Story of NOASS

Kate Zilgalve

We are now in a Culture and Arts Project NOASS in Riga, Latvia. I am Kate Zilgalve. I am the managing director of this organization. You can see the panoramic view of Riga behind my back. And actually if you look carefully you can also see that we are located on a boat now.

Culture and Arts Project NOASS started 16 years ago in late nineties when Riga had no alternative artistic scene such as galleries, music or concert venues, as an initiative of a local artistic or creative intelligence of that time including writers, actors, cultural workers, artists and many others led by my father Dzintars Zilgalvis who has been a chairman of the organization ever since.

The organization started with one building that is the old part of organization. It is a boat NOASS where we currently have our offices and artist in residency premises. It started first as a gallery and the meeting point for everyone who had an idea or project that was in a way independent and not commercial.
The organization venue soon became too small and we were starting to look for the new premises. But having one floating building it is very difficult to find another one. So in mid-2000 the leader of the organization found a floating platform that was almost sunk totally. A bit on that side of the river next to the Television Tower. It was a last minute of the platform because it was going to drown in like two days. They bought it. They invested a lot of energy and also money in it to make it alive again to bring it up from the river.

So this is a new part of organization where we have venue for events, exhibition hall and a three storey building now. It is constantly developing because every year we try to improve it. We started just with a platform. Then we had the tent on it. Then we build this entire building on it and a second floor. We hope for real glass windows and central heating in a very near future. So it is like the same as organization. This building is constantly changing as it is floating and it is basically a boat. So it is a lot of effort put into it to make it as flexible and transformable as possible.

We are currently located in the very heart of the city as you can see the Riga behind my back. It is in a middle of the park in a very beautiful and nice setting. This helps us in our peak season, which is summer because we can use the park in front of us to do some artworks there, some sculptures also make events and screenings there.

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