'The community center in Kovachevitsa is 150 years old and despite the urgent need for funds for its renovation, it has very good acoustics. It is obvious that the original builders had a vision of its versatile educational role and invested all their art and love in its construction. Their worthy descendants deserve our support today. "
Culture, a newspaper for criticism, debate, and cultural pleasures
The Svetlina Charitable Society was established by musicians Lora Tchekoratova, Georgy Valtchev, Nikola Takov, and Mariana Karpatova as an initiative of the Off the Beaten Path Foundation with the mission to raise funds for the restoration and maintenance of the community center in the village of Kovachevitsa.
Since the establishment of the festival “Off the Beaten Path" until now, the musicians have invested nearly BGN 12,000 from the festival’s funds for repairs of the community center. In order to be able to completely restore the building, it is necessary to create a separate fund for the restoration and maintenance of the building. This paved the path to the creation of this initiative.
We invite all locals from the village of Kovachevitsa and Garmen municipality, as well as friends from all over Bulgaria and around the world to join our society!
All funds raised by the Svetlina society will be invested in the repair work of the building. For this purpose, we work with local craftsmen and the municipality of Garmen. As always, we work with accountability, transparency and guarantee that each donation will be used only for its intended purpose.
The “Chitalishte" in the village of Kovachevitsa was founded in 1865 by the teacher Nikola Kovachevski. The first books in its library were textbooks from the secular school, as well as newspapers, which were delivered to Kovachevitsa from the town of Siar, and later from Istanbul (Constantinople). The activity of the Chitalishte was renewed in 1885-1892 by Stoyan Zlatarev, Yorje Dimitrov, and other local teachers.
During the Ilinden Uprising in 1903, the library burned down and the community center stopped its educational activities until 1908 when the young teachers Stoyan Shutev and priest Toma Poptomov restored it. Its location is moved to various private shops. After the Liberation in 1912, the library was re-furnished, but the activities stopped again during the Balkan, Inter-Union, and the First World War.
In 1922 the Chitalishte was registered in the Ministry of Public Education. With donations from private individuals, income from parties and performances, the library began its enrichment. The sons of the founder of the Chitalishte Nikola Kovachevski - the brothers Angel and Dimitar Daskalovi donated BGN 10,000, and Ivan Titimov, son of Kanush voivode donated BGN 5,000. Before his death, the teacher Stoyan Zlatarev (the father of the Bulgarian writer Lyudmil Stoyanov) donated 1,500 volumes of books to the community center.
In 1954, with the active help and funding of the Rodopi Cooperative, a new building was constructed, where the Svetlina Chitalishte is still located today. The building has a spacious hall with good acoustics, which served for cinema screenings, and a theater hall, with a bright and spacious reading room and library.
In the 1960s, the building was deserted. The only pillar of the Chitalishte work and guardian of the museum collection and library values remained yet again a teacher - Angel Dzhigrev.
In 2018, the first chamber music festival in the Western Rhodopes opened its doors to the public and awakened the cultural life in the community center Svetlina - “Off the Beaten Path", founded by Bulgarian musicians who opened the hall and appreciated its acoustic qualities and the need for its preservation and restoration.
WHAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED SO FAR
2018 Thorough cleaning of the community center, Replacement of the window panes BGN 500
2019 Making a new door to the terrace of the community center BGN 1,500
2019 Production of acoustic panels for the concerts of the festival "Untrodden Path" BGN 1,000
2019 Partial repair of the roof BGN 1,000
2020 Production of 150 new chairs in Kovachevski style
2020 Repair of contacts BGN 5,500
2021 Additional repairs to the roof of the Chitalishte BGN 2,000
2021 Purchase of a new door BGN 400
We believe in the power of community and the ability of each of us to help preserve the traditions of Bulgaria. Let's save this beautiful building!
Become part of the future!
UPCOMING ACTIVITIES AND NECESSARY FUNDS
2021-2022 Complete renovation of the roof in partnership with the municipality of Garmen. Our foundation will pay for the work, and the municipality for the materials. Labor cost BGN 4,000
2022 Purchase of stage lights BGN 2,000
2022 Repair of the doors to the dressing room and to the balcony BGN 1,500
2022 Making shutters for the windows above the stage
2023 Every year we will add activities depending on the funds received from the donor society and our goal is to continue our partnership with the municipality of Garmen