ufaFabrik works in three directions

Sigrid Niemer

Since 34 years we mainly work in three different directions and we still do even if the form how we do it changed quite a lot. So these three main directions it is arts and culture, it is ecology or sustainability and the third is social commitment, social projects.

We always try to link these three big lines together and create new forms of theatre integrating people from the neighbourhood, the whole family from children to grown ups, to senior people. We are open to all religions, to all nationalities as long as people are friendly we welcome them.

So that means we have a very wide flowerpot of activities I could say, starting from the entrance from where you get an information about all the activities going on in here. We have a café in the middle of the place where people can come and gather around. Right the side there is the dojo for martial arts so we do sport classes here a lot. And we have a lot of other leisure classes. We host a school for African percussion. We have a children circus school. We have lots of dance classes, language courses, photograph classes, all kinds of activities. Some of them are collected in the neighbourhood centre.

This is really a centre for the people from the quarter and there we focus as well on young families or young mothers. Because in a big city family and social structures are a big problem and very often people are quite alone. So they can come here get a support and meet each other without spending a lot of money.

On the other hand we have three theatre spaces where we have shows on usually from Wednesday to Sunday. And even there we have a great variety. We do a music shows. We do a theatre. We do performances, lectures, all kind of activities you can imagine and also seminars, workshops. This is great but sometimes also difficulty if you think in the way of marketing.

We have as well a bakery and a shop. So we produce our own bread and we sell out the bread not only in here but also on market places, to restaurants, to kindergartens, to hospital because it is very good bread. It is biological stuff and people like it and it is really great. And if you look at me you see how healthy it is when you eat this bread for a long time. And it is also good to link the neighbourhood into a culture place. And why a bread and a culture centre? For us it is quite close. It is not only about arts but bread in Germany is a traditional thing for culture. You know this dark brown bread. And then the people trust in us somehow. Because people that eat and produce this kind of bread maybe they also have a good quality in the art production.

We have a children’s farm for children. So we do not feed children there but animals. The children can come and take care of the animals, help out, take riding classes. Normally in a big city the children know animals from the ZOO but not the normal farm animals. That is why we keep this farm. And this is kind of open communication place for children. It is for the neighbourhood. It is also the schoolyard for our free school. Since beginning since more then 34 years we house free school here for pupils from six to twelve. It is really a free concept but it fits perfectly in the idea of ufaFabrik to be self-aware, to take responsibility for yourself and to try out what you really would like to do in your life.

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