Questions or problems come up all the time — before, during and after the application process. On this page, the Fonds Darstellende Künste answers the most frequently asked questions. Questions and answers are grouped together under subject headings.

This is not a legally binding document. Therefore, this general information isn’t a replacement for considering individual cases, but it can provide a starting point. Before submitting an application, please be sure to read the mandatory regulations for the appropriate program.

General questions/Prior to Application

"Professionally active" means that you work full-time in the independent performing arts and usually make your living primarily from this profession (min. 51%) or have income that derives mainly from this profession.

No, it is not. You will find more detailed information on the application requirements in the regulations of the respective funding programs.

Applicants are considered to be "not predominantly publicly funded" if they do not regularly cover 51% or more of their annual costs by means of basic funding from public sources.

"Professional curatorial" activities are those that have a significant influence on the programming and content-related design of the (framework) program of a venue, festival, professional or other event, within the independent performing arts.

Als Absolvent*in gelten all jene Antragsstellenden, die ihren Studienabschluss nach dem 01.01.2019 an einer staatlich anerkannten Kunsthochschule oder Universität erlangt haben. Zu den einschlägigen Fachrichtungen zählen alle Ausbildungen und Studiengänge die weitestgehend im Bereich der vielgestaltigen Darstellenden Künste angesiedelt sind.

Yes, students may apply to all programs as long as there is sufficient evidence of eligibility in terms of public funding/guest performances and years of professional activity.

No, this is not possible. You can only apply with one project at a time to one Fonds Darstellende Künste funding program; parallel applications are not permitted.

Yes, it is possible to apply with different projects to different funding programs — both in the same funding round and in a different funding round.

Yes, this is possible with the exception of research grants. You will find more detailed information on the application requirements for research funding in the regulations.

The decision about which program you submit a project to is something you must evaluate yourself. Use the space provided to describe yourself and your project in a way that presents your planned project with reference to the regulations of the funding program. The fund will be happy to advise you if possible. Please refer to the sidebar of the fund's website for the relevant contact details and exact office hours.

No, it cannot. Funding is not allowed if the project has already begun before the funding decision is made by the jury convened by the Fonds Darstellende Künste, i.e. if money has already been spent on it or contracts have already been concluded. However, co-financing for a planned project may already have been approved. Please note the expected decision dates of the application round so that you can estimate the earliest possible start date for your project.

Network and structural funding, process funding and continuation funding

The program period for #TakeHeart projects with deadlines in 2021 and 2022 (February and March) generally ends no later than December 31, 2022.

The exception is process funding with a deadline on March 15, 2022; for this, the period ends on April 30, 2023.

Projects submitted to #TakeHeart by the deadlines in fall 2022 (September and October) can be completed by June 30, 2023 at the latest, if approved.

Research and residency funding

In the research funding program, there are also specific project timeframes which depend on the application deadline. In the residency funding program, the project timeframe depends on either the specific venue where you would like to do the residency or the network which this venue is part of. The deadlines are defined in the respective regulations of the funding programs.

The upcoming deadlines are on the home page under "Deadlines". They can also be found on the funding programs list and on the subpages relating to the individual funding programs.

Yes, if you hold a dgti supplementary ID card, the funding contract can be concluded with this data.

Applications can only be submitted online. Please use the fund's application portal for this purpose.
Applicants must create an account there, which they can also use to submit further applications and to process applications approved by the Fund.

Since contracts will be drawn up in the name that appears on your identity card/passport in the event of a funding approval, we ask you to enter that name in the field "Authorized signatory responsible for the project". You are welcome to enter your artist name in other areas of the application (e.g. in the areas "Information on the participant" and/or "Brief description intended for publication") if it is not the name used on your identity card/passport.

You can find all examples on the Forms [CHECK] page in the "USEFUL INFORMATION FOR APPLICANTS" section. Please refer to the example for the program to which you wish to apply. At the online portal you will also find links to all necessary documents for submitting applications.

Co-financing within the framework of #TakeHeart is generally permitted for process funding, completion funding, network and structural funding, and conceptual funding. Research funding does not allow for this. For more detailed rules on co-financing, please refer to the regulations of the respective funding program.

