The bridge - a brief history
In 1983 an idea was lifted from the baptism which today still has the same explosive power as the time of birth: the informal integration of disabled people into everyday life by means of an "open house". The bridge is this house - and 2008 marks its 25th Birthday.
As a non-profit association founded with the aim of reducing mental and structural barriers and to promote communication between people without disabilities, saw the original concept in order to create a meeting point in the city for people in the rehabilitation phase, which should allow them to normalize their daily lives.
To the club founders included not only Waltraud Klasnic, the first chairwoman, the then director of Caritas Graz Dr. Josef Jamnig and primary Tobelbad the rehab center. The Rehab Center and Caritas contributed to this time idea and implementation of the project.
The "communication center for people with and without disabilities," whose names clearly points to the early 80s, however, now since a few years the term "socio-cultural center" leads to a better understanding of the main branches of the association's activities, from the beginning was accessible - one of the first disabled-equipped houses in Graz at all. Also the cultural work with us since the beginning: the program was initially mainly still from benefit concerts, social and culinary evenings, carnivals, etc., the bridge began in the late 80s to make a name for himself as a concert promoter.
In the 25 years of our existence we have built a reputation as a venue without structural and conceptual boundaries. It is especially important to us, "Art to attack" offer, which is also accessible for disabled people. Our concerts are mainly prescribed for the acoustic music. This music - whether traditional folk music, new Volxmusik, folk or fusion - has established itself as our "niche". In music circles, we are considered the prime location of these genres in Graz. Another focus of our cultural program looks rather the word committed: readings and cabarets of established names and relatively new name of the Austrian scene have found a permanent place in our program. In addition to the spring and fall concert series in the summer open-air concerts in the garden bridge are also held every year between mid-June and early September.
Early 90s taught the bridge an information center for disability issues in a club building. Over the years, a number of other activities such as summer camps, educational and leisure club, workshops, weekend camps joined to the Information Centre & Courses (by demand and supply), I'm free leisure company, Move (vacation care), (every 2 months) and the socio-economic project bridge shop.
Since 2004, the bridge is recognized by the Styrian government agencies as vehicles for Mobile. The association is thereby authorized to offer the following services according to the power regulation on the Styrian Disabilities Act: Recreational Assistant, living and family assistance relief service. Around the same time, Caritas withdrew from the association. Barely a year later, the much-needed renovation of the club building to be addressed. After extensive demolition and reconstruction work together with construction of new modern, corresponding to the approved standards toilet facilities the bridge since mid-April 2007 shines in new splendor.