Donating “to the natives of Bulgaria” is a long-lasting feature of our nation. It brightens us with spirituality, elevation and pathos as the Cyrillic signs, the symbolic messages and wisdom of Bulgarian literature do.
Tell us the story of how your life path lead you to start working for the National Endowment Fund “13 Centuries Bulgaria”?
It was a quite natural process. I’ve been on the scene for 30 years, but due to unforeseen circumstances related with health issues I had to quit the Art world. For 8 years I worked as a Deputy Mayor of the Triaditsa region. I was responsible in the fields of Education, Culture, Sport and Social Services. Then I had to cease the implementation of my activities in Bulgaria for a few months to visit my daughter in New York.
I returned from the USA and just because I need to keep myself busy all the time I went to visit the office of the “13th Century Bulgaria” Fund. With great joy I met Mr. Mitko Todorov, who is well-known to the intellectual fields in Bulgaria. He was the director of the most successful theater in the country – the “Army”, and then a Deputy in the Ministry of Culture. I was filled with joy, because it was my pleasure to work with a person whom you’ve always been on the same page with when it comes to theatre and art. Thus it’s been almost two years since I’ve started working for the Fund in collaboration with Mr. Todorov.
Tell us more about the Fund’s main activity?
The main activity of the Fund is extremely connected with Bulgarian Culture, its support in every sense and aspect. I am an Internal Programs and Projects Expert, which means that all projects that come to us with any requests for support in the field of art are being reviewed by me and reported to the attention of the Executive Director Mr. Todorov, who holds the last word about the value of the project. Then the project is presented to a Managing Board, which includes many vice and deputy prime ministers and they make the final decision for each project.
How did you become an official partner of the “Malyk Zograff” Foundation? What has attracted you to support the ideology of this contest?
Mr. Ivan Ivanov came to me one day, because the contest was related with the development of the Bulgarian Culture. With great sadness he shared how difficult it’s been for the contest to receive the support it needed.
The Foundation is the only one in our country that has succeeded in winning a World Contest status on its idea for children’s drawings, namely the World Children’s Drawing Contest for Children from 4 to 18 years of age.
Mr. Ivanov was so excited that he could barely speak. There were many places that denied his request for support. To me, there is nothing more adorable and charming than children’s immediacy and incomparability. I do not like the idea of blaming them because they are born absolutely innocent and then they turn into individuals – good or bad, thanks to the upbringing we – the elderly provide. We must do everything in our power to lead them to the right path of life.
The idea for this contest is just such an event – supportive and leading-edge. By participating in it and winning a prize, they become inspired, it builds trust and makes them appreciate themselves and love art.
I was delighted with Mr. Ivan Ivanov’s offer and told Mr. Todorov. To my great joy I did not need to persuade him for a long time in the splendor of this idea. He was delighted. A meeting was held instantly and a partnership for 3 years was established between us and the Foundation. This happened last year.
Pepa Boyanova, the honorary president of the “Little Zograff” Foundation, told us that her dream is to open a National Museum for Children’s Drawings. Would you support such an initiative?
In fact, Mr Todorov gave this idea. He said it was right to build such a place in Sofia, a place made especially and only for children’s drawings. More people need to be able to see them. In this way, children will feel that their work is being appreciated and they will be motivated.Such a place will exist one day!
Which achievements are you most proud of?
They are related to my career: I have played very nice roles. I had the amazing opportunity to play in not just one, but 3 Shakespeare plays and many other wonderful characters.
When I quit acting and went to the Town Hall, everyone was asking me how I would go from Art to an administrative job. I can assure you that there was almost nothing administrative though. My work was to contact with all children, teachers and directors of the educational and childcare facilities daily. There is an overflowing feeling in actors that we have to enjoy people’s company. Nothing has really changed in the Municipality. People have the unpleasant feeling that the administration is treating them incorrectly. That‘s why I did my best to help meet the citizens needs in hard times and thus I was appreciated by them.
Tell us about some of your ideas you’ve been able to realize?
They are many and they are especially significant. For example some wonderful holidays organized by the Municipality in our beloved South Park, the “Baby of the Month” celebration for mothers who gave delivered their kids and received a birth certificate for our region, events related to the preparation of small children for road safety and many more that have made people happy.
Thanks to the activity of the “13th Century Bulgaria” Fund, artists from all over Bulgaria have the opportunity to show imagination and creative skills. We would also like to thank our business associates!