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, event and festival organisers based in NRW are invited to propose projects, events and/or recommendations for international guests in order to be considered in the six-month programme and to make contact with international participants. Cultural operators and institutions are asked to put in their proposals for both the programme and potential visitors by 15th April for the second half of the year, and by 15th October for the first half of the following year. Unfortunately, it is not possible to make speculative applications for individual international guests to the International Visitors Programme. You can find out more information about the application process here.
Cooperating partners who met each other through the Visitors Programme take precedent when it comes to applying for the Cooperation and Export Funding of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (in German only).