In a time of growing global challenges with advancing climate change, such as advancing climate change, the increasing use of limited resources, and the profound effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to shape and advance the sustainability transformation together with all social groups. The cultural dimension of sustainability in terms of the importance of the arts and the aesthetic – i.e. also the artistic in sustainability discourse and research – has so far been given too little consideration. Art and culture are predestined for change processes in which it is a matter of trying something new, crossing boundaries and exploring the unknown. Art and culture embody an attitude and provide a space in which images and symbols of sustainability can emerge.
Within the project "Transformationstandem Wuppertal," the project participants therefore want to explore what good examples already exist in Germany and internationally in the context and interaction of art, culture, and sustainability. One focus is on what can be learned from other cultural institutions and which concepts have already been implemented that can serve as a blueprint or good example. In the process of the exploration, the participants want to work out what is special about the creation of sustainability concepts for the field of art and culture in general and as a case study for the Wuppertaler Bühnen und Sinfonieorchester GmbH (WBS) in particular. The conceptualisation process is participatory and exploratory. The researchers determine an initial status quo and develop measures that enable the WBS to implement its own sustainability concept. The researchers of the Wuppertal Institut want to use the WBS as an example to better understand the role of art and culture as a stakeholder in the sustainability context and to use this new perspective to shape transformation. With this project, the WBS wants to anchor sustainability in its own operations in the long term as well as bring it onto the stage and thus inspire others.