The MARK Salzburg proves: The “real” Salzburg cultural life takes place away from the old town and the festival district.
Open culture houses are an important basis for the development of a city’s free contemporary art and culture scene. They offer young artists the chance to experiment and – sometimes for the first time – to present themselves to a wider audience.
The MARK Salzburg in Salzburg’s Hannakstraße is such a house. “The MARK Salzburg is open to people interested in culture and arts regardless of their socio-cultural context or budget”, says Alexandra Krämer, chairperson of the association. It enables people from different backgrounds to actively shape the cultural life of the city themselves. Unlike many other cultural institutions, the house and the infrastructure are made available at low cost or even free of charge.
For Gerd Pardeller, the artistic director of the house, the focus is primarily on a cooperative and participatory approach. A guiding theme is formulated for each program year, which at the same time leaves plenty of room for independent interpretations. The year 2021 has the motto: “Living in a hybrid – between digital and analogue spaces”.
The MARK Salzburg has event rooms, a band rehearsal room with a sound mixing studio, a studio for audiovisual productions, exhibition rooms, rehearsal rooms for theater and dance ensembles, and co-working spaces. For artists and media artists, there are studios for artist-in-residence projects available. With the MARKART-GALLERY, the MARK has already given many young artists the opportunity to present their work to the public for the first time as part of their own exhibition.
The association that runs the cultural center works closely with other cultural institutions in the independent scene both in Salzburg and in the wider region. The literature reading competition “We read our mouths sore” is organized together with the Literaturhaus Salzburg. At the 5020 Festival for Young Culture in Salzburg, MARK takes part with its own program contributions (see p. 12/13).
As part of an “Open Stage” series, musicians, cabaret or performance artists are offered the opportunity to perform. Together with the Salzburg community TV station TV1, programs are created in which young artists and their works are presented.
Part of the work of the MARK is also a variety of activities that serve to promote the neighborhood and cooperation in the district: from an open bicycle workshop run by the association, where everyone can come with their bike every Thursday to have it repaired under supervision, through swap-parties, an open library, a community garden or the community kitchen, where every Thursday other volunteers from the MARK network cook a vegan meal for guests who can come along according to the “pay as you wish” principle. The Community Kitchen evenings are often accompanied by spontaneous concerts or jam sessions.
The MARK Salzburg makes it visible how lively and diverse the “real” Salzburg cultural life, away from the “helicopter art” of the Salzburg Festival can be.
Salzburg, Hannakstraße 17