Chemnitz and 38 partner municipalities and communities in the Central Saxony, Erzgebirge and Zwickau region will be the European Capital of Culture 2025. Kulturhauptstadt Europas Chemnitz 2025 GmbH (Kulturhauptstadt GmbH) is the company entrusted with the implementation of the project ideas outlined in bid book II. This company is planning and managing all the activities included in the programme for the Capital of Culture year.

Kulturhauptstadt Europas Chemnitz 2025 GmbH is working under the motto “C the Unseen” to place a key focus on activities in the areas of socioculture, art, tinkerer and maker culture, food and eating culture, the environment, sustainability, children’s, youth and senior citizens’ activities as well as other areas of society and culture. To this end, it is bringing together regional and national as well as international partners.

our open call as PDF (in german)
funding guidelines as PDF

Kulturhauptstadt GmbH is launching the European Workshop for Culture and Democracy listed in bid book II with public calls for proposals (open calls), and in 2023 and 2024 will involve a wide range of stakeholders from the area of culture and civil society in the Capital of Culture programme. These calls for proposals cover the following areas:

The calls for proposals are intended to support projects focusing on content that has a strong link to the five programme areas presented in bid book II:

General conditions of the open calls:

Details of the open calls:

Democracy does not simply exist – democracy is made, and our understanding of it is actively negotiated on an ongoing basis. In Chemnitz, as in other regions of Europe, notions of democracy are often questioned in public in particular; on the other hand, its relevance is rarely the subject of discussion in everyday life, e.g. in our families, when playing sports, at school or when meeting friends.

The Soft Skills Academy takes a constructive approach to working on the unifying idea of democracy using artistic and cultural tools – in the Academy, people talk to each other, listen to each other, think together, exchange ideas, discuss, debate and work together on the implementation of new projects, methods and concepts.

Kulturhauptstadt GmbH invites all stakeholders working in the field of culture and democracy education in Chemnitz and its 38 partner municipalities and communities to actively participate in the project. From 2023 to 2025, this will include regular networking opportunities for stakeholders, a curated discourse programme as well as opportunities for cooperation and competence development.

The first calls for proposals for the Soft Skills Academy call on stakeholders to present a wide range of cultural or artistic projects that are positioned at the interface with involvement on the part of civil society. These projects can still be in the planning stages (call for proposals 1: Soft Skills Academy I – project idea) or be ready for immediate implementation (call for proposals 2: Soft Skills Academy II – pilot projects).

These two application periods are considered to be a development or test phase for prototypes. In the next stage, the call for proposals for the Change Makers programme aimed at implementing prototypes and further development for the Capital of Culture 2025 programme will start from 2024.

All entities mentioned under item 12 of the funding guidelines (initiatives, associations, institutions, companies or private individuals, etc.) that are based in one of the 38 partner municipalities and communities of the European Capital of Culture Chemnitz 2025.

Project partnerships are explicitly welcome. These may already exist or be entered into during the competition period. The programme sees itself as motivation to actively seek out international partners in particular, with regard to level 2 – Change Makers. The project idea is submitted by the main partner based in Chemnitz or the region.

Funding is granted to non-commercial project ideas in the field of cultural creation that deal with questions, methods and strategies for promoting and teaching democracy, from the fields of visual and performing arts, literature, music, film, radio, photography, architecture, peace and remembrance culture, media, new media, related forms and interdisciplinary projects as well as activities in sports, civil society and popular culture.

The focus will be on activities that address and implement diversity, sustainability, inclusion and multi-generational work.

In the call for proposals 01/23: Soft Skills Academy I – Capacity building and networking programme for project ideas,

  • project costs incurred during the project period in the form of research and travel costs, accommodation costs, seminar and conference fees, entrance fees, translation costs, material costs and, in justified cases, professional fees will be reimbursed up to a maximum of €5,000, subject to approval by Kulturhauptstadt GmbH.
  • up to 70 per cent of the total costs will be pre-financed from the start of the project, and 30 per cent will be reimbursed after submission of the project plan and the cost report.
  • stakeholders involved in the preparation of the project plan will receive support via the competence development programme of Kulturhauptstadt GmbH.

The following are to be provided in the course of the project:

  • Project plan for a project that could be implemented in 2025
  • One-page final report on the project’s content
  • Cost report including receipts

In the call for proposals 02/23:  Soft Skills Academy II – Pilot projects in civil society,

  • project costs incurred during the project period in the form of professional fees and material costs for research and travel expenses, accommodation costs, seminar and conference fees, entrance fees, translation costs and costs for tangible items will be reimbursed up to a maximum of €10,000, subject to approval by Kulturhauptstadt GmbH.
  • stakeholders involved in the preparation of the project plan will receive support via the competence development programme of Kulturhauptstadt GmbH.

