A creative quarter in the making
The Westend area in Dortmund has been tagged "the city’s up and coming creative quarter"
The remodelling area surrounding the Rheinische Straße in the direct vicinity of the Dortmunder U has been tagged „the city’s up and coming creative quarter“ long before the opening of the “centre for arts and creativity”. One year post-Ruhr.2010, we have roamed the streets, taking stock, discussing the development prognosis with the respective protagonists.
A potpourri of new residents
Even the formerly not really rich and variegated gastronomic offers have improved: Silke Arnoldi and Arne Sadowski have put a lot of time, money, work, and soul into the former „Café Corso“, renaming it „Moses“, and turning it into a combination of a café, restaurant, and exhibition space. The „Moses“ hasn’t become one of these artists-only cafés, though. Silke Arnoldi likes that: „That’s good. After all, we wanted to create a space w
And there’s more to be found just some metres down the street: across the Salon Atelier which had already been a harbour for several artists long before the Dortmunder U, three ladies will move in at the end of August – their home base will be called „Schönspur“ and the three dedicate their professional interest to the fine arts, focusing on arts and theatre pedagogy. „When looking for adequate rooms, we were focusing on the Westend“, Silke Bachner explains. „The Westend offers an exciting cultural diversity – it could definitely become a creative quarter.“
Artists flock to the Westend
For many private property owners, renting to artist groups is a good alternative to the original plan of use. If a hairdresser closes his salon, it’s vacant, and the landlord has to find another interested party for the location. But a group, especially an artist group, will more likely keep the place busy on the long run.
So, the artists are indeed leaving their marks in the Westend, although most of the studios display a strikingly low-key facade design, not looking like red-hot think & do tanks at all. But community activities like „Neue Kolonie West“ offer us a glimpse behind the curtains of the creative goings-on – every two months, all people interested in culture could take a stroll through the Westend, and stop by in many of the studios which will be open to the public then.