We are delighted to announce that after ten years of working in the community, we will be establishing a Roma cultural centre right on our doorstep! Opening at 43 Nithsdale Road, it will be the first Roma cultural centre in Scotland, with a vibrant programme of permanent and temporary exhibitions showcasing the very best of Roma art and culture. Our artist-in-residency programme will bring emerging Romani artists to Govanhill each year. The centre will also house a community archive, featuring collections produced by and for the community.
As well as celebrating culture, it will be a centre for Roma activism and rights, with a particular emphasis on youth activism and empowerment. It will be home to our flagship programme, Community Catalysts, which is a grassroots equality and human rights programme (funded by the Scottish Government’s Equality and Human Rights Fund). This innovative programme trains a new cohort of local Roma youth each year to become activists in their community and beyond, with each cohort of Roma youth co-teaching the next.
The centre will also function as a community hub, creating much-needed recreational and social space. It will offer a range of community activities to bring people together, combining events open to all – such as our annual programme of cultural events and a regular community social – with targeted activities for specific groups, such as our Roma Sisters Together wellbeing programme and our mother-baby playcare group.
We have been inundated with requests to establish a Roma space or a community centre for almost as long as we have been in existence. It is the one thing that never fails to come up when we ask what people would like us to do or what they’d like to see in the community. Now, with a greater number of staff and increased capacity, we are ready to pursue this long-term goal.
The Centre has been made possible by new investment from the Co-op Foundation’s Future Communities Fund and the People’s Postcode Trust, alongside Romano Lav’s existing core funding from the Scottish Government’s Equality and Human Rights Fund. It will open in Autumn 2023 following significant renovations in time for Romano Lav’s 10-year anniversary!
Romano Lav is currently raising funds to support its renovations of the space. If you would like to contribute to this fantastic project, you can do so here -