Germany Is Giving Out $1.3 Million to Support Nearly 100 Artists Struggling at Home With Young Children During Lockdown

Awarded artists will each receive a €2,000 salary for six months.

Monika Grütters, minister for culture and media. Photo: Annette Riedl/picture alliance via Getty Images.

The German government will give 96 contemporary artists who have children under the age of seven a six-month scholarship of €12,000 ($14,282) each.

The grant, managed by Bonn’s Stiftung Kunstfonds and totaling €1.1 million ($1.3 million), is part of the German government’s sweeping Neustart Kultur program, a $1 billion stimulus package launched in June to bail out various parts of the culture sector.

The demand for the parent-artist grant, which was announced over the summer, was so overwhelming that it caused a one-week delay in the decision-making process as the jury waded through applications. Nearly 850 artists across the country applied with 11.4 percent of them receiving the grant, a number that Stiftung Kunstfonds’s managing director, Karin Lingl, told Artnet News Lingl “is far too low.”

The pandemic has hit parents “particularly hard, especially if they have to care for small children of pre-school age while also enduring a loss of their income,” Lingl said. “Free artistic work is particularly difficult under these conditions.”

The grant comes in the form of a monthly salary of €2,000 ($2,380) over six months. The awardees were announced on September 7.

Grants were awarded not based on need, but rather on the quality of projects proposed. Grantees include some higher profile artists including the American, Berlin-based artist Jason Dodge, as well as Pablo Wendel, one of the co-founders of the new E-Werk art center just outside the city. Lerato Shadi, whose solo show just opened as a part of Berlin Art Week at the Kindl Center for Contemporary art, was also awarded the scholarship.

“On the one hand, the support is intended to alleviate the still precarious situation of artists and art institutions,” Lingl said. “On the other hand—and most importantly—we are directing our focus forward and initiating alternative and forward-looking projects. We are well aware that exactly these artistic positions will find ways through this current crisis.”

Germany has received global recognition for its generous bailout for artists and freelancers since the pandemic and ensuing lockdown.

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