It is a novelty: never before have the Lord Mayor and the Mayor of the Chemnitz region met to discuss a common future. However, this is now becoming reality in the context of the application for the European Capital of Culture 2025.

Delegations from 22 cities and municipalities along the Chemnitz model as well as Freiberg and Zwickau accepted the invitation of May 16th to Oelsnitz/Erzgebirge by Lord Mayor Barbara Ludwig and discussed the chances of a cultural strategy for the region and the joint application for the European Capital of Culture.

“Our region has a lot in common – from industrial history, family relationships and demographic change to the search for identity. But we are also united by thinking about the future. I am sure that with a joint strategy we can achieve much more than each individual municipality can achieve alone. With this Capital of Culture application, now is the perfect time to use the means of culture to develop an offer that is reason enough to stay in the region or come to the region,” said Barbara Ludwig at the opening.

Prof. Dr. Oliver Scheytt, President of the Kulturpolitische Gesellschaft and former Managing Director of Ruhr.2010 GmbH, which prepared and implemented the programme of Ruhr.2010 – European Capital of Culture, thus organising for the first time a regional application by 53 cities for the title of European Capital of Culture, was also invited to attend.

After his short keynote speech, the conference participants worked out important basics for a common strategy in four workshops. The focus was on the main areas of focus: Textile industry and industrial history as a unifying element, cultural marketing and identity, possible joint cultural projects of the region and the unifying story that will remain after 2025.

In conclusion, Prof. Oliver Scheytt summed up: “I have the feeling that today the Identity Manufactory was founded.

Photo: Ernesto Uhlmann