Erste Bank supports the Guitar Art Festival for 10 years

The state of culture in one country is the picture of the state of its society and inversely.

Sonja Konakov Svirčev talks about socially responsible business and the importance of continuous support to culture.

Erste Bank supports the Guitar Art Festival for 10 years. How would you describe this continuous collaboration? This is actually the eleventh year of cooperation. Fhe first time we collaborated on the CD edition of the Guitar Art Festival in 2008. We have a lot of things together, we can freely say they have grown and survived. The feeling is truly amazing when I look back on a decade of cooperation. We were happy and honored that you recognized us as partners of quality cultural programs and invited us to cooperate. For 10 years of cooperation, Guitar Art Festival has released 11 CD's with outstanding and respected international performers, which we are precisely thanks to this festival and listened for the first time in Serbia. The fact that the festival is 19 is for admiration and praise. Nowadays it's not easy, not only to survive but to maintain, but also to raise the quality of the program. This Guitar Art Festival works very successfully. That's why we are part of this story.

Which festival you would set as one example of excellent and creative cooperation between Erste Bank and Guitar Art Festival? I personally remembered three extraordinary concerts within the festival, Enio Morikone with the Roma Sinfonietta Orchestra form 2009, then Pako De Lucia from 2010 and Mariza who performed in 2011. We are particularly proud that in 2011 we were also general sponsor of the festival. We are also proud of our visual experience that has been following this festival for 10 years, to our Erste Mrdalica which received a special "guitar suit" for these needs. 


This year, we re-established the cooperation to the level of general sponsorship, which is extremely pleasing to us. Creative activation has also been designed to accompany the festival and, hopefully, provide visitors good entertainment while waiting for the official program. About how it went we can talk about the next year ... ☺ 


Erste is a culture. You support projects in culture and you are familiar with it. How does culture become a target group? We believe that a strategic approach to investment in the communities in which it operates and consistency is very important. The choice of quality programs and partners is not an easy job, but it is the basis for establishing strategic partnerships and jointly changing society for the better. The synergy of different resources, knowledge and skills gives the best results. That's why Erste Bank strives to recognize quality, define Partner Partners and jointly try to contribute to the launch and further development of interesting, innovative and quality cultural content for society.

Can culture bring social change and  what is the global impact of culture on the community?  I think that everyone agrees that the state of culture in one country is a picture of the state of its society and inversely. That's exactly what's worth fighting for for culture. It is therefore important to provide support to those existing programs that have succeeded in setting high standards of quality, as well as to young creative, innovative, and alternative content that have a potential. We believe that by providing a strategic support for such programs, we influence the quality of culture and society as a whole.  


This year for the first time we organize Erste Concert of the Greatest Guitar Talents. Why is it important to support talent? Young educated, ambitious, talented are engine of development of our society. Their ideas are the gateway to positive changes and the advancement of society. That is exactly why we all have to be the wind in their sails, support their improvement, development of ideas and programs, and their realization. We are really happy that this year for the first time Erste Concert of the biggest guitar talents will be organized. Perhaps this is just another starting point for some traditional part of the program.

Do people in Serbia generally believe in themselves? In whom Erste Bank believe? I think that in our country there are many young enthusiasts, willing and able to change the world for the better. Each year we introduce up to 100 young creators who are launching various content in order to raise awareness on certain topics, solve the challenges and problems of their local communities and create new cultural contents through our Superste program. These are young talented people who believe in themselves and, therefore, ourselves in them. We also believe in all our partners and their ideas, otherwise we would not be with them.