Published: 17 Jan 2023
Top left to right: Playing with Audio Walks, Produced Moon Boundless Theatre Science Gallery London, credit: Jane Hobson. Bespoke Make Works Dovecot Studios Tapestry Studio, credit Eoin Carey. Bottom left to right: Growing Together, credit: Open Past. Strictly Scottish and Schottish, Traditional Dance Forum of Scotland, credit: Wangxiu Cheng.
- Cultural Bridge is a unique investment partnership between all UK arts councils and leading German cultural institutions
- It aims to support bilateral exchange and dialogue within participative arts and culture by funding organisations that place communities at the heart of their work
- The 2023 – 2024 programme will enable the development of 11 new and 4 existing partnerships between organisations across all four UK nations and Germany
The Cultural Bridge programme announced 15 partnerships between UK and German-based organisations, who have been awarded funding to develop cultural projects exploring issues facing communities across both countries.
With investment from seven major partners: Fonds Soziokultur, Goethe-Institut London, Arts Council England, Arts Council Northern Ireland, British Council, Creative Scotland and Arts Council of Wales/Wales Arts International, Cultural Bridge is the first project that sees all organisations collaborate on a single fund.
The aim of the Cultural Bridge 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 is available through the evaluation report published today on the Cultural Bridge website.
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):
- Illuminate Together – Handmade Parade (England) and Kapuziner Kreativzentrum (Germany)
- Co-creating with young voices – Mahogany Opera Group (England) and Frequenz_Festival Kiel (Germany)
- Bespoke – Make Works Scotland ‘Paved with Gold’ (Scotland) and Kulturzentrum LUISE (Germany)
- Going spaces: forming new connections and fostering collaboration – Motorenhalle Dresden (Germany) and SET studios London (England)
- Growing together to facilitate community stories – THE bEAR e.V. (Germany) and Open Past (Scotland)
- Our EARTH Hour – MOTTE eV. Stadtteil & Kulturzentrum (Germany) and Head4Arts (Wales)
- Playing with Audio Walks: Storydive meets Produced Moon – Produced Moon (Scotland) and Storydive (Germany)
- At the Table – The MAC (Metropolitan Arts Centre) (Northern Ireland) and coculture e.V. (Germany)
- Strictly Scottish and Schottisch – Traditional Dance Forum of Scotland (Scotland) and Folk Dance Society of Germany (Germany)
- Female Spaces – vier.D (Germany) and ACCA / Slung Low (England)
- In Each Other’s Company – National Dance Company of Wales (Wales) and Of Curious Nature (Germany)
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)
Dr Katharina von Ruckteschell-Katte, Director, Goethe-Institut London said: “We are thrilled at the variety and richness of the projects that have been selected to participate in Cultural Bridge this year. The focus on arts organisations with clear ambition to provide greater arts access and to develop socially engaged arts practice complements our wider programme of work, both here at the Goethe-Institut London and with our colleagues working globally. From new beginnings to established European partnerships, we look forward to seeing this collaborative UK/German project evolve and mature into the future.”
Paul Smith OBE, Country Director Germany, British Council said: “What a thrill to see the second year of partnerships agreed upon under the great ‘Cultural Bridge’ programme. In 2021/22, some of the most creative, socially alert cultural groups of practitioners in Germany and across the UK brilliantly demonstrated how culturally like-minded Germany and the UK are. We know this next stage will play to our bilateral creative strengths even more impressively.”
Iain Munro, Chief Executive, Creative Scotland said: “Cross-cultural collaboration and exchange made possible through the Cultural Bridge programme is empowering grassroots creative communities to take agency over their skills, experience, and passion to drive local, community transformation. The shared learning and development of new approaches to socially engaged arts practice through Cultural Bridge will further demonstrate the fundamental role that arts and culture play in underpinning our communities and how they help forge social progress.”
Iliyana Nedkova and Wendy Timmons, on behalf of Traditional Dance Forum of Scotland said: “We believe that our new partnership will allow us to explore the potential for shared learning, initiate a series of new collaborative projects, exchange visits, festival contributions, new dance artists residencies and archive research about the links between today’s folk dance scenes in Scotland and Germany which we encapsulated in the play on words project title of our collaboration Strictly Scottish and Schottisch.”
Arts Council England is the national development agency for creativity and culture. www.artscouncil.org.uk
The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is the lead funding and development agency for the Arts providing support to arts projects throughout the region, through its Treasury and The National Lottery funds.
The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities.. www.britishcouncil.org
Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland distributing funding provided by the Scottish Government and The National Lottery. Further information at creativescotland.com. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Learn more about the value of art and creativity in Scotland and join in at www.ourcreativevoice.scot
Fonds Soziokultur is one of six Federal Culture Fonds in Germany and is supporting participative art projects of all artistic kinds since 1988. www.fonds-soziokultur.de
The Goethe-Institut is the cultural institute of the Federal Republic of Germany with a global reach. www.goethe.de/uk
The Arts Council of Wales is the country’s official public body for funding and developing the arts. https://arts.wales/
For enquiries, please contact Bonnie Smith via email or on 07525 856018