With art for corporate commitment

Again and again the men are knocking on wood. It’s loud, stuffy and not at all the job they are used to. The wood is crumbling, the creative work takes shape. In the end, print templates are created as an expression of your own company. It is an abstract picture that arises. Done, but happy, the group looks at their work.

Annalena Maas has done it: the art workshop not only brought the men closer together, but also sharpened their view of the company and their work.

By Art Annalena Maas Photo 5 By Nic Schoelzel
Annalena Maas, Per Art (Photo: Nic Schölzel)

The 33-year-old has been pursuing a new-work approach with her agency perART for two years. After studying German, she worked as an assistant director at the Schauspielhaus in Hamburg, then studied for the second time. This time directed at the August Everding University in Munich. During her studies she staged, every year at least two pieces.

In order to finance the luxury of a second degree course, she begins to offer theater courses in companies – for example, at the drugstore chain dm, there is theater for personal development of employees for some years part of the training. Annalena Maas becomes part of the artist group that leads these workshops.


“After graduation, I then began working as a freelance director,” says the Munich native. “But after two years, the theater ceiling fell on my head.” She lacks the exchange outside the scene. “I just thought, I’m staging here for people with whom I’m not even in conversation.” The work with lay people, the theater-foreign, I was missing. ”

Annalena Maas founds perART. An agency that not only offers acting workshops, but the whole spectrum of art. “I wanted to offer all arts interdisciplinary, after all, the stage is not the right medium for everyone.”

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In Germany, the safety idea still applies

While art workshops are already established as a New Work approach in Scandinavia, this form of approach to work in Germany is still new. “In Scandinavia, people often ask themselves the question: Am I happy in my job? Or, what’s the point behind my work,” says the 33-year-old. In Germany, the idea of ​​security is even more widespread. “Main thing, I have money.”

Even with companies, the artist has to convince. “Company bosses always expect a result, but of course I can not deliver that in advance – after my workshops are not automatically after all friends.” Rather, the workshop is an offer of emotions, a work with and on people. “In the end, everyone takes something different for themselves.”

Before a workshop, the 33-year-old looks more closely at the company. What are the challenges, what is the problem? “At the same time, I allow myself to think in all directions.” The range of art forms is large at PreArt. Whether music, photography, dance or drama: The art form is selected to match the group.

Creativity is a basic human need that is neglected in many jobs

The companies that book perART workshops are usually already more open and purposeful. A climate of exchange is often already present. “Nevertheless, the employees are always skeptical at the beginning, and it is very important to say that we are not doing drama education here now, but that everyone can see how he is involved and what he wants to do in the workshop.” No one has to go beyond its limits or bend. “But I think we rarely have the opportunity to be creative in our everyday lives, but I think creativity is a basic human need.” It is all too often first renounced.

“I always work with people the way they are before me, and many people realize that if they do not have to do anything, they are fine, and they gradually come out of their comfort zone.”

For young people and apprentices, Annalena Maas often has to get out of the conflict that is so important to the artistic process. “Young people are still trying very hard to do everything right and to please their employers, which takes constructive criticism, but when they are expressed during the workshop, they generate positive energy.”

For older participants, the 33-year-old faces the challenge of luring people out of their reserve. “The question: why do I come across more often?” Here she must be properly prepared to provide good arguments, why? In addition, the director likes to work with inclusive groups. “It’s great how they face the people in the workshops on a completely different level than the damaged and intact body.”

Meaningfulness and team building as a new-work approach

The goals of the workshops, however, are quite different. In addition to team building, it would also be about employee cohesion. “In top-heavy companies, it’s important to show that you, as an employee, are seen and promoted.” But also the conveying of meaning and the promotion of young talent are in the foreground in the workshops of PreArt.

“Firms are increasingly defining themselves through values ​​and conveying this to their employees: You are important to me.”

Especially companies in the insurance and IT industry benefit from such workshops, says Annalena Maas. “The product they sell and create often has very little to do with them as a human being – the workers are stressed, but they are always on the PC, and a great deal of humanity is not stimulated during this work Workshop then offers the compensation. ”

And Annalena Maas herself? “This job gives me a lot.” Although she continues to work as a freelance director, passing on the artistic spark makes her extremely happy. “I’ve become a director because I wanted to tell the other ways of life, now I open doors to what’s possible and experience that much more directly, that’s great.”

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