The Visual Arts Project Fund

IKF Projekt "Golden Age of extremes" Photo (detail): © Jamie Fyson Howard, IKF Projekt "Golden Age of extremes"

Collaborative work processes and artistic research in global, trans-cultural contexts open up opportunities for shared learning and the production of new knowledge across national borders. The Goethe-Institut's Visual Arts Project Fund supports artists, curators and institutions from different countries and regions in the realisation of projects planned jointly and based on an equal division of labour and creative input. The aim is to promote international networks in the visual arts, architecture, design and art education/cultural mediation through innovative artistic and curatorial work.

We provide funding for the development of exhibitions and discursive formats with transnational cooperative working structures from the fields of visual art, architecture, design and art education/cultural mediation as well as interdisciplinary projects. The fund is aimed at professional artists, curators and cultural practitioners working abroad and in Germany. It supports their creative and intellectual engagement in a project which they conceive and implement together, and in which they collaborate as equal partners across national boundaries while sensitive to specific contexts, thereby creating new modes/ possibilities of form and content. 

If you are planning a project in the fields of theatre, dance, music or performance, please apply for founding via the Goethe-Institut’s International Coproduction Fund.

Your application, which must be submitted by two or more partners, of whom one must live and work abroad, should show that working contacts already exist and that you intend to implement the project in a dialogue-oriented manner. You must provide written confirmation from at least one institution (art association, museum, educational institution, etc.) of your interest in collaborating with you and the other applicants and interest in the content of the project as a binding part of the application documents to be submitted.

The Visual Arts Project Fund supports projects that can be expected to have a high quality and lasting impact of the artistic or discursive results. Their public presentation in at least one location outside of Germany is obligatory. The inclusion of several locations increases the chances of your application and can be supported by a correspondingly higher funding amount. The maximum funding amount is 25,000 €. You and your partners will document the course of the project with photos, videos, etc. and a detailed final report.

Applicants can contact the Goethe-Institut at an early stage of project development. The Visual Arts Division at the Goethe-Institut's headquarters in Munich as well as the Goethe-Institut in the respective country offer assistance with the application and advice on networking with other project partners when necessary.
 
We provide funding for projects from the fields of visual arts, architecture, design and art education/cultural mediation as well as interdisciplinary formats. The fund is administered by the Visual Arts Division at the Goethe-Institut's headquarters.

If you are planning a project in the fields of theatre, dance, music or performance, please apply for the Goethe-Institut’s International Coproduction Fund.

Applications that meet our criteria are submitted to a jury of experts and representatives of the Goethe-Institut for decision. In making its decision, the jury will be guided by the following award criteria:
  • Project quality and roles of the participating cultural operators in their respective scenes
  • Expected impact of artistic or discursive results
  • Contemporary relevance of the questions and objectives
  • Balanced and dialogical approach to cooperation without one project partner dominating
  • Establishment of continuing cooperation structures
  • Consideration of ecological and social sustainability and inclusiveness in the project’s implementation
  • Budget with details of your own/third-party funds and solid financial plan
  • Preference is given to projects between partners from Germany and transition countries and the Global South.
Two jury meetings are held annually after the application deadlines. Applicants will be informed about the results in a timely manner.

Application deadlines

Deadlines for applications with project start dates


2021: through 15 April 2021
2022: through 15 October 2021 and through 15 April 2022
Please submit your application for the Visual Arts Project Fund electronically via the Goethe-Institut's Application Portal. Applications can only be submitted in English.

The instructions for the application form provide information on the fields you have to fill in and the documents you have to submit. Please read the instructions carefully before filling in an application form. We also refer you to our legal data privacy declaration.

 
Contact:

If you have any questions, please write to us at:
projektfonds@goethe.de
 
1. Who can apply?

The fund is aimed at professional artists, curators and cultural practitioners with proven experience in working and exhibiting in professional contexts.
 
We require at least two project partners for an application, one of whom lives and works inside and one outside of Germany. The application is handed in by one of the partners, the applicant. The second project partner receives an email with a prompt to confirm the application.

