Lectio Pluralis – Hydro, between culture and entertainment
At Cittadellarte, there is a space dedicated to experimentation and artistic and social research developing through a programme of musical events. Nicholas Ferrara: “We want our cultural contents, combined with entertainment, to prompt a reflection.”

Here is another article about the Lectio Pluralis of Arte al Centro on the theme of designing. Today, we’ll talk about Hydro, a space opened in Cittadellarte in January 2017 dedicated to experimentation and artistic and social research. Through a programme of cultural events, the project activates an intergenerational network of repossession of the territory. Valeria Cantoni, moderator of the Lection, invited Nicholas Ferrara from Hydro to illustrate how it can, at the same time, be a place of thought and entertainment.

Ferrara starts by saying: “We are a non-profit space hosted at Fondazione Pistoletto, opened in Biella because the town lacked a location where to organize cultural activities or of social innovation. It is often said that our province is narrow-minded and poor of events of recreational/cultural relevance. We – the about thirty youths who have created and are running the project – don’t think this is true; there were many people committed to organizing and developing activities, what was missing was a ‘home’ and the instruments to express the ideas. We hope, with Hydro, to have offered them.”

Ferrara then explains how to conjugate entertainment and culture: “You need to stay connected with what happens ‘outside’ in terms of good practices and proposals. Ideas can be replicated moulding them according to the context, elaborating and experimenting a content. We don’t claim to have changed the nature of entertainment, we simply wanted to enhance the experience of ‘having a drink’ combining it with a cultural content ranging across different topics. However, to be a source of reflection is a complex operation, since we are not used to ‘consume’ contents.

We have tried ‘sowing a seed’: during our musical evenings, for example, we project short films about art, cinema or other topics in a designated area. This way we involve young people, stimulating them to pursue their interests.
At Hydro, this aspect is extremely relevant: if someone develops a particular interest prompted by one of our inputs, they can find other people with their same passion and instruments to be able to widen their knowledge on the subject.”

First image: Hydro’s logo; second image: evening event in the course of Arte al Centro.
Photo credits: Damiano Andreotti)

See also our previous interview with Luca Biasetti, president of the association Better Places managing Hydro.