A home for art and culture in Florence: New headquarters for the Andrea Bocelli Foundation, which is moving to the complex of San Firenze and is also signing an important collaborative agreement with the Florence city council.
Not only offices, but also exhibition and multi-functional spaces are taking shape inside the famous baroque building, which is already home to the court of Florence. These spaces will be open to the community, and young people in particular, with the aim of creating a special cultural project that is mainly targeted at – and freely available to – the children and young people who live in the city of Florence, in line with ABF’s mission (Empowering people and communities).
The link between the city and the ABF Foundation – established in 2011 by the most famous Italian tenor in the world – has grown over the years, through major events, such as Celebrity Fight Night in Italy, which, thanks to Maestro Bocelli, has brought outstanding guests to Florence (from Queen Rania of Jordan to George Clooney) and places the international spotlight on the city on several occasions. Indeed, it was none other than the Tuscan singer and philanthropist, along with the “Voices of Haiti”, the choir created through an ABF project, who inaugurated the Franco Zeffirelli International Center for the Performing Arts in 2017, which is also housed in the Complex of San Firenze, located within the piazza of the same name.
From the desire to further strengthen and expand ABF’s ties with the city of Florence, the idea to establish the Foundation’s new headquarters on the second floor of the complex came from dialog with the institutions and the City Council. Thus the complex has become the home of Organizations that attest to and preserve the cult of beauty, art, doing good and culture.
ABF will allocate a section of the spaces for its operational offices and a section to the creation of permanent and/or temporary laboratories for residents, young people and students from the area, as well as for people from other regions and countries.
In agreement with the City Council and while fully respecting the historical importance of the building, the spaces have been given to ABF on a gratuitous loan for 29 years, the Foundation will carry out all ordinary and extraordinary maintenance, in order to restore the spaces to their previous beauty and splendor. This is because the intention is not merely to open the doors to the community, but to restore these important spaces, by giving these spaces a new lease of life and planning activities that are divided into initiatives targeted at young people designed to overcome the limits imposed by socio-economic hardship and are aimed at supporting young generations in terms of their vocation and offering training and/or professional guidance. Furthermore, a space freely accessible to young people is also planned, who will therefore be able to play instruments and liven up the headquarters of the Complex of San Firenze, all of which will guarantee the development and coordination of the activities within the building.
The concept of a “living laboratory”, which is near and dear to ABF, will take shape through the creation of real spaces designed for meeting, exchanging views and training.
“I think that this complex, yet exciting undertaking – emphasized Maestro Bocelli – represents the beginning of a virtuous circle and I am happy that the relationship between ABF and Florence can find tangible expression in a place, in the heart of the city, which is available to the city, and its new generations”.
“We would like to thank Maestro Bocelli for choosing our city for this innovative project – said Mayor Nardella –: we are truly happy that this fruitful collaboration is underway and that the Complex of San Firenze, a real treasure chest in the heart of the city, is increasingly becoming the building for the arts, culture and solidarity”.
The Foundation’s activities in San Firenze will include the setting up of laboratories and two workshops a year, for the entire duration of its stay in the San Firenze building, which will be completely free and open to residents and young people in particular. The workshops will be held in the form of conferences, events and other activities, and will see the presence of people of national and international interest, starting with the founder of course, Andrea Bocelli.