Here we go!

The European jury has decided – Hildesheim has entered the second round of the competition for the title “European Capital of Culture 2025"!

Reaching the second round is the success of a four-year process in which the city of Hildesheim, together with the district and all district municipalities, has drawn up a comprehensive application concept. A ten-member delegation presented Hildesheim’s application themed “Beets, Roses and the Meaning of Life" to the international panel of experts in Berlin on 11 December. And the jury was convinced.

Together with the cities of Magdeburg, Hanover, Nuremberg and Chemnitz, Hildesheim has reached the second round. Numerous interested parties from the city and the surroundings eagerly awaited the decision of the European jury in two locations alike: The circle of friends had organized an exciting program on the market place and the studio Licht.n.Stein together with Radio Tonkuhle in the Andreaspassage, including a livestream of the press conference in Berlin.

The excitement is spreading. The city and region are moving closer together on their way to becoming an active role model cultural region – and on their way to becoming European Capital of Culture 2025.

Here we go!

The idea to take part in the competition arose from the Hildesheim city society in 2015, the year of the Hildesheim anniversary.
This early and cross-generational involvement of citizens enabled the development of the goals and contents formulated in the bid book. The reaching of the second application phase is, among other things, based on the variety of perspectives, the expertise and creativity of the involved persons from the city and the district, the art and cultural scene, the administration and politics, the associations and the university landscape.

Furthermore, the foundation and commitment of the “Freundeskreis 2025 der Kulturregion Hildesheim e.V." (the circle of friends) was decisive for the design of the application. With the help of the “Netzwerk Kultur & Heimat Hildesheimer Land e.V." and the “IQ – Interessengemeinschaft Kultur Hildesheims e.V.", the art and cultural scene in the city and district was won over.

A look back at the first application phase
To date, the application process has involved numerous people, developed ideas and implemented projects: Within about 20 hours young and old Hildesheim residents ran, cycled and rode across the region during the “Tour de Landkreis", representatives of the religious communities discussed what is “sacred" to them, people from the city and the district told their very personal European stories in front of an audience, experts from the cultural and creative industries debated about their definition of success and a group of young people organised a cultural festival according to their ideas and wishes. Finally, at the end of August 2019, all city and county councils met in the open air at a historic site and spoke out in favour of the bid to become European Capital of Culture 2025.

This is how the second application phase continues
In the future, Carolin Hochleichter will be responsible for the conceptual development of the artistic project ideas together with local and international artists. Hochleichter studied Cultural Studies and Aesthetic Practice (Hildesheim/Utrecht) and Cultures of the Curatorial (Leipzig), was the director of the international theatre festival transeuropa 2003 and joined the Theater Freiburg as a dramaturg in 2008. Starting in 2012 she worked as a dramaturg for the Foreign Affairs Festival of the Berliner Festspiele, and since 2016 she has been working as a freelance dramaturg for the Ruhrtriennale.

For the second application phase the state of Lower Saxony has promised additional support of half a million euros. This will also be used to increase the project team in order to master the challenging second round. The revised bid book will presumably have to be submitted in July, followed by a visit of the international jury in Hildesheim in late summer. As ambassador for Hildesheim’s bid, the internationally renowned singer Thomas Quasthoff will also be involved in shaping the cultural programme for the year 2025. In addition, Quasthoff will be a member of the application’s artistic advisory board, whose composition will be presented next year.

The team of the Project Office Hildesheim Capital of Culture 2025 is looking forward to the second stage – in which there is undoubtedly a lot to be done.

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