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Newsletter May 2010


Michael Cacoyannis Foundation Brings the World to Greek Arts, Greek Arts to the World

When world-renowned and highly-acclaimed director, actor, and writer Michael Cacoyannis created the not-for-profit Micahel Cacoyannis Foundation (MCF), he had three goals in mind.

First he sought to create a world-class venue in Greece to teach, support and promote the Performing and Visual Arts. Second, he sought to enshrine the integrity and continuity of the Arts in the Greek capital- long a bastion of artistic expression.  Finally, Cacoyannis, whose varied artistic achievements include Zorba the Greek, the illumination of the Acropolis, and the Greek adaptation of Hamlet, sought to use the Performing and Visual Arts to promote cultural unity throughout the world. 

With the completion of the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation’s 6,810 m2 cutting-edge building on Piraeus Street (itself now the epicentre of the Greek art community) in 2009 and the MCF Cultural Centre’s dazzling inauguration ceremony in March 2010, Cacoyannis has finally achieved all three of these goals.  The 9.67 million Euro centre is capable of hosting a multitude of different events, conferences, seminars, presentations, and exhibitions.  It features a 330-seat amphitheatre, a 120-seat cinema, a multi-use black box hall and multiple exhibition areas.  It also features a shop, two café-bars and- in a move expressing an appreciation of the culinary arts- a soon-to-be-opened penthouse restaurant.

With the new space fully operation, the MCF is surging ahead with Cacoyannis’ “dream of a lifetime”- bringing top performances, tutorial, and special events to the Greek population from around the world and promoting international understanding through artistic exchange. The Cypriot-born Cacoyannis, whose career has taken him around the world, has reached out to international artists and international organisations alike to further the global artistic dialogue.

Recently, the Foundation partnered with the German Embassy in Athens, the Goethe Institut Griechenland, and the General Consulate of Germany in Thessaloniki to bring Werner Herzog to the Greek capital.  The award winning German Director presented his film “Encounters at the End of the World” in Association with the Thessaloniki Film Festival and participated in a Question and Answer session with attendees afterwards.

The Foundation also recently joined corporate partners Cosmote and Nova to bring world famous and multiple Oscar winning filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola to Athens.  Mr. Coppola offered a Master Class organised under the auspices of the European Cinema festival hosted by the City of Athens Cultural Organisation.  

But this is just the begging of what the MCF has to offer.  Cacoyannis plans to continue growing the reach and scope of the foundation through ongoing collaborations and exchanges with organisations, foundations, and corporations around the world who, like Cacoyannis, view the support of the Arts as essential to cultural development and international unity.  The privately funded MCF will continue to seek partners in both private and public sector to continue its artistic mission.  The foundation has also developed various proposals for organisations, both foreign and domestic, that promote Corporate Social Responsibility Programs, earning them recognition through the foundation’s communication program, while at the same time enabling them to contribute significantly to the intellectual and cultural affairs of Greece.  In a very short time, the MCF has already generated great interest from partners and patrons alike and shows incredible promise for further expansion and development for decades to come.

And thus, the man whose name once brought light to the Parthenon, has created yet another internationally recognised beacon of beauty, grace, and common understanding in the heart of Athens.