İKSV Alt Kat: Learning and Interaction Space is an initiative of the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), supported by the Istanbul Development Agency (İSTKA). Located in Şişhane, at the basement floor of Nejat Eczacıbaşı Building, which also hosts İKSV offices, İKSV Alt Kat will aim at increasing access and participation to cultural and artistic events, and will be presenting event and workshop programmes in collaboration with Boğaziçi University in various fields throughout the year.
İKSV Alt Kat: Learning and Interaction Space was presented to public on Tuesday, 5 March and Chairman of İKSV Bülent Eczacıbaşı, İSTKA General Secretary Fatih Pişkin, and İKSV Alt Kat Manager Elif Obdan Gürkan gave speeches at the meeting.
In his speech at the opening, Chairman of İKSV Bülent Eczacıbaşı said: “Drawing on the expertise of all İKSV festival and biennial teams, Alt Kat will offer activities to young people, children and other groups with limited access to culture and the arts. This way, we hope to meet many new art lovers who have never before had an opportunity to attend our events and who might one day be among the most enthusiastic followers of İKSV festivals and biennials.”
In his speech, İSTKA General Secretary Fatih Pişkin said: “As Istanbul Development Agency, with the supports we provide, we aim to develop innovative, creative and entrepreneurial aspects of our children and young people, and we endeavour to contribute to their growth as full-fledged individuals, who look to the future with confidence by integrating them into the economic and social structure. We have supported the ‘İKSV Alt Kat: Learning and Interaction Space’ project in order to advocate the participation of children, youth and groups with limited access living in Istanbul with different socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds in arts and culture.”
Delivering the details of the event and workshop programmes to be held throughout the year, İKSV Alt Kat Manager Elif Obdan Gürkan said: “İKSV Alt Kat project was born as a result of the İKSV team's practice of thinking and producing together. We designed İKSV Alt Kat as a new space that will be able to bring different groups and disciplines together and to apply these suggestions in our own building and within the body of the foundation.”
Free events and access to an extensive library
With its 120-meter-square venue accessible to people with disability and children on the basement floor of the Nejat Eczacıbaşı Building, İKSV Alt Kat will provide a space for learning and interaction to all age groups through the events that will be free of charge, as well as its extensive library. İKSV Alt Kat intends to directly reach children, youth, and groups with limited access to culture and arts, and also to promote interaction between cultural professionals, non-governmental organisations, artists, trainers, and viewers. Within the scope of the project, the archive of İKSV and a children’s library, expected to include 3,000 children’s books for ages 3 to 15, will be opened to the access of visitors and researchers from all age groups.
In order to build a participatory, inclusive, multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary, and accessible platform, İKSV Alt Kat will present an annual programme including workshops, art education programmes, lectures, screenings, exhibitions, and other events in various fields such as music, cinema, theatre, design, and visual arts. Within the scope of İKSV Alt Kat, more than 200 events and workshops in various fields will be held free of charge till March 2020 with the support of the Istanbul Development Agency (İSTKA) and the project partnership of Boğaziçi University. İKSV Alt Kat events will be held in cooperation with many partners ranging from non-governmental organisations, local and foreign cultural institutions, Ministry and Directorates of National Education to schools, universities, professional associations, and employees in the sphere of culture and arts, and education.
Early Childhood Development & Culture and Arts Project at İKSV Alt Kat
İKSV Alt Kat also coordinates the Early Childhood Development & Culture and Arts Project held by İKSV since 2018 with the support of the Bernard Van Leer Foundation and the collaboration of Boğaziçi University. The project aims to raise awareness and knowledge on early childhood development and to promote the production of culture and art content and its accessibility for families.
Within the scope of the project, the children’s books prepared by various authors and illustrators under the editorship of Burcu Ural Kopan for İKSV festivals and biennials are published in Turkish, English, and Arabic. The books will be accessible free of charge at event venues as well as several bookshops. Not only festival and biennial venues, but also İKSV Alt Kat will witness exclusive events and reading workshops on these books.
With the support of Bernard Van Leer Foundation, İKSV previously published two children’s books: Opti and Pesi: A Neighbourly Song within the scope of the 15th Istanbul Biennial in 2017, written by author Yekta Kopan and illustrated by Gökçe Akgül, and So Long, So Big, So Many! within the scope of 4th Istanbul Design Biennial in 2018, written by Yekta Kopan, co-designed by Yekta Kopan and Burcu Ural Kopan with illustrations by Ada Tuncer.
Within the scope of the project, in 2019, children’s books will be prepared for the 47th Istanbul Music Festival, the 26th Istanbul Jazz Festival, the 16th Istanbul Biennial and the 23rd Istanbul Theatre Festival. The highly acclaimed free guided tours titled Baby Mornings, first held during the 4th Istanbul Design Biennial last year for families with babies and caregivers, will be relaunched during the 16th Istanbul Biennial in 2019.
The project also involves training programmes and seminars organised in cooperation with Boğaziçi University for İKSV employees and field teams throughout the year, and an international conference to present best practices on early childhood development & culture and arts, to be held in November 2019.
Supporters of İKSV Alt Kat
Designed by Superpool, İKSV Alt Kat is supported by the Istanbul Development Agency as a part of the 2018 Children and Youth Financial Support Programme. The laminated glass installation Flare, located at İKSV Alt Kat and designed by Superpool, was produced with the contributions of Billur Cam Endüstrisi (BCE Glass). Other supporters of İKSV Alt Kat include ERSA Furniture, İntema Yaşam and VitrA. Logo and project images of İKSV Alt Kat is prepared by Federation Agency. The Bernard Van Leer Foundation also provided support for making the venue accessible to children and families.
Collaborations of İKSV Alt Kat:
The different programmes in İKSV Alt Kat: Learning and Interaction Space are being implemented with the cooperation of many institutions including Barış İçin Müzik Vakfı (Music for Peace Foundation), Boğaziçi University, FMV Işık Okulları (FMV Işık Schools), Grafik Tasarımcılar Meslek Kuruluşu (Turkish Graphic Designers Association), Eczacıbaşı Gönüllüleri (Eczacıbaşı Volunteers), Parıltı Görmeyen Çocuklara Destek Derneği (Parıltı Foundation for the Support of Visually Impaired Children), Türkiye İşitme Engelliler Derneği (Solidarity Association of Turkey for the Deaf), Türkiye Sağırlar Milli Federasyonu (Turkish National Federation of the Deaf), Türkiye Sağırlar Tesanüt Derneği (Turkey Hearing Impaired Association), the Consulate General of Sweden in Istanbul.