Our self-conception was written in 2012 for the 1st Neustadt Art Festival and it has not changed since then. This text was only updated editorially. The original text can be found in our archive (DE).
The most pleasurable way of experiencing culture is by making it ourselves. What is a festival that we merely consume compared to a weekend where we get creative together and where all visitors can become part of an idea?
The idea behind our cultural festival began with a group of people who sat on a meadow near the Prießnitz and realized that in the near future this meadow, as well as other places in the surrounding area, would perhaps no longer be part of a free area that could be collectively shaped. Everyone acknowledged unanimously that we had to use these places and make them visible and available. On the last weekend of September in 2012, the 1st Neustadt Art Festival did take place after only three months of planning. More than 2000 visitors saw the work of about one hundred art and culture activists along the Prießnitz. Thanks to great support and donations, a multifarious program was created that integrated itself into the river landscape and sought the connection between culture and nature. The success has encouraged us to continue and stick to our self-imposed principles:
Non-profit – It’s not about making money. Although we need a financial framework to realize projects, we want to guarantee that everyone has the opportunity to participate and attend the festival regardless of their financial means. We want to give people the chance to present their art to an audience and thereby demonstrate the diversity that arises when we come together, network, encourage neighbourly commitment and not only entertain the audience, but involve them in the festival. We could not imagine our neighborhood without all of the different people who shape it. Surpluses are donated to the artists. Surpluses are also consistently invested in the further development of the festival.
Sustainability – We want to avoid waste. So we rely on ecological products and do without sausage stands and gourmet miles. We are focussed on the art. The festival is intended to give people, initiatives, and associations the opportunity to network, establish new contacts and develop projects that can take place throughout the year. For us, political discussions and workshops are therefore an essential part of a cultural festival.
Decentralization – We are a network of initiatives and associations. There is no central organizer. Instead, we want to create a framework in which the various initiatives and associations can get involved according to their own ideas during the festival. This promotes diversity and reduces barriers that are always expressed in different ideas.
We want to connect this exceptional landscape with people in a special way, design and develop projects together, highlight urban open spaces, use them and perhaps contribute a part to the permanent protection of these spaces and places for the general public.
Together we want to create a weekend full of cultural events and invite everyone to rest, dance, marvel, participate, discuss and demonstrate that we urgently need spaces to shape our everyday lives.