Frequently Asked Questions

What does the Federal Cultural Foundation support?

The Federal Cultural Foundation supports artistic and cultural productions and grants funding to projects with themes that fall within the scope of federal cultural funding competence. All non-commercial fields and areas of cultural activity are eligible for funding, such as the fine arts, performing arts, literature, music, film, photography, architecture, cultural-historical exhibitions, new media, and related and cross-disciplinary art forms. The Federal Cultural Foundation does not fund projects that are already underway – only those planned for the future. In addition to application-based project funding, the Executive Board of the Federal Cultural Foundation also develops programmes of its own which address current cultural issues of importance. These programmes are not subject to the Jury’s funding decisions, though some include application-based funds.

What kind of projects and programmes does the Foundation initiate?

In addition to application-based project funding, the Foundation’s Executive Board initiates special programmes that examine contemporary cultural issues. These are not subject to the funding recommendations normally made by the Jury. These programmes are comprised of various projects that generate a wide spectrum of cultural-political working and funding mechanisms. The Foundation could, for example, commission curators, initiate events or publications, or set up special application-based funds. Please note that the Foundation’s programmes generally do not accept applications for project funding. If a programme includes a fund that calls for project proposals, it will be specially marked as such. You can read more about our programmes and any applicable funding criteria on our website.

What is General Project Funding?

The Federal Cultural Foundation’s General Project Funding department accepts funding applications for projects in all artistic fields twice a year. A jury, comprised of experts in these artistic fields, reviews the applications and informs the Executive Board of its funding recommendations. The Executive Board is responsible for approving funding for selected projects which require a minimum of 50,000 euro and a maximum of 250,000 euro. The Board of Trustees is responsible for approving funding that exceeds this amount. The Federal Cultural Foundation supports artistic projects and grants funding to projects that have an unmistakeable international context or otherwise clearly fall within the scope of federal funding competence. The Foundation can grant funding to all non-commercial fields and areas of cultural activity which include the fine arts, performing arts, literature, music, film, photography, architecture, cultural-historic exhibitions, new media, and related and cross-disciplinary art forms. The Foundation does not fund projects that are already underway, but only those that are planned for the future. The Federal Cultural Foundation does not provide funding to cover the operational costs of organizations and institutions, nor does it fund building projects or projects consisting solely of guest performances abroad. The Foundation grants funding to projects which fulfil these requirements and whose content is significant for current artistic or social discourse in Germany. Project administrators must also ensure that the project is publicly visible in Germany.

How do you define an “international context”?

To be regarded as having an “international context”, a project must fulfil one of the following criteria:
- be carried out in cooperation with at least one foreign partner whose headquarters are located abroad
- hold at least one of its constituent events outside Germany’s borders
- require the significant involvement of artists from various countries
- require international cooperation for its preparation and research
- create a network connecting a large number of participants or project events
- require the participation of internationally renowned institutions.

Of course, the visibility of the project in Germany must be guaranteed. Publications for international projects must generally also be printed in German.

Should the project be unable to meet any of these criteria, the Executive Board may consider a project having an “international context” if its thematic orientation is deemed to be of such outstanding significance that it transcends national borders. The Executive Board will inform the Jury of such projects.

Who can apply for funding?

The Federal Cultural Foundation can grant funding to institutions and organizations situated in Germany or abroad. The legal form of the applying institution (e.g., foundation, association, public corporation or private company) has no influence on the funding decision. The Foundation generally does not fund projects organized by individuals or groups of individuals who are not firmly established within an organization.

What are the funding requirements for General Project Funding?

Funding applications will only be considered if:
- the application is completely filled out,
- the funding requested from the Federal Cultural Foundation amounts to at least 50,000 euro
- at least 20 percent of the entire cost of the project is secured by one’s personal capital and/or third-party funding
- written letters of confirmation by all listed sponsors, cooperative partners and important participating artists are submitted with the application
- the project has not commenced before the Jury’s session.
Funding applications will not be considered if the applicants have not secured their entire portion of personal capital and/or third-party co-financing by the application deadline.

How do I apply for funding?

To apply for General Project Funding, please use the online application form (in German only).

In addition to filling out the online application, please upload the following documents:
- written confirmation of participation by the artistic director(s) who you have named (e.g. the curator of an exhibition, the director of a theatre production) or participant(s) with similar responsibilities
- written confirmation of funding (or, if not yet available, statements of intent) by other sponsors
- written confirmation of participation from cooperative partners (e.g. performance or event venues) including the financial contribution which each agree to make to your project
- a detailed, two-page Cost and Finance Plan in DIN A4 portrait format
- a complete list of artists, their countries of origin and short CVs
- a detailed project description (10 pages max.)

If you wish to send us supplementary materials, e.g. CDs, DVDs, photos, books, catalogues etc. by mail, please decide on just one medium to illustrate the relevant project. Please remember to include the project number you received when applying online so we can match the materials with your project.

Other funding programmes of the Federal Cultural Foundation may be subject to different requirements and formalities. For more information, please refer to the relevant calls for applications posted on our website.

What kind of personal resources and third-party financing does the Foundation accept?

The Federal Cultural Foundation will only regard cash resources as secured financing. Neither the proceeds nor expenses in your Cost and Finance Plan can include payments in kind or services which are normally covered by the operating budget of an institution (e.g., use of rooms for functions, technical equipment, accommodations, permanent staff) or volunteer work, i.e., services which are not remunerated. Consequently, you are not permitted to include such non-monetary services and payments in kind when calculating the 20 percent of your personal and/or third-party financial contribution.

Who can I contact at the Foundation?

a) General Project Funding
If you wish to apply for project funding, please read over our funding criteria first. If you have any questions regarding our funding criteria or the application form, please contact Mrs. Marie Cathleen Haff, head of General Project Funding, by phone: +49 (0) 345/2997-123 or by e-mail:

b) Special Funding Programmes
Our Programme Department staff is in charge of the funding programmes at the Federal Cultural Foundation. For more information about the goals, application deadlines, jury members and application procedures, please refer to the “Funding in specific artistic fields” page or the "Programmes and Projects" section.

c) Questions about funding contracts
If you have any specific questions concerning funding contracts, please contact Ms. Anja Petzold by phone +49 (0) 345/2997-109 or by e-mail:

d) Project cost accounting
If you have questions concerning cost accounting, funding eligibility for specific expenditures in accordance with the Federal Budget Code, the Federal Travel Expense Law, the VOL/VOB (Ordinances on Contract Procedures) and other relevant regulations regarding funding eligibility, please contact our legal advisor Mr. Steffen Schille by phone: +49 (0) 345/2997-128 or by e-mail:

e) Press and Public Relations
If you wish to use our logo, receive press releases, etc., please contact Ms. Tinatin Eppmann by phone: + 49 (0) 345/2997-124 or e-mail: