Questions and Answers about the INITIAL 2 – New Cooperations Special Grant
1. What are the objectives of the special grant?
The goal of the INITIAL 2 – New Cooperations Special Grant is to fund the research and development of artistic works, which are created in cooperations and collaborations between artists. In addition, the special grant intends to initiate networks between art, education, and civil society and support new artistic practices with social impact.
2. What is funded?
Cooperative projects that meet one or more of the following criteria are expressly preferred.
- are developed across all disciplines,
- examine and try out new forms of artistic practice,
- are created at the intersections of art and education, whether in artistic research or cultural communication and education,
- are planned in contexts that affect civil society, for example, in collaboration with public institutions, such as community shelters, socio-cultural centres, and non-profit associations,
- go beyond typical, well-established cooperation experiences with institutional partners.
3. Who can apply for the grant?
- Eligible applicants are professional artists who live in Germany and work in the fields of music, performing arts, architecture, visual arts, literature, or film and media art/audio plays.
- One to (maximal) four artists can submit an application for a cooperative project.
- All artists involved in the cooperative project must fulfil requirements recognising their status as professionals.
- Not eligible for funding: Any partners involved in the cooperative project, who do not meet the requirements as professional artists living and working in Germany. This restriction also applies to public institutions, socio-cultural centres, associations, natural or legal entities.
4. Who is considered a professional artist?
Artists are considered professional if they meet any of the following criteria:
- They can demonstrate membership in a professional association of artists in one of the fields of art specified above or in the Künstlersozialkasse (artists’ health and social insurance), or
- They hold a degree from a German university, art academy or from a comparable institution abroad (as specified on the anabin list), or
- They can demonstrate a professional contemporary artistic practice that has been established for several years.
5. Can students enrolled at universities or technical colleges apply for the grant?
No, students are not eligible for the grant.
6. Can I apply for the grant as an individual artist?
The grant is targeted to fund the research and development of artistic works, which are created in cooperations and collaborations between artists and other partners. Nevertheless, it is possible to apply as an artist working alone.
7. How much funding does the grant provide?
Each grant is endowed with 9,000 euros per artist.
8. Does each artist involved in a cooperative project receive a grant?
Each artist involved in a cooperative project, with a maximum of four participants, will receive a grant in the amount of 9,000 euros.
9. How long is the grant period?
The duration of the grant (funding period) is from 1 July 2022 ‒ 31 December 2022.
10. How many grants will be awarded?
The grants will be awarded to a maximum of 352 artists.
11. Can the grant be combined with other funding programmes? / Is double funding allowed?
Simultaneous funding by other federal funds (including other NEUSTART KULTUR programmes), state, or municipal sources and the INITIAL 2 Special Grant is not allowed.
This restriction does not apply to private grants or if the monthly funding amount of another grant programme is less than 750 euros (50 % of the monthly funding amount of the INITIAL 2 Special Grant. In these cases, it is permitted to combine funding from different grants regardless of their timeframes. Accepting funding from the special grant does not preclude the acceptance of federal funds intended to provide relief from the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic (such as Überbrückungshilfe (temporary financial assistance)) used for other purposes. If a positive approval notification from another public funding source arrives before a decision has been made on the application of the INITIAL 2 – New Cooperations Special Grant, the application for the INITIAL 2 – New Cooperations Special Grant must be withdrawn immediately. If the INITIAL 2 – New Cooperations Special Grant is approved first, any other applications to other public grant programmes must be withdrawn immediately or may no longer be submitted in cases where the time period overlaps.
Grants are linked to the cooperative projects being supported and all of the participating artists listed on the application. If, after the submission of the application, one or more artists can no longer take part because of exclusionary double funding or for another reason, the funding for the entire cooperative project must be withdrawn. If it is later established that the regulations on compatibility with other public funding programmes outlined in the funding guidelines have not been followed, the INITIAL 2 – New Cooperations Special Grant must be repaid in full. The submission of false or intentionally incomplete information relevant to the selection of grant recipients can be deemed criminal fraud (Section (§§) 263, 264 StGB) if said information is submitted with the intention of obtaining an illicit pecuniary advantage for the applicant or a third party.
12. Do the double funding guidelines apply to each individual artist participating in a cooperative project?
Yes. Grants are linked to the cooperative projects being supported and all of the participating artists listed on the application. If, after the submission of the application, one or more artists can no longer take part because of exclusionary double funding or for another reason, the funding for the entire cooperative project must be withdrawn.
