Sentralbadet – a House for the Stage Arts – NOW!

Trond Lossius, at BEK, has initiated a petition to make the old public swimming pool Sentralbadet the new house for stage arts in Bergen. Please sign and share!

BIT Teatergarasjen has been without a proper venue for nine years now, since 2008. Two years from now Carte Blanche – The Norwegian National Company of Contemporary Dance – will be homeless as well, and lack the facilities to produce and show performances in their hometown. This is a serious situation, not only for the local art community in Bergen, but also nationaly.

The Bergen art scene is characterized by interdisciplinary thinking, with extensive cooperation in all directions – between all forms of art and between larger and smaller organisations. It is this spirit of cooperation that makes Bergen an interesting and active cultural city. BIT Teatergarasjen holds a key role with respect to interdisciplinary arts in Bergen. Theatre and dance is by nature multi-medial, and relates to contemporary visual arts as well as contemporary and experimental music. Since BIT Teatergarasjen suffers poor working conditions, it also has a negative impact for all of the art scene of the city.

The impact is also being felt far outside Bergen. BIT Teatergarasjen, together with Black Box in Oslo and Avant Garden in Trondheim, are the main venues for contemporary stage art in Norway. BIT Teatergarasjen is therefore of greatest importance to many theatre and dance ensembles throughout the country. With its large international network BIT Teatergarasjen serves an important role in exporting Norwegian performing arts abroad. It is imperative for contemporary theatre and dance throughout Norway that BIT Teatergarasjen is enabled to do this job well.

Carte Blanche is Norway’s national contemporary dance company and has the foremost responsibility to develop and disseminate contemporary dance. It is a national governmental obligation to ensure suitable working conditions for the company.

The City of Bergen and the regional Hordaland County Council understand the urgency of the current situation, and have started the planning process of how Sentralbadet (the former city senter swimming pool) can be developed into a new performing arts centre. In order for this to happen state funding is a prerequisite.

It is therefore disappointing that no commitments are made in the government’s national budget proposal for 2017. We urge the Parliament to rectify this immediately so that the situation will be clarified before Christmas. Otherwise the opportunity to develop Sentralbadet into a house for the performing arts may slip, resulting in a major setback for contemporary arts in Bergen and Norway.

Initial signatures:

National Stage Art mangagers and directors
• Alan Lucien Øyen, kunstnerisk leder, Winter Guests
• Amalie Nilssen, teatersjef, Agder Teater
• Anne-Cécile Sibué-Birkeland, teatersjef, Black Box teater
• Atle Marøen, direktør, Hordaland Teater
• Are Nakling, direktør, Nordland Teater
• Arne Nøst, teatersjef, Rogaland Teater
• Asle Nilsen, Verdensteatret
• Bo Anders Sundstedt, teatersjef, Akershus
• Bodil Kvamme, teatersjef, Sogn og Fjordane Teater
• Elisabeth Leinslie, redaktør, Sceneweb og faglig rådgiver, Danse- og teatersentrum
• Erik Ulfsby, teatersjef, Det Norske Teatret
• Hanne Tømta, teatersjef, Nationalteatret
• Hild Borchgrevink, redaktør, Scenekunst.no
• Inger Buresund, teatersjef, Hålogaland Teater
• Ingrid Lorentzen, ballettsjef, Den Norske Opera og Ballett
• Ingvild Holm, scenekunstner, stipendiat Akademi for Scenekunst, Høgskolen i Østfod, og tidligere medlem av Baktruppen
• Janne Langaas, teatersjef, Teater Innlandet
• Kim Bjarke, teatersjef, Oslo Nye
• Knut Lidvard Høgset, direktør, Teatret Vårt
• Kristian Seltun, teatersjef, Trøndelag Teater
• Mari Hjelmtveit, Teater Manu
• Marit Holtet, direktør, Brageteatret
• Nora Evensen, teatersjef, Nord-Trøndelag Teater
• Per Ananiasssen, teatersjef, Teaterhuset Avant Garden
• Per Platou, Verk Produksjoner
• Stein Slyngstad, administrativ leder, Dansens Hus
• Thomas Bye, teatersjef, Teater Ibsen
• Thorbjørn Gabrielsen, kunstnerisk leder, Stamsund Teaterfestival
• Tom Remlov, teatersjef, Riksteatret
• Un-Magritt Nordseth, kunstnerisk leder, Dansens Hus
• Ådne Sekkelsten, daglig leder, Norsk Scenekunstbruk

