Children’s culture


Children’s culture for all

Alfons Åbergs Kulturhus (Alfie Atkins’ Cultural Centre) is filled with lots of different activities related to culture, children and their development to do.

We offer progam activities which includes culture in various forms and of high quality. We present three to four program activities daily, of which at least two are theater or reading, math and science.

In cooperation with Nordstedts publishers and Bok-Makaren we distribute a Childrens’ Culture prize created by the author of Gunilla Bergström herself. The price is named Bokalen and in the year 2014 El Sistema received the price. We are working with organisations and associations to promote the development of children’s culture, both at Kulturhuset (the Cultural Centre) and across the city. We are working with organisations that promote children’s development.

The foundation


The foundation

Alfons Åbergs Kulturhus AB (Alfie Atkins Cultural Centre Ltd) was established by a foundation. The foundation is in turn managed by a board. Operations will be conducted in the Seed Shop (Fröhandeln)  in the form of a limited company owned by the foundation, located in the Garden Society in Gothenburg, (Trädgårdsföreningen).

Here is the board of The Alfie Atkins Cultural Centre in Gothenburg

The board works ideally and consists of representatives from the City of Gothenburg, the business community and the Bergström family.

Birgitta Löfdahl-Öfverholm, chairman, former head of business group Göteborg & Co
Lena Treschow Torell, Professor of Physics, Sister of Gunilla Bergström
Pål Andersson, Bok-Makaren AB, son of Gunilla Bergström
Sofia Torell, Bok-Makaren AB, niece of Gunilla Bergström
Carl-Henric Wallblom, CEO Lesley Cosmetics AB
Martin Stener, Business Development Consultant
Olof Nyström (adj), Advokatfirma Lindahl
Lisbeth Boëthius, (M) City Council
Gunilla Carlsson, (S) Riksdag Cultural Committee
Anki Sande, Event Manager

History


Growing cheeky monkeys from seed

Gunilla Bergström, the illustrator and author behind the Alfie Atkins stories, was born in Gothenburg. Alfie Atkins came into being as a character in 1972, and in 2017 he reach the grand old age of 45.

Gunilla had a particular wish for Kulturhuset (the Cultural Centre) to open in the Old Seed Store in Trädgårdsförening (Garden Society park). And happily that’s how it turned out. It’s exciting for children today to visit the old store and get a glimpse of how it might have looked long ago, in grandpa and grandma’s time, and even further back. After all, children love hearing about how things used to be, and ramshackle old houses full of nooks and crannies are the best! History and the present day come together here, stimulating the joy of discovery. The building is listed, which means it will be kept for future generations. For example, we’ve kept the hundreds of drawers that line the indoor walls, drawers that contained all manner of seeds that were planted by the people of Gothenburg over the years.

The Author


The Author

Gunilla Bergström is the illustrator and author behind the stories about Alfie Atkins, who is now a classic character for millions of children all around the world.

Every year, about one million Alfie Atkins books are borrowed at libraries across Sweden. Gunilla Bergström’s books have been translated into 30 different languages. The 26 Alfie Atkins books are bookstore classics and have never gone out of print. Almost 5 million copies have been printed for the Swedish market alone since the first book came out back in 1972.

But Gunilla hasn’t confined herself to Alfie Atkins; she’s written rhymes and short stories as well. She’s written lyrics together with Georg Riedel, as well as the libretto for a children’s musical, and she’s also worked with children’s theatre and cartoons. She created the sayings and nonsense philosophy in the two Lösgodis Alfie Atkins rhyme books, and she has illustrated picture books.

Gunilla Bergström, born in 1942 in Gothenburg, trained as a journalist, but has been writing full-time since 1975. She calls herself “an odd character, who prefers to go her own way”.

And she’s broken new ground time and again in lots of different ways:

  • she was the first to introduce collage as a narrative feature in picture books, which is evident from the cover of her debut book, Mia’s Dad Moves Out (1971).
  • she was the first to tackle the subject of divorce, in the same book.
  • she got a huge response from being the first children’s author to write openly and candidly on the subject of disability in the book about Bill and the secret child Bolla.
  • she was the first to bring out a book that dealt seriously with the subject of war – Alfie and the Soldier Daddy.
  • and she was the first to have a dad instead of a mum as the main parent in the world of children’s books – with ‘Pappa Åberg’ in the Alfie Atkins series.

On top of that, she was the first contemporary Swedish author to be translated into Arabic! That was way back in 1985, with two books from the Alfie Atkins series.

“A magical balance between everyday life and fantasy” (DN) “Gems of child psychology” (SvD) and “she gives children courage” (Bulletin Jugend & Literatur) are quotes that speak volumes about her books.

Gunilla herself says: “I’m not much good at fairy stories and detective novels… for me, reality is magical enough! I want to tell true stories about real people. For in the midst of everyday life we also have: astonishment, terror, a sudden paroxysm of laughter and Eternal Questions… Life is an incomparable enigma! Full of possibilities. The things we get into! Each day is new. Children understand that better than anyone. It’s we adults who have forgotten. I want to tell stories so that children and adults will be reminded and can laugh and be amazed together”.

For further information about Gunilla Bergström, why not visit Alfie Atkins’ own website at www.alfons.se