A foundation for the University of the Arts

About the foundation

The Berlin University of the Arts Foundation is a charitable foundation as defined by civil law. The foundation’s goal is to contribute to the lasting support of art and culture, education, arts-related sciences and research. In particular, our aim is to provide financial support to studies and teaching at the University of the Arts – one the largest, most diverse and richest in tradition universities of the arts in the world

Evolved over time

Over the last few decades, many private individuals have generously bequeathed legacies, some of which were of considerable size, to the Berlin University of the Arts (known as the College of Arts/HdK Berlin until 2001). All of these were transferred to the Berlin University of the Arts Foundation when the charitable foundation was established in 2023. In this way, the memory of the donors’ wishes lives on in the Berlin University of the Arts Foundation.

The Berlin University of the Arts Foundation also manages three charitable trusts, which are structured in such a way so as to offer students, young academic scholars and artists even better opportunities for study and research. These are the Ursula Hanke-Förster Foundation, the Ulrich and Burga Knispel Foundation and the Helmut Thoma Foundation.

Examining history

The history of the Berlin University of the Arts and its institutional predecessors, which go back to the seventeenth century, has already been the subject of intense research for some time now. The focus is on key figures involved, buildings and collections.  

A central question is the role of the university in the Weimar Republic, during National Socialism and in the post-war period. The research has also investigated the possible involvement of donors in National Socialism. In order to keep this research work transparent, results will be published on this website as the research proceeds.

For the foundation, it is an unquestionable duty to examine the origins of all donations, endowments and other forms of support.

Civic engagement

The civic engagement expressed so generously in all these contributions supports the Berlin University of the Arts in a wonderful way. Because teaching projects, scholarships, prizes, competitions, interdisciplinary ties and artistic experiments that seek to try something exceptional and set new benchmarks all depend on private individuals, companies and other foundations’ willingness to support them.

How we provide support

The Berlin University of the Arts Foundation is an operating as well as grant-making foundation.

The foundation’s curatorial committee, made up of elected members of the university, gathers ideas and suggestions that in turn fill the foundation with life. In consultation with the foundation’s donors, this committee decides how to use the foundation’s resources with the goal of advancing education and research in the arts and arts-related sciences.

Would you like to support the foundation’s work? Please get in touch with us. We’d be happy to explore ideas with you or tell you about projects that need support.

Purpose of the foundation

The foundation pursues the goal of supporting art and culture, education, arts-related sciences and research, especially study and teaching. The foundation’s activities usually take place at the Berlin University of the Arts – one of world’s leading university-level arts educational institutions.

The core of the Berlin University of the Arts and thus the foundation’s support are its exceptional art and design teaching, research and further training. This is carried out in over 70 courses at the four Colleges of Fine Arts, Architecture, Media and Design, Music, and the Performing Arts, as well as the Berlin Career College and the inter-university centres for dance and jazz.

Please support the foundation’s work and thus a new generation of artists and scholars in one of the following areas: prizes and scholarships, spaces in which to flourish, excellence in teaching and research.

Along with civic engagement within the Berlin University of the Arts Foundation, there are also other options at the university to get involved and provide support:

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