[transmediale] Podewil threatened with closure

PR Podewil pr at Podewil.de
Mi Mär 20 15:58:15 CET 2002

[we send this exceptional news item to the transmediale-newsletter as it
concerns the transmediale as well; although the festival and its
organisation is not directly affected by these cuts, our offices are at the
Podewil, we receive massive administrative and strategic support from the
Podewil/BKV, and the Podewil is where we organise the transmediale.salons
throughout the year. ... more news to follow. new photos and reports about
tm.02 are linked from the entrance page of www.trasmediale.de. regards, -ab]


Budget cuts planned by the Cultural Department of the Berlin Senate
Consequences for Berliner Kulturveranstaltungs-GmbH
Artistic closure of PODEWIL and SCHAUBUDE

As a result of the latest budget discussions of the Berlin Senate
(19.03.2002) drastic economic measures have been taken to save 5.000.000
Euros. It was decided that the state-owned Berliner
Kulturveranstaltungs-GmbH (the legal and administrative structure of
PODEWIL and the puppet theatre SCHAUBUDE) has to foresee cuts in funding by
715.000 Euros. This equals one third of the overall subsidy of the
corporation. The Senate s decision means that the artistic programme of
both institutions (PODEWIL and SCHAUBUDE) will be terminated at the end of
2002. The Berliner Kulturveranstaltungs-GmbH is taken by utmost surprise by
these devastating news.

It was further decided that the PODEWIL building at Klosterstrasse 68
should become the home of Berlin s Museumspädagogischer Dienst (the
pedagogical services of Berlin s museums). The reduced subsidy will only
cover the expenses of the administrative personnel and the running costs of
the building.  No shut-down  (as promised by the minister of culture)
thus means: the building will remain open but solely for administrative
purposes and devoid of any artistic content.

The PODEWIL is one of Berlin s few internationally renowned institutions
for the young art scene, an important address for the advanced national and
international arts of the capital, for new and electronic music, innovative
performance theatre, dance and media productions. Many internationally
renowned artists are closely attached to the PODEWIL and could in the past
produce and present their work here.

Events such as the Internationales Tanzfest Berlin -Tanz im August, the
media festival transmediale, the theatre/performance festival reich &
berühmt, the dance series Körperstimmen, innovative music series and
festivals, e.g. the ICMC/Off-ICMC (International Computer Music
Conference), x-tract Chicago and MontagsMusik Klangkrieg were initiated and
developed at Podewil, presented in cooperation with a number of partner
institutions and co-producers.

Since its opening ten years ago, PODEWIL has been a forerunner in bringing
new impetus into the city by its internationally and interdisciplinary
oriented programme. Other institutions in the city had followed suit.
Choreographers such as Meg Stuart (B), Nigel Charnock (GB), musicians such
as Arik Hyut (IL), Sam Auinger and Rupert Huber (A), performance groups
such as Gob Squad (GB) and Forced Entertainment (GB), directors Stefan
Pucher and René Pollesch have all conquered Berlin and Europe from their
residency-base at PODEWIL. Choreographers Sasha Waltz and Xavier Le Roy,
the new music ensemble zeitkratzer (directed by Reinhold Friedl) have found
their artistic signature at PODEWIL and are sought-after guests at
international festivals in Europe and overseas. Without a continuous
programming at PODEWIL, events such as last Sunday s concert by
zeitkratzer with Lou Reed are unthinkable (17.03.2002, MaerzMusik festival).

One cannot understand why cutting-edge interdisciplinary institutions such
as Kunst-Werke in Auguststrasse, the Künstlerhaus Bethanien or the PODEWIL
are simply struck from the city s funding list. No more spaces are left
for new artistic production within the cultural metropolis Berlin?

The team of the Podewil

Podewil office of press and public relations
Tel. +49/30/247 49 732, email pr at podewil.de, www.podewil.de