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Best place in town... | by Erwinke
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Best place in town...

One of the best places in Budapest: Gödör Klub at the Erzsébet tér.

Gödör klub, Kulturalis központ és park


Gödör Club - Cultural Centre on Erzsébet square

Gödör Club has been operating as part of the Cultural Centre on Erzsébet square since 2002.


Architectural and operational concept

According to the concept developed in 2000, the Erzsébet tér Cultural Centre and Park strives to be a self-sustaining urban agora, an open and multi-functional cultural venue. It seeks to be many things all at once: a public park, a cultural-community space, a centre of contemporary art, a venue for civil society programmes. The community space thus shaped provides a meeting place for progressive art and cultural events, as well as for various generations, and a forum for dialogue on topical social issues. An important element of the architectural and operational concept is the cross-financing structure, which is unprecedented in Hungary: following the completion of the venue, the adjoining spaces with business potential - restaurant, underground garage, retail space - are supposed to generate funds that enable the Centre's non-profit operation.


Activities in Gödör Club and the results


What has been dreamed up and realized here over the past eight years reveals the essence of our concept: we set out to create a community space and a meeting point for artists. Within a short span of time the Club has become one of the defining art venues and community spots in Budapest. Since a provisional situation seems to have set in for a long period, in the absence of regular income, progammable in the long run, self-sustainable operation has been realized on the basis of cross-financing.


We have around 150 000 visitors yearly. The number of our events is over 1000, including about 800 pop concerts, art festivals, folklore dance groups, contemporary dance performances, exhibitions, dance classes, workshops, literary events, book launches and civil society events.


In 2010 we launched an environmental programme, GreenGödör. We cooperate with a great number of foreign embassies, cultural institutions from Hungary and abroad, as well as the European Commission, civil organisations and universities.


Virtually in all art forms, we lay special emphasis on introducing talented young artists from art schools, which is why talent search is an important element of many of our programmes.


The major festivals at Gödör Club include: Athe Sam! (We are here!) - Roma Arts Festival; Our Happy Last Days (lasting from the World Music Day until Mid-summer night), "Világveleje" Festival, Gödör's Essence, Budapest Dance and Performance Festival, d'Watt International Contemporary Dance jamboree.


Gödör's strength lies in its being up-to-date, demonstrated in the selection of art shows, as well as the civil society programmes hosted. It is a popular meeting point, a café, a civil agora, arts venue - all in the city centre, open from early afternoon until dawn. This is Gödör Club.


The operation and financing of Gödör Club


We receive no state subsidy whatsoever, the operation of the Club is entirely self-sustaining. However, the operational concept that had been originally envisaged, is still only partially implemented: our budget misses the income that would be generated by the facilities which are still unfinished, as well as the income from the operation of the underground garage, which the ministry removed from the scope of Gödör's real estate management and which is only partially recompensed from public funds. The missing resources are made up from other revenues of the architecture studio. Given the "temporary situation" that has been lasting for the past nine years, it is impossible to plan on the long term or to ensure the proper maintenance of the real estate. The Ministry, the maintainer, has been considering transferring the real estate to the owner, which is the Municipality of Budapest. Uncorrected flaws from the construction, the withdrawal of the revenue from the underground garage, together with the "provisional" situation that has been lasting since 2002 - these are the factors that shape Gödör Club's current condition.


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Taken on August 21, 2011