The idea of establishing an organisation to represent Romanians in the UK dates from the ’50s, when ACARDA (Asociatia Culturala a Romanilor din Anglia – The Cultural Association of the Romanians in England) was founded by Ion Ratiu and Horia Georgescu working together with various individuals, notably the ladies of the Romanian community.
In 1984 the UMRL (Uniunea Mondiala a Romanilor Liberi – The World Union of Free Romanians) was launched in Geneva to unite Romanians from all over the world. Ion Ratiu was elected the first President.
From that date (1984) UMRL published a monthly newspaper in Romanian and English, ‘Romanul Liber’ (Free Romanian), which flourished until 1997. In 1984 a British branch of UMRL was founded, along with branches in 23 other countries. Sandu Pobereznic was elected as the first British President, and succeeded by Nicolae Ratiu in 1992.
The newspaper was closed and political activity sharply scaled down after the election of 1996, when it was considered that the objective of UMRL, the restoration of freedom and democracy to Romania, had largely been achieved.
In 1994 a group of London based Romanians established The Romanian Cultural Centre, in order to create a new non-political cultural organisation, aimed at satisfying the cultural and community needs of Romanians and Anglo-Romanians in England.
THE ROMANIAN CULTURAL CENTRE (RCC) is an independent association which promotes Romanian cultural programs, maintains connections within the Romanian community in Britain, facilitates cultural exchanges between Britain and Romania and maintains an information and data base service. We are also a purely voluntary organisation run by a team of Romanians in London who freely contribute time out from their work or studies to make this happen.
The Centre benefits from a number of voluntary British advisers on dealings with British institutions and audiences. These are friends of Romania, private or public persons from various institutions who have supported the Centre in its endeavours by encouraging us to bring new ideas to life.
The RCC, besides the cultural activities implied by the name, also plays an active part in the social life of the Romanian community.
The RCC consistently provides the audience with an average of two monthly events which, although held in London, have usually attracted people from other towns including Reading, Tunbridge Wells, Southampton, Manchester, Birmingham, and even as far north as Leeds.
The people coming to the events organised by the RCC are Romanians and non-Romanian alike, including partners and friends of Romanians attending the events and people who are interested in Romania and its culture. The public tends to be different with every event, though there are people who have been coming every month since their first meeting with the Centre. The people attending the RCC events come from all walks of life and all age groups.
RCC as Information Network
The Romanian Cultural Centre is a real information network. Our public announcements take the form of mail shots, e-mail shots, and press releases. The e-mail shots go to a data base of more than 6,000 members, subscribers and friends. The Centre regularly sends information by e-mail shots. All information is also posted on the RCC website.
When requested and if suitable, The Centre associates with other organisations interested in the Romanian community and publicises their information in this segment of the market.
The Romanian Cultural Centre is dedicated to the programmes it organises, considering it as an honourable duty to continue its activity for as long as possible. Our greatest satisfaction is to see the increase in the number of our paying members and in the attendance at our events. Last year, The Centre celebrated 15 years of existence (1994 – 2010). From the beginning in 1994 up to the present, everything we created has been the result of a whole-hearted voluntary commitment.
Sources of Finance
Membership, grants, sponsorship, sales income (publications, tickets etc).
-Offers translation services (literary translations).
-Develops and extends the existing data base (names, addresses, institutions) in a more effective software.
Publishes an e-newsletter with up to date information about RCC activities. If you would like to publicise your events in the RCC’s events list, please e-mail the details at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Establishes and maintains contacts with the British and Romanian press.
Sends out press releases regularly.
Stimulates the creation of professional networks/groups of people with similar interests (undergraduate and postgraduate students); provides useful info about scholarships, cultural opportunities;
Collaborates with other cultural centres of different countries, in London;
Develops a network of the institutions in UK that are interested in Romania and have Romanian programs (foundations, universities, companies, banks). Establishes and maintains contacts with British institutions that support or might be interested to support projects with Romania (British Council, Visiting Arts, SSEES – UCL, Birkbeck College, Byam Shaw School of Arts, International House, Hidden Art/Mazorca Projects, Crafts Council, Coin Street Festival, etc.);
Establishes and maintains links with the cultural institutions in Romania (UNITER, The Sibiu International Theatre Festival, ECUMEST, The National Centre of Cinematography, The National University of Theatre and Cinematography, The Romanian Cultural Institute, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Foreign Affairs-Cultural Department, Ministry of Education, University of Architecture ‘Ion Mincu’, Babes Bolyai University, Romanian Television, etc.);
Sends out e-mail newsletter.