Our Dates

What you want! The New Patrons: From Rage to Courage: On Political Relationship Crises

15th October 2019, starting at 7 p.m. (entry at 6 p.m.)
@ Grüner Salon/ Volksbühne Berlin

Which new strategies does politics offer to cities and towns, and to their civil societies? How can filter bubbles and echo chambers be opened up, creating new chances for democratic compromises? What kind of language must we invent, which would allow us to understand each other better, to endure and overcome our conflicts? We would like to listen to people who can report from their own practices, describing how they involved whole towns in their discussions, sketched plans for a new community consciousness, or reached new public audiences. A workshopping conversation with representatives from the laboratory of local politics.

Discourse in German:
Steffi Wiesner, Koordinatorin für Freiwilligenarbeit im Landkreis Potsdam-Mittelmark, Sprecherin der, Landesarbeitsgemeinschaft der Freiwilligenagenturen im Land Brandenburg (Lagfa Brandenburg)
Simone Russo, Referentin und Steuerungsunterstützung
Mitglied des Strategiezirkels der Stadt Bochum
Claudia Neu, Projekt SOK – Neue Infrastrukturen für gesellschaftlichen Zusammenhalt
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Department für Agrarökonomie und Rurale Entwicklung
Lehrstuhl für Soziologie Ländlicher Räume
Moderation: Gerrit Gohlke


Clandestine - that's what we call something that takes place in silence, in secret, in a familiar circle. In 2020, the projects of the New Patrons continued clandestinely – and quite cheerfully – despite and because of the special challenges of the year.

Long before the artistic projects commissioned by citizens become public with a big whoop and a tare, they mature in dialogue, experience twists and surprises in the conversation between commissioning groups, artists, and take one step back and two steps forward. That was also the case in 2020. During on-site meetings outside, in online conferences, at the digital studio visit.

The New Patrons received a lot of support last year. In addition to the Federal Cultural Foundation, also the municipal administrations and individuals from…


Thank you very much for your support in the past year! We wish you peaceful and healthy holidays and look forward to seeing you again in the new year.

Have fun with these impressions from 2020!





Lewamm Ghebremariam, campaign strategist at Change.org e. V., founder of the network Wake Up Eritrea, board member of Clubcommission e. V.
Christopher Lauer, publicist and former member of the Berlin House of Representatives
Alexander Koch, director of the Gesellschaft der Neuen Auftraggeber (Society of New Patrons)

Christine Watty, Deutschlandfunk Kultur

We are pleased to present the 8th edition of our event series Whatever you Want! in collaboration with Volksbühne Berlin as an online format.


Online petitions, iconoclasms and toppling monuments, civil disobedience and bottom-up processes—current…


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?



According to the recommendations of the Robert Koch Institute on the COVID-19 virus, the event has unfortunately been cancelled. We will inform you promptly about a possible new date for the event. You can find detailed information about the refund modalities of already purchased tickets HERE.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020, 7pm
@Grüner Salon/ Volksbühne Berlin
Panel discussion, in German

Alexander Koch, Director Gesellschaft der Neuen Auftraggeber
Christopher Lauer, publicist and former member of the Berlin House of Representatives
Paula Peters, Chief Global Officer Europe at change.org
Host: Pia Rauschenberger, journalist (Deutschlandfunk Kultur, amongst others)

From online petitions, a democracy festival in the Olympic Stadium, demands for liquid democracy, and civil…


Tuesday, 14 January 2020 at 7:00 pm

@Grüner Salon/ Volksbühne Berlin

In cooperation with ARCH+

"Architecture is the ordering of social relations through what is built," says philosopher Christian Posthofen. And so architecture is also a social battlefield: Who owns and who uses what is built? Who plans it, who needs it - and what for? And public building? Who decides on the programme, the financing, the design when new schools and town halls, streets and squares are built? Who owns the city, who owns the village? This evening's discussion aims to show new perspectives and progressive examples of a new public architecture on behalf of citizens. Projects and debates from the past and present will show ways in which new builders from all parts of society can make public building their…


Tuesday, 12th November at 7 p.m.
Tickets and more info

It can get loud with everyone screaming and shouting. Sometimes it’s healthy but overdoing it can poison the social climate. Meanwhile we might miss something much quieter, yet incomparably more powerful: action. Precisely when we act, without too many words, is when we can accomplish something powerful. This evening's Diskurs is about action and how it transforms. How can we take action against our problems, and conflicts, instead of only talking about them? How can action be used to change society? Does art, especially, contain within it a promise of transformation? While screaming mouths fight for dominance, perhaps the ground is already being dug up around them. 

Discourse in German with:
Alice Creischer (artist, author)


The Atlas of Social Innovation series provides a comprehensive overview of the multifaceted manifestations and practices of social innovation from a global perspective. This second volume brings together leading experts of the field. In 43 articles, the atlas gives new insights into current trends of social innovation research and its connection to other schools of thought and research traditions. A global project by Sozialforschungsstelle Dortmund. Including an essay by our director Alexander Koch about the New Patrons/ Neue Auftraggeber.

Find more information here.


Journalist Sylvie Kürsten accompanied the Neue Auftraggeber in Greifswald and Wietstock together with mediator Susanne Burmester. The result is a beautiful portrait showing the first projects in the north of the country.

Watch online (German)


“Why does the integration of art into society, which is otherwise so difficult and almost always doomed to failure, seem to work here, of all places? And how has the New Patrons bridged the gap between the elitist and navel-gazing art world on the one hand and the everyday life of so-called normal people, on the other?” 

This issue #59 of Spike Art Magazine looks at the non-heroic ways of doing things differently that can open our minds and make the world better. With an excellent text by Dominikus Müller about Neue Auftraggeber. Thanks to Spike for allowing us to publish this text online. Read.