Help open Scotland's first Roma Cultural Centre!

by Romano Lav in Glasgow, Glasgow City, United Kingdom

Total raised £5,157

raised so far

+ est. £429.50 Gift Aid



To raise funds to open Scotland's first Roma Cultural Centre, which will also operate as a base for youth activism and a community hub

by Romano Lav in Glasgow, Glasgow City, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 26th September 2023 we'd raised £2,106 with 51 supporters in 69 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

 New stretch target

The building has huge potential but requires substantial refurbishment. Any additional money raised will go directly into refurbishment costs.


Who are we?

We are Romano Lav (meaning 'Roma Voice' in Romanes) - a grassroots charity organization based in Govanhill, Glasgow. We were founded in 2013 by Marcela Adamova, a Slovak-Roma woman and Roma rights activist, to challenge the discrimination, disadvantage and racism experienced by the local Roma communities.


- Romano Lav staff, sessional workers and colleagues at International Roma Day, 2023

Steered by the voices of Roma communities, the principle of empowering Roma, and Roma youth and women, in particular, underpins all of our work. Our team is made up of Roma and non-Roma people. Our anti-­racist, human ­rights based community development work supports Roma individuals in their day­ to­ day lives, facilitating increased social, civic, and cultural participation, thus empowering Roma to fully and meaningfully participate in community life: 

- We support Roma communities to realise their rights, via community education programmes and campaigns. 

- We evidence social inequalities by co­-producing large­ scale community research led by Roma youth, and dismantle barriers to realising rights. 

- We challenge inequalities, via evidence-­based advocacy

- We facilitate Roma inclusion, by promoting Roma culture and creating intercultural dialogue. 

Our events and programmes are open to all, which creates greater community cohesion and mutual understanding. 

Why are we crowdfunding?

After 10 years of working in the community, we are realising a long term goal and opening The Roma Cultural Centre! It will be the first in Scotland, with a vibrant programme of permanent and temporary exhibitions showcasing the very best of Roma art and culture. Our artist-in-residency programme will bring emerging Romani artists to Govanhill each year. The centre will also house a community archive, featuring collections produced by and for the community.


- Photo from our Community Archive collection El manush karan tut te khelen [the people make you dance]: a retrospective with Romane Cierhenia to 1970s Poland , provided by Sonia Michalewicz and Artur Szewczyk. 

Beyond celebrating culture, the centre will also function as a community hub, offering much needed recreational and social space. As well as providing amenities such as a computer cluster and a small library,  it will offer a range of community and social activities to bring people together, combining events open to all –  such as our annual programme of cultural events – with targeted activities for specific groups.

Youth empowerment is at the heart of everything we do, and this will extend to the ethos of the centre; by ensuring that youth input is central to its vision and outputs, as well as acting as a base for our young activists to meet, learn and plan their changemaking!

How do we know it is needed?

We have been inundated with requests to establish a Roma space or a community centre for almost as long as we have been in existence. It is the one thing that never fails to come up when we ask what people would like us to do or what they’d like to see in the community. Now, with a greater number of staff and increased capacity, we feel ready to pursue this long-­term goal.

As well as providing space for international Romani artists to bring their work to Glasgow, the space will also serve as a hotbed for nurturing homegrown talent. Our Roma Artists in Residency programme emerged in dialogue with Roma young people who have been increasingly exposed to the arts through our participation in the Culture Collective residency programme, where artists were employed to produce a variety of participatory art projects with local communities.  We agreed to work with the resident artists and from April­-June 2022, ten Roma young people from our Community Catalysts programme (aged 16­ - 21) worked with Morwenna Kearsley and Alex Popa to produce large­scale portraits based on Roma role models throughout history; whilst five teenage Roma girls (aged 14 - ­15) worked with Ciarán Pasi and Meray Diner to produce ‘April 17th’, the first fictional film produced by Roma in Scotland. Both outputs were extremely successful, with the portraits featuring in our first major art exhibition last year (­exhibition­celebratesroma­history­resistance/) and the film selling out at its premiere at the Govanhill International Festival last summer ( ). 


 -behind the scenes still from 'April 17th', image taken by Ciarán Pasi

Our young people greatly enjoyed their work with the artists and have become increasingly curious about the arts. They were surprised to learn of the contribution of Roma to art history, as well as the plethora of famous Roma artists living and working throughout Europe. This highlights the lack of exposure that Roma artists receive in the art world generally (see­its­time­reclaim­romani­art­history) but also their invisibility within their own communities. This was poignantly reflected by the young people in their decision to style themselves as the lost ‘Roma heroes’ in their portrait series, as well as in the emotional response of the Roma communities at the film premiere, who were moved and also somewhat shocked and elated to see themselves on screen and as actors. We believe that representation matters, that it is missing, and we want to support the community to be part of that change.

