Sociocultural centre / Community centre
Alte Feuerwache is a social and cultural centre with the main goal of promoting the encounter of people from all professions, all ages, different social backgrounds, cultural and national origins in and outside Cologne, Germany. Founded in 1977, Alte Feuerwache is based on the belief of cooperation between art, craftsmanship, education, culture and politics as defining qualities of work that enables people to participate in political, cultural and social decisions – themes and aspects of life which they otherwise would not have found access to.
As a self-governed centre, the operation of Alte Feuerwache is based upon a democratic constitution and space for civic engagement. The centre is a central meeting point that gives room for social and artistic experimentation, along with hosting events and meetings for political and cultural initiatives. In these spaces, people are able to develop alternative concepts for cooperation and cohabitation in the arts, which then inspire and influence the ongoing cultural, social and artistic discourse.
For decades Alte Feuerwache has been one of the most important event venues in Cologne. Its theatre is host to regional festivals, contemporary dance, theatre and music ensembles on a local and national level as well as in collaboration with international artists and institutions. The venue also hosts discussions and meetings on current affairs and world politics with international guests. The exhibition hall can be accessed via the courtyard. Following a renovation, it will once again host exhibitions, performances and other events in 2019.
What makes your organisation unique?
The composition of activities and offerings comprises – among other things – pedagogical and cultural areas as well as the provision of space for self-organised activities and civil engagement in line with their values. This unique offering enables members, users and guests to have experiences they wouldn’t encounter in their usual environment. In order to facilitate civic engagement and self-organised activities, user fees for room usage are staggered. New ideas and initiatives are charged smaller fees than well-established organisations that use the facilities. The centre’s inner courtyard is a car-free, non-commercial public space open for everyone to follow peaceful activities and social interaction. This kind of public space is quite rare in Cologne, especially in the city centre.
Authors: Rolf Wessel and Monika Wendt.
Small Concert hall (audience capacity: less than 300), Multifunction Hall, Small Theatre (audience capacity: less than 200), Black box, Art Gallery, Conference Room, Meeting Room, Workshop room, Rehearsal or Practice Room, Cinema, Library, Playground, Repair Shop, Café / Bar, Restaurant, Maker Space, Community Areas, Multi-purpose Space, Courtyard
Exhibition and Programming, Education and Training
Music, Theatre / Performance, Dance, Visual Arts, Multimedia and interactive Arts, Film, Crafts, Literature, Fashion, Design, Architecture and Urbanism, Education, Community and Relational Arts, Democratic and civil society development, Ecology and Sustainability, Gastronomy, Science