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General Opportunity

Akademie der Künste der Welt - residency program

  • Deadline date: 9 May 2021 [Delivery Deadline] — Visit our current Opportunities for upcoming competitions, workshops and more.
  • Date held: September 2021–February 2022
  • Location: Cologne, Germany
  • Total prizes: EUR 2,000 per month stipend


Further Details

The Participatory Residency Program is a platform for close collaboration between local communities and (international) artists, cultural activists and collectives.

Cultural institutions are not equally accessible to all people. There has been increasing attention paid to critiques of the mechanisms of exclusion in cultural institutions in recent years. However, the application of such critiques often happens only at the aesthetic or project-based level, changes at the structural level seldom occur. An actual practice what you present often fails to materialize.

There is a disparity between those who have access to institutions and those who are still denied this access. The Participatory Residency Program intends to address this disparity. Participation is thus the central idea of the program and should be understood in two ways: as sharing and partaking – participation as both give and take.

Shaped by intersectional, decolonial, and power-critical approaches, the Akademie der Künste der Welt (Academy of the Arts of the World, ADKDW) explores new forms of collaboration with the Participatory Residency Program. The goal is to facilitate active and long-term participation in the ADKDW’s program by local individuals and communities that are institutionally and/or socially marginalized. The partner organizations with their artistic and political objectives establish the context for this collaboration. This program is intentionally open in terms of art disciplines and sees research, networking, and community work as important components of artistic, cultural, and/or activist work. The residency holders have the possibility to develop and realize a wide-ranging program with a focus on collaborative formats. The artists in residence are chosen by a jury made up of the ADKDW and the partner organizations. The residency holder will be supported in their projects by the partner organizations and the ADKDW.

Six-month residency in Cologne for designing a participatory program

Timeframe: September 2021–February 2022.
Honorarium: 2,000 euros/month.
Expected working time: 16 hours/week.
Project budget: 1,000 euros/month.
Application deadline: 9 May 2021.

General Information

The Participatory Residency Program is conceived as a platform for close collaborations between local communities and (international) artists, cultural activists and collectives. The program will be realized by the residency holder(s). This will happen in close collaboration with the ADKDW and their partner organizations DEMASK and Integrationshaus e.V. Over a period of six months the artist(s) in residency will design a participatory program around their chosen theme. The participatory activities will in turn be directed towards and encourage collaboration with local communities.

Who Can Apply?

Artists, cultural activists and collectives whose practices focus on participatory formats are invited to apply. The program is intentionally open in terms of art disciplines and considers research, networking, and community work as important components of artistic, cultural, and/or activist work.

We address this call for applications especially to people and groups who are (predominantly) BI*PoC – Black, Indigenous*, People of Color, and those who experience racism but do not identify with these designations. People who also experience intersectional marginalization (e.g., BI*PoC on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum or with dis_abilities), people who are discriminated against under patriarchy (WLINT*–women, lesbians, inter, nonbinary or trans*people), and those who experience gender-based discrimination but do not identify with these designations are especially encouraged to apply.

German citizenship and/or fluency in the German language are not required in order to apply. We also encourage you to apply even if you do not particularly identify with the designations of artists and cultural activists yet feel you are addressed by the program.

The residency is not aimed only at individuals. We are also happy to receive applications from collectives. We cannot, however, offer groups a larger honorarium than that which is mentioned above. If you are a collective, have interest in the residency, and aren’t sure how a possible residency could be organized, please contact us via the email address mentioned below.

What We Offer

We are still looking for a suitable venue that includes a studio/workspace, but we guarantee there will be spaces for working in and for hosting events. We recognize that we do not fulfill all the criteria for a barrier-free program, however, we hope over time to have more resources available to eliminate barriers and to learn through the program.

We will provide office equipment and work materials as well as basic equipment for events. The project budget of EUR 1,000 per month must cover the costs for all activities; travel costs will be budgeted separately.

We cannot at this time provide housing for the residency holder. Also the situation as regards the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be uncertain. Therefore, this year we especially encourage regional art and cultural activists and collectives to apply.

We offer a strong local network that the artist(s) in residency will be able to draw from in order to design the program as a hub for creative activities within these various communities. We want to create space for research, meeting others, and making you feel at home and support you in the process.

Our Expectations

The Participatory Residency Program seeks art and cultural activists as well as collectives who engage with intersectional and postcolonial critiques of power in the context of cultural education and contemporary art or see this as the goal of their work in a broader sense. We do not intend to place any restrictions as regards content on the residency program, i.e. you are not limited to the above-mentioned themes as topics per se – your program can also center other subject matter and themes. However, the practice of the applicants should in some form deal with aspects of participation and critiques of power within the contemporary cultural sphere.

The artist(s) in residency are expected to design a series of participatory activities. These should be aimed at and encourage collaboration with local communities. The residency holder(s) are not expected to present a definitive result at the end of the program. We would however welcome it if the participatory activities relate to or build on each other.

Main Tasks and Responsibilities

Programming and Planning
– Planning and development of participatory activities in consultation with the three partner organizations.
– Development of activities that are clearly oriented towards the needs of a specific target audience and align with the objectives of the three partner organizations.
– Organization and implementation of the participatory activities with the support of the three partner organizations.
– Creation of a work environment that is conscious of power dynamics and actively works to dismantle and/or compensate for them.
– The residency holder(s) have the project budget at their disposal in consultation with the head of the program at the ADKDW. The residency holder(s) will be supported by the head of the program at the ADKDW in the administration of the budget.
– Work together with the communications department to generate content for the websites and social media of all partner organizations.
– Work closely with the head of the project at the ADKDW to prepare a final report.
– Participation in meetings with the partner organizations.

The above list is just a framework of the kinds of necessary tasks and is not part of the contract.


– The application can be submitted as a written document or an audio file.
– It should include a description of your project (motives and approach) – text: equivalent of 3 to 5 pages, font size 11, line spacing 1.5; audio: 5 to 9 minutes.
– If applicable, include documents related to current/relevant projects.
– In addition to the project description please provide the following details: your name, place of residence, highest educational level (a completed degree is not a requirement for the residency), contact information (email address), and, if applicable, your online presence (website, Instagram, etc.).

Tips for the project description
– What does “participation” mean to you?
– Who do you want to reach and how (who is your target audience)?
– What could your participatory activities actually look like?
– How do you position yourself and your work in relation to the objectives of the residency and the partner organizations?
– Description of your practice: what media and modes of expression do you use in your work?
– In what ways would you like to be supported by the three partner organizations? What is important to you in this support?
– How do you envision your residency in terms of schedule?

The above tips are just guidelines to help you in preparing your application; you do not necessarily have to provide answers to these exact questions.

Applicants may direct questions to Nora Wiedenhöft (Head of the Participatory Residency Program, she/they). We are also happy to help with any questions concerning the program. email: wiedenhoeft(@)adkdw.org

Website: https://www.adkdw.org/en/about#partizipatives_stipendienprogramm


Contact: Nora Wiedenhöft, Akademie der Künste der Welt

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