The city of Ancient Pharae with its many Byzantine monuments, its famous silk kerchiefs, olives and pasteli candy and buildings that bear witness to a prosperous industrial past also produces high-quality cultural products. The city’s leading artistic event is the International Kalamata Dance Festival, which has presented 59 famous dance companies since 1995. The festival attracts some 10,000 spectators a year. This year it will be held July 18-27. (See Page 7) Cultural life in Kalamata received a boost from the creation of the Municipal Cultural Development Enterprise in 1985, the first of its kind in Greece, and the Municipal Regional Theater. Kalamata’s amateur theater groups organized themselves and founded a music school, a dance school and a visual arts studio. The city’s sporting spirit meanwhile keeps pace with its cultural spirit. It has hosted major sporting events such as the International Rhythmic Gymnastics Meeting and the Papaflessia track and field meeting. The city’s most recent major cultural project is the Dance and Arts Hall, now under construction and budgeted at 13 million euros.