The Crespo Foundation

With the Flying Artist’s Room, the Crespo Foundation and its partners, the Hessian Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs and the Hessian Ministry of Science and the Arts, have established a format that promotes cultural development in schools across Hessen and can also be implemented in rural areas in particular.

At the same time, the Flying Artist’s Room supports artists during their time as artist-in-residence as they realise their own art projects and develop their competencies in work with children and young people in a school context. The Crespo Foundation is chiefly operational and in that respect sees itself as an actor who “instigates” and supports successful collaborative partnerships. The Foundation champions the permanent establishment of urgently needed support and funding structures conceived with its partners to serve as models that can be realised elsewhere without requiring any major adaptation.

The Crespo Foundation is a foundation under public law based in Frankfurt am Main that was founded in 2001 by Ulrike Crespo.


“It was important for the Crespo Foundation to create a space conceived entirely with the artist in mind: a space for his or her own artistic evolution and in which to develop and try out new concepts of cultural education in schools.”

Prof. Christiane Riedel, Chair of the Crespo Foundation

The Hessische Ministerium für Kultus, Bildung und Chancen

Making it possible for children and young people to have unfettered access to art – in 2018 the Hessische Ministerium für Kultus, Bildung und Chancen launched the “flying artist’s room” artist-in-residence programme with the Crespo Foundation.  

For a period of two school years, the artist lives and works in a mobile artist’s studio specially designed for this purpose, and develops art projects with teachers and students. The studio and the artist’s presence allow a special encounter with the arts in day-to-day school life and provide impetus for school development in terms of integrated education. During the two-year collaboration, the school can develop teaching models with the artist and change structures to facilitate artistic practice and aesthetic experiences in day-to-day school life, even after the flying artist’s room has moved on to another school. Ideally, those creating the art and the school community learn and benefit from one another and provide impetus that is fun, exploits the potential that is already there and continues their interest in the arts – including when the studio heads off again after two years.

The Hessische Ministerium für Kultus, Bildung und Chancen facilitates the project with ongoing support. The school is included in a network of culturally active schools, giving it the opportunity to take part in special continuing education formats. Over and above this, it receives support with the organisation of inset days focusing on culture.


“The idea behind it is to integrate school life and experience of the arts – that is what makes this project so special.” 

Prof. Dr. Alexander Lorz, former Hessian Minister of Education and Cultural Affairs

The Hessische Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Forschung, Kunst und Kultur

Enabling more young people to participate in cultural life – this has been a key goal of the projects funded by the Hessische Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Forschung, Kunst und Kultur. Anyone who is clever and creative should be able to unleash their potential, regardless of whether their parents can afford theatre tickets, whether German is their first language or whether books by great writers are on their shelves at home. When everyone is able to participate in art and culture, it enriches society and contributes to us moving towards the future with stability together. This is precisely what the flying artist’s room is attempting to do with its portable idea and open architecture. 


“Projects like the flying artist’s room remove fear and break down barriers in culture – this is really important to me. Because it’s only when clever and creative people are able to unleash their potential that they contribute to making our society fit for the future.”

Angela Dorn, former Hessian Minister of Science and the Arts

The district of Bergstraße

Bergstraße is the southernmost district in Hessen and the only district in Germany that is in two European metropolitan areas: Rhine-Main and Rhine-Neckar. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe admired its rich cultural landscape with the Rhine river, Ried countryside and Odenwald mountains, declaring “This is where Italy begins.”

Education is a top priority here. The district is the local authority for 74 schools providing a general education, including primary schools, special schools and academic schools. This offer is supplemented by 14 vocational schools, two schools for adults and privately run schools. With the “Bergstraße strategy for modern schools”, students are offered a modern learning environment. At its core are the latest educational principles, boosting of digitisation in schools and the provision of modern support. In times of dynamic change, it ensures that children and young people are equipped with the best possible skills for the future.

With projects such as digi_space, an open research laboratory for all students, the district is also focusing on innovation in education. As the local authority for Mittelpunktschule Gadernheim in Lautertal, the district of Bergstraße is delighted to be able to welcome the flying artist’s room to the school.

