BAŠTA – kultúrno-komunitné centrum

Bardejov, SK
BAŠTA kultúrno-komunitné centrum
A bastion turned into a cultural and community centre


BAŠTA – kultúrno-komunitné centrum (cultural and community centre) is a community-led project that aims to renovate a 15th-century bastion and use it for cultural and community activities. Its use of volunteers creates a sense of belonging for the local community and this sense of belonging is present in the entire initiative. The activities in the building include, among others, concerts, theatre and workshops. Although the initiative also aims to attract tourists, providing activities for the local population is the primary focus [1].


In city centre


The bastion was built in the 15th century as a defense mechanism for the city. The structure was damaged in several fires in the 19th and 20th centuries. In the 1950s – 1960s, it was partly restored and used as a warehouse. In the 1990s, it became abandoned. It was only in 2012 that it was taken over by the current initiative and restoration has been in progress ever since. [1]

Through the renovations of the old Bastion, the initiative aims to create a public space for local community activities. It strengthens the city’s cultural heritage by renovating the old bastion and works to increase ecological sensibility and tourism in the area [1]. The main aim however is to provide activities for the local community, since the town is situated in an area where large parts of the population leave for larger cities to work or receive an education. [3]

The cultural and community centre BAŠTA brings together different cultural and artistic activities, including film, music and visual arts. It provides informal education, creative workshops and leisure activities, and supports community activities for different age groups. A café is also located on the premises. [1]


Heritage utilized
Building(s) and/or monumental structures
Cultural and Creative Industries
Creative industries; Public space; Tourism; Social inclusion; Community action


The initiative is run by a civic non-profit association called ‘Different’. Community members are in charge, strengthening the local sense of community [1]. In 2012, the civic association managed to secure a 10-year lease for the building from the municipality. Currently, this lease is extended indefinitely. [1;2] The initiative cooperates with local stakeholders, including OZ Kandelaber, the Guild of Architects, local artists and informal initiatives. [1] It also cooperates with local schools to provide non-formal education and with the Norwegian organisation Kulturfjøset Huser, which specializes in the restoration of cultural heritage [5].

In 2021 the initiative was somewhat hindered by the Covid lockdown, which forced them to look into new partners since pensioners were suddenly unavailable. This led to them starting to cooperate with the Roma community. The cooperation is still new, but they have gained close ties with several members of the Roma community and try to involve them in joint projects such as recording fairy tales in the Roma language. [6]


Governance arrangement
Led by citizens
Organisational form
Non-Profit Entity
Stakeholders involved in implementation
Local government; Citizens or community group

Business Model

The initiative is run by a non-profit that received initial funding of €79.774 from the active citizens fund provided by EEA and Norway grants. [3] It has furthermore received donations through crowdfunding and is heavily dependent on local volunteers for labour. Revenue is also generated from hosting events as well as running a Café. This revenue is then reinvested into organisational activities. [2] Their total annual revenue in 2021 was €164.559, with the majority originating from various funds. Despite the number of volunteers working on the project, their biggest expense is still personnel costs followed by reconstruction works and copyright fees. [6]


Initial investment
Type of financial resources utilized
Direct funding or subsidies; Donations; Revenue generated through organisational activities;
Source of financial resources
Crowdfunding; Multilateral funds; Public local authority's budget; Private Foundation / Trust
Non-financial contributions
Provision of labour; Provision of access to building;


  1. BAŠTA – kultúrno-komunitné centrum, organisational website [translated to English],, accessed on 06-08-2022

  2. BAŠTA – kultúrno-komunitné centrum, crowdfunding site [translated to English],–kulturno-komunitne-centrum/, accessed on 06-08-2022

  3. EEA and Norway Grants, project site for BAŠTA,, accessed on 31-08-2022

  4. Interreg Europe, project site for BAŠTA,, accessed on 06-08-2022

  5. BAŠTA – kultúrno-komunitné centrum, project site [translated to English],, accessed on 07-08-2022

  6. BAŠTA – kultúrno-komunitné centrum, 2021 annual report [translated to English], received through personal communication