Kolarac People`s University

June 2017
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Ministarstvo kulture GRB ISPISI

Sekretarijat za kulturu grada beogradalogo

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center for science promotion

Ilija Milosavljević Kolarac, a Serbian merchant, bequeathed all his property to his people with the aim to spread scientific knowledge and culture in his last will and testament in 1878. In Kolarac's lifetime Literary Fund was established, and until today there have been more than 200 literary works translated and published in the field of literature, science and culture. Fund for Erecting a Serbian University where scholars would transfer their knowledge to the people was aslo established.
A magnificent edifice of the Kolarac Foundation, where the seat of the People's University is, was finished
in 1932. The architect Petar Bajalović, having an extraordinary sense for architectural finesse, tackled the issue of the Concert Hall space. The cutting edge scientific solutions for acoustics of the time were applied, and the Grand Concert Hall has been recognised as the most acoustic hall for music performances in Belgrade, and one of the most acoustic ones in Europe. The Hall was officially opened on 4th February 1932, with the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra concert. The People's University started its programme
activity on 9th October the same year.
The first President of the Board of the Kolarac Foundation, Dr. Aleksandar Belić, in his opening speech in official opening of the Kolarac People's University, clearly emphasized the role of the People's University in the Serbian society, having in mind the mission and vision of the Foundation: Not only in our country, but also in the world, there is a need for a People's University. That is an institution that invisibly entwines into similar schools and fills the gaps other schools leave in the social education system. Every year since 1968 the Board of the Ilija M. Kolarac Foundation has been awarding Plaques of the Kolarac Foundation, for an exceptional contribution to the Foundation programme development and the Annual Gallery Award for the best exhibition of the season. Mission of the Kolarac Foundation is presentation and promotion of culture, science and art, development of the additional education concept, lifelong learning, and new incentives related to the the cultural and educational values of the institution. Vision of the Kolarac Foundation is that as a modern, well-equipped institution with a concert hall of relevance for the City of Belgrade and the Republic of Serbia, it gives contribution to life enrichment through cultural and educational contents.
Basic values of the Kolarac Foundation are the tradition of knowledge, programme quality, continuance, dedication and audience trust, harmony and trustworthiness.