Forming cultural bridges between the UK and Germany
Cultural Bridge

Cultural Bridge © Floating e.V Spatial Experiments credit LENA_GIOVANAZZ

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 announces 20 awarded partnerships for its 2024-2025 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 the 20 partnerships for the 2024-2025 programme who have been awarded a total of £310,000 in funding to develop artistic practices and projects exploring themes and issues faced by communities across both countries.

The 2024-2025 programme marks the network’s third year of funding artistic exchange between the UK and Germany, bringing the total number of organisations supported by Cultural Bridge since 2021 to 72, through 35 partnerships. Four of the 2023-2024 partnerships have been awarded additional funding to further develop their work and several of the previously funded organisations continue to connect and share practice.

The open call for applicants to the 2024-2025 funding exceeded expectations, with 138 applications from potential partnerships between the UK and Germany, demonstrating the cultural sector’s desire to learn, share and develop work that enables social change through international collaboration.

Applications were assessed and reviewed by an independent jury of professionals across the UK and Germany. The 2024-2025 partnerships will explore a wide range of themes and artforms, from prison theatre, youth led and disability led work, climate change, migrant activism, feminism, rural arts and more.

The 2024-2025 partnerships 

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

  • ARCHITEXTS OF CHANGE - Angeprangert! Spoken Word (Weißwasser, Germany) and Young Identity (Manchester)
  • Bridging Rural Communities - People, Process, Places - Dyffryn Dyfodol CIC (Llanrwst, Wales) and Syndikat Gefährliche Liebschaften (Quakenbrück, Germany)
  • Chemnitz & Manchester Residency - Quarantine (Manchester, England) and ASA-FF e.V./ Freundinnen- und Förderkreis Arbeits- und Studienaufenthalte in Afrika, Asien und Lateinamerika (Chemnitz, Germany)
  • Co-creating across borders: A tale of two cities - Brighton People's Theatre CIO (Brighton, England) and English Theatre Leipzig (Leipzig, Germany)
  • Collectively Crossing: Affiliation Bridges - Kunstverein Leipzig (Leipzig, Germany) and Bistro 21 and Bidston Observatory Artistic Research Centre (BOARC) (Prenton, England)
  • Colour Stories. Sharing journeys of a dyer's garden - artpark Hoher Berg UG gemeinnützig (Schermbeck, Germany) and Brink! (Belfast, Northern Ireland)
  • Common Values, Shared Dreams - The Mighty Creatives (Leicester, England) and Werkhaus e.V. (Krefeld, Germany)
  • Empowering mixedabled/inclusive dance across international communities - Anjali Dance Company (Derby, England) and (Horben, Germany)
  • Feminism and Migrant activism - Stellar Quines Ltd (Fife, Scotland) and MPower (Berlin, Germany)
  • New sustainable models for artist-led spaces - Assembly House CIC (Leeds, England) and E-WERK Luckenwalde (Luckenwalde, Germany)
  • The Invisible City - Tortoise in a Nutshell (Edinburgh, Scotland) and Theater Gruene Sosse (Frankfurt, Germany)
  • Uncomfortable Dialogues - Unveiling Marginalized Black Experiences through Dance, Film, and Storytelling - MINCE e.V. (Berlin, Germany) and Miss Lulu Creates LTD (London, England)
  • Unlocked - Geese Theatre Company (Birmingham, England) and aufBruch (Berlin, Germany)
  • Wetland: sharing practices of care and hospitality to engage communities and redfine former industrial spaces - Cement Fields (Kent, England) and Floating e.V. (Berlin, Germany)

Tier two (existing partnerships receiving funding up to £30k):
  • An Audio Hunt in Easterhouse - Produced Moon (Glasgow, Scotland) and Storydive (Hamburg, Germany)
  • ENTER: Robots exchange - Hijinx Theatre (Cardiff, Wales) and tanzbar-bremen e.V. (Bremen, Germany)
  • Let the Grassroots Grow - SET Centre CIO (London, England) and riesa efau (Dresden, Germany)
  • My Body is my Castle - An intergenerational and performative research - 4.D (Dortmund, Germany) and ACCA (Leeds, England)
  • Rap School of Life - Improving Language and Mental Health - Kanzi GmbH (Berlin, Germany) and Forward Ever Education CIC (Birmingham, England)
  • The Shake - The MAC (Belfast, Northern Ireland) and coculture e.V. (Berlin, Germany)

A man and woman acting on stage, holding hands Image: Marc Doradzillo

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.


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