Editorial | Issue #1/19
Culture in a Metropolitan Region
Frankfurt is probably best known for being Germany’s financial and economic hub. However, the city and the surrounding FrankfurtRheinMain region (FRM) also has much to offer in terms of culture.
It is the mission of the newly launched English-language magazine Culture Frankfurt/Rhein/Main to promote this region’s cultural offerings, especially for its growing cosmopolitan community. The first issue features the following offerings:
- Museums and exhibitions
- Music and dance
- Summer festivals
- Film festivals
F | Summer | Weseler Werft
Symphony and Street Theatre
Do you fancy gallivanting around, with a picnic blanket and a good bottle of wine? Or enjoying jugglers, street theatres and concerts under wide open skies? What Proms in the Park is for Brits and outdoor summer festivals are for the French, the Weseler Werft (a former shipyard) on the banks of the Main is for Frankfurters. For two weeks in July and August, the Sommerwerft with travelling artists from all over Europe transforms the riverbank into a second Avignon with theatre, dance, music, improvisation and poetry slams. A few days later, the Europa Open Air (with symphony orchestra) turns the shipyard and the opposite bank into a gigantic open air auditorium for one evening. Tens of thousands of visitors can experience the outdoor performances lounging on blankets while sipping on a glass of wine, which is kind of like having Royal Albert Hall and Hyde Park at once. A magical night ...
DA | Feature | Darmstadt
A Creative City
Darmstadt is, and has always been, a hotbed of creativity in the region. It is home to Mathildenhöhe, a compound of stately artists’ and museum buildings best known for the eponymous artists’ colony founded in 1899. The compound is the site of the Wedding Tower, a landmark of German Art Nouveau, as well as buildings by famous architects of the early 20th century, such as Joseph Maria Olbrich and Peter Behrens. The city of Darmstadt is also the birthplace of the Darmstadt Secession, a revolutionary artist community founded in 1919 by artists including Max Beckmann, Ludwig Meidner and Paul Hindemith. A New Darmstadt Secession was founded in 1945 and continues on to the present day. Near Darmstadt there is also the Mediencampus Darmstadt-Dieburg, perhaps the most exciting new media academy in the region.
OF | Location | Hafen 2
Sheep and Screens
Open air cinema and concerts, hanging out by the water, child care ... plus grazing sheep? You never thought you’d ever find such a place in or near Frankfurt, did you? But Hafen 2 in the brownfields of Offenbach’s transformed harbour front offers exactly that: coffee shop, concert shed, green meadows, fine dune sand, benches and folding chairs. In the summer, families as well as plenty of offbeat types gather in this biotope to watch films, attend concerts or simply have good old casual chinwags while the kids play in the sand or gawk at the sheep. In the line-up: foreignlanguage films, singer-songwriters, World Cup and European Championship football ... No need for a brolly even, since events are moved inside the shed during off-season or when it rains.
FRM | Summer Special
Vibrant Squares and Streets
During the summer, the people of the RheinMain region go outside and enjoy life in the streets and public squares – just like in Avignon or at other festivals in southern France. Here is a small selection of this festivals and events.
- Wetterau | Bad Vilbel Castle | Burgfestspiele (Theatre festival) | May-Sep
- FRM | Museums Nights | 23.-25.08.: Frankfurt | Apr-Sep
- F | Musik im Palmengarten | Concerts | May-Sep
- F | Bahnhofsviertelnacht | Street Party | Aug
- F | Sommerwerft | Street Theatre | Jul-Aug
- F | Stoffel | Music & Cabaret | Jun-Jul
- WI | Improtheater Sommer | Jul-Aug
- MZ | Open Ohr | Music & Performance | Jun
- HU | Brüder Grimm Festspiele | Theatre | May-Jul
- HG | Bad Homburger Sommer | Music | Jun-Jul
- MZ | Summer in the City | Music | May-Jul
- Taunus | Idstein Hessian Jazz Festival | Jun
Rheingau | Venue | Eberbach Monastery
In Sean Connery´s Footsteps
The old Cistercian abbey, Eberbach Monastery, is ensconced in the hills at the shore of the Rhine River, close to Wiesbaden. Built in the early 12th century, it is still in miraculously good shape. That surely contributed to its being chosen as a central location for the filming of The Name of the Rose (1986), starring none other than Sean Connery. In the summer, visitors can watch the film on the very site of the original film set. In addition, the decommissioned abbey has been hosting a slew of other extraordinary cultural events such as the renowned classical Rheingau Music Festival as well as arts and crafts shows. And of course, the abbey walls themselves are an attraction, especially for families. Eberbach is also known for its superb wines, being situated in the midst of one of Germany‘s best vinicultural regions.
