‘Let the city say what it wants…’

What about the program of cultural events for Patras 2006? Is anything specific planned? «It would be crazy to start planning when I still don’t know about the money,» says Mikroutsikos. «But even if I knew, I couldn’t decide unless the city has its say. Precisely because we want to achieve what I told you before, the city must decide which cultural institutions will be supported and which will be the spearhead; whether it’s going to be a global festival for children, for instance, or the theater, or a music festival so that something can be built on that. And here I must say that local government has certain responsibilities. It is 16 months since the new local administration took over and it still hasn’t clarified its policy toward the city’s worthwhile existing institutions (such as theaters and orchestras). On the contrary, I see a mad situation where everything is being reduced to inertia while some local people are busy blaming other people. «Local institutions must be evaluated and included in the new phase, and that can’t happen unless the city has its say.» «We have already begun this discussion with the city,» says Pefanis. «We have organized one meeting and we are going to hold another 14 on different topics – visual arts, dance, theater and so on – so that we can speak with the agencies and individuals concerned in Patras, Greece and Europe. After that, the artistic director will draw up the program of events. By autumn I think we will have the first decisions.»

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