13. Can I submit more than one application for a grant and / or participate in several applications?
No, each artist can only file one application and / or be involved in one cooperative project.
14. Can I submit an application if I received a grant from the INITIAL Special Grant programme in 2021?
Yes, this is allowed.
15. How can I apply for the grant?
Applications, accepted as of 1 April 2022, must be submitted online: initial2.adk.de
The application must be submitted by one of the artists involved in the cooperative project. This main applicant is responsible for submitting the application via the application portal.
During the application process, he or she will be prompted to use email to invite the other artists involved in the cooperative project to participate in the online application. Only after these participants have independently submitted their own details and documents can the main applicant submit the completed application. Further information will be available on the application portal as of 1 April 2022.
16. When can the grant application be submitted?
An open call for grant applications takes place from 1 April ‒ 30 April 2022. A maximum of 1600 applications will be accepted in the order of receipt. When this number is reached the application portal will close, at the latest on 30 April 2022 at 11:59 pm.
17. How do I change the language on the application portal to German?
To switch to the application portal’s German web pages, please change the language button on the upper right. Set the language button to EN-GB to English (British) to view in German.
18. What information and documentation needs to be submitted?
Personal information for each of the artists participating in the cooperative project and the following documents need to be submitted on the application portal:
Only to be filled in by the main applicant (directly in the application portal):
- The number and names of the artists involved in the cooperative project.
- The title and a content description of the cooperative project (450 words maximum).
- An association of the cooperative project with one of the following choices of artistic disciplines: architecture, visual arts, performing arts, film and media art / audio plays, literature, music, interdisciplinary art.
- A description of how the cooperation is composed (please describe the specific form of the cooperation between the participating artists, as well as any (optional) collaboration with partners; 450 words maximum)
Each of the participating artists involved in the cooperative project needs to submit:
- A portfolio and / or documentary / informational material about previous artistic work (no catalogues)
1 PDF file, max. 5 pages, max. file size: 50 MB
1 audio or video file (.mp3, .mp4, .wav, .mov, max. 10 min) or 1 Vimeo or YouTube link (max. 10 min)
- An art CV (curriculum vitae), 1 file, max. file size: 50 MB (.pdf, .png, .jpg, .jpeg)
- Documentation of professional artist status, max. 5 files, max. file size: 50 MB (.pdf, .png, .jpg, .jpeg, for further information, see FAQ 4.)
The application can be submitted in German and English.
19. Does a planned collaboration with partners have to be confirmed by them for the application?
When submitting the application, no confirmation is required for a collaboration planned with partners who are not applying for funding. For instance, those who do not meet the requirements as professional artists living and working in Germany. This also applies to public institutions, socio-cultural centres, associations, natural or legal entities. Please describe the nature of the collaboration in the section about how the cooperation is composed.
20. Who decides on the allocation of the grants?
A specialist jury made up of artists, curators and members of the Akademie der Künste decides how the grants should be allocated.
21. What criteria are decisive for receiving funding?
Decisive criteria for receiving a grant are:
- A cooperative project with a future-oriented and sustainable concept,
- the project’s artistic quality, consistency and development potential,
- and its potential to affect society.
Equal treatment of all genders is inherent to the selection process.
22. How will I be informed of the decision about my application?
In mid-June 2022 we will inform you by email whether your application has been accepted or not.
23. How and when will the grant be disbursed?
The basis for the authorisation, distribution, and accounting of the funds is a grant approval notification to the artists, which will be sent by mail. The grant will be disbursed in two payments to a German bank account: 7,500 euros in July 2022 and 1,500 euros after the submission of the Interim Report in December 2022. The recipient’s identity must be verified before grant payments can be made. Information on this procedure will be detailed in the approval notification.
24. Do the proposed cooperative projects developed during the grant period have to be implemented?
Realisation of proposed projects is the desired objective but is not mandatory. This grant may also be used for preparatory work.
25. How is the work on the cooperative project accounted for?
The main applicant / grant holder is obliged to document the cooperative project made possible by the grant by submitting an Interim Report and later a Final Report.
Please note that failure to submit the Interim Report and the Final Report, or incomplete submissions, will result in grant holders having to repay the grant in full.
26. What information must the Interim Report contain?
The Interim Report is used to show how the cooperation project has evolved, which steps have already been taken and what prospects are emerging as a result of the cooperation.
The Interim Report, written in German or English, must be submitted online in the period from 10 October ‒ 1 November 2022: initial2.adk.de. The main applicant will receive renewed access to the portal for this purpose. Further information will be sent by email.
