The New Arts Ruhr funding program:

The new funding program

For the future of the region

The aim of promoting the new arts is to firmly anchor forward-looking art forms in the Ruhr region. Spaces for innovative artistic experiments and novel collaborations are intended to enrich the already special cultural offerings. With excellent working and living conditions, we also want to bind artists to the region and invite them to make the Metropolis of the Arts their project.

Young creatives wanted

During the European Capital of Culture Year 2010, the Metropole Ruhr proved: Art is a force to be reckoned with here! And not in short supply. With around 5,500 events, countless large-scale projects such as the Still Life on the A40 or the glowing shaft signs, the Ruhr region made quite an impression with a year full of pictures, theater and music - and left behind a vibrant cultural landscape that is on fire for new artistic impulses.

The New Arts Ruhr funding program is aimed at young creatives from the scenes of electronic music, contemporary circus arts, urban and digital arts who want to become creatively active in the Ruhr metropolis. Neue Künste Ruhr is not a short-term idea. It is a decade project. Until 2030, the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia will support the contemporary projects of young artists from the above-mentioned disciplines.

Large events are intended to make the New Arts Ruhr visible and tangible, to offer creative artists platforms, and to set new highlights in the metropolis of the arts on the Ruhr.

What is being supported?

How, who, where, what?

The funding principles are currently being updated and will be published here shortly. Applications for projects can be submitted once a year. The next application deadline is March 15, 2023.

The funding amount for municipal grant recipients (festivals, companies, institutions, etc.) is at least 12,500 EUR and for all artists, creatives, developers, designers, cultural managers at least 5,000 €. The maximum amount is 300,000 € per grant.

Applications can be submitted online via the following link. Before submitting the application, a consultation with the responsible district government must take place:

District government Arnsberg: Ms. Loi as departmental head (02931/82-3328 or, Ms. Helta as administrator (02931/82-3361 or

Düsseldorf district government: Since the position of department head is still vacant, Ms. Horzenek as administrator (0211/475-3506 or

Münster district government: Mr. Tonigs as department head (0251/411-3880 or, Ms. Oldiges as administrator (0251/411-4466 or

A jury of experts appointed by the NRW Ministry of Culture, consisting of artists and experts will make funding recommendations. The funding decision is made on this basis.

Funded projects from the first round

KI Biennale Essen

Making artificial intelligence tangible is one goal of the first AI Biennale Essen. From 22 April to 8 June 2022, local, regional and international actors will come together at many locations in the city to discuss and advise on AI in culture, business and science and to make it tangible for everyone.

RUbug Festival for Urbane Kunst / Zeche Westerholt

After more than ten years of vacancy, the Westerholt colliery opens its rusty doors. More than 60 international artists revive the abandoned site with spray cans, wood, varnish and paint. Visitors experience a symbiosis of history, art and architecture. RUbug will take place from 20 to 29 May.

Model City

Model City is an interactive and participatory game with urban perspectives and urban development, in which citizens can become architects of their own city. In a model building and animation workshop, children and young people build the city of their dreams. A stop-motion camera moves through the city and documents the construction and reconstruction of the city as well as all kinds of unexpected events. Here you can see the result.

Unverschämt (AT) - Ein Stück neuer Zirkus

The company Physical Monkey is developing a piece about "shame". The actors go in search of how the feeling of shame works as a socially conditioned feeling and as a primordial human affect and how a new social approach can be found with it. The play adresses especially people with little theatre experience and people of all ages.


In collaboration with the innovation lab xailabs, the Renegade Ensemble is developing an app that, connected to an LED screen, creates an encounter between the ensemble and pedestrians in public places. Avatars of 7 dancers from the Renegade Ensemble are programmed for this purpose. There will be a mobile LED screen in the urban space, on which a promo clip will be shown. Pedestrians can download the app via a QR code, then scan their face with a camera, swap it with the faces of the dancers and be seen dancing on the large LED screen.

Center for urban dance

The association be kind e.V., based in Essen, wants to make art, culture and urban dance freely accessible to young people. It will be created a space that will be used as a centre for urban dance for the realisation of free dance projects. It will be freely accessible for dancers from the urban scene in the Ruhr area.

Creation of a space for local artists

The backstage area of the cultural centre JunkYard in the north of Dortmund will be converted into a small club as well as a workshop and art space, thus offering local newcomers a space in which they can raise their visibility and build up a fan base.

passion du dancefloor night

The "passion du dancefloor night" will take place twice a year in the two clubs Hotel Shanghai and the Goethe Bunker in Essen. The purchase of a ticket allows free entry to both clubs all night. A shuttle bus service will be set up between the two clubs, taking partygoers to the other club in under 10 minutes. International acts as well as newcomers from the Ruhr area will create a great atmosphere in both clubs.

Artists participation

The New Arts Advisory Council

An advisory board consisting of a total of 16 creative minds from the various scenes in the Ruhr region is available to the project as a guide. The advisory board is in office for one year at a time, and the participants are appointed by the Ministry of Culture. There are four free places, for which all interested parties can apply by mail (, the advisory board appoints the additional members. The participants of the advisory board 2021 are:

Vesela Stanoeva, artist, scenographer, Dortmund
Matthias Krentzek, co-founder of the virtual reality festival Places, Gelsenkirchen
Jenny Patschovsky, chairwoman of Bundesverband Zeitgenössischer Zirkus, founder of Atemzug, Cologne
Sabeth Dannenberg, Artistin, Bochum
Annika Pacyna, DJ, Bochum
Christian Eggert, owner of the agency DACAPO Kultur Offensiv!, initiator Urbanatix & Open Space, Bochum
Matthias Frense
, artistic director and managing director, Ringlokschuppen Ruhr, Mülheim an der Ruhr
Frieda Frost, breakdancer, doctoral student at the Institute for Dance and Movement Culture at the Cologne Sports University
Zerkai Fenerci, artistic director Pottporus e.V. and Renegade, Herne
Ahmet Sisman, DJ, music manager, organizer, Third Space, Essen
Inga Marie Sponheuser, cultural manager and agent for diversity development, Bochum
Michael Eickhoff, Akademie für Theater & Digitalität, Dortmund
Kathrin Mädler, Intendantin Theater Oberhausen (2022/23)

Who are we?

About the Ministry of Culture and Science

The Ministry of Culture and Science shapes the framework for cultural diversity and scientific excellence in North Rhine-Westphalia. Ina Brandes has been Minister for Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia since June 29, 2022. More information about funding programs and the ministry is available here.

Our cooperation partners:

About the Ruhr Regional Association

The 480 employees of the Ruhr Regional Association (RVR) are competent and experienced in regional planning and regional development, in the management of infrastructure projects such as the Route Industriekultur and Emscher Landscape Park, in the planning and expansion of the regional cycle path network, and in the maintenance and development of forests and green spaces. At the heart of the RVR's statutory mission is the well-being of the Metropole Ruhr - as a networker, coordinator, initiator, service provider or project sponsor. More information about the association here.