The following are to be provided in the course of the project:

  • Project plan for a project that could be implemented in 2025
  • One-page final report on the project’s content
  • Cost report including receipts

Call for proposals 01/23: Capacity building and networking programme for project ideas

  • January 2023 to March 2023: submission period
  • April 2023: selected projects announced
  • May 2023 to December 2023: project implementation

Call for proposals 02/23: Pilot projects in civil society

  • May 2023 to June 2023: submission period
  • July 2023: selected projects announced
  • August 2023 to February 2024: project implementation

The fact that Europe isn’t somewhere else, but on our own doorstep, is particularly true for border regions – and yet this isn’t always readily apparent. But these regions actually offer scope to exploit the potential this geographical and cultural proximity has to offer.

Stakeholders in Germany’s neighbouring countries bordering on Saxony – the Czech Republic and Poland – will play a prominent role in the programme of the European Capital of Culture 2025 with the aim of strengthening and perpetuating cultural and artistic exchange.

An aspect of particular interest is discovering ways in which the cultural differences in living conditions where the three countries meet represent a source of wealth for Europe as well as underscoring common ground as a connecting element. The intention is to exchange ideas on all levels, from everyday culture to high culture. Peace and remembrance work are to play a prominent role in this. Activities around the Capital of Culture year 2025 aim to sustainably strengthen relations between the people of this region and foster visible cross-border cooperation.

Kulturhauptstadt GmbH provides funding to bilateral or trilateral cooperation projects as part of a two-stage process.

  • Stage 1 consists of an ideas competition from January to September 2023. This is broken down into the submission of a project idea and its development to create a project plan.
  • Stage 2 consists of a project development process starting in 2024, based on the project plans developed in stage 1, with the aim of implementation in the Capital of Culture year 2025.

All entities mentioned under item 12 of the funding guidelines, plus, in this call for proposals, comparable legal forms and legal persons based in the Czech Republic or in Poland.

Bilateral or trilateral partnerships between those mentioned above may already exist or be entered into during the competition period. The programme sees itself as motivation to actively seek a partner. The project idea is submitted by a main partner. Submissions must each have one partner in one of the 38 designated partner municipalities and communities of the European Capital of Culture Chemnitz 2025 (https://chemnitz2025.de/en/cultural-region/).

In keeping with the funding guidelines, funding is granted to non-commercial project ideas centring around cultural creation, particularly from the fields of visual arts, performing arts, literature, music, film, photography, architecture, peace and remembrance culture, media and new media, related forms and interdisciplinary projects as well as activities in sports, civil society and popular culture.

The focus will be on activities that address and implement diversity, sustainability, inclusion and multi-generational work.

In the call for proposals 03/23: In level 1 – Ideas competition, cross-border cooperation with partners in the Czech Republic, Poland and Germany,

  • project costs incurred during the project period in the form of research and travel costs, accommodation costs, seminar and conference fees, entrance fees, translation costs, material costs and, in justified cases, professional fees will be reimbursed up to a maximum of €5,000, subject to approval by Kulturhauptstadt GmbH.
  • up to 70 per cent of the total costs will be pre-financed from the start of the project, and 30 per cent will be reimbursed after submission of the project plan and the cost report.
  • stakeholders involved in the preparation of the project plan will receive support via the competence development programme of Kulturhauptstadt GmbH.

The following are to be provided in the course of the project:

  • Project plan for a project that could be implemented in 2025
  • One-page final report on the project’s content
  • Cost report including receipts

Stage 1

  • January 2023 to September 2023: submission of idea outlines
  • October 2023 to November 2023: decision by advisory board
  • November 2023 to April 2024: project concepts developed

Stage 2

  • June 2024 to July 2024: concepts evaluated by advisory board
  • August 2024 to December 2025: project implementation

What connects children and students? And what connects senior citizens and young people? No matter how many differences there may be, they are all equal members of our society! Moments that connect are often all too short in everyday life; however, they offer a large but hitherto undiscovered potential of common ground. European Capital of Culture Chemnitz 2025 aims to motivate people to tap this potential.

Under the motto C the Unseen, we are giving different age groups the opportunity to celebrate themselves and their stage of life in the here and now in the Capital of Culture year.

We are looking for projects that children and young people can use to create spaces for trying things out and getting creative as well as acquiring new knowledge and skills so they can make their own prospects for the future. How can cultural or artistic engagement with topics that are important to young people be promoted?

We see Chemnitz, Europe’s oldest city in demographic terms, as an opportunity! Does our city and the surrounding region hold solutions to European issues such as poverty among senior citizens or loneliness, and thus an answer to demographic change? Whether it’s innovative tech solutions or ways of meeting – we are also looking for projects in which older people become active, contribute and thus create a platform that shows appreciation for their activities, opinions and the issues they face.

How can intergenerational, co-creative cultural projects bridge the gap between young and old? How can we shape the mutual transfer of knowledge between generations? What role do family-friendly structures play, and how can they be strengthened? European Capital of Culture Chemnitz 2025 invites you to discover and test various approaches with people from Chemnitz, from its partner municipalities and communities, and from all over Europe!

We encourage European, national and local partners to include projects for and, most importantly, with the target groups of the generation team in the Capital of Culture programme.

Projects can be submitted that address at least one of the following target groups and/or have an impact that connects generations:

  • 0–6 years old: Infants and children of nursery age and their families
  • 7–10 years old: Children of primary school age and their families
  • 11–18 years old: Children and young people of school age
  • 19–27 years old: Young adults
  • 60+ years old: Older people

The funded projects must provide their own contribution of at least 10 per cent of the total costs. Voluntary work in the project also counts as an own contribution.

