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The History of Bethanien

The central deaconess institute ‚Bethanien‘ was constructed during the years 1845-47, commissioned by the pious King Friedrich Wilhelm IV who was known as the ‚romantic of the Prussian throne‘. In 1843 he reintroduced the Society of Our Lady (Order of Swan) that his forefather, Kurfürst Friedrich II of Brandenburg had founded four hundred years previously. One of his tasks was to construct an institute for educating nurses and carers „which, as a model for other similar institutions, would be affiliated with a home for the sick.“ Persius came up with the first designs for the deaconess institute which included 500 beds, a training school for the sisters and an orphanage. Following Persius‘ death, his colleague Stein took over construction management under the direction of Stüler, a student of Schinkel. Following Stein‘s revised plans, a wide horseshoe shaped complex was created in a short period of time, the bulky main core of which was surmounted by two slim 35 metre high towers. When, in accordance with his instructions, the house was handed over for use in October 1847, it lay just inside of the city border in the midst of gardens and rye fields. Just 50 years on, around the turn of the century, Bethanien and the park designed by Lénne were embedded within a dense city structure. The population of Berlin had multiplied almost five-fold, going from 365,000 up to 1.700,00. The hospital was in use until 1970.

A vehement „Battle of Bethanien“ began when the hospital was closed down in 1970. The planned demolition of much of the institution and the reconstruction, which included the construction of social housing projects, was hindered by squatters, citizens’ initiative groups and historic building conservationists. Since 1973 it is predominantly cultural, artistic and social institutions working in the main building.

Since 2009 the GSE (Gesellschaft für Stadtentwicklung gGmbH) took over the management of the building. Aside from Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, there are the BBK Berlin Printmakers' Workshop, artist studios, project spaces for exhibitions and theater and dance, the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg Music School:

Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien – Contemporary Art Exhibitions
Tel.:+49-(0)30-90298-1455, Fax: 90298-1453
www.kunstraumkreuzberg.de, bethanien@kunstraumkreuzberg.de
Opening hours: Daily 12 -7 pm
Director: Stéphane Bauer
Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien presents group shows and topical exhibitions that deal with cutting edge social and cultural processes and their relation to contemporary art. Central aspects here include the contextualisation of projects that take diversity, internationality and local issues into consideration.
With an exhibition area of 450 square metres and over 200 metres of hanging space, the rooms fulfil the spatial requirements for medium-sized shows. Around six exhibition projects are realised per year, currently in collaboration with cooperative institutions, curators or artist groups. The exhibitions are accompanied by guided tours, films, discussions and artists‘ talks. Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien is a facility of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district council.

BBK Berlin Printmakers’ Workshop
Tel.: +49-(0)30-614015-70, Fax: 614015-74
www.bbk-kulturwerk.de, druckwerkstatt@bbk-kulturwerk.de
Opening hours: Monday 1 - 9 pm; Tuesday - Friday, 9 am - 5 pm
Director: Mathias Mrowka
The BBK Berlin‘s printmakers’ workshop was opened in 1955 and was, using public means, developed in 1973 in Bethanien to be open to all artists. It is the most extensive, non-commercial artistic printmakers’ workshop worldwide. All known printing techniques such as screen-printing, offset print, etching, woodcutting, lithography and photography can be performed here, as well as combinations of these. Papermaking, bookbinding, catalogue printing, book printing, video and digital technology are also available.
The BBK Berlin printmakers’ workshop is open to all artists.
Daily use of the workshop costs Euro 8. Use of the computer department costs Euro 10 per day. Video-cutting costs €21 per day. A price-list for material and additional services can be made available on request at the appropriate department.

Medienwerkstatt des bbk berlin
Tel.: +49-(0)30-55 14 72 94, Fax: +49-(0)30-61 40 15-74
www.medienwerkstatt-berlin.de, medienwerkstatt@bbk-kulturwerk.de
Opening hours: Monday – Friday, 10am - 5pm and by appointment
Director: Lioba von den Driesch
The publically funded media workshop opened in 2009 and offers infrastructure and skill-building for fine artists creating media art works. The workshop is available for any artist to use. Equipment includes five differently equipt digital workspaces (Mac) and a Greenbox for audio and video recordings as well as post-production. Analogue technologies are also available. 2D and 3D animation as well as interactive media projects can be realised in the workshop.
Prices range from day, week and project rates. The pricelist can be found in the workshop or at www.medienwerkstatt-berlin.de.

Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg music school
Tel.:+49-(0)30-90298-1431, Fax.: 90298-1435
www.ms-fk.de, musikschule@ba-fk.verwalt-berlin.de
Consultation times: Tuesday, 10-12 am; Thursday 2-6 pm
Director: Ina Finger
The Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg music school is one of the largest communal music schools in Berlin. The teaching program ranges from initial contact sessions for parent/children groups (taster courses) to targeted preparation for further music studies. There are lessons in almost all types of instruments, in classical music as well as within the field of jazz, rock, pop and non-European music. Aside from individual or group lessons, there are advanced courses to acquire and deepen theory, listening and musicolgy knowledge, amongst other things. There is a chance to play in diverse ensembles, such as chamber orchestras, big bands, diverse choirs, ensembles for early music, 20th century classical music ensembles and dance amongst many other formats. The multifaceted events take on all sizes, from small (scholar presentations) to larger scale events, displaying the high level of musical education available at the music school that ultimately succeeds in enriching the musical and cultural ambience of the district.

