Hettena Performing and Visual Arts Center



Need: Providing a permanent home to Jerusalem’s performing arts groups is vital to the long-term health of its cultural infrastructure; a thriving arts scene is necessary in order to implement urban renewal in downtown Jerusalem and lay foundations for the city’s future as a vibrant, thriving metropolis. Preserving landmark buildings and Jerusalem’s history, while also laying the groundwork for its future, proves a challenging task, requiring a delicate balance.


Response: The Seraphin Lorezo House, a landmark site located steps away from the Waldorf Astoria, the Old City Walls, and Ben Yehuda Street, provides a unique opportunity to equip two Jerusalem orchestras, with a permanent home in the downtown area. The renovations, will preserve this historic landmark building, while building a café, galleries, studios, and offices on the first two floors, with a new concert hall on top.  The café and galleries will be open to the public, encouraging passers-by to stroll into this Jerusalem landmark and learn more about its history. The concert hall will be a permanent home for two different orchestras, helping gain a foothold in the cultural renaissance in downtown Jerusalem.


Population Served: Tourists, residents, lovers of Western classics and of Jewish Sephardi heritage.


Impact:  This project will allow two orchestras become staples of downtown Jerusalem’s cultural scene; music’s ability to transcend linguistic and cultural boundaries makes it especially suited for tourists, who can enjoy concerts even with little or no knowledge of Hebrew. The new concert center will act as a catalyst for further urban renewal in the area. The renovations will preserve this beautiful building, and help educate the public about its unique history.


Partners:  Jerusalem Municipality;Jerusalem Development Authority


Funding Needed:30 million NIS