FAQs for artists 

Economic hardship

Foundation "Sozialwerk"

The Stiftung Sozialwerk of VG Bild-Kunst is an institution with legal capacity. Within the bounds of its possibilities, it provides financial support to authors in the visual arts in case of social emergencies, in the event of incapacity to work or occupational disability, and in old age. It receives its funds primarily from the income of VG Bild-Kunst. There is no legal entitlement to benefits from the foundation.

The financial means flow into three different funds at the foundation: (professional grouping)

  • Professional Group I Fine Artists
  • Professional Group II Photography, Graphic Design, Illustration
  • Professional Group III Film

The foundation receives the funds primarily from the proceeds of the exploitation of copyrights. The share to be paid to the foundation is determined in the distribution plans of VG Bild-Kunst. The foundation receives additional funds from donations and estates

Applications and distribution of means:

Members of VG Bild-Kunst, and in special individual cases their surviving spouses, are eligible to apply. Application for support is made directly through the foundation. The honorary advisory boards of the professional groups decide on applications for support. As a rule, meetings are held in spring and autumn for this purpose. In order to protect the interests of the individual professional groups of VG Bild-Kunst, each professional group elects an independent advisory board for the awarding of funds, each consisting of seven authors. The foundation provides application forms for support. The applicant should provide the necessary information and describes his or her emergency situation.

The forms necessary for submitting an application and additional relevant information are available from:

Patricia Tarlinsky, Geschäftsstelle Stiftung Sozialwerk
Tel.: 0228 91534 22, Fax: 0228 91534 59
E-Mail: tarlinsky@bildkunst.de

Support guidelines to download

"Deutsche Künstlerhilfe" (German Artists' Aid)

According to the wishes of its founder Theodor Heuss, the task of the Deutsche Künstlerhilfe is providing financial support to writers and artists of all disciplines who have made a cultural contribution to the Federal Republic of Germany with their work and who later face economic distress due to illness, old age or adverse circumstances. The grants from the Künstlerhilfe are honorary gifts from the Federal President and are intended as an expression of gratitude and recognition. They are not social benefits in the sense of the code of social law.

The Deutsche Künstlerhilfe is a special-purpose fund administered in trust by the Federal President currently in office. The Federal President make use of the Office of the Federal President for this purpose. The federal and state governments pay annual subsidies. In addition, donations and some earmarked fines flow into the Künstlerhilfe.

In view of the limited funds available, only a certain number of writers and artists from each state can receive financial support. Depending on the proposal submitted, support is granted on an ongoing basis (three payments per year) or once (repetition is possible). In cases of particular hardship, recipients of ongoing support may also receive special one-off grants. In the event of the death of a person receiving ongoing support, the surviving spouse receives a final benefit as a contribution to funeral costs.

The right to propose authors and artists resident in the relevant state to the Federal President for support from Künstlerhilfe lies with the state ministries or senators of culture. Associations, academies and individuals are entitled to make proposals to the federal states. Writers and artists can also apply for support themselves. Applications addressed directly to the Federal President or the Office of the Federal President are sent to the federal states for consideration

Deutsche Künstlerhilfe
Spreeweg 1, 10557 Berlin
Tel.: 030 2000-0, Fax: 030 2000-1999
E-Mail: poststelle@bpra.bund.de

Contact person for the visual arts in the Berlin cultural administration:
Simone Hahn Tel.: (030) 90228 534