Author: Matea Munitić Mihovilović
Participatory Management in Culture: Civil-Public Partnership in Pogon – Zagreb Centre for Independent Culture and Youth
Civil-Public Partnership in Culture: Pogon – Zagreb Centre for Independent Culture and Youth
Pogon – Zagreb Centre for Independent Culture and Youth is a public cultural institution, that was jointly founded and is managed by the Alliance Operation City and the City of Zagreb. Pogon is the first Croatian example of civil-public partnership in culture.
Pogon is a product of many years of advocacy processes by independent culture and youth actors. It was initiated by a coalition of two national network associations: Klubtura/Clubture – independent culture network and Croatian Youth Network, together with collaborative platform Zagreb – European Cultural Capital 3000 and three independent culture scene clubs: Močvara, Attack! and MaMa. Public consultation and advocacy campaign were launched in 2005, followed by registration of then Alliance for Centre for Independent Culture and Youth in 2006. In parallel with public consultations, media activity and protest actions, the Coalition organized a number of events under the name of Operation City putting focus every year on various topics relevant for modern city urban development. The Operation City would temporary take over various abandoned locations and promote the idea of cultural centre by various formats and forms of artistic expression, that eventually resulted in foundation of Pogon. The first Operation City was held in September of 2005, in one of rare not yet commercialized former industrial spaces (complex Badel-Gorica). The premises were temporarily occupied for 10 days by more than 30 independent organizations, that jointly organized performance of more than 50 programs, with participation of more than 15 000 visitors.
In the end of 2008, the City of Zagreb and Alliance for Centre for Independent Culture and Youth (today’s Alliance of Associations Operation City) jointly founded Pogon – Zagreb Centre for Independent Culture and Youth.
The founders monitor operation of Pogon, adopt important decision about activities and development of the Centre, grant consent with regard to basic documents and other documentation. The Governing Council governs with Pogon and consists of three members with three-year mandate. One Governing Council member is a respectable cultural and art worker and is appointed by the City of Zagreb Asembly, the second member is appointed by the Alliance Operation City Assembly, while the third member is chosen by employed professionals of Pogon among themselves, as stipulated by the Statute.
Primary role of the Alliance is to gather active organizations from this area and thus provide programs for Pogon. In such a way additional program financing is secured from various national and international sources. Any organization that becomes a member of the Alliance can participate equally in the governance of the Centre.
The key role of the City of Zagreb is to provide appropriate spaces and basic funding for functioning and performance of Pogon programs. The City also monitors use of city property and supervises work of the Centre as a public institution.
The Governing Council governs with Pogon, adopts basic documents related to work of Pogon and decides on distribution of financial means allocated to Pogon. The director organizes and manages work and operation of Pogon and represents it in respect of third parties. The director is appointed for a four-year mandate by the City of Zagreb Asembly at the proposal of the Governing Council after Open Public Call.
The director is responsible for overall work of the Centre, and he manages it in collaboration with the Governing Council, Program Council, employees and other collaborators.
The Program Council is a professional, consultative body, consisting of representatives of civil society organizations, that discusses rules and procedures for resource utilization (operative model), program orientation and long-term program plans and considers possible complaints to decisions of program coordinators. The Program Council has five members elected from members of the Alliance Operation City to a three-year mandate.
The mission of Pogon is to provide quality-like and reliable service for production, presentation and affirmation of independent modern artistic and cultural practices and for active participation of youth in cultural and other activities in Zagreb.
The programs organized by beneficiaries of Pogon resources are characterized by widely defined program framework, multi and interdisciplinarity, inter sectoral approach and interlocal connection.
Pogon provides space with technical and other equipment free of charge, covers electricity, heating, water, cleaning and staff expenses, and ensures basic promotion of programs (web, e-newsletter, Facebook). The beneficiaries produce and organize programs, provide their own technical staff, additional equipment, wardens, etc., depending on the type of program. If necessary, they also register program with the competent state authority and organize their own hospitality services.
- New use of existing infrastructure
- Open function space: various forms and ways of use
- Autonomous spatial units: more efficient use of space
- Robust, user-friendly, idiot-proof system: cost-effectiveness and sustainability
Reconstruction of Pogon Jedinstvo
The desired change:
Inadequate factory space Flexible multifunctional space
in line with modern standards
Individual evening events Open all day long for
cultural and artistic programs,
socializing and joint work
Unutilized and disordered Ordered public space and part of
exterior the Sava Bank recreational zone
Cover photo: Klaritac kulture SU-OL-TA