Every two years in autumn, the theatre festival "Favoriten" (Favorites) in Dortmund shows outstanding productions of the independent performing arts from NRW. The last festival edition took place, again under the artistic direction by Fanti Baum and Olivia Ebert, autumn 2020 and was dedicated to the thematic priority "Work".
The oldest festival of independent theatres, which has existed since 1985 in Germany is of outstanding importance for the independent theatre landscape of NRW: It offers the regional scene a forum for exchange on working methods, contemporary esthetics and political as well as social issues. Supported as a supra-regional platform it the networking of artists, groups and collectives from NRW and promotes their national and international visibility.
For many years, the NRW KULTURsekretariat has been jointly developing with the "Favoriten" demand-oriented support programmes, which always aim for the longest possible and sustainable impact, and at the same time an important contribution to the continuous development of the performance art in NRW: from the "Auftrittsnetzwerk" (Performance network) to "Weitermachen" (Continue) up to the prices which are available in the framework of FAV18 as "Ground Support" were awarded to the winning groups in order to to release from permanent and short-term production pressure and their artistic work somewhat more independent of external conditions project-related funding and submitting applications.
For the 2020 festival edition and beyond, the NRWKS has prepared this scholarship-based funding approach now together with the management team further developed. In cooperation with "Favoriten" and the NRW Landesbüro Freie Darstellende Künste will be concieved for the first time in 2021 a meeting of artists from NRW over several days. Planned is an "Artist Summit" as a forum for exchange and reflection on different practices and performative archiving as well as about current working conditions in the liberal arts and current aesthetic discourses - developed and moderated by artists for artists. In the long term, these meetings should always be held biennially in festival-free years.
In addition, the NRWKS has been involved as a long-standing partner of the "Favoriten" continues at the festival with its "International Visitors Programme".