However, an application to the Fonds Darstellende Künste excludes co-financing of the project by another funding institution that awards federal funds. This applies, among others, to the Kulturstiftung des Bundes, the Hauptstadtkulturfonds, the Fonds Soziokultur, the Tanzpakt, usually the Goethe-Institut, co-production funding through the Nationale Performance-Netz (NPN) and all funding from NEUSTART KULTUR.

Own funds in cash are sums of money that come from the recipient's own assets and that can be used for financing, e.g. company funds, private financial assets, membership fees, donations (that are made without a specific purpose), loans (if an ordinary interest rate is paid on them) and budgetary funds from public legal entities. The existence of own funds must always be proven at the time of application, for example by means of a bank statement showing that the corresponding sum is available at that point.

Non-cash own contributions are services provided free of charge; services for which no monetary consideration is provided — in other words, there is no actual cash flow. This can include both contributions to the working team, in the form of hours worked free of charge, and the use of existing contributions in kind. All non-cash contributions must be demonstrably attributable to the project for which an application is being submitted and documented accordingly in the proof of use.

In order to include non-cash internal contributions and to present them in the proof of use, the basis of calculation must be shown clearly.

The funding principles of the #TakeHeart package of measures do not specify fixed hourly rates. Instead, non-cash fees are calculated on the basis of the profession of the person and the type of work performed at an appropriate and customary market rate. Please always specify an appropriate hourly rate (see also "Recommendation regarding baseline fee limit" from the Bundesverband Freie Darstellende Künste (BFDK)).

Yes, this is possible.

Yes, this is possible. Investment costs in line with a sustainable basic concept may total 30% of the application sum. In contrast to material costs, investment costs are also available to applicants beyond the project period. Investment costs may include, for example, project-related investment in technology and equipment.

The research funding and residency funding programs are exceptions to this rule. In these programs, the funding is earmarked for the artists' fees.

Yes, this is possible. Costs such as translations into German sign language, audio description or ramps can be applied for in terms of accessibility if they are clearly attributable to the project. In process funding, you have the option of applying for an increased amount for this purpose if a detailed justification is included on the application form.

(Using the example of the acquisition of a ramp, in some funding programs this could conflict with the maximum percentage of the application sum that can be used for investment costs - please contact us in such a case so that we can look for a concrete solution).

Yes, this is possible, as long as these are verifiable in relation to the project.

You can find all information about the KSK levy here.

And further information here.

Please note the following: All payments made for artists’/publicists‘ services or work must be included in the basis of the assessment, regardless of whether the artists/publicists themselves are subject to compulsory KSVG insurance.

Yes, hiding irrelevant data is allowed and simplifies the review of your records.

A jury is convened to decide on the applications submitted. Jury details are published on the website of the respective funding program.

We strive to make decisions as quickly as possible. However, this depends on the respective application situations and takes at least 2.5 months for the #TakeHeart funding programs. Please refrain from making telephone and written inquiries about this.


A local alliance for education consisting of at least three legal entities can apply for funding if they jointly implement an artistic project for children and young people affected by risk situations. One of the alliance partners is responsible for submitting the application. Schools or daycare centers can be alliance partners, but are not eligible to apply.

An Alliance for Education consists of three partners, usually from the fields of culture, society and social affairs, who are committed to improving the educational opportunities of children and young people in Germany. The concrete project is carried out by artistic specialists. For the administrative and organizational work in the alliance, the alliance receives a lump-sum payment in the form of an administrative allowance after the successful completion of the project.

Social space means a space that is constructed not only spatially, but also through social components, in which the participants are located. The social space is an essential indicator for reaching the target group and can be proven by appropriate social data.

When collaborating with schools or daycare centers, the criteria of extracurricular, voluntary, and non-profit must be met.

