Utopia Home – International Empathy Centre is a new state-of-the-art space created by the Łaźnia Nowa Theatre, located at the heart of the Szkolne housing estate in Nowa Huta. In 2021, Łaźnia will use this location to carry out its separate non-theatrical programme. At Utopia Home, we will approach art and creative energy with tenderness, convinced that they have the power to improve the quality of everyday life.
Utopia Home is going up in the backyard of the theatre, near the “Wschód” Interschool Sports Centre. It will occupy the unused wing of former Electrical School Complex No. 2 in Cracow, which was abandoned due to a drop in the birth rate. The theatre took over care of this space in 2014, and it soon became the venue for alternative art projects undertaken by Łaźnia. In recent years, it housed, for example “School of Utopia”, an art installation by Marek Chlanda and Marcin Chlanda, and served as the stage for “The Last Animals”, a performance directed by Magda Szpecht. The reconstruction and refurbishment of the building started in 2019 and are still under way.
Utopia Home will have studios devoted to crafts and various artistic techniques with top quality equipment. It will also have exhibition space, meeting rooms, facilities for artists in residence and a range of energy-saving solutions to make the building more functional. The refurbished building will give Łaźnia Nowa Theatre an extra 2200 square metres. The reconstruction will emphasise the main advantages of the former school building. Modern materials will refer to the industrial history of this place and the nearby combined plants.
Utopia Home will be open and friendly to everyone, but similarly to Łaźnia Nowa, it will focus on promoting the connection between artists representing various fields of art and the residents of Nowa Huta. We will offer activities for youth and students, seniors, people interested in arts and crafts, and those looking for new experiences and cognitive stimuli. The programme of Utopia Home will foster integration between people from different professional and social backgrounds, both able-bodied and with disabilities. We will ensure international circulation of ideas by inviting foreign artists to cooperate with us.
What’s it all about?
Utopian thinking is a strong stimulus for development, so we are going to take good care of it at Utopia Home. Our programme will include projects developed in dialogue with the urban space of Nowa Huta, in a spirit of community and empathy and in cooperation between residents and creators who will write the history of this new place together. We are also planning local debates, social university courses, and creative workshops which will help participants deepen the bond between everyday life and art. We will offer a range of educational and cultural activities going beyond the framework of social interactions that we are used to. It means many innovative solutions and creative relationships.
Utopia Home – International Empathy Centre will be opened in 2021.