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Musical-Philological Association of “SKOUFAS” was founded in Arta in 1896 from individuals willing to offer culturalwork in the society of Arta and its region. Their motive has been clearly unselfish love for their city and their fellow-citizens.
From 1896 up to today the cultural contribution of “SKOUFAS” has been very important. The Association played a leading role in every national, social, intellectual and cultural event of Arta and its Prefecture. “ SKOUFAS” has also participated in events allover Greece and abroad. During the 110 years of his existence, “SKOUFAS” has collaborated with intellectual and cultural institutions of our country and has provided important cultural tasks, organizing national and international Conferences with the collaboration of the Local government as well as the annual Panhellenic festival of traditional dances for youth. All the events are connected with the history and culture of the wider region, as well as with tourism and the environment.
“SKOUFAS” has been awarded by:
- the Academy of Athens in 1975,
- the International Folklore Festival of Youth of Epirus in 1985,
- the International Folklore Festival of Youth in Catania of Sicily in 1987,
- the University of Ioannina in 1997,
- the Intellectual Association “PARNASSOS” in Athens, and
- the Panepirotiki Confederation of Greece
“SKOUFAS” is accommodated in a privately-owned building in the central square of Arta, where, apart from the offices of Association, there is also a room of lectures and theatrewith 300 seats. This room covers the needs of the Association as well as of any social or cultural institution of our region.
“SKOUFAS” has organizedtwo museums in collaboration with Ionian University and several Italian Universities. The museums are accommodated in privately-owned neoclassical buildings. Folklore Museum is located behind the Old Bridge and Historical Museum is opposite the Byzantine church of Parigoritissa.
There is also a Library with 25.000 books, which is unique in the city of Arta and very important, because of its rare publications. It is accommodated in a rented building. It collaborates with Academic and Technological Institutions of Greece, while professors and students from various Universities from our country or abroad visit it for their scientific and postgraduate work. The library alsocollaborates with schools of our city that materialize European programs with the attendance of young people.
For the best diffusion of Association’s activities the following departments have been created:
- BAND AND MUSICAL SCHOOL
- DEPARTMENT OF TRADITIONAL DANCES (DANCING DEPARTMENT)
- CHORUS AND DEPARTMENT OF BYZANTINE MUSIC
- THEATRICAL DEPARTMENT
- PHILOLOGICAL DEPARTMENT
- DEPARTMENT OF EXCURSIONS
- DEPARTMENT of PUBLICATIONS (since 1955 “SKOUFAS” publishes the scientific journal “Skoufas” of historical and folklore content, which reflects the spiritual pursuits and the whole intellectual life of Arta.)