Arts Sponsorship (AKF)

Arbeitskreis Arts Sponsorship (AKF) at Folkwang Museum, 2010  © Herbert Höltgen

Topics discussed by the AKF have included:

... Digitalisation and Culture – Using New Media Correctly / Culture and Branding: Who Helps Whom? / Art Tax or Tax Art? / On Monetary Value: Benefits and Drawbacks / Guerilla Marketing and Participation – For and with Culture...

In 1996, the Kulturkreis established the Arbeitskreis Kultursponsoring (AKS, Working Group for Cultural Sponsoring), which was renamed the Arbeitskreis Kulturförderung (AKF) in 2017. The working group is a unique network for corporations and corporate foundations committed to art and culture. Members from all industries exchange perspectives about the goals and frameworks involved in all forms of corporate cultural support, including sponsoring, corporate volunteering, corporate cultural programmes, public-private partnerships, and arts patronage.


The AKF connects culturally committed enterprises, facilitating an industry-wide exchange that pools together various forms of experience and knowledge. In sessions that take place every six months, the AKF aims to professionalise corporate support for the arts. Each session is dedicated to a different topic, which is explored from multiple perspectives through presentations, examples of best practices, and interactive workshops.

The AKF represents the interests of its members in questions of cultural sponsorship and advocates for a cultural policy framework that supports corporate cultural engagement. Through its expert knowledge and professional public relations work, the AKF raises awareness of corporate cultural engagement within society. To honour companies that have demonstrated a commitment to culture, the AKF initiated the Deutscher Kulturförderpreis (German Arts Sponsorship Award), which is conferred annually by the Kulturkreis der deutschen Wirtschaft in partnership with Handelsblatt.

Working Group Sessions

The next AKF session takes place in April in Essen at Evonik Industries AG and is dedicated to the topic "Inspite of low interest rates and need to economise: Effective funding concepts also with small budgets". Please find here an overview of the topics and hosts of previous AKF-working sessions.

Vorstand des AKF

AKF Members

At present, some 60 companies are AKF members. With regard to size and industry, they represent a cross section of the German economy. They are united by the idea that essential impulses for creative and unconventional thought and action can be gained through dialogue with artists. Simultaneously, they represent the numerous potential forms that cooperation between culture and industry can take.

Aareal Bank AG, Wiesbaden
Ahlers AG, Herford
Aloys F. Dornbracht GmbH & Co. KG, Iserlohn
AUDI AG, Ingolstadt
AXA Art Versicherung AG, Köln
BASF SE, Ludwigshafen
BASF Coatings GmbH, Münster
Bayer AG, Leverkusen
Beiersdorf AG, Hamburg
Berliner Volksbank eG, Berlin
Bertelsmann Stiftung, Gütersloh
BMW Group, München
British American Tobacco GmbH, Hamburg
Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie e. V., Berlin
Bundesverband der Deutschen Volksbanken und Raiffeisenbanken e.V., Berlin
Commerzbank AG, Frankfurt a. M.
crescendo - das KlassikMagazin / Port Media GmbH, München
Daimler AG, Stuttgart
Daimler Financial Services, Stuttgart
DATEV eG, Nürnberg
DB Mobility Logistics AG, Berlin
DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale, Frankfurt a. M.
Deutsche Bank AG, Frankfurt a. M.
Deutscher Sparkassen- und Giroverband e. V., Berlin
DIE ZEIT, Hamburg
Dr. Arend Oetker Holding GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin
ECE Projektmanagement G.m.b.H. & Co. KG, Hamburg
EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG, Karlsruhe
E.ON SE, Essen
Ernst & Young AG Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft, Eschborn
Evonik Industries AG, Essen
GASAG Berliner Gaswerke AG, Berlin
Hamburger Sparkasse, Hamburg
Hamburger Volksbank, Hamburg
innogy Stiftung, Essen
Itzehoer Versicherungen AG, Itzehoe
KfW Stiftung, Frankfurt a. M.
Koelnmesse GmbH, Köln
KPMG AG, München
KRAVAG-Versicherungen, Hamburg
Lange Uhren GmbH, Glashütte
Münchener Rückversicherungs-Gesellschaft, München
NORDMETALL-Stiftung, Hamburg
OSRAM Licht AG, München
Otto Group, Hamburg
Philip Morris GmbH, München
PricewaterhouseCoopers GmbH Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft, Frankfurt a. M.
RheinEnergieStiftung, Köln
Siemens AG, München
TRUMPF GmbH + Co. KG, Ditzingen
UniCredit Bank AG, München
UNIQA Österreich Versicherungen AG, Köln
Volkswagen AG, Wolfsburg
Vollack Gruppe, Karlsruhe
Werbegemeinschaft Sony Center GbR, Berlin
Wilo-Foundation, Dortmund
Yamaha Music Europe GmbH, Rellingen

AKF Award

Die GASAG AG gewinnt den AKF Award 2018 für das Projekt Bühnenkunstschule ACADEMY © Kulturkreis

Each year, the AKF awards a prize for an exceptionally innovative cultural sponsorship project initiated by one of its members. Since 2012, this distinction is made during one of the working group’s sessions. Originally called the "AKS Award", the prize was renamed "AKF Award" in 2017, when the Arbeitskreis Kultursponsoring (AKS) was renamed Arbeitskreis Kulturförderung (AKF).

AKF-Award 2018


AKF-Award 2018


The Power of the Arts © Philip Morris GmbH

AKF Member Login:

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Dr. Susanne Ehrenfried ( ACC) and Dr. August Markl (Chairman ACC), Hamburg 2016 © Henning Rogge

Corporate Collecting

Behaim Globe, Jahrtausendturm, Magdeburg © Holger Talinski

Cultural Tasks Abroad

Deutscher Kulturförderpreis 2015, DSGV Berlin © Peter Himsel

Arts Sponsorship Award

CEEP Workshop © Helene Altenstein

Cultural Education