The Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation better known as the Onassis Foundation was originally set up in December 1975. The Business Foundation engages mainly in shipping, real estate and financial investments. The Public Benefit Foundation on the other hand, which is funded by the aforementioned Foundation, endeavors to help in all matters related to Greece or Greek culture and civilization through its focus on health, the environment, culture, education and social solidarity.
As part of its efforts within this framework, the Onassis Cultural Center which was inaugurated in December 2010 focuses and delivers, as its mission statement also states, on promoting modern cultural expression, supporting new Greek artists, cultivating international collaborations, education and lifelong learning, as well as making the sciences, innovation and arts interact with one another.
The Building which houses the centre hosts cultural events as well as cultural activities. Spanning 18,000 sq. m., over seven floors and nine underground levels, the building’s facilities are exemplary and feature first and foremost, the Aristotle Onassis 880-seat center stage which has been designed for theatrical, symphonic orchestra, opera and dance performances, films, lectures and conferences. Then there’s the Christina Onassis 220-seat hall which has been designed for theatrical, musical or dance productions, lectures and special cinematic features (multimedia, virtual reality) as well as the 600 sq. m Alexander Onassis Exhibition Hall. Other features include the open-air theatre, a restaurant with an open-air section and bar as well as underground parking for guests.
As always and with every season that passes, the range of cultural events that will take place at the Cultural Centre is inspiring. For a taste of what the month of March alone has to offer, theatrical productions will include the ‘Right of Passage’ by Yannis Tsiros, Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos will feature in music, and ‘Shaping Cultural Policy In a Time of Crisis’ will be some of the topics discussed in thoughts and talks.
For more information concerning the Onassis Cultural Centre, the Onassis Foundation (http://www.onassis.gr ) or to view its up and coming schedule for events, the Foundation’s helpful website contains all the information that visitors or would be visitors could possibly need. http://www.sgt.gr/