Dominika Kulczyk aquired the rights to Malta Festival

fot. Maciej Zakrzewski

Poznań’s flagship cultural project that draws brilliant artists from all over the world will gain a new, feminine face! The acquisition of the rights to the Malta Festival Poznań brand has been successfully finalised following the announcement in July. The purchase guarantees that the idea behind the prestigious EFFE (Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe) award-winning undertaking can live on.

Acquiring the rights to the Malta Festival Poznań brand is the beginning of an evolution of the festival’s format. The prevailing theme of the project in this new iteration will be the role of a woman in all aspects of activity, creativity and freedom.

– I am proud and happy that this extraordinary undertaking will continue to be the pride of my hometown. At the same time, thanks to it, we will be able to widely present the impressive achievements of many great female artists and emphasize the contribution of women to the achievements of contemporary culture – emphasized Dominika Kulczyk, president of the Kulczyk Foundation.

The festival has been hosted since 1991, and during those three decades has attracted over 2.5 million spectators interested in art, theatre, music, and literature of value. It’s thanks to Malta that Poznań was visited by Nobel Prize winners: Olga Tokarczuk, John Maxwell Coetzee, and Orhan Pamuk, and that Goran Bregović, Buena Vista Social Club, Radiohead and others have graced the stage and wowed people with their performances. This year, the Malta festival was held for the 33rd time, which, if it weren’t for Dominika Kulczyk’s involvement, would probably have been its last. An agreement has just been reached in the talks that took place over the last couple of months.

There’s a broad historical, cultural, philanthropic, but also symbolic context to the acquisition of the festival Malta brand by one of the companies under Dominika Kulczyk’s group, because the event’s first patron was Dr. Jan Kulczyk. Besides making sure the event can be held in the following years, seeing that the possibility of Poznań’s best known arts and culture festival disappearing was very real, there is one more important detail about Dominika Kulczyk’s decision. Dominika Kulczyk’s acquisition of rights to the Malta Festival is one of the first examples in Europe, and certainly the first one in Poland, of a serious business entity taking over responsibility for a serious cultural project.

In addition, Michał Merczyński – who initiated and organised the festival, for a long time serving as its director, and who bid farewell to the audience and thanked the artists for 32 years of shared experiences – will still be involved in the organising of the Poznań festival, sharing his unique experience and knowledge.

“I’m very glad that the Malta Festival will remain a part of Poznań’s, Poland’s and Europe’s cultural landscape. I’m also certain that the makeover to the festival’s formula will prove inspiring and bring many unforgettable artistic experiences,” says Michał Merczyński.

The Malta Festival’s new director will be Karolina Rozwód, a Hispanic studies graduate, a cultural manager, and, until January 2024, the director Lublin’s Old Theatre, which she has established and managed since its inauguration in March 2012. Before that, she worked with TVP Kultura, the Polish Film Institute and in 2004, she was the coordinator of the Year of Witold Gombrowicz.

“Taking over as the festival’s director is a great honour and a great challenge. I am grateful for the trust you placed in me. I’m very happy that Dominika Kulczyk decided to save Malta – the festival that for more than 30 years has been Poland’s cultural landscape’s point of reference and an event that I visited and that we all envied Poznań a bit. This is an unprecedented, beautiful example of a patron’s love for art, compassion for artists and the spectators,” says Karolina Rozwód.

Dominika Kulczyk, the president of the Kulczyk Foundation, announced that Poznań’s festival, with its 30-year-long tradition, will be revamped. The new Malta Festival Poznań will be a multi-layered cultural project in which the role of a woman in all aspects of activity, creativity and freedom will be the prevailing theme of the programme, in line with the three virtues of truth, goodness, and beauty.

Saving the prestigious event by acquiring rights to it and holding the next iteration in the revamped, feminine and unheard of formula is also the perfect celebration of the 10 year anniversary of Dominika Kulczyk’s Kulczyk Foundation.