Café/Restaurant „3Schwestern“
Tel.: +49-(0)30-6003 1860 13
www.3schwestern-berlin.de, boehl@3schwestern-berlin.de
Opening hours: Tuesday - Sunday, from 11 am
Propiertor: Michael Böhl and Wolfgang Sinhart
The café/restaurant ‚3Schwestern‘ (3Sisters) has been open since the end of May 2010 in Bethanien‘s former casino, with an beer garden in the yard and the ‚Eiscafe Kleine Schwester‘ (Ice cream parlour ‚little sister‘) at the entrance. There is an all-round selection of food and drinks on offer here and occasionally concerts, live acts and evening events are also hosted.

The historic Theodor-Fontane pharmacy
Opening hours: Tuesday 14.00-17.00. Guided tours on request
The pharmacy is a facility of the Kreuzberg Museum:
Tel.: +49-(0)30-5058-5233, Fax: 5058-5258
Director: Martin Düspohl
The hospital pharmacy where Theodor Fontane worked as a pharmacist between 1848 and 1849 training nurses as pharmacists, has been preserved in its original state. Some of the vessels have, however, been replaced with a modern inventory.

Performing Arts at Bethanien
In summer 2011, 17 artist groups, institutions, production offices and associations working in the field of dance, theatre and performance have moved into new spaces at Kunstquartier Bethanien at Mariannenplatz in Berlin Kreuzberg and thus also bringing with them a whole new range of resources: production and organisation assistance as well as counselling for artists and institutions; rehearsal space and professional training for dancers and actors; showings, lecture demonstrations, workshops, symposia and conferences; various formats for information, communication and encounters as well as a public media library for dance and theatre.
We would herewith like to inform you about our work.

The Bundesverband Freier Theater e. V. (Federal Association of Independent Theatres) represents the interests of performing arts professionals and institutions of all genres. It speaks on the behalf of ca. 1.000 companies and theatres, which are organized in individual state associations. The federal association informs and councils federal institutions and political bodies as well as its members on the conditions and development of performing arts.
T: +49 (0)30. 20 21 59 99-0, info@buft.de, www.buft.de, 3. Etage/3rd floor, 312

grenzbereiche-theater / borderland-theater
Christine Vogt is a theatre director specialized in integrative performing arts/cultural scientist M.A. and visiting lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam. She has been working with the theatre company piloti storti (Spastikerhilfe Berlin e.V.) since 2005 and was a founding member of Theater Thikwà..
Currently, she is planning a three-year pilot project for people with dementia and artists.
T.+49/30 68073023 vogt@grenzbereiche-theater.de, www.grenzbereiche-theater.de
3. Etage/3rd floor, 321

Dachverband Tanz Deutschland
is an umbrella association and lobby group for cultural and educational policy in dance in Germany. It represents the leading dance associations and institutions, as well as a number of outstanding individual artists.
T: +49 (0)30 6110765 -13 / -17, info@dachverband-tanz.de, www.dachverband-tanz.de, Erdgeschoss links / ground floor left side

is an office for cultural management in the performing arts under the direction of Katharina von Wilcke and Harriet Lesch. DepArtment was founded in 1995 and is working since in the fields of programming, production dramaturgy, management, project organisation and communication for individual artistic projects, event series and festivals.
T: +49 (0)30 40505985, F: +49 (0)30 40505986, info@dep-art-ment.com, www.dep-art-ment.com, 3. Etage/3rd floor, 320

dramaturgische gesellschaft e.V. (dg)

The dramaturge society is a network for both theatre makers and experts from other art forms, sciences and political institutions. It is the aim of the society to enhance the exchange of knowledge and opinions about current aesthetical and socio-political issues.
T: +49 (0)30 77908934, post@dramaturgische-gesellschaft.de, www.dramaturgische-gesellschaft.de, 3. Etage/3rd floor, 311

ehrliche arbeit – freies Kulturbüro / ehrliche arbeit – freelance office for culture
ehrliche arbeit means “honest work” in German and was founded in 2006 in Berlin as a platform and basis for independent performing arts projects. We offer concept and project development combined with project and production management, press and public relations, dramaturgy, as well as text and translation work. ehrliche arbeit are Janina Benduski, Sandra Klöss, Andrea Oberfeld, Elena Polzer, Ilka Rümke and Anka Belz.
T: +49 (0) 30 39202140, F: +49 (0)30 69088571, post@ehrlichearbeit.de, www.ehrlichearbeit.de, 3. Etage/3rd floor, 314, 316, 317, 318

