University is a special place where culture of the society occurs in its most sophisticated form. Since its foundation, UMCS has had a special place for culture in its program and architecture. “Chatka Żaka,” the Academic Cultural Centre constantly shapes the culture of the university’s environment, while its repertoire has won a permanent place in the cultural life of Lublin.
In 2013, the Academic Cultural Centre was given a new character – the Media and Art Incubator, which is a great example of adopting and implementing modern strategy based on the cultural knowledge.
The program of the Academic Cultural Centre is not isolated but provokes creative space and suggests the need for coordinating various activities for the common good. “Chatka Żaka” is a place of artistic meetings and cultural experiments. People can also spend their free time there.
Events which take place in “Chatka Żaka” can be perceived as a starting point for creative debates and specific critical participation in the young people’s world. This is our mission.
Normally, “Chatka Żaka” is used for cultural and artistic education of our students. It is also the place where they can implement their ideas and develop their talents. Different bands and interest groups give their performances there on the regular basis. They draw young people’s attention with their diversity and repertoire. Every year the Academic Choir of UMCS, the Folk Dance Band and the Ballroom Dance Band, “Impetus,” enroll new students. Different courses are delivered within the Artistic Workshops, e.g.: playing instruments, singing, drawing, and painting. Creative Workshops, on the other hand, gather devotees of hand-made and eco art, as well as ethno design. The Group of Lublin Photographers is also linked to “Chatka Żaka”. Members of the group operate actively on Lublin’s photographic market, nurturing the tradition of black and white photography, as well as preparing workshops and delivering courses in modern techniques of image recording.
For many years, the Academic Cultural Centre has had an active art house (DFC “Bariera”, Film Confrontations). Drama art initiatives (Drama Reading Room, ¾ of the Scene) should also be mentioned. Every year, the students’ drama festival, “Konfrontacje,” is held here. Apart from this, throughout the whole year, the courses and classes called “Epicentre of Drama Techniques” are delivered. Once a month, the centre’s main hall gathers devotees of improvised drama, No Potatoes Group, led by Przemek Buksiński.
Among the centre’s flagships is St Nicholas Orchestra - a folk band known, among others, for organizing an event called “Folk Nicholas Day,” an international festival of folk music, world music and new music tradition.
The diverse program of “Chatka Żaka” expresses our passion to explore various sources of our culture, as well as to approach creatively its modern tendencies. We often draw on the world’s cultural and ethnic diversity, confront the seemingly distant languages of tradition and modernity, combine alternative ideas of young artists with the consideration of experienced masters.
„Chatka Żaka” sings and plays. In its corridors one can find works of art created by our students. Recently, a photo gallery has been established. Individuals who are interested in culture’s ins and outs, can participate in the program for volunteers. People can also come to “Chatka” and stay there for some time, either to get free internet access or browse through the artistic picture albums or cultural journals.
“Academic Radio Centrum 98,2 FM” is an exceptional part of “Chatka Żaka.” This broadcasting station has been functioning for almost 20 years now and it still provides practical education for future radio journalists. The radio’s editor-in-chief is Małgorzata Piasecka (in 2013), who has been working for “Radio Zet” for many years. The new program format of the radio has been prepared to include programs in English and Ukrainian. Every day, the radio broadcasts programs produced by enthusiast from different fields, such as art or science.
Media education is currently the centre’s main activity. Media and Art Incubator is the university’s response to modern trends in education, culture and art. This digital creative centre is unique in the eastern Poland. The incubator can be perceived as a platform for holding dialogues between education, culture, art and media. In this place, classes in journalism, new media and arts are delivered. In a TV studio, in cooperation with public television, a feature program is produced and afterwards broadcasted every week by TVP Lublin. Concerts, movie screenings (including 3D), meetings, debates and performances take place regularly in a cosy concert hall. Thanks to the implementation of modern technologies, we can prepare events on a professional level, record HD audio and video or perform online streaming. Since July 2013, the media classes have been delivered, allowing students to gain practical knowledge and skills in working with media. The classes are delivered by professional journalists (local and national), film-makers, editors, cameramen, photographers and specialists in the field of the new media.