“Mediation of art and culture to children and young people presents a particular challenge, so I’m really delighted that a project as unique as the flying artist’s room will provide an extraordinary education at one of our schools in the district of Bergstraße. In a dynamically changing society, creativity is an important skill. I’m sure the students will gain a great deal from this year.”

Christian Engelhardt, district administrator

The district of Gießen

The district of Gießen provides a wide range of community-based schools. With 39 primary schools, nine comprehensive schools, four special schools and a vocational school, it is responsible for the education of over 16,000 young people. As the local school authority, the district of Gießen wants
to provide the best conditions for the educational success of all students with modern school buildings and good technological equipment in the district’s 53 schools. Alongside well-equipped
schools, the district places great value on high-quality and reliable full-day and afternoon supervision.

The district of Gießen is extending a warm welcome to the flying artist’s room at Adolf-Reichwein-Schule in Pohlheim. The flying artist’s room fits brilliantly with the school’s concept, which is committed to a future-oriented teaching and learning culture. Awakening interest in the new and discovering hidden talents are among the school community’s objectives. The artistic impetus provided by the artist-in-residence will open up new opportunities for the students to access art and culture.

“The concept of the flying artist’s room, which wants to integrate encounters with art and artists into everyday life at school, offers great potential for encouraging students’ creativity. As the local school authority, we’re delighted that one of our schools in the district of Gießen, Adolf-Reichwein-Schule in Pohlheim, was selected and that the project will be enriching school life in the months to come.”

Christopher Lipp, first district councillor and councillor in charge of schools

The district of Main-Kinzig

With a population of around 423,000, the district of Main-Kinzig is the most populous district in Hessen by far. Residents are spread across 29 towns, cities and municipalities and more than 150 villages. The largest city is Hanau, which has a population of around 100,000. This is where the Kinzig flows into the Main. The rivers not only give the district its name, but also shape the landscape and hills of Vogelsberg and Spessart, with the foothills of the Rhön mountains to the east.

The central administrative district offices, which opened in the summer of 2005, are in Gelnhausen and have a staff of around 1,200. Their tasks are varied and range from waste management to vehicle registration. Among other things, they look after the 100 or so schools in the Main-Kinzig district (excluding Hanau).

The most famous people from the district of Main-Kinzig are probably the Grimm brothers, Jakob and Wilhelm. The linguists and world famous collector of fairy tales were born in Hanau, along with their brother, the painter Ludwig Emil Grimm. Another famous resident was Philipp Reis, who lived and worked in Gelnhausen and around 160 years ago invented the telephone. Famous constructions bear witness to the region’s eventful history. At one time the Romans constructed their boundary wall, the Limes, here and more than 20 castles and palaces provide an insight into how people lived in the past.

“In my opinion, free access to art and culture and above all active participation are very important to people’s personal development. That’s why I’m delighted that we’re able to welcome the flying artist’s room to the Main-Kinzig district and give young people the opportunity to experience instruction, enthusiasm and affirmation. We’re really looking forward to seeing what comes out of it.”

Thorsten Stolz, district administrator and councillor in charge of cultural affairs

The district of Kassel

The district of Kassel is in the northernmost part of Hesse. Its landscape is varied, ranging from species-rich limestone grassland in Diemeltal to the baroque port of Bad Karlshafen, from the Hohe Dörnberg in Habichtswald and the virgin forest of Reinhardswald to urban life in and around Kassel and its large industrial sites. 

Around 240,000 people live in the 28 towns and municipalities that make up this area and it includes the independent city of Kassel. The southern part of the district in particular benefits from its proximity to the city’s population of over 200,000.

The Regiotram provides excellent connections between the surrounding area and the regional centre. A large proportion of people work directly or indirectly in the motor industry. This includes numerous service companies and highly innovative firms who are now considered pioneers in energy transition. The development of sustainable active tourism is also high on the district of Kassel’s agenda. Finally in terms of visitor numbers the district has the most popular leisure offer in the entire region in the form of Sababurg Zoo. 