Extracurricular means a clear demarcation of the project from the compulsory teaching offer. The participation in the projects of GLOBAL VILLAGE must be voluntary for the participants, they must not be graded. The GLOBAL VILLAGE KIDS project may also not replace an already existing offer. See also Guidelines for Cooperation with Schools and Kitas

Volunteering plays a central role in GLOBAL VILLAGE KIDS and is an important part of achieving greater educational equity and improving community cultural education opportunities. Within the framework of the alliance, all alliance partners are obliged to contribute to the project free of charge. These are usually of a non-material or material nature, e.g. access to the target group, provision of spatial or technical infrastructure, assumption of administrative and organizational work in the alliance or support in public relations work. In addition, further voluntary activities (e.g.: support with travel services or during workshops) can be remunerated with a lump-sum expense allowance.

Networking activities between alliance partners and with municipal structures can be funded with so-called flat rates for alliance meetings and workshops. These formats are used for consolidation, evaluation and coordination within the projects and alliance partners. Workshops serve in particular to ensure sustainable anchoring in the social space and the community. Therefore, external representatives can also be invited.

Projects that wish to apply for the GLOBAL VILLAGE KIDS Rural program priority must be located in rural areas. The classification is based on the Thünen Atlas (see: www.landatlas). In it, rural areas are divided into 4 categories, which also include socio-spatial criteria. Categories 1 - 4 describe different rural areas in Germany. Category 5 is not a rural area. Within categories 1, 2 and 4, supra-regional alliance partners can also be consulted if necessary. For an independent search, a list of all districts can be found on the website. If necessary, the project office of GLOBAL VILLAGE KIDS can be contacted.

Projects that would like to apply for the GLOBAL VILLAGE KIDS Digital program priority should be able to demonstrate a connection to digital issues or an involvement with digital tools.

Questions about the Application portal

In this case, please send an e-mail using the e-mail address you registered with to beratung*fonds-daku.de. You will then be assigned a new password, which you can then change again. Please note that this is not an automated process and may take some time.

Yes, further processing of the application later on is possible. Please also save regularly in short intervals to ensure your entries are saved. To do this, use the "Save draft" button at the bottom of the application form.

No, participation in the survey is voluntary, but we ask you to participate in as many as you can so that the survey and the results are as representative as possible. All information will be anonymized immediately after submission and will not be included in the decision-making or jury processes at any time.

Questions about the Application

Yes, it is possible to submit an application in English. In such cases, we recommend formulating your application very precisely and as concisely as possible, in order to enable the jury members who do not speak English at a native level to understand it. However, a prerequisite for funding is that the applicant's place of residence and main focus of work must be in Germany.

An example cost and financing plan can be downloaded from the page of the respective funding program. Under Forms you will also find other templates and documents that are helpful when applying for funding or doing the accounts for a funded project.

The fund is happy to advise you on funding opportunities and formal requirements — if you have any questions about tax regulations, please contact your tax advisor or the tax office.

If specific detailed questions about your individual case arise during the application process, you can call during our telephone consultation hours: 030 6293126-26, Mon — Thurs, 10:00 am — 11:00 am, 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm. Friday, 10:00 am — 11:00 am, 2:00 pm — 4:00 pm. You can also contact us by mail: beratung * fonds-daku.de.

In addition, the ‘Agentur für Fast Alles‘ advises applicants with accessibility needs. You can reach this agency during telephone office hours Mon — Fri. 10:00 am – 3:00 pm at 0421 69680430 or by mail at: beratung*fuerfastalles.de.

The fund also offers regular information events via Zoom. You can find the dates here on the fund's website.

Please understand that only fully submitted applications can be considered and presented to the Board of Trustees or the relevant jury of experts.

If Funding is Approved

All information on contract preparation can be found in detail in the leaflets and guidelines of the corresponding funding program under Forms FOR FUNDED PROJECTS or you can check the tutorial here. The following points do not apply to research funding and residency funding.

