Interview with Viktória Kulcsár
How did you get the idea for starting Juranyi?
The production company Independently Together (in Hungarian FÜGE www.fugeprodukcio.hu) was founded in 2006. It was continuously growing, that means that we were managing more and more young theatre companies. Because these young companies require same type of administrative support (meaning PR-services, fundraising, coordinating) I thought that it would be much more easier if everyone would „live” under the same roof, where they could share a workshop for set designers, they could have warehouses and everyone could communicate directly with each other face-to-face.
Who supported the idea in the first place?
The idea was supported immediately by almost all the independent companies. Also our long term sponsors thought that this is a great idea. So when we started to look for the perfect real estate, we found this in the 2nd district on the Buda side. We contacted the local city council in January 2012, they were very helpful and in a half a year we got the rights to rent the building.
What was the background for starting Juranyi? Were you aware of the situation of the independent field in stage art and the issue of lack of production facilities and the difficulties in getting access to a venue?
We were totally aware of the situation, actually we were thinking that this might be an „answer” to the current problems. Our mission is to help every independent artists’ work: it means that Jurányi is a house where a production can be designed and developed from the first step til the avantpremier. The companies can ask for our support or advice in the planning phase. When the production phase starts, they can ask to rehears here, they can look up in the costum warehouse maybe they can find something useful. And of course after rehearsing, the avantpremier can take place here in Jurányi. But we would like to function as a trigger, meaning that we don’t want to have a repertoire venue, but more like an event based house that is inspiring for everyone.
What is your professional background?
I studied theatre studies and cultural management. But I was also trained as a massage therapist. I think a B-plan is always good to have.
How is Juranyi funded today?
We, as FÜGE Productions, are applying every year for a yearly funding, to the Hungarian Cultural Fund. Also the local city council is helping us with refunding cca. 70% of the renting fee and the Open Society Institute is also helping financially.. I also have to tell, that we have many private partners, sponsors who are helping us financially, but not only… - What function does Juranyi play in the field of independent stage art? I hope that we can be one open island, that everyone can join, everyone can visit and everyone can be a part o fit.
What is the vision of Juranyi? (What role do you wish that Juranyi plays in the field of contemporary stage art?)
We want to be the platform for independent artists, no matter if they are performance or visual artists. We are creating a community here, that will be or is already succesful and recognised. But the community is not only for the artists but also for the
audience, as they are also very active.
How does it work at Juranyi with the free producing groups. Do the groups pay rent for the venue per day or what kind of agreements do you do with the free groups?
We have a contract with every group, company or individual visual artist who is renting a room in the building. It means that they are paying a renting fee, that varies depending on their activity: if they are using their premises as a warehouse, then it is a lower price if they use it as a rehearsal room, then the prices are higher. But still these prices are less then other spaces ont he market. Otherwise FÜGE is maintaining all the other spaces: the 2 theatre venues, other rehearsal spaces, the gallery, and all the restrooms. That means that we are responsible for cleaning i tor if the soap is running out, or if someone needs a lamp that we are in charge to help. We are also providing 24 hour guards.
How do you look at the field of independent stage art at the moment in Hungary? What is it´s challenges?
I think that the big challangefor us is how to change our habits, how to collaborate and help eachother more. It means that I see that the number of production is increasing, the young artists are willing to create and toshow their ideas More and more productions are created, and I am happy that we can be a part o fit by helping them.But the challange is how to find other ways of living for creators, artists, how can they use their art and skills for other purposes as well.
Can you describe how Juranyi is currently organized?
Currently in Jurányi there are „living” more than 50 organizations: cca. 60 procent of the mare performing art companies, 30 procent visual artists and couple of NGOs. Every organization is responsible for it’s own space, FÜGE is taking care for the rest.
Do you have an artistic board or how do you do the curatorial work?
Well already before Jurányi officially opened in October 2012, it was full 100%, now we are on 120 % meaning that some of the companies are sharing the space, and even the attic is occupied. When we moved into this 6500 squaremeter building we wanted to share this space with a language school, but meanwhile they stepped back, so we had to find very soon tenants, so the news was spread around and the companies were calling me if could they also move in…this is how it started.
Is there anything you yourself would like to say about working within the independent field of stage art?
Collaboration is the keyword.:)