The Night of Museums and Galleries festival was held for the first time in Bulgaria in Plovdiv in 2005. The format started by initiative of SARIEV Gallery founders Vesselina and Katrin Sarievi. In 2007 the two established the Open Arts Foundation – the Night’s main organiser. Like other “White Nights” around the world, the idea is for the audience to encounter artists, art and culture in unusual evening and late-night hours. In 2005 the program included around 20 events attended by around 3000 people. Even then the festival was already a cultural revolution, doubling and tripling annual visits in some of Plovdiv’s major museums and galleries in one night. The night is quickly becoming one of the most recognizable Plovdiv events anticipated and attended by audiences across the country.
Member of IN SITU between 2016 and 2020
The Open Arts Foundation was founded in Plovdiv, in 2007, by Katrin and Vesselina Sarievi. It is registered in the Central Register of the Bulgarian Ministry of Justice as a public-interest non-governmental organization.
Before that (2005-6), the Open Arts Foundation existed as a platform for non-commercial culture of the Sariev Gallery, developing such projects as the Plovdiv Night of Museums and Galleries (the foundation’s largest undertaking).
In March 2010, the Open Arts Foundation opened its own office in 36 Otets Paisiy St., in close proximity to the Sariev Gallery and the artnewscafé.Today Open Arts is one of three organizations of its creators with Sariev Contemporary and artnewscafe, working for sustainable development and creation of models and practices to support the Bulgarian modern culture.
The activities and projects of Open Arts Foundation have wide recognition, they have a number of awards and many followers. Open Arts Foundation’s activities for the past eight years has been described as one of the important factors for the development and activation of the contemporary cultural life of the city.
The Foundation operates mainly in Plovdiv, with partial projects in Sofia and the country. In 2015 Open Arts Foundation organised its first project abroad – Focus:Bulgaria on the international fair for contemporary art viennacontemporary.
Director: Vesselina Sarieva