Funding Guidelines

Mentoring Programme for Disabled Leadership

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Please note

The following guidelines apply in combination with the “General Funding Guidelines of the German Federal Cultural Foundation”.


The Programme for Inclusive Artistic Practice (pik) aims to improve the working conditions for disabled artists and to accompany the necessary transformation within cultural institutions toward greater inclusion. In a society so shaped by diversity, this programme encourages inclusive culture to focus more strongly on the skills and needs of different people and allow for new perspectives on artistic practice and collaboration. The goal is to facilitate artistic innovation and compensate for existing disadvantages for individuals with disabilities.

The Mentoring Programme für Disabled Leadership is a module of the “pik” programme. It finances mentors who support disabled artists and cultural producers on their way toward qualifying for positions of leadership in cultural projects and institutions in all artistic fields. The Mentoring Programme für Disabled Leadership will fund up to 36 mentee/mentor tandems from 2023 to 2025.

Funding Criteria

1. Object of funding

The programme finances development processes. Artists and cultural producers with disabilities (the mentees) are accompanied and advised on matters related to their artistic career by experienced artists or cultural producers (the mentors) for a period of eight months.

The mentees are responsible for choosing their mentors based on their own artistic and personal criteria which best matches their development goals. All arrangements between the mentees and mentors should be made prior to applying for funding. In a letter of intent, the mentors make a binding commitment to advise their mentees at least six times in meetings of approx. two hours each should the funding application be approved.

The mentees receive a scholarship (see 3. Funding amount) which financially allows them to set aside time to participate in the funded career development process. With this scholarship, the mentees can obtain advice and coaching from their mentors, enhance their professional qualifications and network-building, and participate in the academy programme organised by the German Federal Cultural Foundation. The mentors also receive financial compensation for their time and effort (see 3. Funding amount).

The programme also finances the mentees’ participation in the “pik” academy programme offered by the German Federal Cultural Foundation. In the academy, mentees are provided with further qualification and networking opportunities, and mentors are welcome to participate as well.

2. Eligibility

To be eligible for funding, applicants must be artists or cultural producers who self-identify as disabled and aspire to assume future leadership positions in their respective working environments. They must pursue artistic endeavours at the professional level or work in artistically related areas, such as curation, dramaturgy or education, and maintain primaryf residence  in Germany. Mentoring is targeted at candidates with different professional backgrounds and levels of experience. Early-career job entrants and lateral entrants are also eligible for funding.

3. Funding amount

Each mentee receives a 4,000-euro scholarship from the German Federal Cultural Foundation. The scholarship is paid out in monthly instalments over an eight-month period beginning on the date of the scholarship award. Each mentor receives a one-time gross payment of 1,200 euros as compensation for conducting at least six advisory meetings with their mentee lasting two hours each.

4. Application

The mentees must specify their desired mentor at the time of application. Applicants should use and complete the provided online application form for this programme which can be found on the website of the German Federal Cultural Foundation. The application form is easily accessible and permits applicants to upload their documents in video formats in German spoken and/or signed language (German Sign Language or manually coded languages (MCLs) in German). Applicants are required to fill out a short info sheet in written form. The following documents must be uploaded together with the online application:

a) Brief description of your motivation for receiving mentoring, no longer than two pages or five video minutes. Applicants should discuss the following points in particular:

    (i) What artistic, personal and political-institutional goals do you associate with the Mentoring Programme for         Disabled Leadership? What issues and challenges do you hope to address and clarify in the process?

    (ii) How do you expect your selected mentor to help you reach your goals, and what skills and experience do they possess in this regard? What form of exchange are you hoping for?

b) Brief description of your artistic career, no longer than two pages or five video minutes.

c) Letter of intent and a short biography from your mentor, no longer than one page in total or two and a half video minutes.

d) Video files must be made available via an external download link. Be sure to insert the link into the respective fields in the online application form.

5. Application deadline

The scholarships are awarded in three application rounds. The application deadline is 15 September 2023 for the first round, 15 January 2024 for the second, and 15 May 2024 for the third. The submission date of the online application form is regarded as the date of application. Decisions on funding eligibility are based on only those documents uploaded by the application deadline. Incomplete or late applications cannot be considered.

6. Selection procedure

Mentees are selected in closed session by the Executive Board of the German Federal Cultural Foundation based on the recommendation of an independent jury of experts. The dates of the jury sessions are scheduled approximately ten weeks after the application deadline and will be posted in advance on the website of the German Federal Cultural Foundation.

7. Funding period

Scholarships are awarded in three application rounds. The funding period lasts eight months beginning with the date of the award notification. The announcement of the first round of scholarship recipients is expected in mid-November 2023. Mentoring may commence as soon as the mentees have received their award notifications and must conclude no later than eight months from that date.

8. Payment and accounting of funding

For the approval, payment and accounting of funding, the proof and verification of usage, and if applicable, a necessary withdrawal from the funding contract and reclamation of expended funding, the agreed-upon provisions in the funding contract apply, as do §§ 23, 44 BHO and the respective General Administrative Regulations, unless deviations therefrom are provided in these funding guidelines. The German Federal Audit Office is entitled to verify usage of funding in accordance with §§ 91, 100 BHO. The BKM and BVA are likewise entitled to audit the German Federal Cultural Foundation as provided in its funding agreement. Should the funding recipient disregard the provisions put forth in the funding contract, the German Federal Cultural Foundation may demand reimbursement for all expended funding in part or whole.

9. Validity of the funding guidelines

These funding guidelines take effect on 5 May 2023 and are subject to change.


Steffen Sünkel

pik – Programm für inklusive Kunstpraxis
Kulturstiftung des Bundes
Franckeplatz 2
06110 Halle an der Saale

Tel: 49 (0)345 2997 232
Fax: 49 (0)345 2997 333