• An updated and balanced cost and financing plan (KFP). In addition, please list the cost items that are to be covered by the fund (proportionally, if applicable) in the blue column provided in the KFP. The KFP must not contain any as yet unsecured co-financing for the conclusion of the contract (entrance fees excepted).
• For any changes in the cost and financing plan of more than 20 percent of a single line item (line item examples: "1.1 Production management", "2.4 Costume materials", etc.) please submit a comprehensible justification for the change. On the homepage, under Forms, you will find the template "Explanations for changes in the KFP". This makes it possible to process your change request quickly. Please use this template.
• an overview of funds (disbursement plan), entered online in the self-administration area.
• if available: breakdown of non-cash own contributions in Part C of the cost and financing plan.
• Evidence of own cash contributions, co-financing, donations or similar.

You can start your project from the moment the funding has been agreed to. Please note that funding is not possible if the project has already been started before funding has been agreed. Once the funding has been agreed, the fund allows you to start work on your project from the time of the jury decision.

Yes! A separate project account serves as proof that the funding has been spent on time. This makes it easier and clearer to present the transfers made using the account statement and invoices. The project account can, but does not have to be, a business account. It is important that no private expenses and income pass through the corresponding project account. The specified project account can be an account used for other artistic projects, but only if it can be ensured that all cash flows, income as well as expenses, can be clearly assigned to the respective project. The project account does not have to be set up at the time of application, but at the start of the project.

In principle, you may settle all eligible costs that have been incurred during the grant period and calculated in the cost and financing plan. For this purpose, you will receive an early start date on funding approval. As a rule, however, it is not the idea that you should make (private) payments before the funds are available to you.

However, if it is absolutely necessary to make purchases before the funds are requested, proceed as follows:
In case of advance payment from a private account:
  • Make the reimbursement from the project account to the private account in good time: within 6 weeks after the receipt of the grant funds in the project account
  • Documents to be attached as proof of use:
    • Evidence of withdrawal (if reimbursement is to the person responsible for the project) or reimbursement request (if project participants have made advance payments)
    • Proof of transfer of the reimbursement from the project account to the corresponding private account
    • Tabular list of purchases made including price and date of purchase
    • Original purchase receipts
Make the reimbursement from the project account to the private account in good time: within 6 weeks after the receipt of the grant funds in the project accountDocuments to be attached as proof of use:Booking date in the proof-of-use list: date of reimbursement from the project account to the private account

In case of advance payment from business/project account:

Documents to be attached as proof of use:
o Memo with tabular listing of purchases made including price and date of purchase
o Original purchase receipts
• Booking date in the proof-of-use list: date of receipt of funds from the fund to the business account (expenses thus repaid)

The prerequisite for a request for funds is the project funding agreement signed by you via DocuSign and digitally returned to the fund. You can then submit mandatory requests for funds online via the portal for the 1st and 15th of each month. If you need funds on the 1st of a month, the request must have been submitted by the 15th of the previous month. If you need the funds on the 15th of a month, the mandatory request must have been submitted on the last day of the previous month.

The funding must have been used, appropriately, within six weeks after the Fonds Darstellende Künste has transferred them. The use of the allocated funds is earmarked and may only be used for the cost items specified in the grant agreement.

If the funds from the Fonds Darstellende Künste are not used to fulfill the purpose of the grant within six weeks of disbursement, the fund may charge interest. If you are unable to spend the funds by the deadline, you must send them back to the fund, indicating the project number, and then ask for them again in one of the subsequent installments. It is not possible to extend the six-week deadline.

Whether the present subsidy is subject to income tax depends on whether the conditions for tax exemption (according to § 3 no. 44 sentences 1 and 2 EstG) are met. Legal inspection regarding tax exemption is the responsibility of the recipient's tax office. This office will, at the request of the sponsored party, either issue or refuse to issue a certificate stating that the requirements of § 3 no. 44 para. 3 letters a and b EStG have been met. The Fonds Darstellende Künste’s tax office will not assume the prerequisites of § 3 no. 44 para. 3 letter b EstG have been met just because this has been requested.

Whether the funding is subject to VAT under section 1 para. 1 no 1 UstG depends on whether it is a genuine or non-genuine grant. A taxable turnover exists if the person responsible for the project is providing services in return for a fee, i.e. within the framework of an exchange of services (a counter-performance was agreed in the project funding contract = non-genuine grant). The submission of a proof of use does not constitute a return service. A mere reference to the fund in the publication regarding the project does not constitute an exchange of services within the meaning of sales tax law.

