Residence NRW+ is an expanded support programme relaunched for the promotion of excellence in great emerging talents from the field of contemporary visual arts. It is based on residency scholarships that have been granted for more than 40 years now by the NRW Federal Ministry of Culture and the Kunststiftung NRW and, for the first time from 2020 on, by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia: four twelve-month scholarships per year for visual artists (max. age 40) from NRW or connected to NRW and four six-month scholarships for curators (max. age 35). The scholarships for artists are funded in equal parts by the Federal Ministry of Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Kunststiftung NRW. The monthly grant for artists is EUR 1,450; the monthly grant for curators is EUR 1,250. The scholarships are decided by alternating expert committees. Binding for all scholars is their willingness to spend the scholarship period with fellow scholars at the place of residency, offering suitable spaces for living and concentrated working.
Residence NRW+ is based on the project work at the former scholarship location Schloss Ringenberg. Since 2001 a programme structure has successively been developed and proven for the artist scholars and, since 2009 for the first time in Germany, also for curator scholars. Starting in 2020 the new residency location is the city of Münster, which offers the artists a wide range of possibilities to advance their individual development. With the University of Fine Arts Münster, various studio houses, along with the Kunsthalle Münster, the Westfälischer Kunstverein and the LWL-Museum für Kunst und Kultur, Münster possesses renowned production and presentation sites where high-level contemporary art is on display, latest trends in the visual arts are discussed and enabled to enter into dialogue with a broad public.
In affiliation with the Kunsthalle Münster, the gained long-term experiences and networks will be introduced to the new residency location with the aim of emphasizing the scholars’ individual concerns and refining their particular approaches and working methods. Grounded on the four key elements of the programme, exchange, practice, support and networking, Residence NRW+ offers optimal conditions for advancement within each individual field of work: artists and curators live and work together under one roof. At the end of the scholarship, the artists stage an exhibition in an institution in NRW. The curators work in duos and will conceive and independently realize, in general, two projects funded by the promotional programme at alternating cooperation venues throughout North Rhine-Westphalia. These projects may be exhibitions but may also take the form of performance or film programmes.
In the past, cooperation venues were art institutions such as the Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, the Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht, the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo, the Museum Arnhem, the Museum Abteiberg Mönchengladbach, the Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen, the Kaiser-Wilhelm Museum Krefeld, the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, the Kunsthalle Münster, the Westfälische Kunstverein, the Museum Kurhaus Kleve and the Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg. As a contact partner in professional matters, the scholars benefit from the mentoring of a qualified person with long-term experience in the field. The mentoring is a unique characteristic of this promotional programme. It includes work meetings (individual studio visits, presentations in the group), advice related to project funding applications, support in preparing exhibitions, guidance for the curator projects, excursions and specialist conferences with limited numbers of participants. Another special feature is the follow-up support provided for the alumni. An active cooperation and alumni network have grown since 2001, with presently over 180 German and Dutch artists and curators. Residence NRW+ integrates and further involves the alumni in the ongoing programme and promotes intensive exchange by organizing regular meetings.