The space will also serve as a community hub and youth activism base, supporting our youth activists to develop and grow as they take ownership of a community space and advocate further still for their communities and culture. There is a serious lack of free, community social space locally as well as decent sized space for the arts and culture (outside of Tramway), and we are delighted to be able to change the picture a little.

We need your help!

The space, located just above the Govanhill Baths Community Trust's Deep End on 43 Nithsdale Street, is absolutely ideal for a cultural centre, with a large, bright venue  perfect for multi-media exhibitions, with a sizeable project room  and ample space for offices at the back. The space is a short 5 minute walk from Govanhill's busiest street, Victoria Road. It has a lot of potential, with an accessible entrance and huge floor to ceiling windows flooding the space with natural light.

Before we can open our doors however, a considerable amount of refurbishment and renovation needs to be undertaken due to the property being damaged by the previous tenants. A substantial amount of work needs to be undertaken, including but not limited to - re-wiring the lighting, new insulation, replacement of handrail, stripping and refitting the back space, and the creation of disabled toilet. Every penny we raise will go directly to these refurbishment and renovation costs to help open Scotland's first Roma Cultural Centre! Once restored, the building will be an invaluable addition to local community and cultural space. 

We are confident in our abilities to deliver a vibrant arts and cultural programme as we have a strong track record of doing so. Recent art and cultural events/activities have included but not been limited to;

'Aster i eag (Feed the flame)', our multi-media art exhibition for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month, 2022 (In partnership with StreetLevel Photoworks)




CineRoma, the UK's first Roma Film Festival, in partnership with Southside Film -




The Annette Street Soundhunters (Instrument making and sound art project with primary school children in collaboration with local artist Lorenzo Tebano)





Roma Sisters Together fashion show, with outfits made by women from our women's wellbeing group in collaboration with Rags2Riches





This project offered rewards

£2 or more

Thank You!

A huge thank you from us! We will feature you on our website on our list of contributors!

£5 or more


Select a print from the options: An archive or project photo, a Southside artist digital art, or an illustration upon purchase.

£10 or more

A4 - Art Print

Select a print from the options: An archive or project photo, a Southside artist digital art or an illustration upon purchase.

£10 or more

Simon Murphy

A4 Print of 'Dress' black and white photo.

£15 or more

Ticket for Roma Sisters Together Fashion Show!

Fashion runway by women from our women's wellbeing group and a drink! Dates to be announced in the New Year 2024! Exclusive event for women and non-binary guests for one night only in a safe environment! Expect surprises!

£15 or more

Ticket to Govanhill’s Got Talent!

Surprise Scottish Celebrity Panel and diverse talent of Govanhill will perform for one night only at the Roma Cultural Centre! The ticket includes a free drink!

£20 or more

CineRoma Festival Pass

Free Pass to our CineRoma Festival taking place in Spring 2024! A programme with a selection of Roma films, music and food!

£50 or more

Romanes Language Classes (4-8 weeks)

Have an introduction to Romanes language with our Entry Level Language Classes! It will be a fun and friendly exploration with our own team member Rahela! Join online or in-person classes. Dates are to be arranged according to your availability and the option to continue after 4 weeks for 8 weeks in total.

£50 or more

Tour of Govanhill + Training Session for 1 person!

An exclusive tour of Govanhill and Roma culture with food sampling! Govanhill is a fascinating place, seen as the most diverse place in the UK outside of London; with at least 54 languages spoken in just 1 square mile! The tour will start in Govanhill and raise awareness of the Roma and Southside communities, ending in our centre with discussions and Q&A with our activism group.

£75 or more

Introduction to Roma Culture Training Session

Introduction to Roma Culture Training Session for 2 Members of a team or 2 individuals! Informal tailored training aimed at members of organisations, covering topics such as; Roma history, cultural sensitivities, best practices for working with Roma communities.

£100 or more

Tour of Govanhill and Roma Cultural Centre

£100 buy a ticket for a group of 4 people! Aimed at individuals or organisations. An exclusive tour of Roma culture with food sampling. Govanhill is a fascinating place, seen as the most diverse place in the UK outside of London; with at least 54 languages spoken in just 1 square mile! The tour will start in Govanhill to raise awareness of Roma and Southside Communities and will end in our centre with discussions.

£35 or more

Queen’s Park by Libby Walker

The print features Queen’s Park of Glasgow, Southside. Celebrating this Iconic green space, this A3 print is packed with details. From sports to wildlife, from the gates to the flagpole - this print captures our local park in all its detail. A3 print signed by artist. You can check out her work here:

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