The pilot site of the Regional Development Agency of the Ljubljana Urban
Creativity for historical identity preservation
Pilot site: Vodnik Homestead – Writers Hub
The pilot site for the RRA LUR pilot action is Vodnik Homestead – House of reading, writing and storytelling (Vodnikova domačija – Hiša branja, pisanja in pripovedovanja). This is a cultural heritage building from the 17th century, a birth place of the Slovene poet Valentin Vodnik, author of the 1st Slovene grammar book, priest and publicist.
The house has been owned by the City of Ljubljana since 1995. Various programmes were implemented in the house since then. In spring 2015 the association Divja misel (Wild Thought) has been chosen for managing the house. The public tender of the City of Ljubljana foresaw a book as the „fil rouge“ of the programme and its linking with other branches of CCI. A 5-year-long contract with Divja misel was signed with the option of renewal.
RRA LUR pilot action is focusing on partial renovation and refurbishment of two unused rooms (36,64m2) in the 1st floor of the Vodnik Homestead in order to develop a new programme – Writers’ Hub. In addition to physical renovation, new programmes will be also developed, for example workshops, mentorship programmes and accompanying events for various population. The Writers’ Hub will be also a co-working place with four desks for young writers. The Pilot Manager has been preparing the criteria for young writers who would like to apply.
In the 1st year, from 1 June 2018 till 31 May 2019, the programme will be dedicated to young writers (age: 15 – 29 years) and/or beginner writers. The programme will have at least:
- 3 workshops for young writers and/or beginner writers;
- Mentorship for at least 3 young writers and/or beginner writers;
- 3 events related to young writers and/or beginner writers.
In the 2nd year, from 1 June 2019 till 31 May 2020, the programme will include – beside the mentorship programme for young writers - also (1) workshops with elderly persons, who we would like to encourage to short story genre memoire writing and (2) diary and letter writing for children. The 2nd year will be dedicated to creative writing for authors with at least 1 work published.
In the 3rd year, from 1 June 2020 till 31 May 2021, the programme will have more specialised workshops, e.g. a scriptwriting workshop, a creative writing workshop - both with mentors from other UNESCO Cities of Literature. In 2020 it is foreseen that a residence studio will be set up by the City of Ljubljana above the gallery (a building next door, also a part of the Vodnik Homestead complex), so Divja misel will be able to host those mentors there.
In May 2018 the purchase of necessary equipment for operation of the Writers’ Hub was carried out.
Wooden floor renovation has started in June 2018 and would be concluded in July 2018. The restoration is based on the received opinion of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage in connection with the renovation - cultural protection conditions. In the last days two tons of sand were removed, which were formerly for isolation. Today (6 July 2018) the construction of a new substructure, which was not previously planned, has been going on. The need for the new substructure appeared only when the sand was withdrawn and the restorer saw that the substructure was missing.
Heating (radiators) – works with replacement of radiators are foreseen and will be completed in the first half of July 2018.
Electricity – works are foreseen and will be completed in the first half of July 2018. Not only electric plugs were needed, but also electricity distribution to new plugs.
Costs for all the above works will be bigger than foreseen in the Application Form, therefore the City of Ljubljana (the owner of the house) will also contribute its financial means.
Writers Hub after the renovation:
Photos from the Writers Hub building removal and from workflow: