Located in Lasla Gala Street in Novi Sad, the spatial complex AGRARIA is one of the rare examples of preserved original architectural wholes from the 1930s, belonging to the domain of historical industrial architectural heritage. The initiative was launched by three representative professional associations: the Society of Architects of Novi Sad (DaNS), the Union of Associations of Fine Artists of Vojvodina (SULUV) and the Association of Applied Arts Artists and Designers of Vojvodina (UPIDIV), together with several other art organisations. The basic idea and goal of this initiative is to start the process of revitalisation of this neglected spatial complex, and to create a new spatial complex for production, exhibition activities and everything else that can encourage and facilitate the development of artistic activity in the city. This means that in addition to the basic idea of creating a unified space for artistic production and programme cooperation, the AGRARIA Initiative provides a solution for a wider range of decennial issues – regulating workspaces – studios for artistic production and international exchange programmes, establishing a new city gallery, art depot, and a permanent collection.
A very important fact is that this is a grassroots initiative originating from the those who are active on the independent (non-institutional) scene of the city’s cultural production. This fact contributes to the general notion of cultural plurality, diversity and the decentralised process of cultural policy development. This proposal is an excellent example of potential cooperation between the City Administration and the independent art scene, creating the environment for the development of the local scene and expanding the content of the city’s cultural offer.
The infusion of this distinctive historical architectural heritage with new content delivers a powerful metaphor of a productive force from history transformed into a new production process that is to benefit everyone in the local community – artists, cultural institutions, citizens and the city bearing the ECoC 2022 title, which means to everyone who visits it.