The district also has a treasure trove of cultural offerings: its “EcoPfads” are exciting in terms of culture and history, innovatively linking activities on trails with information about the area. Innovation, climate protection, experience of nature and cultural history all come together in the district of Kassel. 

The district runs numerous projects to encourage social cohesion. It is colourful and diverse. There are several schools that actively champion democracy and freedom as a “School against Racism”. The flying artist’s room will be “landing” at Walter-Lübcke-Schule in Wolfhagen. Declaring itself to be “open to diversity”, the school was named after the former head of Kassel’s public administration, Dr Walter Lübcke, who was murdered by a far-right terrorist. 

“Children and young people are open to new things. The flying artist’s room is a very simple way to bring young people and artists together and introduce new creative places of learning in the school. In particular, integrating the flying artist’s room into day-to-day life at school will stimulate creative processes. The flying artist’s room allows everyone involved to let off steam creatively in an unforced way. Culture brings people together. This is particularly evident at Walter-Lübcke-Schule because a multitude of children and young people from different countries of origin are taught here together. The teaching staff and their students enter into dialogue with the artists perfectly naturally and try out playful new forms of cultural education.”

Silke Engler, Deputy District Administrator, first district councillor and head of the schools department of the district of Kassel

The district of Werra-Meißner

With around 100,000 residents, the district of Werra-Meißner is one of Hessen’s smallest. Its geographical location makes it fairly remote, despite it being “in the middle of Germany”. 

It was recognised early on that good education opportunities for young people are important when they are deciding whether to stay in or relocate to the district.

The various bodies responsible have therefore made it their mission to provide an attractive educational offer. Many millions of euros have been invested in recent years in modernising the space and technology in its 36 schools.

“Culture is a great asset. Culture is an attitude to life, it’s education, engagement, creativity and personal fulfilment. Culture is something that you can do, participate in, consume, promote and nurture – culture improves people’s quality of life. So cultural work is very important to us. Cultural education is a fundamental part of an all-round education. The foundations for this are laid in families, in daycare, in schools and in child and youth work, as well as in youth education outside school. 

I’m particularly delighted that the flying artist’s room will also be stopping off at a school in our district and so am very happy to be a patron of this extraordinary project. I’m convinced that the artists involved will provide some really valuable educational activity in the schools.”

Nicole Rathgeber, Werra-Meißner District Administrator 

The district of Wetterau

With a population of over 315,000 spread across 25 towns and municipalities and covering an area of well over 1,100 square kilometres, the district of Wetterau is one of the largest in Hessen. As the local education authority, the district is responsible for the construction, maintenance and facilities of Wetterau’s 85 state schools.

The general framework for schools as a place of learning and living has changed a great deal in recent years. The expansion of all-day offers, increasing digitisation, inclusive schooling and social work at school are making new demands on school spaces and buildings. This development is being addressed by the district of Wetterau in its implementation of the largest school building and refurbishment programme in its history, with an investment of around 170 million euros between 2023 and 2025.

The aim is not only to establish a functional, modern, efficient and flexible education infrastructure in the district of Wetterau, but also to create a modern teaching and learning environment for students – an environment in which they feel at ease and can develop freely. Playgrounds play an important role here too because they not offer only a space for relaxation, but can also be a space for a fun form of learning. 

The playground at Gymnasium Nidda was redesigned a few years ago to provide two sports fields, new areas of lawn and planting, and inviting seats positioned along limestone walls so that students can relax and meet up with friends. The district of Wetterau is delighted that what is available on site is now being expanded by the extraordinary artistic offer of a flying artist’s room for two years.

“For a long time now, school has been so much more than just providing lessons in the classical sense. With the development of all-day school, it’s also become a place for living where students can come together in creative formats outside of the traditional classroom. It’s exactly this engagement with art and the creation of their own artwork that contribute to the students’ personal development. The flying artist’s room can make a valuable contribution here and at the same time is an example of a cultural shift in school that encourages this kind of creative learning too.”

Jan Weckler, District Administrator