East-West Exchange Fund

The Federal Cultural Foundation established the “East-West Exchange Fund” in 2003 as part of its programme “Cultural Aspects of German Unification”. Its goal was to promote cooperation and communication between cultural organisations in the old and new German states.

It was clear to many that such an exchange was necessary to bridge the diverse historic experiences and cultural differences which had evolved in East and West German societies over more than five decades. Following German reunification, strong emphasis was placed on professional and working life, the economy and the social state. This shifted attention away, however, from the cultural aspects of the reunification process. The “East West Exchange Fund” aimed to strengthen the cultural dimension once again and promote inner-German cultural collaboration by highlighting the diversity and backgrounds of various social and cultural perceptions.

The fund, which ended in 2005, helped finance exhibitions, films and concert series, youth culture projects and the exchange of art collections and productions, jointly developed and planned by cultural organisations in eastern and western Germany for presentation in the old and new German states.