ATHENS – The creation of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) was a result of the hard work and collaboration of a great many people, and it took resolve, strength, and vision to make it a reality. Now, on the fifth anniversary of its delivery to the Greek state and the public in 2017, we feel exceptionally proud to see what started as a daring idea in the depths of a socioeconomic crisis not only become a reality, but exceed our most optimistic predictions. The SNFCC, a project unique in Greece, is the truly public space for expression, culture, and recreation that all of us at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) envisioned, designed for every single visitor to enjoy.
“The most important achievement of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) is the way it has been embraced by all people, creating—as we had envisioned along with its architect, Renzo Piano—an open and accessible public space,” said SNF Co-President Andreas Dracopoulos. “It took a lot of effort, a lot of energy, and a lot of work by many people, as well as close cooperation between the public and private sectors. The SNFCC is an international landmark, which is home to the Greek National Opera (GNO) and the National Library of Greece (NLG), along with Stavros Niarchos Park. It is a place thousands of people embrace and visit daily to be entertained and express themselves, to join conversations, to meet up and enjoy quality time together. We at SNF continue to support the SNFCC, to the extent of our abilities, while looking forward and hoping that, in the near future, it will be able to rely solely on its own strengths and continue to fulfill its role as a project made by people for people.”
Since the inception of the idea for the creation of the SNFCC, SNF has allocated a total of €608 million ($739 million) to the project through several grants. This amount primarily went toward the construction of the SNFCC but also supported operational and programming costs for its first five years, following the commitment SNF made during delivery of the SNFCC to the Greek state. In addition, SNF’s support has gone to additional programs for the development of the SNFCC and to infrastructure projects beyond the original design. Now that one cycle of support has been successfully completed, we are renewing our support for the SNFCC with a new €10 million ($11.2 million) grant to cover operating and programming costs for another year.
During these first five years, in addition to the grant supporting operations and the implementation of more than 16,000 open events, we have also made grants to support additional infrastructure projects at the SNFCC in full, including for the creation of the dancing Fountains in the Canal, whose choreographies captivate thousands of visitors; the Dome at the Labyrinth, which hosts events and performances; and the Delta restaurant, an international gastronomic destination with a focus on sustainability. At the same time, we have supported 11 cycles of a paid internship program that has given more than 900 young people the opportunity to enrich their skills and enhance their job prospects, to help address the high rate of youth unemployment in Greece as part of the SNF Recharging the Youth initiative. During this time, the SNFCC’s daily programming has been enriched with a plethora of sports and entertainment activities through a valuable collaboration with the nonprofit Regeneration & Progress. With SNF’s support, the SNFCC has developed major partnerships with more than 40 Greek and international institutions, such as the Barça Foundation, the Perimeter Institute, the Takis Foundation, and the George Zongolopoulos Foundation, as well as a recent collaboration with Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York through the Stavros Niarchos Foundation-Lincoln Center (SNF-LC) Agora Initiative. The SNFCC has already earned a place on the global map as a modern landmark, hosting high-caliber events such as a speech by President Barack Obama in November 2016 and the EuroMED7 Summit of the heads of state and government of European countries on the Mediterranean in September 2021.
Once a year, we return to the SNFCC for SNF Nostos, a free and open event for all that celebrates art, culture, learning, and the joy of being together. SNF Nostos is organized and exclusively funded by SNF. The eagerly awaited SNF Nostos Conference will return in person again this year on June 23 and 24, 2022, and will focus on the most fundamental element of our lives, as it has been redefined by the pandemic: health, with the SNF Health Initiative as a starting point.
The success of the SNFCC in numbers (2017 – 2021)
- 20 million visits
- More than 16,000 events
- More than 900 participants in 11 cycles of the paid internship program
- 110,000 participants in guided tours
- More than 340,000 student visits
- 37 different dancing fountain choreographies