BACAS does not have an endowment or a committed group of donors. It does not have a board or a permanent home yet. In short, BACAS does not have what other organizations rely on for success and sustainability. What BACAS does have, is a core group of individuals, each with their own extended community of highly talented people, with a passion for creating something permanent. Bringing together such a boundless network of people facilitates interdisciplinary crosstalk, which is ultimately BACAS’ mission. It is a privilege to create one’s own work per se, but of immeasurable value to have that work come to life in concert with others’.

As life’s journey unfolds, people constantly come in and out of our experience. They contribute to our process of gathering knowledge and we to theirs. What has been gathered is of greater value than the individual parts, and yet it would be lost if the parts remained isolated. Conceiving of a way to share what is gathered so that it can lead to the building of a creative community is invaluable.

In the late 1990s I invited writers to react to my work so that I could better understand what I was doing in my studio through the filter of their own experience and discipline. In 2001, I came across the poetry of Denver Butson. I invited him to sit in my studio in Brooklyn and write in the presence of my work. That led to the making of the book bloodworks and in 2003 being awarded a NYFA fellowship in the category of collaborative book projects, and to inviting Butson to contribute his poetry to an exhibition I was curating and installing at the Certosa di San Lorenzo, a majestic charterhouse dating back to the 13th century in the medieval town of Padula, in the Vallo di Diano. Butson joined me and discovered the Vallo di Diano, in the less-known part of Italy. We labored for over a month in the Cappella delle Donne, a chapel in the charterhouse, to prepare the spaces and install the art. While showing off my homeland, its light, food and customs, we dreamed of inviting other artists and writers to come and have the same experience for themselves.

In 2015, I met the architect Rossella Siani and invited her to join BACAS to develop the architecture programming. In 2016, I met the author Tiziana Rinaldi Castro in Brooklyn - like me, she was also born and raised in the Vallo di Diano. She joined the founding group and strengthened all areas of the project, from creating the literary programming along with Butson, to forming a stronger bridge between the Vallo and the world outside.

Years had passed since Butson and I shared that first vision in 2001 and finally in July of 2018, we launched BACAS - Borghi Antichi Cultura Arti e Scienze. Butson remained part of BACAS and co-founder of Literary Programs through the launch, and stepped down in the Fall of 2018.

The well received and highly acclaimed launch’s success was made possible by the countless hours of dedicated hard work by this founding group, by Gisella Macchiaroli, who graciously agreed to have the Castello Macchiaroli be BACAS’s home for the launch, by the talented artists and scholars who were present, and by the generosity of friends and family.

We felt honored to contribute with our programming to the late Gaetano Macchiaroli’s original visionary dream to have the Castello, which he so lovingly restored, be a home for the arts, and to do so with the enthusiastic, supportive presence of his wife Ingeborg Hutt-Macchiaroli.

If you have read this far, THANK YOU.

As we embark on 2019 programming and look beyond, we are excited to expand BACAS’ presence to new locations and increase our efforts towards long term sustainability. We encourage you to join BACAS and contribute with your ideas, work, or other means, to help us strengthen our community and achieve our long term goal.

Pietro Costa,

Founder and Executive Creative Director, January, 2019