Bulgarian cultural center open in Arlington Heights
Arlington Heights is home to a Bulgarian cultural center that earlier this fall attracted a surprise visit from Bulgarian President Rumen Radev.
Three Bulgarian nationals came up with the idea for a unique space to bring the Bulgarian community together to promote and preserve the culture for their children, other nationals and the community at large.
It was the dream of the co-founders, Nadia Jeliazkova, Valentina Limov and Stanislav Stanimirov, to create a community center where language, art, dance and cultural events could all take place to achieve their goals.
Before moving to a 3,000-square-foot space in Arlington Heights earlier this year, Magura -- The Bulgarian Collective Space got its start in 2015 in an 1,100-square-foot space in Mount Prospect, offering a roster of programs that met with immediate success.
"Within a very short period of time, we had a strong following and offered classes for children and adults on evenings and weekends," said Nadia Jeliazkova.
"We started with a few language classes, art events like paint nights, visiting artist workshops and exhibitions. We offered gong meditation, exercise classes and dreamed that we could someday offer much more. We wanted to create a cultural exchange with an intellectual, emotional and spiritual appeal that could become a resource center for the community," she added.
Magura's new home at 415 W. Golf Road, Unit 7, is a contemporary facility with many multifunctional rooms, making it very easy to host a variety of events.
With a full kitchen, private music studios, several classrooms and two sizable meeting rooms, the facility easily accommodates its expanded program.
"We are finally beginning to realize our dreams of creating a vital cultural center that can become a hub for the local Bulgarian and American residents," said co-founder Valentina Limov.
In October, Bulgarian First Lady Dessislava Radeva held a cultural summit at the center with representatives of Bulgarian culture and education in Chicago. An unexpected bonus was a visit from her husband, Rumen Radev, the country's president since January.
Radev, former commander of the country's Air Force, was elected as an independent supported by the Bulgarian Socialist Party.
Magura now offers 12 weekly classes in art, music, dance, music lessons, martial arts and English and Bulgarian language classes. Monthly classes and events in art, dance, yoga, workshops, seminars, forums and lectures, spiritual teaching and practices and celebrations of Bulgarian and American holidays are also available. The facility may also be rented out for events.
"We also opened an on-site library in English and Bulgarian with over 700 titles," Jeliazkova said. "We are working with the libraries in Arlington Heights and Prospect Heights to expand our offerings and outreach."
More information on Magura, its programs and class offerings is available on the internet at magurabcs.com or by calling (224) 800-1538.