MAASTRICHT. International student club Kaleido has applied for a permit for a building on Kleine Gracht 41. It could serve as a ‘living room’, a location where a “community could be built”, starting in the new academic year, says Thomas Schäfer, project leader from Maastricht University.
Kaleido left pop podium Muziekgieterij in the Timmerfabriek, while that location was seen four years ago as a suitable meeting place for international students. It even reached a point where a letter of intent was signed by the city council and the UM. The official opening date was pushed forward several times because of delays in construction work for the new pop podium: first it was 2017, then the end of 2019, finally it was the beginning of 2020. In the meantime, the original leader, International Student Network (ISN), pulled out. They had no experience with creating an association and felt it was too huge an operation.
This was the reason for the UM to set up a project team. Investments were made in promotion and the association was given the name Kaleido. But last year, the responsible alderman Bert Jongen announced that Kaleido would have to leave the Muziekgieterij. The two parties would get in each other’s way in terms of target audience and programming, which could lead to a financial blow for one or both parties.
The search for a suitable larger location is still ongoing, says Schäfer. The Kleine Gracht 41 can serve as a temporary meeting place for up to sixty or seventy visitors and will be open from midday until two o'clock at night, for a few days a week. It is fine for a cards night or an intimate singer-songwriter evening, but not for a large podium performance. “We will need to use other locations for that purpose,” says Schäfer.