Grotest Maru
creates theatre in public spaces and is inspired by visual, physical, and object theatre, as well as installation and land art. Grotest Maru was founded in 1996 at Kunsthaus Kule in Berlin. The company has been touring internationally since 1999. Grotest Maru specializes in developing site-specific projects for urban spaces or landscapes.
Ursula Maria Berzborn, T: +49 (0)179 2058948, grotestmaru@grotest-maru.de, www.grotest-maru.de, Keller/cellar, K39

Internationales Theaterinstitut – Zentrum BR Deutschland (ITI)
The German Centre of the International Theatre Institute (ITI) is part of a worldwide network of more than 90 national ITI centres and focuses its work on the international exchange of dance and theatre. ITI Germany offers information and counselling, organizes international symposia, workshops and, most importantly, the triennial festival THEATER DER WELT.
T: +49 (0)30 61107650, F: +49 (0)30 7911874, info@iti-germany.de, www.iti-germany.de, Erdgeschoss links / ground floor left side

The KOSTÜMKOLLEKTIV wants to set up a shared working and storage space for everything related to costumes and masks, etc. for artists, as well as for cultural education.
kontakt@kostuemkollektiv.de, Keller/cellar, K39

Landesverband Freie Theaterschaffende (LAFT) Berlin e.V.
The LAFT is a local umbrella association, which represents the interests of professional independent theatre makers and performing artists in Berlin. Its goal is to strengthen the lobby for independent theatre and dance, improve cultural policies, facilitate communication and networking, further discourse and develop further qualification possibilities for professionals.
T: +49 (0)30 54591600, info@laft-berlin.de, www.laft-berlin.de, EG/ground floor, E 3

Mime Centrum Berlin
is an information and documentation centre as well as working space for dance and theatre makers. The media library is open to the public and provides a good overview of national and international developments with more than 6.000 video and DVDs. Workshop programs and a daily movement training is available for actors, dancers and all interested in performing arts.
T: +49 (0)30 611076520, info@mimecentrum.de, www.mimecentrum.de, Erdgeschoss links / ground floor left side

is a platform and festival for performing arts & music from the Nordic and Baltic countries. NORDWIND presents some of the most outstanding representatives of the Nordic contemporary art scene since 2006. NORDWIND contributes to an increased exchange between Nordic and German Artists.
r.ciontos@nordwind-festival.de, a.skjonberg@nordwind-festival.de, www.nordwind-festival.de, www.facebook.com/nordwind, 1. Etage/1st floor, 141

Seidenspur e.V. / Trace of Silk
is a registered association for the promotion of intercultural dialog through cross-border projects in the arts. Seidenspur e.V. focuses on ethnic diversity and on alternative ways of life, such as living with disabilities: “AugenGlücksBlicke“ (pilot project for people with dementia and artists) “Phönizische Überlebende“ (musical reading/photo-exhibition on Armenia), “Was Worte“ (performance with images, poetry and songs from the ‘collection Prinzhorn Heidelberg’).
T: +49 (0) 30 68073023, post@seidenspur.de
3. Etage/3rd floor, 321

is an actor and performer. His work combines elements from physical theatre, circus, masks (Commedia dell'Arte) and clowning techniques.
sergiofernandes@sergiofernandes.org, www.sergiofernandes.org, Keller/cellar, 37

She She Pop
She She Pop is a performance collective based in Berlin and Hamburg. Founded in 1998 by graduates from the applied theatre studies course in Giessen, She She Pop currently has seven permanent members: Sebastian Bark, Johanna Freiburg, Fanni Halmburger, Lisa Lucassen, Mieke Matzke, Ilia Papatheodorou and Berit Stumpf.
T: +49 (0)30 97005268, buero@sheshepop.de, www.sheshepop.de, Raum 315

studio 142 - Hanna Hegenscheidt (Choreographer, Teacher of Klein Technique™)
Studio 142 is a rehearsal space for dance, theatre and performance and offers daily classes in the bodywork Klein Technique™.
mail@hannahegenscheidt.de, www.hannahegenscheidt.de, 1 OG/ 1st floor, 142

Tanzkongress / Dance Congress
The Dance Congress is a major international forum in which dancers, choreographers, pedagogues, scientists, and producers present and reflect current developments in stage dance in theory and practice. Initiated by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation), the first Dance Congress took place in 2006 in Berlin and the second in 2009 in Hamburg. As of 2013, the Dance Congress will be organized every three years at different locations in Germany. Directors: Sabine Gehm & Katharina von Wilcke
T. +49 (0)30 40505989, F: +49 (0)30 40505986, zentrale@tanzkongress.de, www.tanzkongress.de, 3. Etage/3rd floor, 322

The different Institutions at Kunstquartier Bethanien:

Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien

Printmakers' Workshop bbk berlin

Media Workshop bbk berlin

Music School Friedrichshain-

Café-Restaurant "3 Schwestern"

Open Air Cinema

Artist Sudios

Performing Arts at Bethanien

Camera Austria International

Tokyo Wonder Site Residency Berlin

Momentum Berlin






Project Space