In 2019, when Plovdiv is the European Capital of Culture, there are 25 operational Community Center whereby the oldest was founded at the end of the 19th century, while the most recent in 2018. They are spread across the different residential areas in Plovdiv and are most numerous in its “Tsentralen” [Central] district.
The Community Center is a neighbourhood cultural scene (линк към портфолиото – сцени), where different events and concert are held, national and calendar holidays are marked, workshops, courses, tutorials, training sessions are organized, different clubs are set up – the list is indeed lengthy and you can see more in the section activities (препратка към дейности в сайта) of the community cultural centers (chitalishta) in Plovdiv.
A number of Plovdiv artists, public figures and people of considerable standing for Plovdiv cultural history as well as residents of the respective neighborhood have been shaping the life of each Community Center. Some of them work in close cooperation with each other on different projects; they enter partnerships with a variety of other institutions and organizations, such as schools, kindergartens, municipalities, NGOs. There are many books that touch upon the history of the community cultural centers in Plovdiv and its region, but possibly the most remarkable and widely-cited one is “На ползу роду. Сборник за дейността на народните читалища в Пловдив” [To the benefit of our kin: a volume on the activities of people’s Community Center in Plovdiv] published in 2008. Here you can read parts of it in the profiles (препратка, ако е възможно) of different Community Center in this portal.
Although there are other virtual platforms that unite the community cultural centers in the “town of the hills” as well as across the country, on a regional basis (for example, the website of RECIC), the platform “Community Center” is the first location in the virtual world which connects all community cultural centers in Plovdiv through visual and ethnographic mapping. Here they are represented as a cultural scene, together with their premises, multifaceted activities, events and goals, with an event calendar that gathers all of them in one place and all the information in the platform is also available in English. This platform was created with the active participation of many Community Center representatives.