All organisations and individuals from Chemnitz and the 37 partner municipalities and communities of the European Capital of Culture Chemnitz 2025 mentioned under item 12 of the funding guidelines are eligible to apply, as are those from all EU member states and EEA countries.

Networking between Chemnitz and the 37 partner municipalities and communities of the European Capital of Culture Chemnitz 2025 with Europe is a fundamental part of this – each local project must have at least one European partner at the time of submission, and each project from abroad must include one local partner from Chemnitz or one of the 38 partner municipalities and communities. If required, the generation team at Kulturhauptstadt GmbH will assist with the search for partners. Partnerships must be documented via declarations of intent.

Kulturhauptstadt GmbH promotes active participation on the part of the target groups in keeping with the idea of participatory cultural work. An active participatory component on the part of the local target group (e.g. in the team, in project development and/or implementation process) is a prerequisite for funding. If funding is awarded, this component can be further developed as part of a project development process. Special attention is given to projects that are developed from within the target groups themselves.

In keeping with the funding guidelines, funding is granted to non-commercial project ideas centring around cultural creation, particularly from the fields of visual arts, performing arts, literature, music, film, photography, architecture, peace and remembrance culture, media and new media, related forms and interdisciplinary projects as well as activities in sports, civil society and popular culture.

The focus will be on activities that address and implement diversity, sustainability, inclusion and multi-generational work.

  • March 2023 to May 2023: submission period
  • September 2023: decision by advisory board

All selected projects subsequently undergo a project development process in order to embed them at the local or European level and shape the long-term strategy.

  • January 2024 to December 2025: project implementation period

The projects must make their impact and carry out their main activities in 2025 and must be implemented in Chemnitz and/or the partner municipalities and communities. The necessary preparatory activities towards structural development can take place from October 2023 in justified exceptional cases.

European city life takes place on streets, in clubs, meeting places, studios, in backyards, in (skate)parks, kickabout pitches, roofs, in clubhouses, allotment gardens, schools, retirement homes, nurseries and many other places yet to be discovered.

Chemnitz’s very own special city culture has developed in various places over the decades. The Capital of Culture year 2025 aims to give a wide range of initiatives the opportunity to present their activities to a broad public. This call for proposals closes a gap between the programme of arts and culture and popular culture in Chemnitz. Based on the project submissions, stakeholders who as yet enjoy very little visibility in the city’s public life will become a presence that European, contemporary popular culture can perceive.

The call for proposals is addressed to all entities mentioned under item 12 of the funding guidelines (initiatives, associations, institutions, companies or private individuals, etc.) that are based in one of the 38 partner municipalities and communities of the European Capital of Culture Chemnitz 2025.

Particular attention is given to project ideas from the fields of fashion, music, popular dance, film and cinema, radio, podcasts, radio plays, bar and pub culture, body culture, bicycle culture, jewellery design, gaming, collecting, cooking culture, working culture, garden culture and intercultural encounters – both in person and in the virtual space.

Kulturhauptstadt GmbH promotes active participation projects and project development measures, which is why an active participatory component on the part of the local target groups (e.g. in the team, in the project development and/or implementation process) is a prerequisite for funding. This component does not have to be fulfilled at the time of application and should be developed as part of a project development process with the local target group.

In keeping with the funding guidelines, funding is granted to non-commercial project ideas centring around cultural creation, particularly for visual arts, performing arts, literature, music, film, photography, architecture, peace and remembrance culture, media and new media, related forms and interdisciplinary projects as well as activities in sports, civil society and popular culture.

The focus will be on activities that address and implement diversity, sustainability, inclusion and multi-generational work. The topics addressed by the project idea should be a reflection on the Macher:innen²/Makers² programme line.

In the call for proposals 05/23: Urban popular culture,

  • project costs incurred during the project period in the form of professional fees and material costs for research and travel expenses, accommodation costs, seminar and conference fees, entrance fees, translation costs and costs for tangible items will be reimbursed up to a maximum of €5,000 for project development processes and up to a maximum of €30,000 for larger district projects, subject to approval by Kulturhauptstadt GmbH.
  • in the project development process, up to 70 per cent of the total costs will be pre-financed from the start of the project, and 30 per cent will be reimbursed after submission of the project plan and the cost report.
  • stakeholders involved in the preparation of the project plan will receive support via the competence development programme of Kulturhauptstadt GmbH.

The following are to be provided in the course of the project:

  • Project plan for a project that could be implemented in 2025
  • A final report on the content
  • Cost report including receipts
  • Submissions from November 2023
  • Expected January 2024: decision by advisory board
  • Expected from February/March 2024: project implementation with main activities in 2025

If you would like to receive regular updates on the calls, you can subscribe to specific mailing lists for each call here:

To sign up for the mailing lists

Do you have specific questions about the calls for entries?

Then feel free to send us an email to ausschreibungen@chemnitz2025.de.

funding guidelines as PDF
the open calls as PDF (in german)

Photo: Natalie Bleyl