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The New Patrons
of Pritzwalk

The Seven Arts Of Pritzwalk

Auftraggeber: Residents of Pritzwalk,
Auftrag: “Find new perspectives to stop the decline of an increasingly deserted historic center”
Mediatoren: Gerrit Gohlke, Romy Range,
Künstler: Clegg & Guttmann,
Kooperationspartner und Förderer: East German Sparkassenstiftung, Fondation de France, City of Pritzwalk, IHK Potsdam / RegionalCenter Prignitz, Stadtwerke Pritzwalk,
Duration: 2011 – 2014
Budget: 65,000 €

A group of residents in the small Brandenburg town of Pritzwalk wanted to revitalize its decaying historic center. Their original idea was to beautify the town with sculptures, but they eventually opted for an alternative plan put forward by the artist duo Clegg & Guttmann that involved using art to repopulate Pritzwalk’s old core. Residents were asked to propose projects from seven disciplines – art, photography, fashion, music, theater, language, and dance – which would then be staged in seven vacant storefronts throughout the town for an entire summer. The projects were to be followed by a book chronicling the town’s achievements. Despite some initial skepticism, residents submitted
72 proposals, most of which were put into action. Happily, the revitalizing effects of their efforts persisted beyond the summer. The people of Pritzwalk showed spirit and determination, making the town more attractive and, in the process, becoming more tightly knit as a community. They even founded an art association for good measure.

“If there is no reason to come, there is no reason to stay.”

Christa Pfeifer, corporate consultant, patron

Dear Residents of Pritzwalk,

As artists, we often invite people to attend our exhibitions. This time we want to invite you to create your own exhibition – and transform your town in the process. We want to work together with you to create an impressive portrait of Pritzwalk, one that shows both its inhabitants and those well beyond its boundaries how lively and creative this place is.

Art does not provide magical solutions and we are not offering a panacea for all of Pritzwalk’s problems. But we believe that even a town whose population is in decline and whose young people are moving away possesses, besides the usual fears and doubts, deep reserves of imagination and optimism. If the people of Pritzwalk stick together they can revitalize their community. The portrait of Pritzwalk is designed to bring this creative energy to the fore.

It’s crucial that the people of this town, and not some external political or economic committee, shape the vision of who they are and how they want to be seen. Our plan is to use seven vacant storefronts in the town center to showcase Pritzwalk’s diversity, and show just how much residents have to say when given a voice. We want to demonstrate that if people come together they can repopulate Pritzwalk’s old core and ensure its future.

What you can do? Fill out the questionnaire on the back and tell us how the seven vacant storefronts should be used for the duration of the summer. Then drop off the questionnaire at the Café der 7 Künste, located at Markstraße 21, or return it to us by mail. You can also complete the questionnaire online at our website www.7kuenste-pritzwalk.de. You don’t have to be an artist, but your suggestions must be related to one of the seven arts: music, art, film, language, dance, theater, and fashion. Each storefront will be devoted to a single discipline.

Every suggestion, every impulse, helps. We are not a jury and we do not award points. This is about creating a self-portrait of your town. The Seven Arts of Pritzwalk project will be as new to us as it is to you.

So let’s get started. We look forward to hearing your thoughts and send many warm greetings.” Open letter from Clegg & Guttmann to the people of Pritzwalk


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