The Cultural Bridge programme aims to enable social change through the medium of diverse artforms and community arts practices. It promotes cross-border cooperation between the UK nations (Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, England) and German cultural institutions in various disciplines and participative methods.
“In all of their variety, the chosen projects reflect an outstanding selection of ideas and narratives to enhance the further cultural exchange between the UK and Germany. Focussing on artistic and cultural collaboration across borders, they will not only foster the international foresight of each participant, institution and artist, but also deliver inspiring and impacting footprints to foster and strengthen the bilateral relations of our two European countries.” Katharina von Ruckteschell-Katte, Director Goethe-Institut London
Awarded projects will work in partnership with at least one participating German organisation and one from the four UK countries – England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland – to implement their socially engaged practice.
“Our investment in international cultural collaboration helps promote understanding across borders and inspires artists and communities in England. With the new Cultural Bridge pilot programme, we are excited to be working with colleagues in Germany and across the UK to support creativity to help drive social change in our communities.” Simon Mellor, Deputy Chief Executive, Arts and Museums, Arts Council England
“Through cultivating cross-border collaborations, the Cultural Bridge pilot programme will create valuable opportunities for arts organisations from each of the UK nations and Germany to come together, share expertise and explore new ways of working. The arts have a fundamental role to play in strengthening our communities and driving social progress, and we hope this pilot marks the first step in establishing a new framework for international partnership that will develop and continue long into the future.” Nick McDowell, Director International, Arts Council England
The successful projects for the pilot-programme year have now been announced. The jury – that consisted of representatives from all participating countries – selected a total of seven projects to be awarded funding of up to 25,000€. The seven partnerships will all kick-off their projects in November 2021 to share learning, exchange expertise and develop new approaches to socially engaged practice.
"The Cultural Bridge pilot programme is an important step in strengthening cross-border collaboration between the UK and Germany. With support from the seven lead partner organisations the participating exemplary local cultural institutions have discovered valuable common ground to forge new connections through this pilot. The programme and each of the new partnerships are based on the strong belief that cultural democracy in our societies is needed more than ever. Shared learning and development of new approaches to socially engaged arts practice through the Cultural Bridge is likely to be of benefit to us all.“ Mechthild Eickhoff, Managing Director, Fonds Soziokultur
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The seven awarded cooperations 2022
• ENTER – Kulturvilla Nellie, Lörrach, Baden-Württemberg + Creative Black Country, West Bromwich, Birmingham (England)
• STAGING THE HIDDEN WORDS – Sommerblut Kulturfestival, Cologne + Writing on the Wall, Liverpool (England)
• BRIDGIT ‘Building Better Bridges’ – Fine Arts Institute Leipzig (FAIL), Leipzig + Folkestone Fringe, Kent (England) und Alchemy Film & Arts, Hawick (Scotland)
• NORTHSEA NEIGHBOURS – Das Letzte Kleinod, Schiffdorf, Niedersachsen + Shetland Arts, Shetland Islands (Scotland)
• ENSEMBLE UPVENTION – S27, Berlin + Govanhill Baths, Glasgow (Scotland)
• ODE TO EARTH – Die Villa, Leipzig + Beyond Skin und DU Dance, Belfast (Northern Ireland)
• MIND THE GAP – University of Music Lübeck und Emanuel Geibel-Schule + Valleys Kids, Penygraig (Wales)