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Turning a cultural centre into a co-working space?
Stop interim Bangkok governor now and #freeBACC
According to a recent report in Thailand’s English daily newspaper “Bangkok Post” and other Thai newspapers, the interim governor of Bangkok is seriously considering turning Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC) into a co-working space, having asked the Office of Culture, Sports and Tourism to purchase 2,000 sets of table and chairs. The interim governor, appointed by the interim prime minister, cited the reason that the current management of BACC, by BACC Foundation, is inefficient and causes the loss of THB 80M (EUR 2.1M) annually, despite the THB 40M annual support from the city. Because of this, he is planning to cancel the contract of BACC Foundation, and take over the building soon.
- BACC Foundation has a valid contract with the Bangkok government to independently run this downtown 12-floor cultural centre—with various kinds of spaces for visual arts exhibitions, dance, theatre and music performances, book readings, film screenings, talks, seminars and meetings in addition to cafes, restaurant and art and design shops—until 2021, with the financial support from and supervision by the Bangkok government.
- Last year, BACC organised more than 400 arts and cultural activities. 1.7 M people from around the world visited BACC. The city government supported THB 45 M, and the foundation raised another THB 37 M from management of venues, shop rental in addition to sponsorships and donations, as the expenditure was THB 75 M.
- 35% of BACC visitors are students most of whom are not bused in but enjoy and learn from a variety of arts and cultural activities here on their own. In other words, BACC is already their learning space, without 2,000 sets of table and chairs.
- This year, when BACC is celebrating its 10th anniversary, arts and cultural activities are ongoing as usual. However, the city government is currently paying for electricity and water, and no other cost.
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