#divingintodiversity

The Bayerische Staatsoper’s 2021/2022 season, and especially its new productions, celebrates the human being in its search in its differences, its contrasts, but also in its dialogues ‒ "Each of us a king or queen."

The Bayerische Staatsoper joins 50 other cultural institutions from all over Germany in Tik Tok's #creatorsfordiversity funding programme, which aims to create new places of encounter and interactive opportunities to engage with diversity and culture.

In this context, the Offstage 360 cross-disciplinary programme will address the multi-faceted topic of diversity, beginning in the upcoming season. The recognition and appreciation of all people, regardless of their social or ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation or worldview, age, physical or mental abilities or other characteristics, will be the centre of focus here.

Serge Dorny, the Bayerische Staatsoper’s designated General Manager, is very much concerned with the topic of diversity: "We have to welcome the other, understand otherness, because every person has their own unique meaning, their uniqueness. That's how we can overcome misunderstandings and conflicts. If we talk to each other, not about each other, or worse, against each other, we can create a different future. For me, cultural diversity is the openness to debate that can create extraordinary potential. Why is that? Because the other is different from me. ‘If you differ from me, my brother, you enrich me,’ as Saint-Exupéry said. It’s natural for me that we as the Bayerische Staatsoper should address the issue of diversity."

We asked our future cooperation partners why diversity will be so important in principle, and in the cultural sector in particular in the coming decades:

"Our society is increasingly characterized by diversity. This reality must also be reflected in the cultural sector. If as many people as possible contribute themselves and their ideas, the cultural sector can benefit from their creative potential. Through participation and sharing, new topics, perspectives and people become more and more visible and can be experienced, and the cultural sector remains exciting, dynamic and interactive." Friederike Junker (Executive Director of MORGEN, Munich Migrant Organisations Network).

"Diversity in the programme and staff on and behind the stage contributes to different perspectives of the world becoming visible, different ideas coming together from which something new, something common can emerge. Diversity in the team enables contacts and networks in different social groups and, in the medium term, also ensures a more diverse audience in publicly funded (traditional) cultural institutions." Birgit Mandel (Professor of Cultural Education and Cultural Management, Director of the Institute for Cultural Policy at the University of Hildesheim).

“Diversity is a cross-cutting issue that helps shape our society and the future of our coexistence. Cultural institutions also have a social function, which is why it is crucial that they address this issue. On the one hand, this is about the participation of the diverse society in the publicly financed cultural life and, on the other hand, about the possibility to actively participate in shaping it. Through diverse teams, different perspectives are brought into the process, thus producing new solutions and innovations. This can be forward-looking for cultural institutions ‒ both for accessibility, audience appeal, artistic processes and also for cultural mediation.” Isabel Berghofer-Thomas (Kreisjugendring München-Stadt).

"Diversity is reality ‒ and it is important that this reality also takes place in all areas of society. There are so many talented people who haven't had the chance to show their skills yet and it's high time that changed, because there's enough room for everyone." Kemi Fatoba (DADDY and jury member #CreatorsForDiversity)

"I am convinced that culture is the place where our understanding of society is negotiated. Because art should and must hold up a mirror to the public as a supra-institutional socio-political corrective measure. The key question here is who is reflected in it – and above all, who is not, and why not? Not being reflected in the mirror of art and culture and its structures also means not being seen. In which case, however, the cultural sector is exclusionary. Admitting this to oneself is a painful process for a cultural institution." Deniz Elbir (Representative for Diversity and Integration, Neuss, North Rhine-Westphalia)