Güler Sabancı praises partnership in culture
ADANA - Hürriyet Daily NewsThis year’s International Adana Theater Festival, organized by the Turkish State Theaters and Sabancı Holding, hosted Culture Minister Ertuğrul Günay, Interior Minister İdris Naim Şahin and Sabancı Holding Chairwoman Güler Sabancı, as well as Italian group Studio Festi, in a glorious opening on World Theater Day. The southern province of Adana has held the festival for 14 years. It will continue through April 27.
Renowned actor Haldun Dormen was presented a lifetime honorary award at the opening. Speaking at the opening Culture Minister Günay said that in the last four years the Turkish State Theaters had opened 25 new stages and the following day would host the latest of these openings in the northern province of Ordu, with his and Minister Şahin’s participation. “We consider the new stage as a present to honor World Theater Day,” he said.
Günay also announced that his ministry had recently collaborated with the Family and Social Policies Ministry in a new project, which also includes economically supporting artists who have never had social security and therefore experience economic hardship in old age.
Güler Sabancı met members of the press before the opening, saying that it had now become a general assumption that the most successful results in social and cultural development were made possible through public-private partnerships, and that the theater festival was a result of a similar kind of partnership.
To honor World Theater Day, actor Kenan Işık read a “Theater Day Manifesto” he himself wrote for the special day.
Supporting fresh theater companies
The Turkish State Theater General Manager Lemi Bilgin said the festival’s tickets had sold out in only two days. “We are grateful to the Adana audience for embracing this event, which we started more than a decade ago to turn the province into a cultural center,” he said.
The International Adana Festival will present performances from 22 theater companies, five of which are from foreign countries. Six plays from the festival program will also be performed in Istanbul at Sabancı University’s theater hall.
This year the festival organizers had particular concern for newly-established theater companies, in order to support new and young entries to the industry. The first performance of the festival was “Urine Town,” performed by the Istanbul State Theater company.
‘AKM may open next year’
Lemi Bilgin told members of the press present at the festival that the State Theater and the State Opera and Ballet were currently preparing their program to mark the opening of Istanbul’s Atatürk Culture Center (AKM), which has been waiting for restoration funds for a long time. He added that they were preparing to present a special performance in September 2013.
Sabancı Holding recently announced that it was providing the funds for restoration of AKM. Güler Sabancı also commented on the issue, saying that she was planning to commemorate the late Sakıp Sabancı, the founder of Sabancı Holding, at the center.
On being asked by the Hürriyet Daily News whether the holding would provide support to Istanbul Culture and Art Foundation’s open proposal for the renovation of the Emek Theater in a similar private-public partnership model, Sabancı said the company had the will to provide funds to all cultural projects.