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Realizing a dream project

By Bejay Browne

A NEW cultural centre has opened in Paphos and is hoping to attract all sorts of creative types of all ages over the coming months.

The private initiative is a collaborating between childhood friends Markella Neocleous, 27, and Marina Symeonidou, 28. The pair opened ‘Technopolis 20’ on September 27th and said the space they found for their ‘dream’ is ideal.

They have both been passionate about music and the arts from a young age.

Neocleous said: “Marina is a composer and I’m interested in arts management. We were both in the same choirs at school and on the day which Paphos was granted the cultural capital of Europe 2017, we talked about our dream to start such a project and when we found this building, was available, we decided to do it.”

The pair say it’s important to them to support artistic creativity and to enhance the cultural life of Paphos in such a way that is accessible to everyone.

As well as offering space, their aim is also to promote classical and contemporary art, support the artists and to develop a creative and artistic culture in Paphos.
“We also offer education for children; lifelong learning for all people of all ages and training for amateurs and professionals,” said Neocleous.

Found in a renovated house, previously home to local TV channel ‘Pafos TV’ the venture utilises all of the rooms and the separate TV studio.

And more practically the venue is located in the centre of Paphos, has ample parking close by and a number of separate rooms which can be used in different ways.
It also has a small ‘kafenio’ type café.

The studio is used for screenings, theatre and dance performance and workshops for kids.
Neocleous said: “We have applied to the government for some funding but haven’t received a response yet. We are funding this out of our own pockets at the moment.”
“We would ideally like the centre to be for everyone, and are aiming to have events in both Greek and English and other languages,” said Neocleous Musical, theatre, art and dance programmes for kids teenagers and families will all be on offer.

Among a long list of qualifications Neocleous studied music at the University of Sheffield and has a master’s degree in cultural policy and management. She has also worked for four years in mass media in Cyprus.

Symeonidou studied music at the University of Bristol and obtained a master’s degree in composition at the University of Surrey. Since then, she has composed music for theatre, dance and animation, and worked as a TV music editor. She also teaches music.

Recent and upcoming events include live music by a jazz duo, a group of young musicians and a cello and piano recital, a book launch and film screenings.

The individual spaces at the centre are available to rent, such as for exhibitions, concerts and productions.

The café is open weekdays from 10am- 1pm/ 4pm-9pm and Saturdays 9am-1pm.

Technopolis 20
Nikolaou Nikolaidi Avenue 18, 8010, Paphos. Tel: 70-002420, www.technopolis20.com;
Facebook: www.facebook.com/technopolis20artscenter?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

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