Citizen-Commissioned Dance and Performance is a New Patrons program launched in autumn 2023. It offers civil society groups an opportunity to give visibility to their concerns with the particular possibilities of dance, choreography and performance. 

Within Citizen-Commissioned Dance and Performance civic groups take responsibility for the projects they initiate – just like in all New Patrons activities. They are accompanied and advised by mediators throughout the entire process. The mediators contribute their experience in the production of ambitious artistic projects, bring the commissioning groups together with artists who respond to the commissions with specific concepts, and involve the citizens in the development and implementation of the projects.

Dance and performance combine a broad spectrum of both traditional and innovative artistic forms of expression and possibilities for action, the boundaries of which are constantly expanding.The artists negotiate the possibilities of movement, focus on the body and its relationship to the social and material environment and develop lively forms of sharing. As part of the program, they can explore new ways of artistic participation and production in local contexts.

Locations for action can be public space, but also physical and virtual stages of all kinds. Thus, at the same time, opportunities arise to also explore the performance itself in its potentials and limits. The program also aims to provide an opportunity to anchor and further develop the emerging dance and performance works with the local community in a sustainable way.

Local associations, cultural centers, institutions or even public bodies are to be involved as partners on site for the implementation of the projects in order to support and strengthen the engagement and potential of existing local cultural actors.

This creates new perspectives and dynamics for civic engagement – and also for artistic action and production. By 2027, around 15 artistic projects can be initiated by citizens and realized together with performance artists and dancers. The Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation) is providing five million euros for this purpose. The funding is an important step towards the dissemination and consolidation of civic art in Germany – and a recognition of the innovative New Patrons model. Both in the international network of New Patrons and in the pilot phase in Germany, commissions such as In C - Marler Partitur by Sasha Waltz have already demonstrated the potential of performative disciplines to bring people together regardless of age, background and previous knowledge and to meet their concerns artistically. 

From 2024, we will present the first New Patrons groups and their commissions for Citizen-Commissioned Dance and Performance and subsequently artistic positions and the phases of implementation. We look forward to an exciting joint process!