The programme Digital Culture aims to motivate and support cultural organisations to independently take advantage of the possibilities of digitalisation. At the same time, it encourages them to creatively and critically examine digital culture and develop it further in a community-oriented manner. How can museums, theatres, concert halls and literature houses respond to technological innovations? What forms of presentation, production and communication with visitors can benefit these organisations most? So far, only a few cultural organisations in Germany have developed and instituted digital concepts and services or expanded their activities in this direction. This is mainly due to the fact that artistic administrators lack the competence and expertise to assess and/or implement these highly-dynamic digital technologies and services. Digital Culture applies an open-access and open-source approach. The programme consists of three modules:
The central component of the Digital Culture programme is an application-based “Digital Fund” (working title). The fund allows cultural organisations to implement trendsetting digital strategies and concepts based on well-established measures, such as online collections or social media channels, and expand on conversion processes which have already begun. Funding is awarded to develop and implement digital projects in the areas of digital curating, digital artistic production, digital presentation and communication. The applying institutions should collaborate in partnerships comprised of at least two cultural organisations together with digital experts in order to acquire competence, share knowledge and content, and present their activities in open networks. Such partnerships are eligible to receive up to 880,000 euros from the Federal Cultural Foundation for projects lasting four years. For larger partnerships, another 160,000 euros can be granted for each additional participating organisation. This module has been allocated a total of 15.8 million euros.
To provide potential applicants with information and advice, the Federal Cultural Foundation is organising information tours through Germany. The Foundation will regularly hold Digital Labs to provide ongoing support, encourage exchange between the funded institutions and partnerships, and examine the progress achieved in model projects abroad. It also plans to organise a nationwide Idea Congress comprised of workshops, academic colloquiums, international excursions and advanced training seminars for staff of the cultural organisations.
Cultural hackathon “Coding da Vinci”
To help institutions learn more about the possibilities of digital technologies, the Federal Cultural Foundation will stage up to eight cultural hackathons entitled “Coding da Vinci” at various locations in Germany. The cultural hackathon “Coding da Vinci” is an event format which brings cultural organisations in all artistic areas together with experts in programming, development, design and computer games. The aim of the module is to make services more accessible and expand the scope of publicly available cultural data. The Federal Cultural Foundation is cooperating with the founding organisations of the cultural hackathon: Wikimedia Deutschland e.V., the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek, the Open Knowledge Foundation and the Forschungs- und Kompetenzzentrum Digitalisierung Berlin (digiS). This module has 1.2 million euros at its disposal to finance measures from 2019 to 2022.
Academy of Digitality and Dramatic Arts
The third component of the programme will award 54 scholarships from 2019 to 2021 to enable theatre artists to study at the Academy of Digitality and Dramatic Arts. The academy is currently in the process of being established by the Theater Dortmund, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the city of Dortmund. In cooperation with the German Theatre Association, the Deutsche Theatertechnische Gesellschaft, the Folkwang University of the Arts and the Dortmund University of Applied Sciences, the academy will be the first and only digital artistic research institution for Germany’s theatres, dedicated to educating and offer continued training to artistic and technical personnel. The artistic research scholarships at the academy will be financed with a total 1 million euros.
The Federal Cultural Foundation has allocated 18 million euros in total to finance the programme Digital Culture from 2018 to 2024.
Digital Fund: Funding requirements and submission deadline
The funding requirements for the Digital Fund (module I) will be posted here on this page in autumn 2018. The deadline for funding applications is scheduled for mid-2019.