Every two years in autumn the theatre festival "Favoriten" (Favorites) presents outstanding productions of the independent performing arts from NRW. The next festival edition will take place in Dortmund in autumn 2020, again under the artistic direction of Fanti Baum and Olivia Ebert.
The oldest independent theatre festival in Germany, founded in 1985, is of fundamental importance for the independent theatre scene in North Rhine-Westphalia. It offers the regional scene a forum for the exchange of ideas on working methods, contemporary aesthetics and political and social issues. As a supra-regional platform it supports the networking of artists, groups and collectives from NRW and promotes their nationwide and international visibility.
For many years now, the NRW KULTURsekretariat has been working with the "Favorites" to develop demand-oriented support programs that always aim for the longest possible and sustainable effect, while at the same time making an important contribution to the ongoing development of performance art in NRW: from "Auftrittsnetzwerk" (Performance networks) and "Weitermachen" (Continuing) to the prizes for artistic work that have been awarded since 2016.
All of these activities meet the urgent need for project-independent funding in the independent scene and open up spaces for reﬂection and research.
This was also the aim of the prizes awarded as part of "FAV18", which totaled 40,000 euros. The "Ground Support" helped to relieve the four winning groups of the permanent and short-term production pressure and to make their artistic work somewhat more independent of the external conditions of project-related funding and application.
The NRW KULTURsekretariat, the Favoriten Festival and the NRW Landesbüro für Freie Darstellende Künste have further developed their cooperation in 2020 and are organizing for the first time in 2021, and from now on biennially in the intermediate year of the festivals, a joint meeting for artists from NRW lasting several days. The meeting focuses on an artistic exchange about different aesthetic practices, performative archiving, current working conditions in the liberal arts and contemporary discourses - conceived and moderated by artists for artists.
In addition, as part of the International Visitors Program, guests from all over the world will participate in the festival in Dortmund and enter into an intensive exchange with artists and creators of FAVORITEN 2020.