For the first time, the Board of Trustees of the German Federal Cultural Foundation, chaired by Minister of State for Culture and the Media Claudia Roth, approved funding for programmes and projects, developed under the Foundation’s new artistic director Katarzyna Wielga-Skolimowska. The Board of Trustees allocated 48.6 million euros for programmes, most of which are characterised by long-term planning horizons and new cooperation models. The contract with Administrative Director Kirsten Haß was formally extended until 2029.
- With the programme Transcontinental Partnerships (working title), the German Federal Cultural Foundation aims to initiate more and longer-term artistic collaborations between German cultural producers and non-European partners. Building on the years of experience gained in both iterations of the TURN Fund which promoted artistic collaboration between Germany and African nations, the action radius of the new programme will be extended to other continents. The future funding regions will be the focus of a preliminary consultation process with transcontinental partners. This will be accompanied by jointly developed guidelines for ensuring a fair and sustainable cooperation. The programme is slated to run until 2031 and consists of three modules. The first finances 60 international research stays, during which project participants can become acquainted with the local scenes and initiate long-term partnerships. In 2026 the second module, Fellows-at-Large, will finance twelve fellows, all of whom are distinguished for their artistic excellence or accomplishments in organisational renewal. The funding will facilitate work placements lasting up to two years at cultural institutions in Germany or a non-European country. The third module, Transcontinental Projects, will run parallel to the fellowship programme and promote the establishment of twelve institutional tandem partnerships between German and non-European cultural organisations of all artistic genres. These partnerships will jointly develop and carry out projects over the course of four years. A total of 27.6 million euros has been allocated for the programme.
- With the programme European Youth Capital Chemnitz, the German Federal Cultural Foundation is supporting artistic projects developed in collaboration with young people in Chemnitz and its rural surroundings. The aim is to systematically address the needs and expectations of young people in a region struggling with demographic change and social polarisation. The European Youth Capital Chemnitz will kick off in 2024 with summer schools that engage in intensive dialogue with diverse youth cultures in the Belgian city of Ghent, the European Youth Capital of 2024, along with Lviv in western Ukraine, and Nova Gorica in Slovenia, which will share the title of European Youth Capital with Chemnitz in 2025. In villages around Chemnitz, specially appointed “future curators” will stage mobile future workshops to help young people in and around Chemnitz realise their own artistic projects in cooperation with international partners. Participants will share their experiences gained in the preparatory phase of 2024, the celebration in 2025 and the participatory art projects, which will continue until 2028, in a congress on the aesthetics and impact of participatory artistic projects to take place near the end of the programme. The German Federal Cultural Foundation has allocated a total of 7 million euros to funding the programme European Youth Capital Chemnitz.
- The Foundation has also agreed to finance the fourth edition of the POCHEN Biennale, established in 2018. The 2024 festival will highlight contemporary media art with a special focus on Ukraine and Ukrainian cultural activities in exile. The curator of the international media art exhibition will be Serge Klymko, whose position as managing director of the Kyiv Biennale has allowed him to build a vast network of contacts to the eastern European and especially Ukrainian art scenes. The curatorial approach of the 4th POCHEN Biennale will focus on the historical interweave of post-socialist countries which serves as a point of reflection on a more equitable and sustainable future from the perspective of central and eastern Europe. The war in Ukraine demands immediate answers to the question “What is a collective Europe?”. Headed by the artists’ collective “Amt für Wunschentwicklung” (Office for Wish Development) in Halle (Saale), an exhibition by and for young people will be developed with on-site, target-group-specific participatory workshops. These will be followed by a pop-up space for art and discourse, developed in partnership with organisations from the western Ukrainian border city of Lviv as part of the Chemnitz Capital of Culture 2025 festivities, highlighting Lviv’s vibrant youth culture scene far from the theatre of war. In addition, the festival will create a place in Chemnitz which will promote exchange with Lviv and other eastern European cities. The German Federal Cultural Foundation has set aside 650,000 euros to fund the 4th edition of the POCHEN Biennale.
