Photo: Stephan Floss

Gesichter in HELLERAU – Henriette Roth, Leitung Kommunikation, #2–2023

In the “Faces” series, we introduce people who work in front of or behind the scenes at HELLERAU to ensure that everything runs smoothly and that our guests feel comfortable.

How long have you been working at HELLERAU and how did you come to work here?

I come from Dresden and studied sociology, psychology and communication science here. Through numerous internships in press and public relations – including at the then Dresden Center for Contemporary Music, from which today’s HELLERAU partly developed – it became clear to me that I wanted to work in this field in the future. I also wrote my master’s thesis for the Dresden Center of Contemporary Music and interviewed the audience of the 13th Dresden Contemporary Music Days in 1999. When Carena Schlewitt took office in 2018 and was looking for a new head of the communications department in advance, I took my chance and applied. With success.

What team are you currently working with?

My department includes Justine Büschel, who is primarily responsible for online communications, Jule Fuchs, who is responsible for audience development, cultural education and networks, and Isabelle Zschömitzsch as head of ticketing, visitor center and tourism. A project assistant and two FSJs complete the team.

What are your tasks associated with the team?

As a department, we are responsible for making the HELLERAU program as widely known as possible. We think about which people are interested in certain programs, where they get their information, what might interest them about the programs and coordinate our communication measures accordingly. These include printed matter such as the HELLERAU magazine, the monthly programs, flyers and posters, or online measures such as the website, newsletter or social media. My main tasks are long-term communication planning, the supervision of the HELLERAU magazine and press relations. Overall, communication is a dynamic and varied field for me, where I often think up to a year ahead. But that’s exactly what I wanted for my work.

What does your typical day at HELLERAU look like?

There is no such thing as a typical day. Our work is based on the priority of our next events, deadlines and communication with our graphic agency Any Studio in Berlin. In order to be able to work well, we regularly exchange ideas with the team, the artists and partners. The exchange with the communication colleagues of the other houses in the alliance of international production houses is also very valuable for me.

What was a particular challenge that you overcame?

We started at the beginning of 2018 to prepare for Carena Schlewitt’s directorship and to accompany it from a press and public relations perspective. Both visually with a new corporate design and the new website, as well as in communicating with the city and its citizens. This was an exciting and enriching time for me and my team. The Corona pandemic was also a huge challenge, because our program was always already communicated when the lockdowns were announced and initially had to be cancelled. After that, in coordination with the program team and the artists:inside, we very quickly tried to present various online offers on the website and to be visible despite everything. The highlight this year was HELLERAU’s image campaign, which was on display in the city from May to June and in which we addressed the special features of HELLERAU. I am very proud of the results, because they put the house into focus creatively and critically and provide good material for conversation.

What do you wish for HELLERAU in the future?

I would like to see more support for the work of independent artists in the performing arts and music. I would also like to see continued intensive networking and cooperation with all our partners. Because this exchange is precisely the reason why HELLERAU is able to offer such a diverse program in the first place.

The interview was conducted by Thomas Natzschka