Cultural centres in Europe: ‘Sustainability? No more talking, let’s act!’

Trans Europe Halles – a European network of independent cultural centres – introduces several ongoing projects within the network which tackle sustainability, such as architecture residencies, collective art pieces, and the Trans Europe Halles Think Tank.

“The question of sustainability has been central for a long time within Trans Europe Halles. Some of the members of the network, such as ufaFabrik in Berlin, Germany, or Kulturfabrik in Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg, are leaders in the development of green strategies for the cultural sector.” wrote Anaïd Sayrin in the February newsletter for the network, which had the headline: “Sustainability? No more talking, let’s act!”

“But sustainability is not only an ecological process,” Anaïd Sayrin continued: “It is also about equality and a better distribution of resources, whether they are human, economic, energetic or cultural. Key issues which Trans Europe Halles’ members are facing every day when running an independent cultural centre and working with local communities.”


What is sustainability? The Think Tank met in Paris to work on a common definition and an action plan for the network
At the end of February, several TEH delegates and Secretary General Birgitta Persson gathered in Mains d’Oeuvres (Saint Ouen, France) to discuss sustainability strategies within the network. This first Think Tank organised outside the annual meetings was very inspiring and the team came out with a suggestion for a definition of what “sustainability” means from Trans Europe Halles’ point of view.


On The Resource: 8 Steps to a more sustainable building
Small or big steps, the most important is to get started: this slideshow gives you concrete tips on how to build a sustainable building for your centre.


“Architecture of cultural centre Stanica will never be finished”: Stanica builds a new artistic space using sustainable strategies
TEH Member Stanica (Zilina, Slovakia) is a prominent centre when it comes to leading centre in the transformation of public spaces into cultural places. In 2013, they will build a new space using sustainability strategies, in collaboration with STEALTH.unlimited, discovered during their art performance in TEH Member Röda Sten Konsthall (Gothenburg, Sweden).

In 2012, their efforts have also been rewarded with the Bauwelt Advacement Award for the renovation of a synagogue in Zilina. In 2014, a new cultural centre and international gallery space will be opened in this building. There is only one condition to make this dream come true – to find one million euro.


What if bikes were not only made for biking? A new collaboration between Not Quite and Manifatture Knos
A collaboration between TEH Members: Karl Hallberg (Not Quite, Sweden), the so-called rural centre of Trans Europe Halles, is organising a workshop in Manifatture Knos (Lecce, Italy) to build bikes with alternative functions in order to make biking more attractive. It is also for him an opportunity to learn more on how manager Michele Bee and his team run their cultural centre and develop their projects. Different contexts, different points of view: no doubt that this journey will be inspiring for both of them!


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One Response to Cultural centres in Europe: ‘Sustainability? No more talking, let’s act!’

  1. Pingback: Cultural centres in Europe: ‘Sustainability? No more talking, let’s act!’ « The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts

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