In the centre of Gera, a former girls’ school from the 19th century is being successively and sensitively converted into a new centre for art and culture. For many years, the ensemble of buildings stood empty before being discovered by Dr Claudia Tittel and Burkhard Schlothauer. In 2016, the two proponents of the arts started putting their idea for an open house for the arts with accompanying educational academy into practice.
Gradually, the empty old building is being reactivated with and for its future users: a gallery and seminar rooms have already opened, and the first studios have been let. Accommodation for students and refugees, as well as workshops and a place to eat are planned. This combination of living, education and the arts represents a significant and unique addition to the range of cultural facilities for the arts in Gera and East Thuringia.
The Häselburg demonstrates the potential of civic initiative, participation and a cosmopolitan outlook in a city in which many feel left behind. As a place of cultural synergies, this once abandoned school is becoming a source of diverse cultural impulses that contribute to the wider social discourse.