In 2005, the German Federal Cultural Foundation launched the initiative “Tanzplan Deutschland” and provided 12.5 million euro to fund it. Under the leadership of Madeline Ritter, Tanzplan Deutschland set out to revolutionise the cultural landscape: Cities, federal states and the federal government signed cooperation agreements committing them to working together for five years to strengthen the country’s dance sector. Working closely with dance artists and practitioners, they developed new strategies for implementing artistic ideas, influencing cultural policy and supporting local and regional dance scenes. Between 2005 and 2010, a total of 21 million euro were mobilised for dance through match funding. Tanzplan Deutschland became an international model project that pointed the way for other national “dance plans”, including in Switzerland, Spain, Australia and even New Zealand.
Today, more than ten years after Tanzplan Deutschland came to an end, its impact on Germany’s dance sector is still clearly evident: new dance degree programmes in Frankfurt and Berlin, venues and studios offering residencies for artists in Hamburg and Potsdam, centres of excellence for cultural education in Düsseldorf and Munich, invigorated regional dance networks, close collaboration between all German higher education institutions for dance, the establishment of the Dance Education Biennale and ambitious projects such as Tanzkongress Deutschland. Last but not least, TANZPAKT Stadt-Land-Bund (link), which launched in 2017, employs the same collaborative funding principles that were pioneered by Tanzplan Deutschland and have since been adopted by other arts sectors.