Bijlmerpark Theater in Zuidoost urgently needs additional training space, additional theater capacity and more space for facilities such as foyer, bathroom, kitchen, storage and workshop. Since it could be years before the new theater building is complete, the municipality is looking for additional space in the short term.
Alderman Touria Meliani (Arts and Culture) wrote this in a letter to the City Council in response to an ongoing feasibility study for the expansion of the Bijlmer Parktheater. Cultural infrastructure in the Southeast is still insufficient. “For the current size and population of the area, there is already a shortage of facilities and the area will grow even more in the coming period.”
With only one room, the Bijlmer Parktheater is the only theater in the Southeast. In addition to its own shows and productions, the building is also used by various institutions, including Jeugdtheaterschool Zuidoost, We Are The Move, Untold, Young Reporters, and Going Social. “To meet the growing demand for a space for culture, about 6,600 square meters are required to be built. The area of the current theater building is about 2,000 square meters,” said the municipal council member.
Last March, the Amsterdam Arts Council called for more attention to the southeast in the cultural investment account. According to the Art Council, investments here are urgent due to the region’s growth combined with a lack of catching up in cultural infrastructure. Since Zuidoost has one theatre, with a very small auditorium and hardly any catering facilities, in a building that does not meet the requirements of contemporary theatre, the Arts Council recommends that the Bijlmer Parktheater be strengthened as a ‘cultural anchor’ with an urban building.
A major expansion of the existing theater building is not an obvious option, according to Miliani, due to its location in the so-called main green structure. So it aims to build a new theater. However, since this takes a long time, additional (temporary) housing is sought in the short term. Miliani stresses that the decision on the possible construction of a new theater must be taken by the new city council and the city council.
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