[resource-net] difference between City Tax adn Hauptstadtkultorfonds?

Tatiana Bazzichelli tbazz at disruptiv.biz
Tue Sep 20 11:39:18 CEST 2016

Dear all,

I was reflecting about the general situation of making our voice
visible, and I think that the way would be either to be more present in
collective meetings speaking about our "interdisciplinary" projects that
relate with art and post-digital culture, or (and also) highlight some
general problems that in a sense are valid for all the "categories".
I have been applying to these funds since 2004, before through
institutions, and since 2014 independently with the Disruption Network Lab.

It is really clear with the last round of City Tax, from which we got
really confused, that one of the biggest problems is a good degree of
transparency about the funding politics.
I would like to list some issues that in a sense would make our life
much easier, and perhaps are also easier to be concretely

- it is not clear in the grant description the maximum amount that it is
possible to apply for, and personally this has always been the most
difficult part of writing an application. By looking closely at the
results of the last rounds of HKF and City Tax, it looks that more or
less institutions were able to acquire around 200.000 Euro for single
projects, while the more "independent" projects rarely managed to go
over 100.000 per year.
Is there a concrete political decision behind that? It would be great to
have more transparency in understanding how much independent projects
can aim for - otherwise the risk is to submit something "unbalanced" and
not to be considered only for structural "issues". This would also help
a better discussion, because in a sense an independent project would
need more money to be sustainable than an institution - which has more
funding opportunities.

- it is not clear what is the distribution of funds between institutions
and the free scene. Is there a rule about how much the institutions
should get in each application round and what is the amount the "free
scene" is eligible for? We saw that at the first City Tax round there
were almost no institutions, so we all believed that this was a fund for
the free scene, while this second round is very much supporting the
institutions. The same happened with HKF in the last years.

- it is not clear what is the distribution of funds among the various
categories. For example we can see that theater, dance and performance
usually get more than digital culture. With this I don't mean that we
have to be battling among us, we should all be aiming the same: a better
transparency in understanding what are the cultural priorities of these
funds. If the result is that digital culture is not really the highlight
of city politics - which is kind of clear - then this would help us in
making a focused request, and maybe demand a more specific fund about
practices that "people in the general cultural politics don't
understand" (how Oliver puts it, and I think he is right). Or maybe we
need to be more present in the general political discourse?

- it is never clarified when the results of the grants are communicated.
Sometimes they arrive early, like in 2014 (we knew about the results of
HKF 2015 in December 2014), sometimes very late (like for the results of
HKF 2016, it was end of January 2015). I guess that often there are
political factors, but to have a specific deadline would really help our
production and sustainability, especially if we know about the results
end of January and our programme needs to start in March.

- it would be advisable to prioritize the opportunity to apply for 2-3
years, as for example happens in other countries (I spoke with
colleagues that apply with similar projects in UK and Slovenia, and they
have the option to apply for longer terms, or be "extended": this
respects their work and improves sustainability). Even if this would
sound "neo-liberal" (sorry for that) it would be great to be recognised
for the effort done and therefore deserve an extension of funds if the
project was successful. It is a loss of money to help a project to
start, create an identity, build up a network and a public, and then
when this demonstrates that the public likes it, the press too, and the
topics are important, just cut the funds and don't help it become really
sustainable (considering also that we cannot work always with really few
money, if we want to survive). Of course applying for 2 years means that
we would ask for more money, so this brings us to the first issue I wrote.

I wonder if these issues have been discussed already among the networks
that are active. But I also think that, even if they don't solve the
general problem, at least they would make our life easier.

All the best,


Tatiana Bazzichelli // Artistic Director
Twitter: @disruptberlin // @t_bazz
PGP: A87C 3637 03ED 1D1C E6FE E828 1F55 2B2F F5A5 C9A0

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