What We Do
In accordance with its statutes, the Toepfer Foundation is committed to the four program areas of art and culture, education and society, science and future-oriented land use.
As an operating foundation, the Toepfer Foundation develops its own projects and programs within these four areas, which are organizationally supervised by our team members and designed in such a way that they do justice to the foundation's overarching guiding ideas - accompanying biographies, daring to change, giving space. Ideas for projects do not arise from an internal logic, but also from clever impulses, suggestions and advice from outside. The question "Who is interested and who needs this?" is the guiding principle for the conception phase. The projects and programs of the foundations are then implemented primarily within the framework of qualification offers, scholarships and prizes. Below you will find an overview of our programs and projects.
Art and culture
Culture has a justification for existence beyond usability. And yet we dare to ask again and again: Who cares? Who should listen to this concert? Why should one see this exhibition? Why is this museum indispensable? Asking ourselves these questions is the focus of our cultural sponsorship. In addition to awarding the highly endowed European cultural prize KAIROS, we primarily offer professional qualification programs for musicians, visual artists and actors from the museum sector. These continuing education formats respond to a specific need or shortage in the respective cultural field; they were preceded by intensive research and expert surveys in order to be able to make tailored offers for the respective target group.
Education & Society
In the Education & Society program area, we are committed to democracy and social cohesion, participation in an informed and educated society, equal opportunities, and European exchange and understanding.
We see potential for improving educational participation and equity for disadvantaged children and young people in the design and support of local educational landscapes. With our commitment to journalism, we want to contribute to strengthening and maintaining quality journalism, media diversity and investigative research in the public interest. In doing so, we promote both cross-border cooperation and networking among journalists from all over Europe, as well as local journalism, which is currently particularly threatened in its existence.
For many years, we focused our attention in the programme area Science on the development of teaching at universities. After the successful conclusion of the Lehreⁿ (Teachingn) programme in 2020 and the establishment of the Stiftung Innovation in der Hochschullehre (Foundation for Innovation in University Teaching) under the umbrella of the Toepfer Stiftung gGmbH, we will turn our attention to new tasks in the future. A project in science communication is planned, which is dedicated to quality standards and responsible forms of communication and asks how the "scientific literacy" of the population - analogous to media literacy - can be strengthened.
Future-oriented Land Use
Against the backdrop of climate and biodiversity crises, structural change, digitalisation and changing societal expectations, the pressure for change is increasing on various forms of land use, on agricultural and food systems as well as on forests and protected areas. Questions are being raised about more sustainable and climate-friendly agriculture and forestry that is in harmony with nature conservation goals, as well as about greater food sovereignty, the future of rural areas, cultural landscapes and areas that are not subject to production. With the programme area Future-oriented Land Use, we offer various formats for interested parties from agriculture, nature conservation, science, and civil society. We facilitate discussion and dialogue and support concrete action towards a more future-oriented land use.