Please note: we are currently updating the information below for the new policy period 2021-2024.
Activities of Dutch artists and cultural entrepreneurs are taking place on a broad scale in Germany each year. It is the most important destination within Europe for Dutch arts and culture, and a focus country in the international cultural policy 2017-2020.
Visual Arts, Literature and Creative Industry
In Germany, reading is an important part of culture, and literature is highly valued. Visual arts are well supported by museums and Kunstvereine (community galleries). The creative industry is acknowledged as one of the most dynamic sectors of the German economy. The Dutch embassy in Berlin and the consulates in Düsseldorf and Munich are giving these three disciplines an extra focus for 2017-2020, in close collaboration with the Dutch cultural funds and institutions. It is our shared understanding that investing in these disciplines will be the best way to encourage the growth of the cultural field of the Netherlands, the international visibility of Dutch artists and the appreciation of Dutch culture.
Important goals for this strategy are, amongst others, to increase the number of book translations, to strengthen the profiles of Dutch visual artists, to generate more media attention for Dutch cultural professionals and to stimulate the exchange between Dutch and German design. Besides these disciplines currently in the spotlight, much more is of course happening in Germany in the areas of performing arts, music, film, etc. Looking at our database, you will see how important Dutch-German cultural collaboration is for artists from every corner of the cultural field.
To stimulate the Dutch presence in Germany, the following organisations work together: the Dutch embassy in Berlin, the Mondriaan Fund, Dutch Performing Arts, the Dutch Foundation for Literature, the Creative Industries Fund NL, Het Nieuwe Instituut, the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands, the National Archives of the Netherlands, the Netherlands Film Fund, the EYE Film Institute, and DutchCulture.
Germany at a glance
featuring 393 artists
12 months (2020)
discipline in 2020
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:
for Visual Arts
> Subsidy for foreign contemporary art platformsto present work by Dutch(-based) living artists. Invited artists can also apply.
> Travel grants to travel to foreign contemporary art platforms for a lecture, workshop or performance.
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 Jonge Kunst grant is especially for collaborative projects between the Netherlands and Germany.
Netherlands Enterprise Agency
for the Creative Industries
Check for other funding options, such as regional and private funding the Cultural Mobility Funding Guide for the Netherlands 2019/2020.
- 2. Where can I find funding within Germany?
Germany has an elaborate system of art subsidies, in German called ´förderungen´. There are programs on a federal level, but the larger part of the programs are organised within the region, or ´Bundesländer´. Therefore it is very important to research upon the opportunities for your artform 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.
For example, in North Rine Westfalia the organisation NRW Kultur organises exchange events and visitors programs.
In Hamburg there is a focus on youth culture and visual arts. Kulturstiftung.
Berlin has several portals and mappings of the creative network of the city, where you can find ongoing projects, open calls and advice. Creative City Berlin.
The Goethe Institute has an International Coproduction Fund, where a German organisation can apply for funding to cooperate with a foreign partner, for example one from the Netherlands!
Doing your research beforehand and finding German partners is essential. You can use the DutchCulture Database be simply going to the search option in the upper left corner, and search for ´Germany´ of any German city you are interested in. In this way you will see which Dutch artists are already active in which areas.
DutchCulture also works closely together with On the Move, where you will find an elaborate mapping of funding opportunities.
- 3. Are there funding opportunities within Europe?
Creative Europe (2014-2020) is the seven-year support program 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 program.
Europe for Citizens
Europe for Citizens is the European Union's funding programme to support cooperation projects by citizens, local governments and civil society organizations in the EU. From 2014-2020, 185 million euro is available to support European projects where citizens meet, discuss the future of Europe and remember the (recent) turbulent past of the EU. Europe for Citizens Point NL promotes awareness and understanding of the programme, and provides free advice and support for applicants from the Netherlands. Every participating country has such a contact point. More about Europe for Citizens in Dutch can be found here.
Besides these two programmes of the European Commissions, there are more European funding opportunities, and within the two programmes, there are different calls and subprograms. 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 local press. There are 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, and don’t forget to let DutchCulture know! 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 a 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, stage to perform, 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 upperleft corner of the website, and search by discipline, country and city. For more searchtools visit the Touring Artists website, where you can access many networks. For residencies the organisation Transartists, which is also a part of DutchCulture, is a great research tool. In order to successfully build an international career, and in order to find sustainable partners in a country, it always wise to spend more than a few days somewhere. Residencies, that can last from a couple of weeks until several months, can help you achieve that.