The Foundation of Ilija M.Kolarac, since its establishment until today, has developed its work through four centres: the Music Centre, the Lecture Centre with the Gallery, the Centre for Foreign Languages and the Publishing Centre with the Bookshop “Aleksandar Belić”.
The Music Centre promotes artistic music and music culture in Belgrade. The programme caters for music lovers and connoisseurs as well as for professional musicians. More than 300 concerts and different music events are held in the Concert Hall and the Music Gallery every year. The Concert Hall is the oldest and the most eminent performance venue in Belgrade, used primarily for classical music concerts as well as for performances of jazz, ethno music and other music genres. In addition to the programme of the Music Centre production, the Concert Hall is available to other concert organisers, the major of them being the RTS Music Production, Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, CEBEF, Jeunesses Musicales Belgrade, National Ensemble Kolo and others. The Centre also organises educational programmes for preschool and school children thus inspiring future concert audiences. The Music Centre has continually worked on archiving data related to the Concert Hall performances since its opening in 1932.
The Kolarac People’s University started in 1932 as a unique cultural institution at the time. Since then, it has regularly organized numerous lectures and similar public events. The purpose of the lecture programme has remained unchanged: to continually raise the level of general and specialised scientific knowledge of the audience and satisfy their curiosity. Its aim has also been to promote the responsibility of the society to work systematically on spreading knowledge and cultivating the attributes of its own cultural identity while preserving the identity of other nations. The Centre’s activity has been currently pursued through the work of 18 departments covering all the major areas of scientific and cultural creativity. Each department has its own Council, comprised of eminent experts in a given area. The Lecture Centre possesses especially valuable documentary material and authentic sound recordings, which have been recorded since 1962, thus revealing a picture of the times from which they originated, and bearing a remarkable testimony to the decades-long cultural and educational mission of the Kolarac People’s University.
Gallery of The Ilija M. Kolarac Foundation was established in 1964. The Gallery’s programme concept is oriented towards the art practice of young visual artists. The Annual Award for the best solo art exhibition held in the gallery during one exhibition season was established in 1977.
Centre for Foreign Languages
The Centre for Foreign Languages was founded in 1933 as the first language school in Serbia. Originally, the only foreign language taught in the Centre was English. Interestingly enough, English had been taught at Kolarac before the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Belgrade was founded. Over time, the foreign language teaching began gradually to develop, responding to students’ diverse needs. The Centre for Foreign Languages currently offers courses in many world languages such as: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Greek, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Norwegian, Swedish, Portuguese, Slovenian, Turkish, Arabic, Indonesian and Serbian for foreigners. Morning and evening classes for adults and young learners take place on our premises. The Centre for Foreign Languages has a close and constant cooperation with the British Council, the Goethe Institute, the Cervantes Institute, the French Institute, the Italian Cultural Centre and other language centres.
The publishing activity of the Foundation started back in the sixties of the 19th century as part of the Literary Fund. After the end of World War II, books have generally been issued for lecture purposes and for people’s universities.
The Bookshop “Aleksandar Belić” has been oriented, since its very beginning, to selling books in the humanities and social sciences, in various fields of philology, linguistics, literature and art theory, history, sociology and psychology. It offers a wide range of textbooks for foreign language learning, coursebooks for learning Serbian as a foreign language, dictionaries and grammar books. The Bookshop boasts a rich array of journals and magazines in the field of literature and the humanities.
KOLARAC LABORATORY FOR DIGITAL ART AND NEW MEDIA ArtLab is a newly-open space in Kolarac promoting digital art and the new media that are weakly present as art practice at the local art scene. The essential aim is promotion and incentive of development of artworks’ practice in the area of digital art and new media, including interdisciplinary approach to art and experimental aspects of collaboration between science and art.
The Art Cinema promotes film and video art for the purpose of education and promotion of the arts and sciences. The repertoire consists of feature, short, documentary and animated films, children’s films, films selected from the programme of the existing film festivals and other author films.
Following the good old tradition of open universities, the Kolarac Foundation has organised various workshops in the field of science and art. These programmes are intended for those who wish to broaden their knowledge and acquire new skills essential for personal and professional development.