Bundesforum 2021

From September 14-16, 2022, representatives from cultural policy, the arts and funding bodies gathered for a special edition of the biennial Bundesforum for dialogue and joint stocktaking in connection with the NEUSTART KULTUR program – both analogue at the Radialsystem in Berlin and digitally online.

What does art need during and after the crisis?

This was the initial question of the BUNDESFORUM 2021, because in recent months, institutions in the field of the independent performing arts have been challenged as rarely before: Both the actors within the scene as well as politicians and funding institutions have been struggling to find solutions to protect and maintain the arts. Building on established, constructive exchange in recent years, practice-oriented funding and support programs were launched in many municipalities, states and at the federal level. The federal government provided funding on an unprecedented scale via NEUSTART KULTUR to stabilize the independent performing arts, which were particularly badly affected by the measures to contain the pandemic.

Politics, arts, and funding bodies in dialogue

Panel discussions with representatives from the arts and politics, academic analyses from the Fonds’ research program and keynote speeches by experts in the field of the independent performing arts all addressed this situation. In-depth discussions in topic-specific working groups sought answers to questions about, for example, changed production and working conditions, the interplay of funding instruments and the funding architecture of the federal, state and local governments, and they looked at aspects such as sustainability, diversity and qualifications.

The talks and discussions attest to the effectiveness of the measures taken by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, the municipalities and the states during the pandemic. At the same time, however, it became clear that a sustainable outlook for the funding and thus work situation in the independent performing arts is needed.

Instruments that have been launched, such as the funding of residencies, work processes and revivals, must be an integral part of the funding landscape. Nationwide institutions and networks must be strengthened in such a way as to ensure planning security as well as the ability to plan.

On Demand

All the panel discussions, keynote speeches and debates from the BUNDESFORUM 2021 are available as video recordings in the "On Demand" area.

To read: Articles about the BUNDESFORUM 2021

The cultural journalists Elena Philipp and Georg Kasch attended the three-day event. Their impressions can be read here in the Fonds Magazine:

  • Prof. Dr. Kai van Eikels gives his keynote speech projected onto a large screen. A large diagram is displayed next to him. © Dorothea Tuch

    Hackt das Script!

    Zum Auftakt des Bundesforums stehen die Künstler*innen und die Wissenschaft im Fokus

  • Nine people sit side by side on chairs on the podium in a circle of chairs for the pdoium discussion. Above them is a large screen on which the title "Opening Federal Forum 2021: Positions from politics on changing the art and cultural landscape" can be read. © Dorothea Tuch

    „Macht mal!“

    Am Abend von Tag 1 des Bundesforums diskutiert ein prominent besetztes Panel die Frage, wie die Kultur-Förderpolitik reformiert werden müsste.

  • In the large hall of the Radialsystem, several groups have come together for discussions in individual circles of chairs.

    Vom Aufbruch ins Digitale

    Gedanken über Darstellende Kunst, Digitalität und das Publikum machen sich drei Arbeitsgruppen an Tag 2 des Bundesforums

  • Tom Wolter sums up a discussion group at the lectern. In the background, a pinboard with keywords is displayed on a large screen.

    Exzellenz und Arbeit

    Am Tag 2 des Bundesforum 2021 diskutieren die Teilnehmer*innen, wie sie arbeiten, leben und gefördert werden wollen.

  • Ulrike Seybold gives her keynote speech at the lectern. In the background, the words "visionary!?! An attunement to the funding architecture of the future" can be read in the background. © Dorothea Tuch

    „Blümerie, Poesie & irgendwas mit Keksen“?

    Zukunftsideen und konkrete Handlungsempfehlungen entstehen an Tag 3 des Bundesforums.

  • Seven people sit on chairs next to each other on the stage for the panel discussion. A large screen can be seen in the background. © Dorothea Tuch

    Alle Fragen offen?

    Das Bundesforum endet mit einem Blick in die Zukunft – und wappnet die Teilnehmenden für die anstehenden politischen Verhandlungen.


Team Bundesforum 2021

The BUNDESFORUM 2021 is a joint event of the Fonds Darstellende Künste and the Bundesverband Freie Darstellende Künste, funded by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media within the framework of NEUSTART KULTUR.

Project coordination: Björn Frers (Fonds), Maike Lachenicht (BFDK) mit Elisabeth Roos (BFDK) Production management: Sabine Seifert Accreditation, Production Assistance: Nicola Trevisani Technical Management & Set Design: Andreas Harder Digital conference: Stefanje Meyer Online-Editor: Tommaso La Fauci Blog-Editors: Georg Kasch, Elena Philipp