In February we had invited to the workshop: Together with citizens* of the city and the region actively participating in Chemnitz’ cultural life, the aim was to get a feeling for what is desired in terms of “participation”, what is missing. After all, the success of a European Capital of Culture and its sustainability has a lot to do with the active participation of citizens. Already in the application phase, it is particularly important to involve the population in the process, the brainstorming and, if necessary, in the implementation of various measures, so that the application is also supported by the inhabitants. It is important in almost all projects that citizens do not participate exclusively as spectators, but actively participate (in the process). Therefore participation projects have to be conceived and realised which are sensitive and cleverly adapted to the different target groups regarding formats, contents, places and times. Special consideration should be given to young and older people, minorities, remote communities and people with disabilities.
Participation processes are not only about getting residents on board, but also about getting them to get to grips with their own city and its cultural offerings and related initiatives, in some cases for the first time. Offers and formats should be created whose participation requires only little effort and at the same time offers added value for all participants: The aim is to enable the population to get involved.