We would like to say a special thank you to all those involved in these eventful months of preparation for our European Capital of Culture Year 2025. Thank you for the passion, the enthusiasm and the good ideas.
In the following, we will take a look back at what has been going on this year. Indeed: the first works of art found their place in the cultural region, the European Capital of Culture Chemnitz 2025 GmbH moved into its new domicile, garages were mapped and progress is also being made with the intervention Sites.
January was characterised by retrospectives, outlooks and insights. Stefan Schmidtke, the managing director of the programme of the European Capital of Culture Chemnitz 2025 GmbH, was interviewed for the podcast “Zentralhaltestelle”, the conception phase was digitally completed at the Garagen-Campus and shop windows were lit up in Ehrenfriedersdorf.
February was certainly a difficult month for many people in Europe. Because: how do you deal with the fact that suddenly – not so far away – there is war again? How is that reflected in the culture? Is it even possible to “just get on with it”? Or should one? In the Capital of Culture context, hardly any projects took place this month.
The presentation of the next steps in the process of the Capital of Culture took place in March – for the first time in the premises of the new domicile of the GmbH, in the former Schmidtbank. Some Mikroprojekte were also implemented at the beginning of the year, such as the project on the subject of angels.
What is the norm? Under this question, the second public appearance of the flagship project “We Parapom” took place in April with apple tree plantings at Falkeplatz and SenVital in light snowfall. In addition, the new fountain in front of the town hall was inaugurated as an Intervention Site this month and a new round of tenders for the “Nimm Platz!” project was launched.
The European Capital of Culture Chemnitz 2025 GmbH published the first job advertisements in May. In addition, the first events took place in the premises at Hartmannstraße 5, such as “Chemnitz liest” as a remembrance and reminder of the day of the book burning. There was a big party at the “Hut Festival” in May and a street art workshop took place at the Garage Campus. Since May 2022, Andrea Pier has also been appointed commercial director of the European Capital of Culture Chemnitz 2025 GmbH.
A new round of Mikroprojekte was announced in June – but not only that! More than 100 students from Munich stayed overnight on the Spinnerei grounds to join the project managers of the European Capital of Culture Chemnitz 2025 GmbH in their search for garages. They had to choose between high-wire acrobatics, a discussion forum, a reading and really good music at Kosmos Chemnitz, which stopped off at the Schillerpark – Bahnhof – Brühl area on the way to Kosmos Europe in 2025. And the cultural region did not miss out in June either: the eight Maker Hubs of the flagship project “Makers Business & Arts” were chosen and presented!
July began with a talk by the artists of the flagship project “We Parapom”. Afterwards, you could become an installation yourself and take part in the “Moving Garden” project. This in turn was the start of the “Makers United” maker fair. In this context, there was also an exchange with other European Capitals of Culture. A delegation from Nova Gorica stayed a little longer and visited the Cultural Region, among other things. The first international breakfast of the Freundeskreis Chemnitz 2025 e.V. also took place in July, and the decision of the “Nimm Platz!” projects was also published.
What a start in August! The “Begehungen” festival took place for the first time in the Cultural Region, specifically in Thalheim, and this was also the occasion for the opening of the PURPLE PATH, also there, with the work Include me out by Friedrich Kunath. You could navigate your way through a Capital of Culture corn maze in Wittgensdorf and there were also job advertisements in the Stadtwirtschaft in August.
Right at the beginning of September, it was worth taking a look eastwards. In Wrocław/Breslau, Chemnitz was represented as European Capital of Culture 2025 at the Open Garden Day of the Consulate General, then at the Open Government Quarter in Dresden and a little later in the month also at the summer party of the Liaison Office of the Free State of Saxony in Prague. Wroclaw in Poland was also the starting point for the second European Peace Ride, which went via Mladá Boleslav in the Czech Republic and then finished at Sports United in Chemnitz on Brückenstraße. After the kick-off in August, further artworks and actions followed along the PURPLE PATH in September: the sculpture Stack by Tony Cragg followed in Aue-Bad Schlema, the work Petrified Wood Circle in the Jakobi Church in Chemnitz and Tanja Rochelmeyer’s Glance in the railway station in Flöha. Furthermore, there was the promise of a grant for the region in September.
Two years after winning the title! In October, the Open Calls to complete the 2025 programme were presented and Chemnitz was at the German Reunification Day in Erfurt with a garage. In addition, a flag workshop took place along the PURPLE PATH, a European Sermon on the Mount and a model of Via Lewandowsky’s light sculpture Seele was installed in Burgstädt. At the Pleißenbach in Altendorf, a walk along the Intervention Site was invited and in Neukirchen / Erzgebirge, the 2nd Makers Day with raised bed building and apple pie baking took place.
With the opening of the Festplatz Euba, the first Intervention Site of the “Public Squares” was opened in November. In addition, the kick-off of the PURPLE PATH project Engel und Bergmann took place and the bronze wild boars by Carl Emanuel Wolff were inaugurated in Ehrenfriedersdorf. Internal workshops in some Maker Hubs brought clarity to topics and first gathering places of apple trees in the city area were planted.
December was all about looking back and looking forward. The second round of Mikroprojekte came to a close, and now the jury is meeting to select the winners at the beginning of next year. Around twenty people are now working in the European Capital of Culture Chemnitz 2025 GmbH, ten more will follow at the beginning of 2023. And right away in January, it will continue with a musical project at the PURPLE PATH.