 
2. Who submits the application?

One project partner submits the application and is considered the applicant; the second project partner is requested by e-mail to confirm her or his participation and data. Until we receive this confirmation, the application is assumed not to have been received. All participating institutions and further partners attach a confirmation of cooperation or declaration of intent.
 
3. Is an institutional affiliation necessary?

One of the aims of the Visual Arts Project Fund is to promote international networks in the visual arts, architecture, design and cultural mediation through innovative artistic and curatorial work. An institutional affiliation underscores the proposed project's orientation towards this goal. We expect your cooperation with at least one institution (museum, art association, educational institution, etc.)

If applicants are not yet networked with institutions for their project, they can contact the Goethe-Institutes abroad and the Visual Arts Division at the Goethe-Institut headquarters for advice and possible assistance.

4. Can institutions apply?

While an institution must participate in the application (at least in a supporting capacity), an application by an institution as a main applicant requires that a specific person is designated as contact partner who will work on the project both creatively and on an equal basis with the project partners. The application must specify this person's role in and contribution to the project. An application of this kind is therefore not excluded in principle, but care must be taken to ensure that such a constellation does not involve the commissioning of an artist/curator.
 
Two institutions can also apply as project partners with a joint project if it fulfils all of the Fund’s other criteria.
 
Smaller, less financially strong institutions may be given preference.

5. Can a Goethe-Institut abroad or in Germany be counted as a participating institution in the project?

No, unfortunately we cannot offer this option. However, you are welcome to contact both the institutes abroad and the Visual Arts Division at the Goethe-Institut's headquarters for assistance in finding a participating institution.
 
6. Where and how often must the project be presented?

Your project has to be presented publicly in at least one location in a professional environment outside Germany. However, the involvement of several locations increases your application's chances, which in this case can be supported by a correspondingly higher funding amount.

7. What projects are specifically not supported by the Visual Arts Project Fund?

Projects that have already started at the time of application and projects in which the project partners’ equal status and the dialogic approach are not guaranteed (e.g. commissioned work) are specifically ineligible for funding.

An example of such an ineligible constellation is the exhibition of an artist and their work by a curator at a gallery. Funding for a subsequent presentation or the touring of an existing exhibition project by several artists is also excluded.

These examples do not fulfil all of the Fund's central principles: joint creative and intellectual work on a jointly conceived and implemented project where all project partners contribute equally, working across national boundaries to create something new together.
 
8. How can I increase our project's chances of being funded?

The Visual Arts Project Fund supports projects that can be expected to have a high quality and lasting impact of artistic or discursive results. Positive factors for your application's chances of success are:
  • Thematisation of relevant contemporary issues and current discourses in the visual arts, architecture and design
  • Your partner institution(s)' importance and visibility for the presentation and discussion of the results of your work
  • Establishment of continuing collaborative structures
  • Consideration of ecological and social sustainability as well as inclusiveness in the implementation of the project
9. How does the application process work?

Your application is to be submitted and processed via the Goethe-Institut's application portal. Once we have received your application, it will be reviewed by the Visual Arts Division at the Goethe-Institut's headquarters. A jury will discuss all applications received that meet our criteria and make a decision regarding funding.
 
10. What happens if our financial framework deviates from the original plan?

You must immediately notify the Visual Arts Division at the Goethe-Institut headquarters of any deviations from the financial plan submitted as part of your application. A subsequent increase in the funding amount is excluded.
 
11. Can projects be funded that have already started prior to our application?

In principle, projects that have already started cannot be funded. However, this does not apply to the conception and planning phase of a project. If you are unsure as to whether your project would be categorised as already started, please feel free to contact us.

12. What formats are eligible?

No limits are set to your creativity in the conception of formats, as long as the criteria of transnational, equal cooperation in a newly emerging project are met. In addition to exhibition projects, discursive formats such as discussion events are also an option. Digital formats are also possible and expressly encouraged.
 

Next Application Deadline

The next closing date for applications is 15.10.2021 at 11:59 AM (CET - time in Germany). 

Applications will only be excepted through the Kulturförderportal which will be open from 1.09.2021 to 15.10.2021.

To the Kulturförderportal
Please always include your application number if you have any questions about ongoing applications.

Contact

If you have any questions, please write to us at:
projektfonds@goethe.de