Socio-cultural center "The Villa"

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"The Villa"

The sociocultural center “Die Villa” (spelling: Sociocultural center “Die VILLA” or Die VILLA ) is a youth, cultural and social facility on the edge of Leipzig city ​​center. The sponsor is the non-profit VILLA gGmbH.

Approx. 50 associations and organizations have their headquarters in the building. Others regularly use the facilities of the center. In addition to the event rooms, there is a media area, a bicycle self-help workshop, the “Neulicht” youth café, a band rehearsal room, a shared apartment for young people in voluntary service and an open meeting place for children and young people.


In the spring of 1990 a group of young people occupied the city leadership of the Free German Youth in Leipzig. In the building at Karl-Tauchnitz-Straße 3, the squatters wanted to establish cultural and leisure activities for children and young people. A few weeks later, the Round Table of the City of Leipzig decided to make the house available for children and young people. At the same time as the FDJ finally moved out, “The Villa” became a socio-cultural center . A children's shop was set up and the first events took place. On April 23, 1990, the non-profit association Villa e. V. founded. A year later this was officially recognized by the youth welfare committee of the city of Leipzig as the first sponsor of free youth welfare in Leipzig

The center was the first common house for children and young people in Leipzig. Comics and graffiti workshops were offered here, and the first city-wide school newspaper had its editorial office here. In 1992, Pennhouse TV was the first and only Leipzig video magazine by young people for young people as part of a company project. In addition to the open offers, courses and project work in the villa, the house also offers other associations and initiatives in the social and cultural field.

In December 1992, the house's associations founded the Children's & Youth Villa e. V., who has been operating the center since then. He is responsible for property management, room rental, caretaker work and cross-association public relations.

The range of events at the villa includes fairy-tale balls and district festivals, as well as the “Blue Week” in 1997. Cross-house events were the literary attacks at the “House Assessment” in 1998 or dark-wave parties. In the black scene , the Neulicht café in the villa basement is popular.

The struggle for material survival often determined everyday life in the VILLA. In 1996, the “Villa” closed for three days because there was a risk of being unable to do child and youth work due to the cut in funding. A joint protest action with other affected associations in front of and in the New Town Hall allowed an increase in the youth welfare budget. In the first few years there were attacks by right-wing radical youths that caused great property damage.

In 1992, the CDU parliamentary group suggested selling the building. In 1998 the previous owner got the property back in Karl-Tauchnitz-Straße. The end of the socio-cultural center at the previous location was thus foreseeable.

Move to the new domicile

The clubs then found a new home in the former building of the Leipzig Chamber of Crafts in Lessingstrasse. The house was repaired in 1998 and in September all users moved together.

In 2003 the Children's & Youth Villa e. V. further improve the conditions in the house within the framework of an awarding ABM . For example, all windows were renewed, the roofs were completely renovated, a computer network was installed and the top floor was converted into a shared apartment for young people in voluntary service.

This gave the new domicile more space and better conditions for work. More than 2,000 visitors come to the approximately 100 offers a week. The offers go beyond youth work and range from early musical education for toddlers to senior dance to the Leipzig language evening or the Sprachtandem Leipzig project .

Since 2005 the non-profit VILLA gGmbH (until 2017 under the name LeISA GmbH) has been running the center, which was created through the merger of the three largest associations.

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