To promote culture, education, peaceful coexistence, understanding and cooperation amongst the people of Cyprus and between Cyprus and its neighbours.

Since 1999, the Costas & Rita Severis Foundation has organised cultural and educational events while promoting research and scholarship in Cyprus.

In 2013, the Foundation began implementing the Sharing History, Art, Research & Education (SHARE) initiative, a partnership programme of the Costas & Rita Severis Foundation, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Turkish Cypriot University Women’s Association, and the NGO Support Center. The goal of SHARE is to provide a common platform for the exploration of the island’s cultural heritage by means of  visual and creative arts, through which to increase the potential for peaceful coexistence in Cyprus. 

In 2014, the Foundation opened the Centre of Visual Arts & Research (CVAR) on Ermou Street in the heart of the walled city of Nicosia. CVAR hosts the Costas & Rita Severis collections, which comprise more than 1.500 works of art by artists travelling  to Cyprus during the 18th, 19th and 20th  centuries, hundreds of Cypriot memorabilia (including from Government House), dozens of Cypriot costumes from the 18th to the 20th centuries, and more than 10.000 books on the history, art and culture of Cyprus and its neighbours. CVAR also contains a research centre as well as a café, restaurant and roof garden where it screens films and slide shows, and organises a wide range of activities to promote understanding.

The Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors:

  • Mr Costas Z Severis, President
  • Mrs Rita C Severis, Executive Director
  • Dr Demetrios Michaelides, Emeritus Professor of Classical Archaeology at the University of Cyprus
  • Mr Ninos Hadjiroussos, Businessman
  • Ms Gülden Plumer Küçük, Businesswoman and Member of the United Nations Committee for Missing Persons
  • Dr Ayla Gürel, PRIO Senior Researcher and Consultant
  • Mr Symeon Matsis, Former Director of the Planning Bureau
  • Dr Michael Sarris, Former Minister of Finance
  • Mrs Androulla Vassiliou, Former European Commissioner for Education, Culture Multilingualism & Youth
  • Ms Esra Aygin, Freelance Journalist
  • Mr Nihat Ağdaç, Musician


The Foundation strives to encompass Cyprus’ diverse perspectives in all of its work by including members of all communities of the island on its Board.