NOT WITHOUT REASON, FOR ALMOST 100 YEARS
The most common reason for cancelling the membership at Patronatsverein is the move to another city. We can understand that very well.
To be able to experience excellent opera, theatre and dance in the city in which one is at home, is for many an important part of the attraction of this city.
With a membership at Patronatsverein, you are right in the middle of the cultural life on Frankfurt’s stages. Events of Patronatsverein such as the annual members meeting, the exclusive event for patrons, Dinner with Friends or Opera Gala offer possibilities to get to know the artists off stage and to meet other culture enthusiasts.
The idea of Patronatsverein dates back to 1915.
In a letter to the then Mayor of Frankfurt Gerhard Voigt, the Judiciary Councillor Dr. Ludwig Joseph emphasized that theatre had become a privilege only available for the wealthy classes. He pointed out the social responsibility to satisfy the hunger for education and cultural participation of citizens of all social backgrounds.
Due to the First World War and the difficult times that followed, it took several years before this idea could be realised.
On December 17th, 1924, the “Frankfurter Anzeiger” reported the founding of the Patronatsverein. In addition to Privy Councillor Dr. Arthur von Weinberg as chairman, the Board included other reputable citizens of Frankfurt, whose names are still known today: Consul Dr. Karl Kotzenberg, Dr. Richard Merton, Arthur von Mumm, Oscar Oppenheimer, Hermann von Passavant, Dr. Milton Seligman, Dr. Heinrich Simon of the “Frankfurter Zeitung”, privy counsillor Dr. med. Spiess and Otto Ernst Sutter.
In order to protect the Jewish members of the Board, Dr. Arthur von Weinberg was forced to announce the dissolution of the Patronatsverein to the then National Socialist Mayor Dr. Friedrich Krebs in November 1933.The remaining assets of the association, amounting to Reichsmark 14,000.00 were given to the Städtische Bühnen Frankfurt.
Dr. Arthur von Weinberg lost his life in 1943 in Theresienstadt concentration camp.
The U.S. Military Government approved the application to found the “Patronatsverein für den Wiederaufbau der Städtischen Bühnen”. Initiators were again citizens of Frankfurt, among them
Dr. Peter Bartmann, Adolf Eyssen and Carl Tesch, one of Frankfurt’s most significant social democratic educational politicians.
From 1965 to 2001, the entrepreneur and patron Dr. Hans Schleussner led and shaped the Patronatsverein as chairman of the Board and was its honorary chairman until his death in 2015.
Since the mid-nineties, the Patronatsverein has undergone a change in its emphasis and self-image. In times of general financial scarcity, the three sections (for opera, theatre and ballet) were newly activated and established. This enabled the sections, with their respective Advisory Boards, to approach representatives of the business and financial worlds in a more targeted manner and to realise events that were tailored to meet the interests of specific groups of art supporters.
From 2001 to 2015, with Prof. Alexander Demuth as chairman, the Board set itself the task of expanding the number of friends and supporters, and to increase the volume of sponsorship funds. During these years the members of Patronatsverein doubled to about 1,200 members.
In November 2015, Andreas Hübner was elected as the new chairman of the Board of Patronatsverein.
Under his leadership, the idealistic and financial support of the stages still holds an important position. The number of Patrone and Mäzene, who support the work of the association with substantial donations, has since increased by more than a third to around 280 people.
Fostering interest in the performing arts and strengthening an active club life is another strong part of focus. Members are increasingly offered shared experiences that promote meeting and getting to know like-minded friends of the arts.