Best Cultural Center

Winner
Garage

Founded by Daria Zhukova in 2008, Garage has had the status of a museum of modern art since May 2014. The activities of the Garage Museum of Modern Art are based in its own archive, a unique collection of print, photo, video and audio materials on the history of Russian contemporary art, which allows the institutions to act as an international expert in the field. In addition to the best exhibitions of world contemporary art, Garage organizes its own exhibitions and works to integrate Russian artists into the international community. It is the only Moscow cultural center that provides grant support to young artists, as well as carrying out educational and publishing activities, and developing and implementing innovative methods of child and family education. Until June 2015, Garage operated in a pavilion of frost-resistant paper columns designed by architect Shigeru Ban in Gorky Park. Then the 1960s former Seasons Pavilion became its main building, after work on it by Rem Koolhaas’s OMA agency. For the close of the temporary building and the opening of the new Garage, a spectacular exhibition of world contemporary art stars Katharina Grosse and Yayoi Kusama was mounted. After that, it brought to Moscow a retrospective of another major figure of contemporary art, sculptor Louise Bourgeois.

Tretyakovsky Gallery

In the summer of 2015, the Tretyakovsky Gallery on Krymsky Val made admission to its exhibitions free on Wednesdays. It launched the Fitness at the Museum project with a thematic tour and workout and "Conversations About the Black Square" with artists and art critics. In the fall, a grand jubilee exhibition of Valentin Serov was mounted. A museum shop was opened in the entrance hall of the gallery with a variety of souvenirs relating to Serov. The Tretyakovsky also created a mobile app for tablets, making it possible to buy, download and read the gallery’s books, including an electronic version of the Serov exhibition catalog.

The ZIL Cultural Center

The former ZIL House of Culture is one of the biggest in Moscow, built in the 1930s in the Constructivist style. In 2012, it was transferred to the Moscow Department of Culture. Since then, it has been developed into a modern multifunctional center intended for a wide audience, with exhibitions, performances, shows, lectures, concerts and master classes by experts in various fields of science, art and culture. The public constructivist spaces are used for leisure, work, social and creative activities.

Among the most notable events arranged by the ZIL Cultural Center this year are a production of the rare opera of Handel's "Messiah" by the Questa Musica ensemble headed by Philip Chizhevsky; an evening of ballets by George Balanchine, organized by Ballet Moscow with the Suzanne Farrell Ballet, with the support of the U.S. Embassy, and a festival of Japanese Butoh dance theater with master classes for Russian dancers led by world star of the genre Katsura Kan.

Moskvarium

The aquarium project at VDNKh opened in autumn 2015. It has unique technology unlike anything else in Russia or Europe. The aquarium has a total area of 12,000 sq. m. There are 8,000 marine and freshwater species from all over the world – from Lake Baikal to the Galapagos, Icelandic fjords to the Great Barrier Reef, Greenland and to Kamchatka – living in it. The Moskvarium has also collected an extensive exhibit of Russian freshwater fish, including sturgeon.

Visitors have a unique opportunity to touch starfish, crustaceans and rays in a special pool. In the spacious lecture hall, marine-related scientific and educational workshops and documentary film screenings are held. A team of experienced researchers offers a detailed excursion program along the 600-meter exhibition and a visit to the panoramic viewing area, where the visitor can watch killer whales, beluga whales and dolphins at arm's length. In early 2016, the Moskvarium will launch a new attraction: swimming in a pool with dolphins.

Stanislavsky Electrotheater

Reconstruction of the Moscow Stanislavsky Drama Theater was started in 2013 by the Wowhaus architectural bureau (known for the Strelka Institute, changes in Gorky Park and renovations of Krymskaya Embankment). Formerly separate areas of the building were completely modified and combined into a single space, in keeping with world theater trends, and the total area of the theater’s auditorium almost doubled. The planner of the renovation was Electrotheater artistic director Boris Yukhananov – director, theater theoretician and teacher, and a student Anatoly Efros and Anatoly Vasilyev.

In the spring of 2015, the new Stanislavsky Electrotheater opened with a production of "The Bacchae" by Greek director Theodoros Terzopoulos. In addition to him, Yukhananov brought in other directors of world renown, such as the Italian Romeo Castellucci and German Heiner Goebbels, to work in the theater. Yukhananov cast himself in the Stanislavsky’s multi-day opera series "Sverliytsy" (with music for each episode written by different modern composers) and the "Blue Bird" trilogy by Maurice Maeterlinck. In the foyer of Electrotheater are exhibitions, performances, lectures on art, showings of films, dance master classes, and a branch of the cult St. Petersburg bookshop Word Order.

The Museon

In 2015, Museon Park held several unusual outdoor festivals. The most notable were in September. First was the Fields Music Festival, at which Western and Russian artists performed ambient, electro, neo-folk, jazz and experimental electronic music. Second was the Island of the ‘90s Festival, organized by Colta magazine, an extensive debate on the media scene of the 1990s; a poetry marathon with Sergei Gandlevsky, Timur Kibirov, Lev Rubinstein, Anatoly Naiman and many others; alternative 1990s fashion shows and the best Russian films of the period, as well as with a concert by major 1990s Russian group Auktsyon.

With that, the independent history of Museon Park ended, as city authorities decided to attach it to Gorky Park as part of the latter’s reorganization.