Creatives wanted! Federal Foreign Office launches funding for international creative industries

Die Informale Buenos Aires

Die Informale Buenos Aires, © Kevin McElvaney / Übermut Project

12.11.2019 - Article

The Federal Foreign Office will make funds available once again next year for the promotion of international, cross-border cultural and creative industries.

The aim of Funding for the Creative Sector 2020 is to identify concepts that foster the priority sectors of design and digital society. The regional focus of the funding line is on the cultural and creative industries in Europe and Africa. 

Michelle Müntefering, Minister of State for International Cultural Policy at the Federal Foreign Office, commented as follows:

The creative industry is a motor of change. As the Federal Foreign Office, we are already contributing to its internationalisation. We have made it our task to pool and concentrate this - with a focus on digital society and design in Africa and Europe. We are looking forward to receiving proposals on establishing transnational links between creative people, providing broad access to art and culture, sustainable solutions and carrying out cultural co-productions. And a bit of utopia and foresight is always welcome.

Project proposals can be submitted from 1 December 2019 to 31 January 2020. The competition is open to legal entities whose main activity is in international cultural and creative industries. The minimum grant is 50,000 euros, the maximum 250,000 euros. Projects funded under the funding line can start in early summer 2020 and last a maximum of 24 months.

Since 2016, the Federal Foreign Office has supported around 65 projects in the international creative industries. The funds were provided by the German Bundestag. So far, the funding has focused on music, digital media and film.

Examples of funding

Reeperbahn Festival, Sequencer Tour, New York
Reeperbahn Festival, Sequencer Tour, New York© Jen Maler

A festival tours around the world

The Reeperbahn Festival attracts 50,000 visitors annually with around 700 concerts and events in the fields of art, film and literature and 300 trade visitor events – including 5,900 music professionals from 52 nations – to venues around Hamburg's Reeperbahn. Thanks to support from the Federal Foreign Office, the festival has become significantly more international, with the first spin-off taking place in 2016 in New York, and further spin-off events in Accra, Nashville, New York, Los Angeles and Beijing in 2019 and 2020. The ANCHOR Award, a successful international newcomer competition, was also launched in 2016 with support from the Federal Foreign Office.

Hope through music

In 2017 and 2018, the Music In Africa Connects initiative supported seven African countries affected by conflict, including the Sudan, the Niger and Somalia. The aim was to strengthen and enhance the creative potential of the countries’ music scenes and to facilitate knowledge transfer. As a joint Federal Foreign Office and Siemens Stiftung project, the initiative stands for new approaches in cooperation between the state and civil society. It also built on the initial project of the online platform Music In Africa and thus stands for sustainable and digital infrastructure support in the international creative industry.

Berlin’s and Hamburg's creative world tour

200 creative workers from all sectors and 17 major cities around the globe – for over 18 months, Hamburg and Berlin presented Germany’s artistic creativity with sensational art actions in the Übermut Project. Field trips, pop-up events and academies were all part of the world tour. The aims of the project were to present the German cultural and creative scene internationally, to facilitate a worldwide exchange between female artists and to create a framework for creative co-productions. The project concluded with Die Informale, an event in Buenos Aires at which numerous works by renowned Berlin video artists were presented, bringing unused places back to life.

Further information 

Contact: kreative-mittel@diplo.de

Guidelines for applicants

Draft proposal form

22nd Report of the Federal Government on Foreign Cultural and Educational Policy


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