Wielkopolska – a cultural benefactor

inside the theaterWielkopolska, as the cradle of Christianity in Poland, is proud of its heritage and cultivates it. On the other hand – it is a modern region, as we know how to use these magnificent traditions in order to build the future of the next generations by investing in culture. Our region is unique compared to the rest of the country in terms of financial expenses on culture – almost 10 percent of the Region's budget is dedicated to this very purpose.
A significant part of these funds is provided to local cultural institutions. Museums, theatres, philharmonic, culture centres, library and film institution create a varied cultural offer, reaching to extensive circles of recipients not only in the region, but in the country and abroad. We can easily say that they are fantastic culture ambassadors of Wielkopolska and Poland in the United Europe and in the world.

We create Grand Culture also through working with non-governmental organisations, which are very active in the region. Thanks to this cooperation, such events as the International Theatre Malta Festival or the oldest violin competition in Europe - International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition and a little younger one, named after George Philipp Telemann. In the palace that belongs to the Radziwiłł Prince Family in Antonin, one of the five in Europe – and second in Poland next to Duszniki – Chopin Festival – entitled "Chopin in Shades of Autumn". Smaller and bigger towns of Wielkopolska host the Polish Guitar Academy in the summer.
Music is popular in Wielkopolska thanks to unique phenomena of the former music. Suffice it to mention the Baroque orchestra Arte dei Suonatori or the Musica Sacromontana – Oratory Music Festival in the Sanctuary in Święta Góra near Gostyń. Wielkopolska is also famous for its choirs. Their sheer number stems from over a hundred years of tradition of singers' societies. These traditions are cultivated i.a. by the professional Choir of the Grand Theatre in Poznań and "Poznań Nightingales" of the Poznań Philharmonic.
The Classical music harmonizes very well with other genres. For almost 40 years Kalisz has been visited by the most renowned and skilled jazzmen and jazzwomen for the International Jazz Piano Festival. Poznań and Ostrów Wielkopolski remember their connections with Krzysztof Komeda Trzciński, Gniezno has its own jazz festival entitled "Jazz under Number Five".Grand Theatre in Poznan

The fact that tradition is perfectly complementing the present is proven by the regional music and drama scenes: the already mentioned Grand Theatre and New Theatre in Poznań. The Wojciech Bogusławski Theatre in Kalisz is the location of the oldest theatre festival in the country, that is Kalisz Theatre Meetings, while Aleksander Fredro Theatre in Gniezno has the most extensive offer for children and teenagers. They all have independent theatre teams.

When one talks about culture in Wielkopolska, one has to remember about higher artistic education. Poznań's Music Academy and Adam Mickiewicz Universty and University of Arts in Poznań educate new, creative, cultural personnel in Wielkopolska, supported by the Prizes and Scholarships of Marshal of the Wielkopolska Region.

Wielkopolska is also the land of cinema. We occupy the fourth place in the country as regards the number of cinemas. International festivals and national competitions make Wielkopolska famous. Polish National Independent (formerly: Amateur) Film Competition in Konin has been doing so for over fifty years. For the past few years the cinematography of both hemispheres is connected by "Transatlantic" – a film festival initiated by the Oscar winner from Wielkopolska – Jan A.P. Kaczmarek. The new, digital history of cinema in Wielkopolska is created by the Poznań-based "Rialto" and Leszno-based Cinema-Theatre Centre.We started our story of the Grand Culture with history, so let us conclude it with a historic punchline. It is the cultural tourism. If you want to feel "a breath of history", you can travel along the Piast, Cistercian, Mickiewicz, Chopin trails around Wielkopolska...

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