"Neue Wege" (News Paths) is the state-wide funding programme for the profiling of municipal theatres and orchestras in NRW. Currently, 30 ambitious projects in the fields of dance, music theatre, drama and orchestra are being funded for several seasons. Some of these projects are dedicated to special concepts of addressing the audience or are participatory in nature. Audience development projects, children's and youth theatre projects (or concerts) are just as much a part of the overall picture as the further training of young performing artists at the theatres following their university education. Last but not least, a significant number of projects have a concrete structure-building purpose, e.g. through the establishment of specific sections and long-term cooperation with other theatres or independent theatre groups.
The NRW Ministry of Culture is providing a total of 25 million euros for the "New Paths" programme from 2019 to 2022. This funding comprised 2.5 million euros in 2019 and will increase by a further 2.5 million euros each year until 2022, when a funding amount of 10 million euros will be reached.
After 2018 and 2019, the third call for proposals has taken place in 2021 due to the consequences of the Corona pandemic. The selection of the funded projects will take place in a jury process in January 2022. In addition, another call for proposals is planned for the year.
The programme promotes the strengthening and formation of special profiles, artistic quality and artistic, organisational, structural or experimental impulses. The projects applied for can relate to the further development of existing thematic focuses, initiate structural changes, be cross-disciplinary or involve cooperation with other cultural institutions or with protagonists from the independent scene. Ideas are welcome that aim to strengthen diversity on the stages of NRW - in the composition of ensembles, orchestras and management structures, in artistic programmes or in attracting and retaining new audiences.
In cooperation with the NRW Ministry of Culture, the NRW KULTURsekretariat manages this programme. The funded projects are presented in a brochure. In addition, trailers are produced annually and shown on the funding programme's social media profiles and in selected cinemas.