“FAVORITEN” (FAVOURITES) shows outstanding productions of independently produced performing arts from NRW every two years in autumn. The Theatre Festival, which has existed since 1985 and is therefore the oldest independent theatre festival in Germany, is very important for the independent theatre landscape in NRW: It provides a forum for the regional scene to exchange on methodology, contemporary aesthetics and political or social questions.
As a cross-regional platform it supports the networking of artists, groups and collectives from NRW and supports their visibility on a national and international scale.
»FAVORITEN« 2018 took place under the artistic direction of Fanti Baum and Olivia Ebert in Dortmund in September.
The NRW KULTURsekretariat has been developing needs-oriented funding programmes, together with the “FAVORITEN” for many years, which always aim for a possible long-term and sustainable effect: from “Auftrittsnetzwerk” (Performance Network) through “Weitermachen” (Keep going) to the actual prizes for artistic work that have been awarded since 2016.
With these prizes, the NRWKS supports the work of the production teams - and, at the same time, goes beyond its current funding activities as part of “FAVORITEN”. Because not only does the prize money invite public recognition, it also releases groups from the permanent and short-term production pressure and allows for productive breaks. This opens up new space for contemplation and research and thus makes an important contribution to the continued development of performance art in NRW.
The prizes awarded during FAV18, in total 40,000 euros, are conceived as “ground support” for artistic working and can be used by the groups for their continued artistic work outside the project-specific funding and application. In this sense, Lea Letzel and Luísa Saraiva, the group “i can be your translator”, the Overhead Project and Sebastian Blasius were each awarded prize money of 10,000 euros.
This “ground support” aims to make artistic work of the groups more independent from external circumstances and to release the artists from the permanent and short-term pressure of having to produce. In this way, the NRWKS, together with the “Favourites”, takes a stance for the evident need for more non-project-related funding in the independent scene of performing arts in NRW. The prizes open up new space for contemplation and research and thus make an important contribution to the continued development of performance art in NRW.