Cultural participation is desirable, but it must also be possible to pay for it. Visits to theaters, museums, and event venues are a luxury for many people. Especially with the rising cost of food and energy, people are foregoing cultural visits and instead prefer to heat their homes or fill their refrigerators.
For those living at or below the poverty line, culture becomes an unaffordable luxury. According to statistics from the city of Düsseldorf, this group is growing ever larger, comprising more than 19 percent of all residents.
For ten years, Düsseldorf has had the non-profit association Kulturliste, which has already been able to arrange over 40,000 visits to cultural and sporting events for people with little money. This has been possible with the help of over 40 volunteers and a network of around 200 cultural and social organizations.
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The crowdfunding goal is to help low-income citizens in Dusseldorf take part in cultural events
But the Kulturliste Dusseldorf and the cultural initiatives from Munich, Freiburg, Cologne, Leipzig, Dresden, Lübeck, and others can only do this through the commitment of their volunteers. Because the maps are not simply distributed. They are passed on in personal contact between the cultural mediators and the guests. In order to be able to continue this important mediation work, the initiatives have joined forces to purchase new software, which will be financed through a fundraising campaign.
The chairwoman of the Federal Association for Cultural Participation, Ms. Sabine Ruchlinski, underlines the urgency of the fundraising campaign: “Through our cultural mediation, we enable many people to experience cultural experiences that would otherwise be unattainable. The demand is great, and we see every day how much our work enriches the lives of many. But we can’t do it without modern software: sensitive data from cultural guests must be maintained, event data recorded, and cultural offerings matched with guests’ interests. At the same time, it must be a user-friendly working basis for our many volunteer mediators.”
The crowdfunding campaign “A software for the perfect culture match” is online on the StartNext donation platform and runs until September 16th, 2023. The goal is to reach €60,000. So far, just under a third has been achieved.
Christine Stender, chairwoman of the board of Kulturliste Düsseldorf e.V. said: “Your support is invaluable for us because it enables us to take this important step into the future. Help us with your donation to continue our work in many German cities and to give people a piece of joy in life. Together we can make a difference!”
The offer, made by the 13 cultural education associations involved in the appeal, is aimed specifically at low-income citizens* who would otherwise find it difficult to participate in the cultural life of their city. A large proportion of the KulturGäste are elderly people, but also many children of single parents, as well as large families, young people, people with refugee experience, and people with physical or mental impairments.
“It’s not just about the financial problem; emotional barriers such as social stigma and perceived exclusion also keep people from attending culture. As a lobby for culture and people with low incomes, we hope to raise awareness on all sides of how valuable culture is to people – and how valuable people are to culture,” says Christine Stender.
The cultural initiatives are asking for crowdfunding support to implement the new software to continue the important work. Companies can also participate in the campaign with a donation.
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First published in Ddorf-aktuell. A third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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