The New Patrons of Letschin

Patrons: Letschin citizens, u.a. Michael Böttcher (mayor of Letschin municipality), Kerstin Dickhoff, Detlef Mallwitz (artist), Kerstin Niebsch (Kultur Mol GmbH Seelow)

Mediator: Gerrit Gohlke


Duration: 2011–

Partners: Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung, Fondation de France, Kreis-, Kinder- und Jugendring Seelow

Kunstbahnhof Letschin

In Letschin, the New Patrons managed to motivate a large number of citizens to re-activate the town’s old train station, culminating in the establishment of a cooperative. Its aim was to acquire both the historical building and to commission two major artistic interventions. Moreover, the cooperative was to create and manage guest rooms as well as additional spaces for all kinds of use. 

We wish to preserve Letschin’s old and dilapidated train station and transform it into a new cultural center.

During the initial phase, the patrons developed quite different approaches to the project that could not be reconciled. In the end, the Eisenbahnverein Letschin e.V., the railway association and the New Patrons’ most important local partner, acquired the building. After some of the local artists and art enthusiasts had withdrawn from the commission, the association has abandoned the artistic projects and is now focusing on the social functions of the old train station and the renovation of the building itself. 

Still, this is a successful outcome for Neue Auftraggeber e.V., as Letschin’s citizens have jointly re-assessed their ideas and handled the major effort of the train stations’ takeover. The “Kunstbahnhof” (art train station) will now be transformed into a communal space and a site to remember the heritage of Letschin.