of Pleasures), 1978; Cinema, 1993, Po czym poznać łyżkę stołową z bliska (How to Recognise a Tablespoon Near at Hand), 1997). A major share of their productions are open-air productions: Parada ponurych (Parade of the Sombre, 1985), Wieża Babel (The Tower of Babel, 1993), and Zapach czasu (Scent of Time, 1997). Since 1985 the actors have become fascinated by the formula of street theatre, and the company is the organiser of the International Festival of Street Theatres held in Krakow. The ensemble participated in a number of prestigious Polish and international events and festivals. During the last seven years, the Theatre gave 80 performances abroad. The eight-minute-long transmission of welcoming the New Year 2000 in Warsaw, broadcast all over the world by 50 television companies was a part of the millennium programme prepared for the Polish Television by Jerzy Zoń and artists of the Krakow KTO Theatre. At the turn of the year 1998, the theatre opened its own stage at 8 Gzymsików Street.