Forming cultural bridges between the UK and Germany
Cultural Bridge

Cultural Bridge © Nils Koenning

Cultural Bridge celebrates bilateral partnerships between the UK and Germany through the collaboration of all UK arts councils and leading German cultural institutions. The programme aims to act as a platform of exchange, enabling others to discuss social issues, strengthen the exchange between the UK and Germany, and foster artistic collaboration and cultural democracy.

Together with Fonds Soziokultur, British Council, Arts Council England, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Arts Council of Wales/Wales Arts International, Creative Scotland  we co-produced the pilot program as an opportunity to advocate bilateral community arts collaborations.

Cultural Bridge 2023 Applications

Cultural Bridge announces the 15 awarded partnerships for its 2023 - 2024 programme.

Cultural Bridge celebrates bilateral partnerships between the UK and Germany through the collaboration between Arts Council England, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, British Council, Creative Scotland, Fonds Soziokultur, Goethe-Institut London and Wales Arts International / Arts Council of Wales. 

We’re thrilled to announce 15 partnerships between UK and German-based organisations, who have been awarded funding to develop cultural projects exploring issues facing communities across both countries.

The aim of the programme is to act as a platform of artistic exchange, enabling artists to strengthen the exchange between the UK and Germany and foster cultural collaboration. It does this by providing funding for partnerships to develop projects around specific themes, including: community engagement in post-industrial areas, working in areas or with communities that have fewer opportunities to engage with cultural practice or those transformed by grass-roots movements, and projects that explore redefining the use of public space.

The new programme follows a pilot year that funded the creation of 7 partnerships between 2021-2022. Three of the pilot projects, ENTER, FAILSTONE and Ode to Earth (Phase 2) have been awarded funding to continue to develop their projects through Cultural Bridge 2023 - 2024. Key learnings and the impact of the pilot year programme are available through the evaluation report, written and produced by tialt.

The 2023 – 2024 programme partnerships applied through an open call which received over 95 applications, a testament to the international cultural sector’s commitment to developing work that enables social change. Applications were assessed and reviewed by an independent jury of professionals across the UK and Germany.

The 2023 – 2024 partnerships are:

Tier one (new partnerships receiving funding up to £10k):

Tier two (existing partnerships receiving funding up to £30k):
  • ENTER - Creative Black Country (England) and Kuturvilla Nellie (Germany)
  • FAILSTONE - Folkestone Fringe (England) and Fine Arts Institute Leipzig - FAIL (Germany)
  • Ode to Earth (Phase 2) - VILLA Leipzig (Germany), Beyond Skin and DU Dance (Northern Ireland)
  • Between Moons. Spree~Channelsea Transmissions - Soundcamp CIC (England) and Archipel Stations (Germany)

More about the programme

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
Follow the project’s progress and latest updates on Twitter using #CulturalBridge.

The seven awarded cooperations 2022

ENTERKulturvilla Nellie, Lörrach, Baden-Württemberg + Creative Black Country, West Bromwich, Birmingham (England)

STAGING THE HIDDEN WORDSSommerblut 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 NEIGHBOURSDas Letzte Kleinod, Schiffdorf, Niedersachsen + Shetland Arts, Shetland Islands (Scotland)

ENSEMBLE UPVENTION S27, Berlin + Govanhill Baths, Glasgow (Scotland)

ODE TO EARTHDie Villa, Leipzig + Beyond Skin und DU Dance, Belfast (Northern Ireland)

MIND THE GAPUniversity of Music Lübeck und Emanuel Geibel-Schule + Valleys Kids, Penygraig (Wales)


Partner Logos for the Cultural Bridge project © Bilder gehören den einzelnen Firmen