Who we are
Who we are
Creativity has the power to change our society
Not many places in the Czech Republic provide systematic support for business in creative branches – in fact, we're the only one. There is huge potential in creativity: architecture, design, fashion, film, game development, books, creative advertising, music, radio, and television – all these are branches based on creativity, skills, and talent.
Culture and creativity are strong enough to change our society and bring new perspectives into industry and education as a whole. We want to inspire innovative solutions, no matter the size, and help further develop cultural values and cooperation both locally and globally.
A public service for creative people
We come from JIC, an organization sponsored by public institutions and authorities, which provides an environment to develop business in the South Moravian Region. We'd like to offer the same support to cultural and creative industries as well. We show people with new ideas how to develop while maintaining both their creativity and their integrity.
In Brno and #brnoregion, we've been building an environment for creative professionals to work and educate themselves. We are creating a community of competitive people who cooperate not only with each other but also across various disciplines.
KUMST: merging arts and skills
For us, the word "KUMST" merges arts and entrepreneurship. This neologism is a combination of the German "Kunst" (meaning art) with the Czech vernacular "kumšt", which refers to a skill and common sense. Our name also pays homage to the German roots of Brno that had such an impact on the cultural and business life in our city as well as to the proverbial "skilful Czech hands" that can work with just about anything.
KUMST: THE STORY
KUMST: THE STORY
Creative Europe Forum
During the Czech presidency of the EU Council, the Creative Europe Forum conference was held which dealt with possible ways for arts and culture to develop, while also boosting the general awareness of them as primary sources of creativity in Europe. The conference underlined efforts to gather support culture throughout Europe, including the Czech Republic, and inspired us to get more interested in creative disciplines.
The city of Brno asked us to do a feasibility study for the Creative Hub located in a former penitentiary. In addition to the analysis of the building, we mapped the cultural and creative branches in Brno and South Moravian Region. We found out that there was a lot of unique creative projects in #brnoregion whose potential was being overlooked.
The most seriously damaged parts of the former penitentiary were successfully reconstructed. However, speculations emerged concerning the building and its future purpose, and it seemed there would be no Creative Hub any time soon. The first idea for KUMST emerges.
JIC launched its Creative Vouchers program to support cooperation between companies and professionals from creative industries which was met with great enthusiasm. We’ve published an evaluation of the program’s positive impact which you can check out at www.kreativnivouchery.cz.
Finding the space
By mere coincidence we managed to find the perfect space for what would become the creative hub. The Faculty of Fine Arts at Brno University of Technology decided to move out of its building at Údolní 19 – the very heart of Brno. Our negotiations with BUT about renting the building and our purpose went very well and an application to the city and region administration was submitted.
Hub at Údolní Street approved
The negotiations took a bit longer than expected, and the boom in the construction industry at the time raised the expenses in our budget. But we finally got the green light and work on KUMST began!
Services, events, workshops, a showroom, a reception area, security, electricity, internet, brand… and the name KUMST. Everything under one roof and we were drafting plans for how it would all operate. Our team was joined by a community curator and the Creative Vouchers program administrator.
Our plan was ready and an opening date set, thus began the reconstruction. Holding our breaths, we were waiting for the workers to call about some complications, such as asbestos or problems with the foundation. Everything went well, though, and not even coronavirus was going to stop us!
Launch of KUMST and Brno Design Days
Finally, we did it! After more than two years of intensive preparations, we ceremoniously launched the Creative Hub KUMST, and how else it could be, but with colors and a great deal of creativity. The first event to take place on its premises was a four-day festival of designers from the Czech Republic and abroad, the Brno Design Days.
Pilot operation and selection of the firstcreatives
Pilot operation and selection of the first creatives have been launched at KUMST. Final construction adjustments, internet, and other necessities are being completed. We are not resting and have initiated the first official Opencall for collecting applications from the first creatives. We were pleasantly surprised by the high interest, and after careful review of all applications with the help of an expert jury, we have selected a group of first adventurers.
Testing phase ended - welcome to KUMST
Officially opened with the first anniversary of the creative hub! Despite the covid pandemic, we managed to fill almost the entire house with creatives through another open call. The first collaborations within the community are emerging, we are launching coworking, business consultations, and the first public events.
In our second year of service, we're further along again. Brno's potential to become one of Europe's gaming capitals prompted us to launch the Game Incubator project - a space where start-up game developers are trained to establish themselves more quickly on the global market.
New European Bauhaus
KUMST launches international collaborations. We joined the New European Bauhaus, a European network that connects scientists, engineers, artists and other creatives to share their ideas and innovations for more sustainable solutions in architecture, urban planning and design.
FabLab at KUMST
We are opening a branch of the digital workshop FABLAB BRNO equipped with supercharged machines for creative production and prototyping. 3D printers, laser cutter, plotter and thermolite, embroidery machine, and a CNC milling machine is planned for the future.