Looking at each other and the world

Parktheater Eindhoven is home to more than just theater

Looking at each other and the world

Sometimes things are not what they seem. You see bicycles standing in front of the Parktheater and people walking in at the main entrance. But, hey, why is there no truck at the loading dock? And why is there no artist anywhere in sight?
Nevertheless, there is a pleasant bustle throughout the building. I am at Residents work together for a sustainable world. Residents who are committed to creating a better world are taking the stage at the Parktheater today. They are here to meet like-minded people and network, to establish connections with other groups and with the business community.
Everything revolves around the SDGs: the Sustainable Development Goals. The SDGs are seventeen goals to make the world a better place in 2030. A kind of compass for challenges such as poverty, education, and the climate crisis. SDG Nederland facilitates networking among those who want to contribute to these goals in our country. The people who are together here now, stick their necks out, invest time and energy in projects for a better world, work for fellow human beings, peace, the environment and more. They are all here. Very special, indeed.

A relaxed buzz, stalls, people with open eyes, badges on strings, a colorful tree. It is a day where connecting, networking and inspiring stand central, says director of the BUas, Roland Kleve. An enthusiastic welcome given by "movement strategist" Giel Pastoor and a hopeful word from alderman Oosterveer on behalf of the municipality of Eindhoven.
One of the students from the BUas who is leading the day in the right direction explains the colorful tree next to him. This tree - which will later be full of participants' badges - will travel to other places in the Netherlands, just like its roots do underground. Here, in the Parktheater is where it starts. The organization behind the tree will make the connections and ensure contact and follow-up. "From now on, the leaves will fall from this tree and the wind will take them everywhere".

There are about thirty initiatives that are set up at stalls stationed throughout the hall: Vredesbureau, Ware Winst Brabant, Parkinson on Beat, Eindhoven Doet, Gildeplus, Stichting Ik Wil en De Lange Tafel, Morgenmakers. Everything from a sustainable educational bike to sports for people with Parkinson's Disease.
It is special to see all these initiatives together in the Parktheater. Can a theater solve the gap between rich and poor? No. Can a theater defuse the climate crisis? No. But a theater can open itself up to organizations and people who work on sustainability, and bring people and organizations together.

Parktheater Eindhoven is moving on a social level. Also wanting a better world, a world where everyone has equal opportunities. The theater has been reaching out to society with all kinds of social initiatives for some time, for example, by streaming live theater to healthcare institutions, making performances with talented residents with disabilities, and by supporting the Cultuur Inclusive foundation so that people with a small grant can enjoy theater.

People who look at each other and at the world who come together are able to form a powerful movement. Forming a vast flock of starlings moving together as a whole. They organize themselves, avoid collision, and attract more and more starlings. Within a few seconds, the hourglass shape of the flock can change into a leaf of a tree. A leaf that blows everywhere. With today's strong storms, that should not be a problem.

Saturday, January 18
"Residents work together on a sustainable world"
Parktheater Eindhoven, Breda University of Applied Sciences, LSA (National Association of Active Citizens)

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