Germany and the Netherlands
“Artists say something about the identity of our country, we are proud of the diversity of our cultural offerings,” former Chancellor Angela Merkel said in 2020. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, the former Chancellor received international acclaim for recognising the importance of culture in times of crisis. Acknowledging the value of artistic practice not only sustains the field itself but also makes us turn to artistic thinking for answers in a time of uncertainty.
In the publication Recipes for the Future by the Dutch embassy in Germany, sixteen culture makers working in the Netherlands and Germany, acting as Zeitzeugen (contemporary witnesses) of the COVID pandemic, sketch how things could be different in the future, addressing themes such as real utopias, sustainability, the new domesticity, and the role of cultural institutions in our society.
An important country for Dutch creatives
With its rich and well-funded cultural infrastructure, Germany offers many presentation opportunities for Dutch makers and starting points for cooperation, exchange, deepening of content and reflection. Over the past years, Germany was the number one country in the DutchCulture Database with over five thousand activities a year, and even in the crisis year of 2020 artists crossed the border whenever they could. Dutch artists are perceived by German audiences as innovative, open-minded, diverse, pragmatic and internationally oriented. Germany also offers an excellent springboard for a further international career, in both German-speaking and English-speaking regions, with its strong links to Central and Eastern European countries.
Focus on literature, visual arts and the creative industry
In Germany, the Dutch diplomatic network consists of the embassy in Berlin and the consulates general in Munich and Düsseldorf. Germany can be an interesting country for Dutch artists of every discipline, but in order to build sustainable partnerships, the focus is on three disciplines: literature, visual arts and the creative industries. The embassy and consulates general can occasionally support projects from other disciplines if there is a clear demand from the German side. Read more...
Information & advice
Would you like to receive more information regarding opportunities for cultural exchange with Germany? Feel free to contact our Germany advisor Astrid Mörk with your questions. She can inform you about the latest developments in the country, relevant contacts and cultural venues.
- Find out more about cultural cooperation with Germany 2021-2024
- COVID-19 Information for cooperation with Germany
- Webpage of the Embassy of The Kingdom of the Netherlands in Berlin
- Webpage of the Consulate General of The Kingdom of the Netherlands in Munich
- Webpage of the Consulate General of The Kingdom of the Netherlands in Düsseldorf
- Follow the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Germany on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram
Germany at a glance
featuring 733 artists
12 months (2022)
discipline in 2022
Frequently asked questions
- 1. Where can I find funding within the Netherlands?
In the Netherlands the means for international cultural cooperation are delegated to the national funds. The fund that works for your art form or discipline, has one or several subsidy schemes for internationalisation. To make sure the program fits your project, contact the advisors of the fund before starting the process of application. These are funds:
Creative Industries Fund NL for Design, Creative Industries, Architecture, Digital Culture
> Internationalization of the Design Sector Grant Scheme
for Visual Arts
> Subsidy for International Art Presentation to present work by living Dutch(-based) artists. For Dutch(-based) artists or internationally recognized art organizations outside the Netherlands.
> Subsidy for International Art Fair/Art Book Fair to present work by living Dutch(-based) artists. For Dutch and non-Dutch galleries, publishers and non-Dutch art fairs.
Performing Arts Fund
Performing Arts (theater, dance, music, opera)
> Grants for foreign organisations to invite Dutch(-based) artists
> Internationalisation grants for Dutch(-based) artists
Dutch Film Fund for Audiovisual media, film, documentary
The Film Fund has several subsidy schemes to support co-productions and distribution (film & documentary).
Dutch Foundation for Literature
The Dutch Foundation for Literature has several subsidies for internationalisation:
> Translation grants for foreign publishers
> Travel grants
Cultural Participation Fund for communal arts, cooperation, projects with non-professionals
> The development grant within the international cooperation scheme by the Cultural Participation Fund is available for all disciplines and designated for finding partners abroad.
The Netherlands Enterprise Agency is not a national fund but also offers on behalf of various ministries and the European Union subsidies for companies in the creative industries.
Check for other funding options, such as regional and private funding the Cultural Mobility Funding Guide for the Netherlands 2021/2022.