- The new programme New Patrons – Community Dance and Performance Projects (working title) aims to fund 15 dance projects outside metropolitan hubs, commissioned by local citizens and jointly developed and carried out by outstanding German and international artists. In the pilot phase of the New Patrons model project, it became evident that contemporary dance and performance offer suitable formats for producing intensive community-based experiences and promoting social cohesion. The programme’s mediators play an integral role in this process by explaining their artistic ideas to the civic community and fostering collaboration with the participating artists. At the same time, the programme offers choreographers, dancers and performers new possibilities of artistic research and production – areas that receive relatively little attention in the contemporary dance scene. The new programme will be funded with 5 million euros from 2023 to 2028.
- Due to its remarkably positive resonance and high demand for further funding, the programme Zero – Climate-Neutral Artistic and Cultural Projects will be extended with another 20 art projects until 2027. The goal of the original programme, which began in 2022 with 25 projects, was to encourage cultural institutions of various artistic areas to participate in a national sustainability programme. The funded artistic projects had to demonstrate that their climate impact was reduced to a minimum using innovative aesthetics if necessary. Another 4 million euros has been allocated to fund an additional round of projects until 2027.
- The Board of Trustees agreed to postpone the 13th edition of the Berlin Biennale by one year to 2025 (instead of 2024). The reason for postponing the festival had to do with pandemic-related organisational delays, but also with the desire to avoid a “super art biennale year” in 2024. Due to other international biennial festivals postponing their events to 2024, many anticipate a high competition for resources which would ultimately impact the capacity and availability of the prospective artists.
- The Deutsches Historisches Museum in Berlin is planning an exhibition in 2024/25 entitled “What is Enlightenment? Questions for the 18th Century” commemorating the 300th anniversary of the philosopher Immanuel Kant. The exhibition sheds light beyond the life, work and times of the Königsberg philosopher and examines the international context of the so-called “long 18th century”. It ties in contemporary discussions which address the historical-political consequences of the Enlightenment and its continued influence today. The exhibition project integrates novel, inclusive educational methods as an essential component of its concept. The Foundation has set aside 400,000 euros to fund the exhibition.
At its most recent session, the interdisciplinary jury responsible for reviewing General Project Funding (opens in a new window) proposals recommended funding for 24 new projects. These have been allocated a total of 4 million euros. The projects include:
The exhibition project “Between Pixel and Pigment (opens in a new window)” by the Kunsthalle Bielefeld and the Museum Marta Herford on hybrid painting in the post-digital era; a large-scale retrospective at the Haus der Kunst in Munich showcasing the multifaceted work of Rebecca Horn (opens in a new window); “Sancta” (opens in a new window) (working title), the first music theatre production by choreographer Florentina Holzinger in collaboration with the Mecklenburgisches Staatstheater, the Staatsoper Stuttgart, the Wiener Festwochen and the Volksbühne Berlin; the carbon-neutral discourse and performance programme “THE DROP OUT: Tell them I said no” (opens in a new window) at the E-WERK in Luckenwalde; a broad, retrospective survey exhibition on Hans Haacke (opens in a new window) at the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt; the musical project “New Lines” (opens in a new window), which investigates new strategies of mobility as part of the Munich Biennial – Festival for New Music Theatre; the Black International Literature Festival “Resonances (opens in a new window)” to strengthen the perception of Black European literature a spart of the Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen; the project “Shout Aloud (opens in a new window)” (working title) by the Israeli choreographer Yasmin Godder in collaboration with the Schauspiel Frankfurt, the artist collective Mousonturm and the singer Dikla as a performative rendering of a dance piece and pop concert; “Monumental Affairs (opens in a new window)” at the Design Akademie Saaleck investigating the reproduction of racist ideologies in architecture; a three-part research and exhibition project commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Israeli choreographer, dancer and visual artist Noa Eshkol (opens in a new window) (1924–2007) at the Georg Kolbe Museum in Berlin.