27. What information must the Final Report contain?
At the completion of the grant period an Interim Report in German or English must be submitted for each approved application. The Interim Report can be part of the Final Report.
The Final Report outlines how the grant was used to carry out the research and development of artistic, cooperative projects in the making. Completion of the project is not required. No proof must be provided about the specific use of funds.
The Final Report must be submitted online by 15 January 2023: initial2.adk.de. At the end of the grant period, the main applicant will receive renewed access to the portal for this purpose. Further information will be sent by email.
28. Am I required to publicise receiving grant funding in my publications or performances?
The funding source must be indicated in all grant-related publications / releases by including the Akademie der Künste and NEUSTART KULTUR logos alongside the following formulation:
“Supported by the Akademie der Künste with funding from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media as part of the NEUSTART KULTUR programme.”
Logos available for download are provided on this website.
29. Am I required to show my lost earnings or detail my financial situation?
No, you are not required to include any documentation of lost freelance income, bank statements, budgetary calculations, etc., with your application.
30. Does the money have to be spent in 2022?
Because this is a grant, we are refraining from requesting supporting financial documentation and ask only that recipients submit the Interim Report and the Final Report described above, in which a proper use of the funding can be shown.
It is within the rights of the Akademie der Künste to verify the use of the funds if the Akademie suspects they are being used for something other than their intended purpose and to reclaim the funds partially or in full if such misuse is determined (§ 49 Abs. 3 S. 1 Nr. 1 VwVfG). The same applies for failure to submit the Interim Report and the Final Report.
31. Can I apply for the grant if I receive social benefits (SGB II), such as a simplified basic income allowance?
Yes, the grant is open to anyone who meets the specifications outlined above. Further information on the subject SGB II and Grundsicherung (basic income allowance) can be found on the Bundesagentur für Arbeit (Federal Employment Agency) website.
32. Can I apply for the grant if I receive Arbeitslosengeld I?
It is generally permitted to apply for the grant while receiving unemployment benefits in the category Arbeitslosengeld I. Importantly, however, work on your project must not compromise your availability to the workforce. Furthermore, you are not permitted to generate earnings from your project and / or if you do, you must inform the Job Centre assigned to you. Please direct any questions about the combination of the grant with unemployment benefits to your supervisor at the employment agency.
33. Can I apply for additional funding after receiving the grant?
No, applications for additional funding are not permitted under any circumstances.
34. Will the grant be deducted from my basic income allowance?
No, the grants are not deducted from basic income allowances. Further information regarding basic income allowances can be found on the Bundesagentur für Arbeit (Federal Employment Agency) website.
35. Can the grant money also be used for basic necessities?
The grants are not intended to secure the applicant’s livelihood. They serve a higher purpose. Grant holders are expected to outline how the funding was used in an Interim Report and Final Report.
36. Does the funding have to be paid back under certain circumstances?
The grant will be revoked if the application included intentionally false information and the grant was therefore wrongfully awarded. The grant may also be revoked if the applicant’s main residence moves outside Germany before 31 December 2022, or if the Interim Report and the Final Report are not submitted by their deadlines. In these cases, the funding must immediately be repaid in full.
37. What do I need to be aware of so that I don’t expose myself to accusations of subsidy fraud?
Anyone who intentionally or recklessly submits false or incomplete information to receive public funds (subsidies) earmarked for a specific purpose, or who intentionally or recklessly refrains from making changes to this information, commits subsidy fraud. Please be advised that providing wrong or incomplete information affecting funding decisions for the selection of grant recipients can amount to fraud and may be punishable as such under Sections (§§) 263, 264 of the German Penal Code (StGB) insofar as these statements were made with the intention of gaining an unlawful financial advantage for the applicant or a third party.
38. How is the grant to be specified on income tax returns?
Payments from a non-taxable artist’s grant under Section (§) 3 no. 11 of German Income Tax Law (EStG) are to be listed on line 15 of the EÜR income tax return attachment. The expenses covered by the grant are to be detailed on the respective business expense lines according to the nature of the expenses. Because this income is non-taxable and the associated expenses cannot be deducted, income from the grant must additionally be listed on line 92, and the expenses covered by it on line 95. This will adjust your income for tax purposes. Please note that the INITIAL 2 Special Grant is non-taxable. Please direct any further tax-related questions to your local Finanzamt (finance office).
39. When is the grant period considered completed?
We reserve the right to verify that the funds have been used appropriately. Unless you receive further correspondence from us within six months after submitting your Final Report, the period of your grant coverage is considered complete.
Still have questions?
Please direct any further questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.