November 4, 2020
Diversity, this is what distinguishes the program of the cultural office in northern Bremen, the “Kulturbüro Bremen-Nord”. Whether young or old, hip-hop fan or literature lover: the institution is dedicated to all people. Program director Malte Prieser puts great importance on this: "Cultural participation is my top priority. That is something we can give back to this neighborhood". Regarding diversity, Prieser sees a parallel to Jacobs University. The colorful campus life offers much variety – for students, guests and neighbors of the international university alike. The two institutions have been connected for many years through different cooperative events.
The 42-year-old has been working for the cultural office since its foundation in 2007, initially as a program developer at the KITO, which has established itself as a venue for classical cabaret. A few years later he moved to the executive board. Since then he has been working as one of two directors. His colleague Holger Wenke takes care of all financial matters. Altogether, the Kulturbüro Bremen-Nord consists of four institutions with different target groups. In addition to the KITO, it also includes the Overbeck Museum and the Kulturbahnhof, which is particularly targeted at young people. The Bürgerhaus, a community center, is the largest institution and is particularly diverse in its task profile: "It caters to all generations and preferences," says Prieser.
Those interested in science also find what their hearts desire: For three years now, the community center has been the venue for the series of events "Science for Everyone – Jacobs University meets Bürgerhaus". Once a month, lecturers from the international university visit the community center and provide interesting insights into their research in a way that is understandable to everyone. "The format is well received. Most of the time, all seats are taken," says Prieser, describing his experience. The topics are as colorful as the research at Jacobs University: the mobile radio standard 5G, the extraction of antibiotics from rhododendrons and the mapping of the solar system were already covered.
Matthias Ullrich, Professor of Microbiology, initiated the series on behalf of Jacobs University. "We already hosted a very similar format in the Spicarium, starting in 2013. At that time, we were still focusing on maritime topics. After the exhibition was closed in 2015, the Bürgerhaus wanted to take up this tradition and approached us," he recalls the beginning of the successful format.
Jacobs University and the Bürgerhaus Vegesack are closely linked not only through the transfer of knowledge, but also through student-organized projects. Theater groups, bands and further student artist have already stood on the stages of the cultural office in the past. And vice versa, Prieser was also a guest at Jacobs University on several occasions: as a juror at a fashion show and as a spectator at numerous cultural events, such as the Art Fest or different music evenings. "On my first visit to the campus I was very surprised. It was different to what I had in mind," says Prieser. "Jacobs University is not only about learning, but also very much about solidarity and friendship between nationalities. The visit was a thoroughly positive experience."
Prieser has been organizing events starting in his youth. "When I was 15 years old I organized my first concert in the assembly hall on school grounds. I grew up in the countryside, in Weyhe. At that time there was no cultural program there, so I took matters into my own hands," he remembers with a smile. Shortly afterwards he founded his own ska and reggae band.
His Cultural Sciences studies led him to Bremen. On the side, the previous lead singer worked as a journalist for a music magazine. And he continued to organize events, eventually even professionally: "I founded my own concert agency, with which we then organized really big events, for the singer Tim Bendzko for example". His demanding job took him to Cologne, Berlin and other German cultural cities. But in the end, he stayed in Bremen. "That was a very conscious decision. After all, I have built up a large network here over the past decades." Malte Prieser is very happy with his work for the cultural office in the northern Bremen. "I have turned my hobby into my profession – there is nothing better than that", he thinks.
This text is part of the series "Faces of Jacobs", in which Jacobs University introduces students, alumni, professors and staff. Further episodes can be found at www.jacobs-university.de/faces.