The programme is based on the belief that it is people and their ideas and competencies who are develop and organise sustainable cultural dialogues and artistic collaboration: The International Visitors Programme provides financial, organisational as well as contextual assistance to support this aim. The international guests are proposed by organisers and cultural institutions within the cities and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia as well as by international network partners, for the main part the Goethe-Institut’s representations abroad, along with embassies and other external cultural organisations.
Aims and Implementation
No matter what individual or transdisciplinary artistic sector, each International Visitors Programme is usually two to five days long. They each take place in small groups and are organised in line with specific events (festivals, cultural events, conferences) or particular themes. The core programme consists of attending performances, concerts and exhibitions, but also includes many opportunities to swap ideas and know-how with organisers, artists and experts. In this way the international guests can discover cultural life along the Rhine, Ruhr and Lippe rivers and link up with the cultural scene and its creatives.
The different types of programmes, whether research, event, networking or press trip, are targeted at the interests of the visitors. The aims of the Visitors Programme include the promotion of, and familiarisation with, NRW-based arts and cultural creatives as well as the strengthening of their international focus through sustainable networks.
Throughout the programmes, guests receive intensive support and are introduced to the key cultural operators in the region. This enables contacts to be established, networks fostered, and collaborations promoted. Furthermore, targeted reporting by journalists draws attention to North Rhine-Westphalia as a top-class state for culture, thus elevating its profile. Since 2019, the Visitors Programme has increasingly concentrated on implementing digital and hybrid formats of visitors’ trips and international networking meetings.
How can I participate?
Cultural institutions, organisers and festival organisers in NRW can apply with proposals for international guests to be considered for the six-month programme planning. Unsolicited applications from international guests are not possible. The application deadlines were previously 15 April for visits in the second half of the year and 15 October for the first half of the following year. However, due to significant cost increases, the first of the two annual calls for applications must unfortunately be cancelled for the funding year 2023. The next call for applications will therefore take place with a deadline of 15 October 2023. Further information on the application process can be found here.
We will use the year 2023 to evaluate the International Visitors Programme together with the Ministry of Culture with a view to future work.
Incidentally, cooperation projects resulting from the Visitors' Programmes will be given preferential consideration when applying for Cooperation and Export Funding of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (in German only).