The Nau Ivanow seen from the Sagrera Foundation – Ester Nadal

My first child was born in 1997.
And that same year, my brainchild, Nau Ivanow opened its doors in a disused factory.

Xavier Basiana and I often say, jokingly, ‘Our “children” are only 20 years old and they’re self-sufficient already!’ One of those children has moved to Madrid, where he is finding his way in life and discovering who he is; the other ‘child’ has taken on different legal forms over the years, and is currently part of Barcelona City Council’s Art Factories programme, under the auspices of the Sagrera Foundation. ‘We could never have imagined this,’ I tell Xavier.

I have watched these two ‘characters’ develop from a front-row seat!

Nau Ivanow (right) and Espai 30 (left)

Over the years I have used Nau Ivanow for rehearsals, functions, training courses, readings, get-togethers, etc. We even celebrated my son’s 12th birthday there by organising a body percussion class for his friends, followed by a performance for the parents.

Since we moved in to the building all those years ago, we have moved the curtains and the lights from one place to another, sometimes in the freezing cold, sometimes in the scorching heat, but we have always felt welcome.

The ways of Nau Ivanow

Nau Ivanow has been the home of all manner of activities, from fledgling projects to rehearsals for big shows. It is often where the off-camera action takes place, making it difficult to quantify exactly how much is done there. In any case, statistics could not possibly reflect the emotions, hopes and aspirations that are required to put a show together. Like a clinical laboratory, the facility provides artists with everything they need for this behind-the-scenes work: privacy, support and other people’s viewpoints. Slowly but surely, the former factory has been modified to make creativity possible.

Artists – especially in the performing arts – need places where they can have the freedom to experiment and try things over and over, where they can make mistakes but come back the following day and try again.

Our paths crossed a long time ago, and now I am the president of the Sagrera Foundation. This new perspective has given me the opportunity to see the other side of Nau Ivanow and to participate in it. I have seen what it does on a day-to-day basis and how it interacts with the local community in the neighborhood of La Sagrera. I have also observed the team working tirelessly, every day, serving, listening, deliberating, and providing the best solutions for the future.

I feel so proud of both my children: Martí, and Nau Ivanow!

Many happy returns!

Ester Nadal
President of Sagrera Foundation