Alfons Åbergs Kulturhus: Hurrah for 50 years with Alfie Atkins
By Malin Norman | Photos: Alfons Åbergs Kulturhus
It’s a year of celebrations at Alfons Åbergs Kulturhus – or, the Alfie Atkins Cultural Centre. The beloved character Alfie Atkins was created by Gunilla Bergström 50 years ago, and there is plenty of fun to be had throughout the year.
Children’s book author and illustrator Gunilla Bergström first invented Alfie Atkins (known in Sweden as Alfons Åberg) in 1972 in the first book, Good Night, Alfie Atkins. Her series of 26 books has been translated into more than 30 languages, and Alfie is a much-loved character for millions of children all around the world. Alfie Atkins is not a superhero; he is just ordinary, like most of us, and in the books we get to experience his everyday universe and adventures.
These days, Alfie Atkins lives in an old seed shop located at the Garden Society in Gothenburg. The listed building has been transformed into a creative cultural centre with authentic ‘70s décor. Here, curious visitors can watch theatre performances daily, play and get up to mischief, climb and discover the block of flats where Alfie Atkins lives, meet the scary monster and, of course, see the famous helicopter. There is also a mini cinema, a hot-dog stand and a jungle labyrinth to explore.
Celebrations in the spirit of learning
2022 is a year of celebrations at the Alfie Atkins Cultural Centre. “We celebrate 50 years together with Alfie Atkins,” says Anna Forsgren, CEO. “Throughout the year, we will offer even more fun activities, such as new performances and storytelling. Also, the centre opened ten years ago, and we will continue to commemorate Alfie Atkins creator Gunilla Bergström with a new exhibition about her work as an author and illustrator and a recreation of her studio.”
“Of course, we are relieved that the restrictions are being lifted and we can welcome visitors to take part in our activities again,” continues Forsgren. The centre maintains its focus on strengthening children’s rights and learning and has developed its digital offering further in response to the pandemic. There are more digital performances and interactive lessons, such as Chemistry with Alfie Atkins, plus a new digital meeting place based on what children wish to watch.
The Alfie Atkins Cultural Centre is incredibly popular and welcomes more than 60,000 visitors per year. All activities are included in the admission fee, and visitors can also take a well-deserved break at Malcolm’s Café or check out Daddy Atkins’ gift shop.
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