Technopolis Turns One

A former intern at the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy has opened an educational facility in Cyprus.


  November 07th, 2015

Technopolis Turns One

Posted by Lucie Robson, in-cyprus, on Saturday, November 7th, 2015


“We didn’t know if it was positive or negative that there wasn’t a venue like ours in Paphos before we opened,” Marina Symeonidou told the Cyprus Weekly. “We weren’t sure if that meant there was no appetite for what we wanted to do.”
One year and 100 successful events later, Symeonidou and creative partner, Markella Neocleous, can confidently say that their venue Technopolis 20 was certainly needed in Paphos.

The two musicians, childhood friends who both dreamed of running a venue together one day, recently celebrated the first anniversary of the opening of Technopolis 20 with a party that also heralded the launch of a special programme of events until Christmas.

“People had the opportunity to get information regarding our new offers, subscriptions and upcoming programme,” Neocleous explained. For those who missed the event, there is an eclectic programme of events for both adults and children right up until the festive season.

Diverse activities
The duo’s objective has always been to put on a wide range of events. In this, they have succeeded. During its first year, Technopolis 20 has programmed concerts, theatre performances, art exhibitions, book presentations, children’s events, film screenings, festivals, lectures and workshops in both Greek and English as well as important collaborations with organisations and artists from Cyprus and abroad.

These include Pafos2017 events, performances by the Cyprus Symphonic Orchestra and Ledra Music Soloists, Transcontinental Saxophone Quartet, International Festival of countryside Animation Cinema and the Cyprus International Film Festival to name but a few.

“It has been an honour for us to work with all of the groups and artists and that they have had successful events here,” Neocleous said.

Both founders have impressive artistic track records themselves. Symeonidou studied music at the University of Bristol and has a Master’s degree in composition from the University of Surrey. She has composed music for theatre, dance and animation and has worked as a music editor in TV and also works in the education field as a teacher of music.

Neocleous studied Music at the University of Sheffield and acquired a Master’s degree in Cultural Policy and Management at City University London, while she also holds the LCCI Higher Certificate in Public Relations and she is currently studying MBA (Master of Business Administration) at Cyprus International Institute of Management. She worked for four years the the media and for several months at the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin in the events’ organisation department.

More than just events
Events for children have also been in the spotlight at Technopolis 20, with puppet shows, storytelling and theatre workshop just a few of the offerings for the younger crowd. The venue is open for more than just events. An indoor and outdoor café is open daily for coffee, wine, tea or homemade lemonade and cakes. The café also sells traditional homemade ‘MaMa’ products like marmalades, spoon sweets, herbs and teas. If you really want to lounge, there is a browsing library and a games room.

Technopolis 20 is open to external collaboration with organisations, institutions and individuals who wish to organise an event or to deliver educational seminars. Moreover, the facilities are available for rent for educational purposes, exhibitions, presentations and performances.

The venue is also deepening its ties to the community by offering opportunities to help out on its volunteering team or for students to gain internship experience there.

Not bad for a centre that started as an ambitious but uncertain dream. “It was very challenging for us,” Symeonidou said. “There were no models for us in Paphos. Our friends and families helped us to do up the venue, a former TV station and we didn’t know what the reaction would be because of the economic crisis.”

Both Symeonidou and Neocleous think that Paphos has changed and there is more of an appetite and demand for quality cultural events in part because of its Culture Capital title.

“We’ve put so much work into this, our dream. It’s like our child.”

Technopolis’ coming events include concerts, children’s events and a Christmas Art Market.

Café opening hours: Tuesday to Friday 9.30am-7pm/ Saturday 9.30am-6pm.