Research program for funding in the performing arts

View into the plenary hall of the Akademie der Künste at Pariser Platz during the syposium in November 2021 © Dorothea Tuch

Symposium zu den Ergebnissen des Forschungsprogramms zur Förderung in den Darstellenden Künsten

Since the spring of 2020, the situation in the performing arts has changed dramatically. There are two aspects to this situation: on the one hand, a standstill in stage work to the point of an existential crisis for artists; on the other hand, new (digital) formats, artistic research and innovative concept developments under the changed conditions caused by the pandemic.

Packages of measures such as #TakeThat from the Fonds Darstellende Künste and other funding programs from the federal, state and local governments are intended to secure livelihoods, enable artistic work under changed conditions and ensure a new start for culture.

The Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media has supported the Fonds‘ initiative to provide academic support for the #TakeThat funding programs and the associated fields of action from the very beginning.

Academics focus on funding

Eleven academics from 10 universities throughout Germany and beyond have accepted the invitation of the Fonds Darstellende Künste and, for the first time, have analyzed and researched the funding landscape in Germany in 12 studies.

With the launch of its #TakeThat funding programs as part of the NEUSTART KULTUR package of measures from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM), the research program also began its work under the direction of Professor Wolfgang Schneider, cultural scientist and the Fonds chairman of the board. From then on, the academic team accompanied the newly-launched funding programs and examined the existing requirements of the funding system.

Portrait of the scientific team of the research program. 16 people stand in two rows one behind the other on two steps. In the background is a projection with the title of the event. © Dorothea Tuch

die an den Studien beteiligten Wissenschaftler*innen

Results & recommendations for action

The results of the research are now impressively summarized in the publication "Transformationen der Theaterlandschaft. Zur Fördersituation der Freien Darstellenden Künste" (Transformations of the Theater Landscape. On the Funding Situation of the Independent Performing Arts). In particular, it makes clear that the funding landscape of the independent performing arts requires a targeted interaction of municipalities, states, and especially the federal government in order to support the diversity and productivity of the independent scene in the best possible way and, not least, to systematically develop the funding programs of the last two years.

Professor Wolfgang Schneider thanks the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media "for this unique opportunity to provide academic support for the NEUSTART KULTUR programs. Our special thanks go, of course, to all the academics and participants for their important work. Their analyses and recommendations for action point the way for a forward-looking funding policy that guarantees the independent performing arts the necessary stability and planning security, even beyond the crisis measures. A start has been made, but now it has to be implemented. The Fonds Darstellende Künste is ready to do so."


Direction& coordination

Project coordination