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The Forum Groningen: Together into the future

In just over a week, the new Forum center in Groningen has had over 100,000 visitors. 21,000 in just the first 24 hours. The hotly anticipated cultural center in the city center of Groningen has had TopDutch’ers literally queuing around the block to get a piece of the action. So, what can we make of the Forum Groningen?
(Header photo: Deon Prins)

24 hours of partying

The opening of the Forum kicked off in the style it wishes to go on with: Fun for all. Over 24 hours, 21,000 visitors came to experience the amazing architecture, views, food, and activities that the Forum has to offer. The slogan of the cultural center is ‘Open for all’, and so it is. The activities have something for everyone, whether you’re a year old or 100 years old. Literature fan? You could get up-close to Dutch writers, or take a masterclass in poetry. More into digital literacy? Then you could check out the performances by robots, or the VR experiences. And seeing as the city of Groningen is known far and wide as a party city, there’s no better way to bring together the community than throwing a celebratory event to dance the night away during the evening hours.

The Forum opening ceremony (Photo: (c) Nathan Reinds)

The living room of the city

Just like a living room, the Forum aims to be the center of the community, where people can hang out learn and discover new things. Apart from study places for many the TopDutch students, there’s room for 95,000 books over the ten floors. But the Forum is more than a library, you can also find two exhibition galleries, the Storyworld museum of comics, five cinema halls, a large events hall, the Medialab which teaches about the making of film and animation, and the Smartlab with 3D printers and scanners, VR-glasses and robots.

Alongside the permanent features, are an exciting program of international exhibitions. The first of these is AI: More than Human, on tour from the Barbican in London. The exhibition looks at creative and scientific developments in artificial intelligence, and the potential it has to revolutionize our lives. It will encourage you to think about the relationship we have with this new world of technology. What is the impact of AI on our lives? What does it mean to be human? What is consciousness? And how can people and machines work together?

Something for everyone over 10 floors (photo: Siese Veentra)

The future is for everybody

The Forum’s self-proclaimed mission is to inspire people to broaden their horizons. One of the pillars of this is to embrace the future, encourage digital literacy and giving the opportunity for life-long learning. They aim to achieve this by offering access to knowledge about the latest trends, technologies and ideas through courses, lectures, talks and other events that are open for the whole community.

From young to old, the future is for everybody. This includes a special installation for our younger TopDutch citizens: Wonderland. Divided into two sections – for the ages 0-9 and 9-15 – there’s interactive games and installations, robots, and of course lots of books for different ages, learning levels and languages.

VR glasses to test in the Forum (photo: Siese Veentra)

Coming together

Just want somewhere cozy to eat some tasty food and enjoy good company? The Forum has that too! The NOK restaurant is drawing in foodies from across the TopDutch region by offering amazing food and an even more amazing view of Groningen and its landmarks from its 10th floor location. Alongside that there’s the Camera Café next to the cinema rooms, and a healthy option in the STACH food shop on the ground floor.

Whatever your idea of fun, there’s something for you, your friends and your family in the Forum Groningen. Discover what’s on in their online program, or just pop in and explore the incredible architecture.


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