FRM | Art in public | Blickachsen
Excursions in art and Area
For over two decades, the international art biennale Blickachsen – meaning lines of vision – has been exploring how sculpture, nature and architecture intersect. The biennale invites artists – this year including Yoko Ono and William Forsythe – to take over parks and natural areas across the region with scenographic or interactive sculptures. Blickachsen 2019 also features sound artist Satch Hoyt. On the campus of Frankfurt University, he juxtaposes the pale backdrop provided by the prodigious, history-laden university buildings against colourful stele-like totems made of plastic and QR code-generated sounds and texts, alluding to the African diaspora. In Kurpark Bad Homburg, artist duo Winter/Hörbelt adapt the idea of visual axes in the form of a large tube made of beverage crates. In total, around 60 installations by some 30 international artists are on view at six locations. A good opportunity to discover interesting places as well as artworks!
F | Exhibitions | Bauhaus
The Living Bauhaus
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Weissenhof, Oskar Schlemmer and the Triadic Ballet, Mart Stam and the cantilever chair: three artists, three works, one name: Bauhaus. The famous institute for architecture, arts and design was founded in Weimar 100 years ago. Although Dessau and Weimar were home to the academy of this new modernity, it was in Frankfurt where many of the ideas and concepts were implemented. For this “New Frankfurt”, city planner Ernst May and architects like Friedrich Kramer and Martin Elsaesser created a form of social and modern housing with revolutionary ideas such as the Frankfurt kitchen or Frankfurt bathroom. Design assumed social responsibility. Walking through May‘s settlements is an easy way to explore living Bauhaus. In commemoration of the 100th anniversary, Frankfurt will also hold three extraordinary exhibitions.
WI | Cinema | Caligari Filmbühne
Cinema With Style
When the Caligari FilmBühne – named after the expressionist silent film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari – rolls out the red carpet, international film stars cannot be far. Located in Wiesbaden, right at the city’s market square, this beautiful cinema runs a sophisticated international programme when it isn’t hosting film festivals such as the top Eastern European film festival goEast and exground, widely known for its selection of international independent films. In 2018, the Caligari received the Hessian Cultural Award for its outstanding cultural commitment. Moviegoers also appreciate the film hall for its uniquely classic interior that conjures up the golden age of cinema, and for the fact that many of the films are shown in English.
F | Museum | Städel Museum
Only the Best For Its Citizens
“The best for this town and its citizens.” In this spirit, banker and art collector Johann Friedrich Städel created Frankfurt’s most important art foundation some 200 years ago. At this time the “Städelsche Kunstinstitut” comprised a stately edifice, 1.3 million guilders, 476 paintings, 4,600 drawings and 10,000 graphic prints. The art works − every piece personally collected – consist primarily of Dutch masters of the 17th century but also Flemish, German, French and Italian works, most of them landscape and historical paintings. Today this private institution is a popular venue for holding large internationally recognised exhibitions, especially of classical paintings. For example, in 2019 the Städel will show Titian and the Venetian masters of the Renaissance, comprising the largest Titian retrospective ever shown in Germany.
FRM | Exhibitions | Autumn Edition
From Bengal Stream to Van Gogh
There are over 100 museums in the region with a wide range of exhibitions throughout the year. The following is just a small selection of the overall offer. Autumn Edition.
