Funding Guidelines

INITIAL 2 – New Cooperations

A special grant from the Akademie der Künste as funding for the research and development of artistic projects during the COVID-19 pandemic (as part 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

As part of the federal NEUSTART KULTUR programme introduced by the Federal Commissioner for Culture and the Media, the Akademie der Künste is calling for applications for a special grant used to fund the research and development of artistic works which evolve in collaboration between artists. The objective is to initiate networks between art, education, and civil society and support new artistic practices with social impact. The special grant programme is endowed with 3.5 million euros.

The special grant protects opportunities for artistic production. It offers a foundation and an impetus for longer-term artistic cooperative projects, whose preparation and development have been impeded by the pandemic. Cooperative projects are sought, which

  • are developed across all disciplines,
  • examine and try out new forms of artistic practice,
  • are created at the intersections of art and education, whether in artistic research or cultural communication and education,
  • are planned in contexts that affect civil society, for example, in collaboration with public institutions, such as community shelters, socio-cultural centres, and non-profit associations,
  • go beyond typical, well-established cooperation experiences with institutional partners.

II. Grant Recipients

Professional artists who live in Germany and work in the fields of music, performing arts, architecture, visual arts, literature or film and media arts/audio plays are eligible to apply for the special grant. One to (maximal) four artists can submit an application for a cooperative project. Only one person may act as the applicant and grant recipient per application. All artists involved in the collaboration must fulfil requirements recognising their status as professionals.

Artists are considered professional if they meet any of 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’ social insurance), or
  • They hold a degree from a German university, art academy or a comparable foreign institution (in compliance with 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

The special grant in the amount of 9,000 euros per artist (7,500 euros at the beginning of the grant period and 1,500 euros after the submission of the Interim Report, at the latest in December 2022) will be distributed over six months to a maximum of 352 artists, making it possible for them to research and develop longer-term artistic projects. A future-oriented and sustainable design of the proposed cooperative project, its artistic quality, consistency and development potential, and its potential to affect society are criteria for receiving the funding.

Determining and formulating the selection process’s specific criteria is the jury’s prerogative. Equal treatment of men and women is inherent to these criteria.

2. Funding Prerequisites

  • An application by one to four artists (maximum) proposing a cooperative project (legal entities will not receive funding)
  • Only one person may act as the applicant and recipient.
  • A concept for the cooperative project proposal to be funded and a detailed description of the cooperative format
  • A portfolio and/or documentation/information about previous work in the arts for all artists participating in the cooperative project (no catalogues)
  • Art CVs for all artists involved in the cooperative project

More detailed information and specifications regarding the documents and verifications to be submitted are provided on the application portal online. Supporting documents related to the eligibility requirements can be submitted with the application in German or English.

3. Funding Amount
9000 euros per artist participating in the cooperative project

4. Call for Applications and Project Duration
An eight-member jury will make the decisions.

Announcement of the Special Grant Programme: 22 February 2022
Opening of the application portal: 1 April – 30 April 2022
Jury decisions: by 1 June 2022
Grant period: 1 July 2022 – 31 December 2022

A maximum of 1600 applications will be accepted in the order of receipt.

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

1. Compatibility with Other Grants

  • Simultaneous funding by other federal funds (including other NEUSTART KULTUR programmes), state or municipal sources and the INITIAL 2 Special Grant is not allowed. This regulation does not apply to private grants or if the funding amount of another grant programme is less than 50% of the monthly funding amount of the NEUSTART KULTUR grant; in these cases, it is permitted to combine funding from different grants regardless of their timeframes.
  • Accepting funding from the 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 notification according to no. 12 of the regulations in 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 or applicants carbon footprint as much as possible.
  • Accessibility for people with disabilities should be considered 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 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 or participate in only one grant application.
  • The applicant will be disqualified if the application contains any intentionally incorrect information.

2. Grant Approval

  • The funds are distributed based on the recommendations of a specialist jury. The gender balance of the jury 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.
  • The grant will be disbursed in two payments during the grant period (7,500 euros at the start of the grant and 1,500 euros after the submission of the Interim Report, at the latest in December 2022).
  • The grant can only be disbursed to the recipient’s own German bank account.
  • Payments will be made to the applicant. This person is obligated to distribute the payment shares of the funding to each of the artists participating in the cooperative project. As proof, copies of transfers and signed acknowledgements of receipt must be submitted no later than four weeks after payment of the instalments.
  • 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. Interim Report and Project Report

  • An Interim Report in German or English must be submitted for each approved application.
  • The Interim Report is meant to show how the cooperation project materialised, which steps have already been taken and what prospects are emerging as a result of the cooperation.
  • The Interim Report must be submitted online without reminders by 1 November 2022: Grant holders will receive renewed access to the portal for this purpose.
  • In addition, for each approved application, a Final Report in German or English is to be produced and submitted at the completion of the grant period. The Interim Report can be part of the Final Report.
  • The Final Report is intended to show how the grant contributed to the research and development of the artistic, cooperative project. The completion of the project will not be funded. No proof of how the funds were specifically used is required.
  • The Final Report must be submitted online without reminders by 15 January 2023: Grant holders will receive renewed access to the portal for this purpose.
  • It is within the 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 (§ 49 Abs. 3 S. 1 Nr. 1 VwVfG). The same applies for failure to submit the Interim Report and the Final Report and in case of missing proof of payment of proportional funding amounts to the other artists involved in a cooperative project.
  • The grant recipient’s or recipients’ Interim Report and the Final Report and the documentation provided showing 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 Section (§§) 91, 100 BHO.

4. Regulations to Be Observed

  • The approval, disbursal, and accounting of the special 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 Section (§§) 48 to 49a of the Administrative Procedure Act (VwVfG), Section (§§) 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.

VII. Period of Validity

These Funding Guidelines are valid from the date of publication until the conclusion of the grant on 31 December 2022 and/or until the completion of an audit of the grant programme. Current information and answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) can be found on the Akademie der Künste website.