How do science and the arts fit together? Science is dominated by facts, order and truths, while the lifeblood of the arts is imagination, emotions and sensuality. Nevertheless, they need each other because it is precisely such differences that make the dialog between the arts and science a fascinating and productive process where innovation has scope to unfold. Bayer AG has been engaged in this dialog since 1907 through its own Culture Department - now Bayer Arts & Culture - and its own venue, the Erholungshaus.
This unique offering is a tremendous opportunity for a research-based company because the arts are able to create a space that reflects different concepts of people and science and therefore reach people's hearts and minds. Bayer takes part in the artistic and cultural life of society and in doing so makes a contribution to cultural development. A study conducted by the Allensbach Institute (IfD Allensbach) in 2015 shows how important culture is for the development of society. According to this study, school students who are interested in the arts tend to show a greater interest in foreign languages and science. Since 2009 we have supported that interest by fostering gifted young people through our stART program. In order to open up this program and place it on a broader basis, it will be bandled in the stARTacademy in the future. We are delighted that we have secured Germany's National Youth Ballet to broaden our program of dance in Leverkusen, and we will also be working on exciting projects with Pre-College Cologne as part of the stARTacademy.
2016 is a special year for Bayer: it has been 125 years since the company moved to its site by the river Rhine. The factory in Wuppertal had long since become too small so it was decided to purchase a “greenfield” site from a man called Carl Leverkus. One of this season’s themes will be dedicated to the “Gründerzeit”, the era that marked the origins of Bayer's present headquarters. To open the new season, we are therefore inviting you to a “Gründerzeit” ball. In addition, the Erholungshaus will be hosting an exhibition of selected works of art from the Bayer Collection, following the big success of the exhibition in the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin in 2013. Musically, the birth of the Leverkusen site will be marked by a specially commissioned work, which will be premiered by the Bayer Philharmoniker.
The second theme of the 2016/17 season will be “heroes”. However, we will be leaving the wide field of superheroes to Hollywood and turning our attention to everyday heroes, people who demonstrate commitment and involvement. That includes photo journalists who report from the world's war-torn regions and cause a stir with their pictures. In the last season, you had an opportunity to see how lively the arts scene at Bayer is. Your praise and constructive criticism have convinced us that we have chosen the right direction. We would like to express our sincere thanks to you for that.
In the upcoming season, we intend to continue in this direction. Visually, this is reflected in a new design and coloring that look forward to the future without losing sight of the past. There are also new formats and structures. For example, we have started to revise the structure of subscriptions to make them more attractive. The KultCard Gold is a single subscription that enables holders to attend all events in the Erholungshaus as it suits them. At the same time - and this is very important to us - nothing is changing for existing subscriptions. So why not explore our the prospectus for the new season, become inspired by new formats like “Trailblazers” or invite your friends to an unforgettable evening as a cultural ambassador. We look forward to seeing you.