Our Dates


Empowerment fantasies or an urgently needed democracy update? Online petitions, iconoclasm and monument overthrow, civil disobedience and bottom-up processes - current models of participation have one thing in common: they think civil society voice beyond representative democratic processes. For example, the Fridays for Future movement and Black Lives Matter protests have raised public awareness of demands to deal with climate change and racism in recent months. Are these mobilisations an expression of the often cited "crisis of democracy" or, on the contrary, a sign of the vitality of the democratic model?

Vor diesem Hintergrund wollen wir herausfinden, wie es um das Vertrauen in bestehende politische Institutionen steht – und was progressive Ideen für ein zuversichtliches Demokratie-Update sind. Wir werfen einen Blick in den analogen und digitalen Werkzeugkoffer zivilbürgerlichen Engagements und fragen, was wir mit welchen Instrumenten daraus bewegen können. Im Fokus steht alles das, was am Ende des parlamentarischen Tages Ermächtigungsfantasien und Wohlfühl-Klicktivismus ohne politische Wirksamkeit von Handlungen unterscheidet, die die Welt bewegen können.

Die Gäste begeben sich hinein in die Ambivalenzen aktueller Formen der kollektiven Selbstermächtigung.Was ist dran am Begriff der Initiativ-Demokratie, die dem Vertreten-sein die Selbstvertretung entgegensetzt? Wer spricht dabei für wen? Wer spricht (nicht) mit? Wie steht es um die Macht? Und was tut die Kunst?

Lewamm Ghebremariam, Kampagnenstrategin change.org e.V., Gründerin des Netzwerks Wake Up Eritrea, Vorstandsmitglied des Clubcommission e.V.
Christopher Lauer, Publizist und ehemaliges Mitglied des Berliner Abgeordnetenhauses
Alexander Koch, Direktor Gesellschaft der Neuen Auftraggeber

Christine Watty, Deutschlandfunk Kultur


In 2024, Künstlerhaus Stuttgart will become an anchor point of the New Patrons, meaning a local partner institution and regional contact point for activities of the New Patrons in Stuttgart and Baden-Württemberg. On this occasion, Kathrin Jentjens and Gerrit Gohlke will be guests at Künstlerhaus Stuttgart on April 13, 2024 and will report on their experiences from the pilot phase of the New Patrons in Germany.


Exchange and knowledge transfer are important foundations of our mediation practice. At a network meeting of all "Citizen-Commissioned Dance and Performance" program participants in Sophiensäle Berlin, the mediators talk about their work, share their experiences and take part in an artistic workshop by mediator and choreographer Zwoisy Mears Clarke.


In Europe and beyond, citizen-commissioned art has become a broad movement since the 1990s that continues to grow, generating more and more voices, commissions, and formats. Seven national organizations representing close to 100 mediators of the New Patrons network in their respective countries now have joined forces and founded the Societé Internationale des Nouveaux Commanditaires – the International New Patrons Society.


Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation) again supports New Patrons

There is reason to celebrate at New Patrons! We are delighted that the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation) today announced its decision to fund a nationwide program for dance and performance commissioned by citizens.

Around 15 artistic projects can be initiated from 2023 to 2028 by civic groups and implemented together with international artists. The German Federal Cultural Foundation is providing five million euros for this purpose.

The funding is an important step toward expanding and establishing citizen-commissioned art in Germany – and a recognition of this innovative model, which was already successfully funded by the Federal Cultural Foundation in a pilot phase…


We mourn the passing of Kobe Matthys (1970-2023), who died at the age of only 52. 

As part of Ruth Buchanan's project A Garden with Bridges (Spine, Stomach, Throat, Ear) for the New Patrons of Mönchengladbach, Kobe Matthys was a guest advisor in Mönchengladbach in 2021 and 2022 to reflect on the development of a (community) garden with the commissioning groups. As a place that renews itself on many levels, this garden is a reflection of a city that is undergoing radical change due to the transformation of industrial processes, late capitalism and changing needs of its inhabitants. We reflected with Kobe Matthys on the process involved in creating a community garden. He generously shared his experience and immense knowledge. As an artist living in Brussels, he was a member of the Zenne…


On 22 October 2022 a mosaic picture has been inaugurated in the garden at the village house in Wietstock in Western Pomerania, which was developed by the renowned artist Antje Majewski in an exchange with a group of villagers. The picture, which measures just under six square metres, was produced in a Berlin workshop as a high-quality mosaic from Italian glass stones and shows animals and plants that are significant for the commissioning group from the village in Western Pomerania.

The New Patrons Initiative was funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation for the development of the commission and the design. The realisation of the mosaic by cosmomusivo mosaik was funded by Kunstverein Rügen e.V. through Stiftung Kunstfonds / #NeustartKultur as well as Fondation de France and the…


The SeeCampus Niederlausitz was expanded to include a creative thinking space. Sol Calero's Casa Isadora was adapted to the needs and wishes of the students during a three-day workshop. The work now remains on campus as an open thinking and recreation space for the students. 

Many thanks to all involved - the students of the SeeCampus who contributed with creativity and passion and to Sol Calero!

Photos: Victoria Tomaschko


"This is the most unusual project of my entire career" - Sasha Waltz. 

On 10 & 11 September in Marl, one could experience how the action model of the New Patrons came to bear as a catalyst of a new communality.

The renowned choreographer Sasha Waltz made an entire city dance with "In C - Marler Partitur".

On the performance weekend, the actors moved in a spiral to the city centre, where the big performance with all participants and dancers of the company Sasha Waltz & Guests took place at the end of the second day.


Four years after the start of the project, the construction of three accessible steel sculptures has begun in the city of Mönchengladbach, providing access to the inner-city garden of the Mönchengladbach Unemployment Centre. Supplemented by a pavilion with an outdoor kitchen, a garden with bridges by Ruth Buchanan is being created here, which aims to create space for gardening, meeting and recreation. The sculptures are named after parts of the body and thus refer to the meaning of the garden as an organism.

Within the framework of a mediation process of the New Patrons Initiative, the team and visitors of the Mönchengladbach Unemployment Centre and pupils and teachers of the nearby Stiftisches Humanistisches Gymnasium Mönchengladbach took the initiative for a joint project that was to…


Marl dances: For over two weeks, citizens of Marl had the opportunity to approach the choreography of "In C" based on the composition by Terry Riley in workshops with tutors from the company Sasha Waltz & Guests. Interested audience members were able to see the first results in an open rehearsal before the whole of Marl is invited to dance in September.

Photos: Florian Wagner