Founder Andrea Wälzl is leaving Smart

Smart - 17/02/2023 - -

Andrea Wälzl

‘Together with Sabine Kock, I founded and built up Smart in 2012 – initially organized as an association, we founded the cooperative in 2015. Until the end of 2020, I served on the board and in the management. As I am in semi-retirement and moved to the countryside in 2020, this was no longer possible – I have found a great successor in Angela Vadori from 2021. I have been involved with artists my entire professional life, was previously employed at a publishing house, then I managed the cultural operations at Celeste – an event venue in Vienna – for several years, from there I moved to IG Freie Theater, where I advised artists for over 20 years.
The motivation to found Smart in the first place came from the many years of experience we had in IG Freie Theater – where it became clear how important it would be for some people to have the opportunity to work on a salaried basis. It is really nice to see that our vision of a solidarity-based cooperative has come to fruition and I am happy and grateful that I was able to experience many exciting encounters with great, committed people and to accompany their projects within the framework of Smart!
Apart from my professional commitment to artists, I spent many years volunteering at the Neustart association as part of the probation service for young people who had become delinquent, which gave me an insight into completely different life worlds. Now I am about to retire from working life, I will retire this year. My husband is a painter and we have set up a studio and a small exhibition space for his paintings in our house in Zöbing am Kamp. We network with artists in the area and will organize various exhibitions and art projects. I also love to travel, and after I leave Smart, I will support a friend who is setting up a small organic farm near Krems.’