Renovating De Cultuurschuur theater, a cultural home base for an entire community in North Holland
Providing a cultural home base for an entire community
In 2019, De Cultuurschuur received an award from the Microsoft Community Empowerment Fund. De Cultuurschuur is a not-for-profit organization that runs a social cultural center as a gathering place for the entire community, including 25 local societies, small businesses, and several medical and educational practices. The center, with a staff of 125 volunteers, has a strong regional role and receives on average 50,000 visitors per year. De Cultuurschuur welcomes all ages, offers a variety of services to disabled people on all five floors, and is a base for lessons in the Dutch language to Polish and Romanian workers and refugees from Syria and Eritrea. The coffee table in the central hall offers a warm welcome, a coffee, and a newspaper to people who need company. Broadband is not yet available in the area, but De Cultuurschuur offers a very reliable Wi-Fi network, both for tenants and guests. De Cultuurschuur provides a home for a historical museum, library, local artists, musicians, dance, a youth club for music, billiards for seniors, concerts—all elements one would expect in a community of 12,000, served under one roof. The goal of this project is to invest in the theatre hall and balcony. Specifically, funds are required to replace the spartan seating in the theatre hall with new seating.
Modernizing and improving theater facilities
The design of this renovated theater promotes networking among tenants and the public. The community comes together for town hall meetings and other community gatherings. The educational facilities in this plan foster community wide education, as well as serving as a community center for all ages to interact and participate in our goals. The main frame of the building dates from 1955 and therefore today’s requirements for energy consumption and sustainability are difficult to meet. Reconstruction of the central hall would be extremely challenging as De Cultuurschuur wants to maintain the open and light character of this meeting point. However, energy-saving LED lights have been installed where efficient and practical and considerations are being made regarding improvements to insulation of parts of the building.
Microsoft has the opportunity to engage with and support municipal and provincial governments through this initiative. Engagement in this facility allows Microsoft to support grassroots initiatives that support local entrepreneurs, social associations, and the youth. This contribution to the general meeting area for this facility will foster a more comfortable community gathering experience and contribute to further inter-group association.