Paradiso is a former church in the centre of Amsterdam, which was squatted in 1968note 82. Since the early days music and debate from the current of the time have been performed there. Stars from all music traditions have left their tracesnote 83 ; internationally renowned scholars have appeared on the podium and until the present day new and promising musicians and intellectuals have passed through.note 84 Paradiso is a foundation that earns its money by organizing concerts in the first instance. It also receives funding from local and national government and funds for special shows. Over the last decade Paradiso has co-founded and supported several other foundations for nurturing new seedbeds for cultural development: for example, in the field of technology the Waag Society, Sonic Acts and Fabchannel (Winner of the Webby Awards 2006); and in the field of international and intercultural collaboration the Marmoucha foundation and the foundation Zuid-Oost, amongst others.
Paradiso produces several hundred shows annually, which attract several hundred thousand visitors, and more every year.note 85 There is regularly more than one show a day. It has a 'large auditorium', the former church space with balconies surrounding it, which can hold about 1500 people. It also has a small auditorium, which can handle up to 250 people. The 19th century building is treated with care, while at the same time 21st century infrastructures are added where necessary. A simple modern layer has been added to the interior, where the 19th century building style remains dominant. The floor is painted black, the ceiling is green, and the pillars are gold, the walls and the balconies are off-white. The traditional stained glass windows behind the podium in the large auditorium Ñ with the text "Soli Deo Gloria" in the centre - have found their counterpart in modern stained-glass windows with images of today's social life.note 86 One of the windows, for example, shows a pregnant woman in a professional suit with a briefcase. One night, the space can look like a dark black box facilitating a heavy metal concert that is sold out. The next day a classical modern music ensemble highlights the lighting and acoustics of the original church character of the space.