Its history began in 2009 in the so-called old Tabacka. Peter Radkoff and a team of collaborators with the Bona Fide association of citizens breathed new life into the abandoned space of the former tobacco factory. First, they created an alternative cultural space in one of the buildings through their own efforts and at their own expense. Today it is known as Fabricafe, it still has the spirit of the place and its original atmosphere. Tabacka was the third social center after IC Cultur Train and Kasárne (Barracks) Kulturpark, which Radkoff and the team founded in Kosice. They are known for their many years of work within the Kosice art community, the active construction of modern cultural infrastructure in the metropolis of the East, and the promotion of independent culture throughout Slovakia.
The decision of the Kosice Self-Governing Region (KSK) to support the development of the creative economy in the region and at the same time invest in the restoration of its assets was crucial for the establishment of a cultural and creative factory. In April 2011, the KSK council approved the Concept of Creative Economy Development and Tabacka Kulturfabrik became its first concrete project. The new Tabacka Kulturfabrik with an area of up to 2500 m2 was able to open its gates in May 2015. It was possible thanks to extensive investment in the reconstruction and modernization of the dilapidated industrial area.
The space has expanded significantly, as well as the capabilities of the program. Tabacka became a place for the presentation and production of various genres of contemporary art, such as concerts, theatrical performances, contemporary dance art, a new circus, exhibitions, multicultural events, interactive installations, and even workshops, lectures, and many community activities. The support of initiatives from various areas of creative industries was a novelty. Tabacka also became a workspace for the community of young entrepreneurs. They work in HUBa co-working or rent one of the thirteen separate offices. At the same time, they provide complementary services for the cultural and artistic program.
Tabacka supports a multicultural society, open-mindedness, experiments and creativity. It seeks to provide an educational background and develop critical thinking.
“Our intention is to build a public space, which serves as a cultural center for everybody, as well as a place for meeting people, sharing knowledge, co-creating and realizing ideas. With an emphasis on participation, we create lasting and significant relations between Tabacka and its community, supporting at the same time the involvement of the wider public. Therefore, there are many activities initiated by the community in the Tabacka’s program, not only by its own dramatists,” says the founder and director of Tabacka Kulturfabrik Peter Radkoff.
Tabacka is also actively involved in the formation of local, regional, and state cultural policies, and cooperates with the municipal and regional governments. Tabacka’s team participated in the preparation of UNESCO Creative City of Media Art and regional creative center projects. They also participate in the creation of KSK system of grant support for cultural events and organizations.
The resources of Tabacka Kulturfabrik became resources that support the development of independent culture in Europe through cooperation with international partners. Since 2007, Tabacka has been a member of the Network of Independent Cultural Centres in Europe as for example Trans Europe Halles (TEH – www.teh.net) and since 2008 it has been a co-founder of the network of independent cultural centers in Slovakia (ANTENA – www.antena.net).