Educational institutions
• Aashild Grana, dekan, Kunst- og designhøgskolen i Bergen, Avdeling for Kunst
• Amanda Steggell, professor, Kunsthøgskolen i Oslo
• Camilla Eeg-Tverbakk, artistic director acting, Akademi for scenekunst, Høgskolen i Østfold
• Ellen Røed, professor, Stockholms Kunstnärliga Högskola
• Frode Thorsen, Instituttleder Griegakademiet – Institutt for Musikk, Universitetet i Bergen
• Gerd Tinglum, rektor, Kunst- og designhøgskolen i Bergen
• Jeremy Welsh, professor, Kunstakademiet i Trondheim, NTNU
• Jørn Mortensen, rektor, Kunsthøgskolen i Oslo
• Karen Kipphoff, professor, Akademi for scenekunst, Høgskolen i Østfold
• Pea Hov, studieleder, Akademi for scenekunst, Høgskolen i Østfold
• Sidsel Graffer, uavhengig forsker

Cultural personalities in Bergen
• Alan Ó Raghallaigh, Ny Musikk Bergen
• Anders Beyer, festspilldirektør, Festspillene i Bergen
• Alwynne Pritchard, kunstnerisk leder, BIT20 Ensemble
• Anthea Buys, leder, Hordaland Kunstsenter
• Aslak Høyersten, VISP -Produksjonsenhet for visuell kunst
• Bergljot Jonsdottir, leder, S12 Galleri og Verksted
• Camilla Svingen, daglig leder, Proscen Produsentenhet for Scenekunst
• Else Olsen Storesund, Ny Musikk Bergen
• Gisle Frøysland, festivalsjef, Piksel festival
• Haakon Thuestad, direktør, Bergen Assembly
• Halldis Rønning, kunstnerisk leder, Avgarde
• Karin Hindsbo, direktør, KODE
• Kristin Øygarden, daglig leder, Kultur Vest AS
• Kurt Johannessen, kunstner, Bergen
• Lars Ove Toft, daglig leder, BEK – Bergen senter for elektronisk kunst
• Leo Preston, Wrap – Stiftelsen History Disposal Unit
• Liv Basberg, leder, Bergen Dansesenter
• Mads Hundvin, prosjektdirektør, Festspillene i Bergen
• Malin Barth, Stiftelsen 3,14
• Maria Rusinovskaya, kurator, Landmark
• Martin Clark, direktør, Bergen Kunsthall
• Peter Meanwell, kunstnerisk leder, Borealis festival for eksperimentell musikk
• Randi Grov Berger, Entrée galleri
• Rita Marhaug, Performance Art Bergen
• Roar Sletteland, Lydgalleriet
• Tine Rude, daglig leder, Borealis festival for eksperimentell musikk
• Trond Lossius, FOU-koordinator, BEK – Bergen senter for elektronisk kunst, initiativtaker
• Veronica Thorseth, Wrap – Stiftelsen History Disposal Unit
• Vilde Salhus Røed, styreleder, Bildende kunstneres forening Hordaland
• Erlend G. Høyersten, ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Danmark
• Rickard Borgström, Project Manager & Curator, Nuuk Nordisk Kulturfestival
• Solveig Øvstebø, Executive Director and Chief Curator, The Renaissance Society, Chicago, Illinois

Contact and initiative:

Trond Lossius, FOU-koordinator
BEK – Bergen senter for elektronisk kunst
C. Sundtsgt. 55
5004 Bergen

trond.lossius@bek.no
+47 95922613