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.
For the upcoming festival edition, this scholarship-based funding approach will be further developed by the NRWKS and the artistic management team. In the future, funds will be made available to groups for the artistic confrontation with their past. This would also be the first activity of NRW within the framework of the nationwide "Archiv des Freien Theaters" ("Performing the Archive"), which was initiated by "Impulse" in 2013.