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[Translate to English:] Open letter | AG Tanzförderung Berlin

Published on July 7, 2023

Open letter on the allocation of ‘Basis and Konzeptförderung’ 2024–2027 (Basic funding and Concept funding) and the Demand for a Future Re-organisation of the basic funding for Artists in Berlin


Following the recent decisions on ‘Basis and Konzeptförderung’ 2024–2027, numerous established contemporary choreographers, dance and performance groups have fallen out of this funding system. In its statement on the allocation of funding, the jury formulated the dilemma between the number of artistic concepts eligible of support and insufficient budgetary resources.

We, as those affected by this situation, cannot and will NOT accept this decision.

As artists, we have decisively shaped the Berlin dance landscape for decades. We see our work being called into question and are being forced into a living and working situation that threatens our very existence, for example, because we can no longer pay the rent for rehearsal studios, project spaces or storage rooms. The fact is that the basic social and professional working prospects of many artists are under threat.

Connected to this are networks, venue structures and participating artists with whom we have been working for many years, but also alternative project spaces to which entire communities are attached, which will disappear and thus leave behind a loss and rift in Berlin's cultural landscape, the extent of which is still open.

Why? Where is this leading?

How does the Berlin Senate envisage the future working environment for artists in project-dependent work structures?

The criteria for receiving and awarding funding are complex and subject to a variety of changes, for example to enable a younger generation to work professionally. But the jury's recent decision to withdraw ‘Basisförderung’ from many artists who have received it so far is a shocking disqualification of decades of artistic work in Berlin and also questions the ethical and moral recognition of our work. It also testifies to the lack of consideration for sustainability and continuity shown to choreographic artists in the city. The understanding of socially acceptable working conditions for independent artists remains undermined in the city of Berlin. The current decisions reveal the precarious nature of the system.

As a result, choreographers have to return to funding of individual projects (Einzelprojektförderung), which means they have much less opportunity to plan, organise and build structure. This way of dealing with artists no longer meets the requirements of our time. The jury's latest decision is based on the assumption that ‘Basisförderung’ is a project funding for two years. This no longer ensures sustainability. The 2-year ‘Basisförderung’ and the 4-year ‘Konzeptförderung’ are very important instruments for sustainable project-based work in the field of body-based arts - dance / choreography / performance. There are currently no better institutional budget structures. However, both funding instruments need to be realigned and oriented towards the actual needs and the minimum fee. This also includes ensuring cross-generational work in Berlin.


  • We demand the immediate establishment of a fund for structural financing for artists who can no longer maintain their work structures without basic funding.
  • We demand a special fund for the currently pending decisions on ‘Einzelprojektförderung’ (Individual project funding), so that the jury can react to the expected volume of applications and meet the needs.
  • We demand up to date, equitable, socially-reliable and resilient structures that support the basic orientation of our project-based artistic work.
  • The current funding structures of "drop in - drop out" need to be discontinued, changed and readjusted! It is now necessary to work on a different, better funding system that recognises long-term commitment and quality and takes better account of bridges between generations.
  • We demand a clear definition of ‘Basisförderung’ (basic funding) as structural funding. No artist can build up sustainable structures with tenancies within two years if he/she has to fear that he/she will fall out again after only two years. The jury statement partly explains the current ’clear-cutting’ with the justification that the ‘Basisförderung’I s understood as project funding for them.
  • We explicitly support the open letter "Zukunft der Kultur in Berlin - auf der Kippe" (The future of culture in Berlin - on the brink), which is addressed to the new Senate by various representatives of Berlin culture.
  • We demand that the potential for action of a future funding and art practice in basic funding be realigned with the actual needs - in dialogue with us.


*The structural funding of Basisförderung is explained by the institution and policy makers with the metaphor of a ‘bus’, where eventually artists can get on and off at any moment.



  • Christina Ciupke, Darko Dragičevic
  • Public in Private - Jasna L. Vinovrški, Clément Layes
  • Tanzcompagnie Rubato – Dieter Baumann & Jutta Hell
  • Tanzkollektiv Grupo Oito –  Ricardo de Paula, Caroline Alves, Laura Alonso, Martina Garbelli, Cintia Rangel, Natalie Riedelsheimer, Miro Wallner
  • Kat Válastur 
  • Alexandra Wellensiek
  • WILHELM GROENER – Günther Wilhelm & Mariola Groener
  • July Weber
  • Eszter Salamon 
  • Eva Meyer-Keller
  • Sergiu Matis
  • Florian Loycke, Emir Tebatebai – Das Helmi 
  • Interrobang Performance - Nina Tecklenburg, Till Müller-Klug
  • PURPLE Internationales Tanzfestival für junges Publikum 
  • Enrico Ticconi, Ginevra Panzetti 
  • Nik Haffner, Choreograph und Künstlerischer Direktor Hochschulübergreifendes Zentrum Tanz Berlin HZT
  • Lake Studios Berlin – Marcela Giesche
  • Sandra Man 
  • laborgras - Renate Graziadei, Arthur Stäldi
  • Toula Limnaios und Ralf Ollertz, cie. toula limnaios

ztb e.V.: “The association ztb e.V. has repeatedly advocated that those politically responsible within the funding system for independent groups strengthen the more sustainable funding such as Basisförderung and Konzeptförderung as opposed to the only short-term individual Einzelprojektförderung and increase the funds for this accordingly. The latest decisions and the current open letter from the AG Tanzförderung Berlin show how current and urgent this demand and a change in thinking in the sense of greater sustainability for the necessary structures of professional, continuous artistic work is.”

contact: AG Tanzförderung agtanzfoerderungberlinnoSpam@gmail.com

The AG Tanzförderung is an association and initiative of dance professionals in Berlin with the aim of improving Berlin's structural funding instruments such as Basisförderung and Konzeptförderung. The AG is self-organised and works on a voluntary basis.

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