Funding Guidelines

INITIAL – A Special Grant from the Akademie der Künste Funding for Development and Research of Artistic Projects During the COVID-19 pandemic (Under the Umbrella of NEUSTART KULTUR)

This English version of the website "Fördergrundsätze" is intended to inform and assist international visitors. In any matters of dispute, the original German version takes precedent.

I. Grant Purposes and Objectives

The Akademie der Künste has created a special grant to fund the research and development of artistic works as part of the federal NEUSTART KULTUR programme introduced by the Federal Commissioner for Culture and the Media.

The grant serves to protect opportunities for artistic production and offers a foundation as well as an impetus for longer-term artistic projects, the preparation and development of which have been impeded during the pandemic.
The special grant is endowed with 5 million euros.

II. Grant Recipients

Professional artists who live in Germany and work in the visual arts, architecture, literature, music, performing arts or film and media arts are eligible to apply for the grant. Artists are considered professional if they meet the following criteria:

  • They can demonstrate membership in a professional association of artists in one of the disciplines specified above or in the Künstlersozialkasse (artists’ health and social insurance), or
  • They hold a degree from a German university or art academy or from a comparable institution abroad (as specified on the anabin list), or
  • They can demonstrate a professional contemporary artistic practice that has been established for several years

Those artists currently enrolled at a university or technical college are not eligible to apply for the grant.

III. Grant components including funding objectives, special prerequisites for receiving funding, as well as the nature, scope, and amount of available funding

1. Funding Objectives

A  6,000 euros grant will be distributed to 791 artists over four months (5,400 euros at the beginning of the grant and 600 euros after receipt of the project report) to research and develop longer-term artistic projects. Following the six Sections of the Akademie der Künste, the grant is intended for artists active in visual arts, architecture, literature, music, performing arts, film and media arts, and younger emerging artists who have begun publicly presenting their first works.
The artistic quality of previous projects and the quality and potential of the proposed project are decisive factors for selecting grant recipients. Determining and formulating the specific criteria for the selection process is up to the juries. Equal treatment of men and women is part of these criteria.


2. Funding Prerequisites

  • The applicant must be an individual – or a group if applicable
    (legal entities will not receive funding)
  • A concept for the project to be funded
  • A portfolio and/or documentation/information about previous work in the arts (no catalogues)
  • Art CVs of participating artists

3. Funding Amount:
6,000 euros


4. Call for Applications and Project Duration
Seven juries will make the selection:

  • Six five-member juries, each composed of:
    Two Section members
    Section Secretaries
    Two external jurors
  • One three-member jury, composed of:
    The head of the JUNGE AKADEMIE
    One member of the Akademie der Künste
    One external juror

Application period: 15 June – 15 July 2021
The juries will make their decisions by 10 September 2021
Grant duration: 1 October 2021 – 31 January 2022

IV. General Guidelines regarding the nature, scope and amount of the funding

1. Compatibility with Other Grants

  • Simultaneous funding of grants and projects by other federal, state, or municipal sources and the Akademie’s special grant is not permitted. This does not apply to private grants or if the monthly funding from a second grant programme amounts to less than 50% of the monthly funding amount of the NEUSTART KULTUR grant; in these cases it is permitted to combine funding from various grants simultaneously.
  • Accepting funding from the Akademie’s special grant does not preclude the acceptance of federal funds intended to provide relief from the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic used for other purposes.

2. Miscellaneous

  • Funding is subject to possible suspensions and other economically influenced governmental decisions
  • Under these Funding Guidelines, full financing will be distributed in the form of a grant approval notice in according to section 44 of the Federal Budget Code (BHO) providing the grant recipient with a one-time benefit.

V. Additional Funding Conditions

  • The funds are to be applied using ecologically responsible strategies (reusable materials and equipment, the lowest possible use of energy and resources, sustainable events and mobility concepts, etc.) that should improve the applicant’s carbon footprint as much as possible.
  • Accessibility for people with disabilities should be taken into consideration when developing all works and projects.

VI. Selection Process

1. Application

  • To be considered for selection by the jury, applicants must submit a completed online application at before the submission deadline.
    Applications can only be submitted online. Additional documentation in hard-copy formats will not be accepted.
  • Applications will only be considered formally and properly submitted if all supporting documentation is received before the deadline for submission.
    Applications not received in a reviewable format before the deadline will not be considered.
  • Each applicant may only submit one grant application.
  • Should the application contain any intentionally incorrect information, the applicant will be disqualified.

2. Grant Approval

  • The funds are distributed based on the recommendations of the specialist juries. The gender balance of the juries is as even as possible.
  • Grant approval notifications will be issued by the Akademie der Künste.
  • The grants will be disbursed by the Akademie der Künste.
  • Applicants have no entitlement to a grant. As the distributing institution, the Akademie der Künste will determine the distribution of funds based on a conscientious evaluation of the budgetary resources available.
  • The basis for the authorisation, distribution, and accounting of the funds is a grant approval notification.
  • Payments will only be distributed after the grant approval notification has been issued.
  • A  6,000 euros grant will be distributed to 791 artists over four months (5,400 euros at the beginning of the grant and 600 euros after receipt of the project report).The grant can only be disbursed to a German bank account.
  • The funds will be disbursed according to the budgetary regulations in place at distributing institutions, specifically the Federal Budget Code (BHO).
  • Applications for additional funding will not be considered.

3. Project Report

  • At the end of the grant period, a report in German or English is to be submitted.
  • The report is to show how the grant contributed to the research and development of the artistic projects. The completion of the project will not be funded. No proof of how the funds were specifically used is required.
  • The report is to be turned in online at without reminders by 15 February 2022. Grant holders will receive renewed access to the portal for this purpose at the end of the grant period.
  • It is within rights of the Akademie der Künste to verify the use of the funds if the Akademie suspects they are being used for something other than their intended purpose and to reclaim the funds partially or in full if such misuse is determined (section 49, subsection 3, sentence 1, no. 1 VwVfG ).
  • The grant recipient’s report and the documentation provided of how the total funds were used are subject to verification by the granting authority. The Federal Audit Office reserves the right to verify the use of the funds under sections 91, 100 BHO.

4. Regulations to Be Observed

  • The approval, disbursal, and accounting of the grant as well as the supporting documents and auditing of its use and, should it be necessary, the revocation of the grant approval notification and the recall of the funds disbursed are all subject to sections 48 to 49a of the Administrative Procedure Act (VwVfG), sections 23, 44 BHO and to General Administrative Law on this subject, insofar as these Funding Guidelines do not include deviations from said General Administrative Law.

VlI. Period of Validity

These Funding Guidelines are valid from the date of their publication until the conclusion of the grant on 31 January 2022 and/or until the grant programme has been fully verified.
More information and answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) can be found on the Akademie der Künste website: