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Mediators and sponsors wanted for night culture


A young city like Jena also needs cultural events and open-air parties in the evenings. At the same time, residents have a right to a quiet and safe night. In future, the so-called Night Culture Representative is to act in this area of conflict. At its most recent meeting, the city council approved the draft resolution to create a staff position for this task. The financing of the annual 107,000 euros for personnel and material costs will be shared by Departments 2 (Finance, Security and Citizen Services) and 3 (Urban Development and Environment) and the JenaKultur municipal enterprise.

Between 2020 and 2022 in particular, very different groups were drawn to the Paradiespark at night, where conflicts developed - especially at the Rasenmühleninsel, the bowling alley and the Glashaus.

"That was the starting point for a whole series of activities," says security officer Benjamin Koppe.

The Paradies 21 steering group was set up in June 2021 to bring all interest groups together. Representatives from the administration and independent organizations and initiatives exchanged ideas and developed new ones.

"The diversity of the issues that Jena had to and must tackle with joint strength and a wealth of ideas in order to remain an attractive place to live for young people quickly became apparent," says Koppe.

Accompanied by cultural scientist Kordula Kunert, five workshops were held with all relevant stakeholders. The results were incorporated into the current concept for night culture representation. The challenges surrounding night-time culture and economy are diverse and quite complex. Among other things, the topics of law, order, urban development, economy, culture and social work are affected.

Requirements and tasks of the night culture representative

An important requirement for the new position is therefore the ability to mediate between these different areas and moderate conflicts. The aim is to improve communication between event organizers, residents and administrative departments such as the immission control and regulatory authorities. Further objectives are to increase the subjective feeling of safety, to promote and support young involvement and to network regionally on these issues.

However, the tasks also include structurally strengthening nightlife. "It's not just about outdoor activities, but also about promoting nightlife indoors," emphasizes Friedrun Vollmer, Director of JenaKultur. Only a fraction of the once diverse range of night-time cultural facilities still exists.

As a university city, Jena attracts numerous young people every year, many of whom, however, leave once they have finished their studies.

"Strengthening the evening and night-time economy and providing young people with opportunities for outdoor leisure activities in the evening can make Jena more attractive for this population group in the long term," emphasizes Mayor and Head of Department Christian Gerlitz.

Organizationally, it is planned to combine the new position of night culture representative together with the cultural advisory service and the interim use agency Blank in a newly founded association Kultur.Resonanz.Raum e.V..