- 2. Where can I find funding within Germany?
Some art subsidies, called 'förderungen', are organised on a federal level, but the larger part of the programs are organised within the federal states (´Bundesländer´) and municipalities. Therefore, it is important to research the opportunities for your art form or discipline in the different regions of Germany. In order to be eligible for financing opportunities within Germany, it is in most cases necessary to have a German partner. Only people or institutions registered in Germany can apply for funding unless it is said so otherwise. The different regions have their own approach to culture and artistic cooperation and exchange, and it is recommended to have a look into the programs offered.
- Neustart Kultur: A rescue package for the culture and media sector, which was launched in 2020 due to COVID-19 and has been extended until 2023.
- The Goethe Institute: German organisations can apply for funding to cooperate with a foreign partner (for example from the Netherlands) - International Coproduction Fund.
- DutchCulture works closely together with On the Move, where you will find an elaborate mapping of funding opportunities in Germany.
- North Rhine Westfalia: The organisation NRW Kultur organises exchange events and visitors programmes. The Münsterland Art and Culture Foundation pursues the promotion and preservation of art and culture in the Münsterland region.
- Hamburg: There is a focus on youth culture and visual arts - Kulturstiftung.
- Berlin: There are several portals and mappings of the creative network of the city, where you can find ongoing projects, open calls and advice - Creative City Berlin.
Finding a German partner
Doing your research beforehand and finding German partners is essential. You can use the DutchCulture Database by simply going to the search option in the upper left corner, and searching for ´Germany´ or any German city you are interested in. In this way, you will see which Dutch artists are already active in which areas.
- 3. Are there funding opportunities within Europe?
Creative Europe (2021-2027) is the seven-year support programme by the European Commission for the cultural and audio-visual sector and consists of two subprograms: Culture and MEDIA. The Creative Europe Desk of the Netherlands is part of DutchCulture. Be aware that there are many strict conditions to be considerate before applying for this programme. In April 2019 the i-Portunus mobility programme was launched.
Besides these two programmes of the European Commissions, there are more European funding opportunities, and within the two programmes, there are different calls and subprogrammes. This funding guide can help you on your way.
- 4. How can I promote my work in Germany?
It is a good idea to engage local publicists, that have an understanding of your art discipline, audience and region. It would also be wise to translate your promotion materials to German, because everywhere with perhaps the exception of Berlin, this would be well received. Communication with websites or social media that could promote your project will also be better received if written in German, the same goes for the local press. There is a growing number of Dutch people living in Germany and many cities have a Dutch network. Using these existing networks will also help you to promote your work.
Make sure to contact the embassy or the consulates to let them know about your projects. Do not forget to create a My DC account, where you can add your activities in our Cultural Database. This way you will be included in our database and become part of our network.
- 5. What visa do I need?
As an EU citizen, you do not need a visa to work in Germany. If you have a passport from outside the EU, it is wise to check the rules with your country´s representatives in the Netherlands, or you can ask the DutchCulture Mobility Info Point.
It is important to prepare for different and sometimes stricter rules in Germany than you may be used to in the Netherlands. Processing forms concerning taxes, insurance and also funding conditions may be stricter and may cost more time. Find out exactly what the rules are that a gallery, stage or theatre upholds, before engaging in cooperation. If you find obstacles on your way, you will have enough time to apply for permits or find other solutions. Always make sure that your health insurance will cover you across borders.
Disclaimer: The information given above is based on experience and information provided by the German authorities. In case of any doubt or further questions, please contact the German Embassy in The Hague.
- 6. How can I find a residency, a stage to perform, an exhibition space?
Through the DutchCulture database, you can figure out which artists from the Netherlands have worked at which venues, and start your research there. Go to the search icon on the upper left corner of the website, and search by discipline, country, and city.
For residencies, DutchCulture's TransArtists is a great research tool. In order to successfully build an international career, and in order to find sustainable partners in a country, it is always wise to spend more than a few days somewhere. Residencies, which can last from a couple of weeks up to several months, can help you achieve this.
For more search tools visit the Touring Artists website, where you can access many networks.