We encourage new impulses!

The Ruhr region as creative region

The aim of promoting the new arts is to firmly anchor forward-looking art forms in the Ruhr region. As new arts are considered urban arts, digital arts, new circus as well as electronic music culture.

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.

The project funding program

Funding policy

With project funding, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia supports the realization of concepts and ideas in the field of the new arts.

Most of the information on funding and application can be found in detail in the current funding principles

- in German (here)

- in English (here)

In a nutshell

What is funded?

Funding is available for artistic projects that have not yet been started, are presented or performed in public, are carried out or developed in the Ruhr region and which are not commercially oriented.

An applied project can last a maximum of two years. Follow-up applications for funded projects are generally possible.

Who can submit applications?

Legal entities and natural persons can apply. These are, for example artists and cultural workers; groups, initiatives and companies and municipal and independent cultural institutions.

Persons or organizations that want to apply, have to work in the new arts or at interfaces, prove their artistic qualification with two work samples and have their work focus or business/residence in the Ruhr region.

Especially young professionals are invited to apply.

How can applications be submitted?

Applications for projects can be submitted online once a year. The current deadline is March 15, 11:59 pm.

The application must be submitted online, at

A complete application includes a project outline in written form, can be supplemented with visual material (PDF, maximum 10 DIN A4 pages); a cost and financing plan and at least two work samples or project references as attachments.

How much money can be applied for?

Grants of 5,000 EUR or more can be applied for. For local government institutions, there is a minimum of 12,500 EUR. Annual funding volumes generally range between 8,000 and 75,000 EUR.


There is an expert jury that selects the projects to be funded from the applications and recommends them to the Ministry. The funding decision is made on the basis of the recommendation. The jury is made up of artists and experts from the new arts.


In addition to the information listed above, there are information sessions on Zoom. All important questions about project funding and the application process are answered there. Participation in a digital information event is mandatory for all applicants.

The dates for these events will be published here at the beginning of the next funding round.

In addition to the information events, there will also be the possibility for individual telephone consultations by the program coordination in the next funding round.

To make an appointment, please send an e-mail to or call (see below for office hours).



An Excel file (language is german, format in .xlsx) for the preparation of your cost and financing plan for your project proposal will be downloaded if you click on the following link



A document (in german, PDF) with various FAQs can be downloaded directly by clicking on the following link



Contact person of the project coordination is Klara Lyssy (none / she)


Telephone: +49 157 73667020

Office hours:

Tuesday 2 pm - 5 pm

Thursday 10 am - 1 pm

Funded projects from the first rounds

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.

The SHAME must go on - a piece (of) contemporary circus

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.

Le Bonheur Surreal

In a ten-hour event, Chapeau Club celebrates one long night of intoxication at the intersection of New Circus and club culture. Ten years of Chapeau Club - ten years of champagne ballet, bearded lady, bingo, techno and avant-garde performance. Those interested can learn, for example, how standard dancing to electronic music works.

Artists participation

The New Arts Advisory Council

An advisory board consisting of creative minds from the various scenes in the Ruhr region is available to the project as a guide.

The participants of the advisory board 2023 are among others:

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
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

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.