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Friday, 16 January 2009

First day at Artsadmin

Hi there!
I'm Marion, the new ArtsAdmin intern. Raised in the far south of Germany I've been living in fabulous Berlin for the last five years and moved to London just recently. I am taking over 'Pick of the Week' from Sam and I'm hoping your picks gonna help me to learn more about London's buzzing art scene...

I've just handed in an essay for my Masters on Monday - thank god it's over - dealing with cultural policy issues, mainly related to cultural policy in Germany. Now I can almost hear you shouting: "Oh, it is so good to be an artist in Germany or run a cultural institution there - like being in the land of milk an honey!" Well, in a country where still 90% of the arts are governmental funded, the cultural sector is in a comparable lucky situation. However, since I came to London, I got the impression that quite big parts of the German arts scene are far behind. Especially in terms of marketing, audience development and arts education and participation programs.

The term "art for art's sake" is still present in many cultural organizations and it is therefore sometimes difficult to persuade them to break new grounds.
That's the other side of high governmental subsidies - the need to be inventive and to rethink old-fashioned structure is maybe not big enough...

Anyway, In my opinion, there is no realistic reason for a sudden end of governmental funding and the German arts scene should see this as a chance for a reorganization process without strong financial pressures.

I'm happy about any comments on this very short excursion in the tradition of supporting the arts in Germany and would be interested to hear what you guys, from your point of view, think about it...


JiaXuan said...

Hi Marion, thanks for this short and sweet post.Tell me more about cultural policies in Germany! Cultural policy is something I am interested in :) prob by email? Hope you're enjoying your internship :)

Manick Govinda said...

Just want to draw attention to the latest regulations that will severely curtail UK artists/arts workers' collaborations, exchange and relationships with non-EU artists. I'm developing a campaign against this insidious regulation. See:
And the February 09 issue of Blueprint Magazine and the forthcoming Feb 09 issue of a-n Magazine. A Russian Artist Dmitri Vilensky was refused a visa for a 3 day visit to participate in a symposium organised by The Showroom Gallery on 17 January. Time to raise awareness about Fortress Britain and it's hypocritical attitude to cultural diversity.

Marion said...

Hi JiaXuan

Thanks for your comment!
I could tell you a lot about cultural policy in Germany - it' a huge area.
If you are interested check this website:

It gives a good overview about cultural policies in Europe and you can find a profile for nearly every European country.
if you have further questions, please let me know.

J. said...

Hi Marion,

Welcome to London! Being also what they here call 'European' as a result of that funny phenomenon called 'Island Effect', I am also quite used to cultural institutions working on very different ways than the ones you see in the UK. But I wouldn't be so 'radical' to say that the German art scene is far behind. It might be 'far behind' in terms of being run like a business (which is what happens in the UK) but is not definitely 'far behind' in terms of the work put forward by artists. And in the end it is the work, the ideas behind the work, that interests me and not the more or less successful mutation of 'art for art's sake' into 'art for the market's sake'. (I'm open to discussion tho) ;-)