- FRM | Blickachsen | Art in Public Spaces | May-Oct
- WI | What's Up? & Rachel Maclean | Aug-Nov
FRM | Art Schools & Studios 1
Habitats of aspiring artists
Offenbach was long considered Frankfurt’s poorer cousin and often looked down upon or derided. But times are changing. One reason is the city’s HfG_OF_MAIN (Hochschule für Gestaltung, or University of Art and Design), a thriving hotbed for young creatives. For a long time in the shadows of Frankfurt’s more celebrated Städelschule and its many international students, HfG Offenbach has since caught up and has a pull effect in all matters of art. This means that together the adjoining cities now have two habitats teeming with a vibrant and young art scene. In addition the region is home to many studio houses, the two main ones being Basis and AtelierFrankfurt where some 200 artists create and present their work. Main smaller studio buildings are Waggonfabrik Mainz, Zollamt Studios Offenbach and Atelierhaus Darmstadt. Studios and art schools open their doors to the general public several times a year. The summer highlight is a three-day HfG tour with cross-media and film night, and during December several studios organise Christmas art fairs.
F | On Stage | English Theatre
Frankfurt´s Little Anglosphere
It is Frankfurt’s top go-to venue for English-speaking culture and, indeed, the largest English-speaking stage on the continent. Presenting theatre, musicals and parties right at the edge of Frankfurt‘s central station district, the English Theatre lets you dive into another world. Literally, since the theatre, seating 300, is housed in the basement. The programme, however, is anything but lower-tier, boasting six high-profile productions per year, casted and partly rehearsed in London and New York, and drawing 60,000 visitors annually. James the Bar, adjoining the theatre, offers an amicable ambience for visitors to mingle before or after a show and to have a drink.
F | Opera | Oper Frankfurt
Opera House of the Year
Renovation, relocation, new construction? Frankfurt‘s opera house is always the talk of the town. All the more because the opera recently received the annual Opera House of the Year award for the fourth time. No doubt, Oper Frankfurt is among the highest ranking in Germany while under the direction of Bernd Loebe, who took over in 2002. The mix of programmes is excellent: Händel’s operas, an exquisite Merry Widow, and Verdi, of course, as well as many contemporary works. The permanent ensemble, built around Tanja Ariane Baumgartner, Claudia Mahnke and Kihwan Sim, as well as the General Music Director Sebastian Weigle are complemented by such celebrated invited artists as Brenda Rae and Źeljko Lućić. What’s more, even passers-by without a ticket can enjoy the high quality of the performances by loudspeakers mounted outside the building (fey.).
FRM | Film Festivals
Nonstop Film Festivals
Just about 50 film festivals take place in the region throughout the year, which translates into one film festival every week! Many of these festivals are international, contributing much to the region’s cosmopolitan flair. Here is a small selection:
- MA/HD | International Film Festival | Nov
- WI | Exground | Independent Films | Nov
- KS | Kassel Dokfest | Documentary Films | Nov
- F | B3 Biennial of The Moving Image | Oct
- F | Lucas Festival for Young Film Lovers | Sep
- MZ | Mainz Film Summer | Jun-Sep
- DA | Filmfest Weiterstadt | Short Films | Aug
- F/Rheingau | Shorts at Moonlight | Jul-Aug
- MR | Open Eyes | Short Films | Jul
- F | Nippon Connection | Japanese Films | May-Jun
- WI | GoEast | Eastern European Films | Apr
- F | Lichter Filmfest Frankfurt International | Mar
- F | Africa Alive | African Film Festival | Jan-Feb
- F | remake. | Frauen Film Tage | Nov-Dec
- WI | cinema! italia! | Sep-Aug
- F | cinema! italia! | Nov-Dec
- DA | cinema! italia! | Nov
FRM | English Cultural Offers 1/19
The vast number of diverse English-language cultural offerings prove that FrankfurtRheinMain is a most cosmopolitan region. This is only a small selection of the most coveted venues and events.