Having said this, the final legally binding review of how a grant is treated in relation to VAT is the responsibility of the recipient's tax office. If there are any doubts, please contact the tax office for information.

All changes in the project concept as well as changes in the cost and financing plan (except research funding and residency funding) relating to more than 20 percent of a single item (single item examples: "1.1 Production management", "2.4 Costume material", etc) require express approval by the fund. This must be requested in writing by mail from the appropriate member of staff. At the same time, an updated cost and financing plan must also be submitted by mail. For each change, please submit a comprehensible explanation of that change in terms of calculation and content via the "Form for Explanation of Changes" provided for this purpose. Otherwise, approval will not be possible.

The #TakeHeart funding system supports working or production periods, in such a way that events that are cancelled or cannot be carried out do not cause any problems for the time being. However, be sure to get in touch with the funding program's contact person. In the case of approval, a reclassification request may be necessary in order to specify cost items accordingly.

You can carry out your research work online/digitally. Please discuss any changes of this kind with your residency supervisor and make a final note of this change in the factual report that you must submit as part of your proof of use.

The various logo formats and designs for the different programs can be found on the fund's website under Logo Download. The word mark and notes on color coding are also there.

The logo of the Fonds Darstellende Künste should be present on all advertising materials, as well as on websites that refer to your production or project and should be used in the appropriate color scheme. Please point out the use of the logo to venues in whose online brochures you are registered. If you are not able to use the logo, please use the word mark instead, which you can find in your grant agreement or on the fund's website.

No, a release from the fund is not required.

A direct invitation is not necessary. Please enter the relevant data in your self-administration area. The fund completes the internal premiere calendar using this information. Jury members have access to this calendar and are thus always up to date (see also "Information sheet: Self-administration area").

If Funding is Refused

The Fonds receives a large number of funding applications with each call for proposals. Each of these funding programs is supported by an interdisciplinary and broad-based jury, consisting of representatives of the 17 member associations of the Fonds (Board of Trustees) and appointed experts from artistic practice. On the basis of the respective funding criteria, they discuss the project applications and cast their vote, taking into account the available financial resources. Aspects such as the character of the project, a cross-state presence, remarkable content, aesthetics, formats and working methods, as well as the proven professionalism — also financially — of the applicants, are decisive for a federal funding institution such as the Fonds. Even if all these points are fulfilled, not every application can be granted in view of the ratio of funding applications received and funds available. Individual justification is not feasible in order to communicate the results on time and in view of the application situation. We ask for your understanding and trust in the jury members working in coordination with the Fonds’ member associations and organizations.

Rejected applications may not be submitted again.

Creation of the proof-of-use List

For #TakeThat-Projects

All information on the proof of use can be found in the information sheet for your funding program in the section FORMS FOR FUNDED PROJECTS or can be found here in the tutorial

  • Numerical evidence (Fonds form [CHECK])
  • Factual Report (Fonds form [CHECK])
  • Supporting documents
  • Total expenditure under 30,000 €: In this case, you must submit all receipts incurred for the project both digitally and by mail.
  • Total expenditure over €30,000: In this case, receipts up to the equivalent of €30,000 must be submitted first. Please prioritize submitting receipts for cost items that were covered by grants from the Fonds and, if necessary, supplement them with other selected receipts to reach the required amount. Keep the remaining receipts available at all times, as the Fonds may request additional receipts from you, including random samples, in the event of a more in-depth audit.

In all #TakeThat programs, send your proof-of-use documents to the fund by mail (with original signature) by the contracted deadline.

For #TakeHeart projects

All information on the proof of use can be found in the information sheet of your funding program in the section FORMS FOR FUNDED PROJECTS:

  • Numerical evidence (fund form)
  • Factual report (fund form)
  • Supporting documents will be requested on a random basis after cursory review (with the exception of research funding).

In all #TakeHeart programs, upload your proof of use documents by the contractually agreed deadline in the self-administration area. Please also refer to the completion guide: proof-of-use list under Forms.