About the Municipal Department of Arts and Culture
At a Glance
The cultural life of the Bavarian capital has always been an important factor in the quality of life its 1.5 million citizens enjoy. Numerous institutions and organizations ensure that, as a European cultural metropolis, Munich’s cultural infrastructure is maintained and expanded. Alongside the Bavarian State’s commitment to the promotion of culture, the municipality’s work in this area plays a vital role and is overseen and managed by the Municipal Department of Arts and Culture of the City of Munich, capital of the Free State of Bavaria.
Munich’s Department of Arts and Culture is one of twelve municipal departments.
The Director of the Department of Arts and Culture is responsible for all Munich’s municipal cultural institutions and facilities:
- The municipal museums (Jewish Museum Munich, Museum Villa Stuck, Munich City Museum, Lenbachhaus Municipal Gallery)
- The municipal theaters (Deutsches Theater, Münchner Kammerspiele, Schauburg/Theater der Jugend, Otto-Falckenberg-Schauspielschule, Münchner Volkstheater)
- The municipal orchestra (Munich Philharmonic Orchestra)
- Municipal educational institutions (Munich City Library, Munich Adult Education Center)
- Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism, a place of learning and remembrance in relation to the history of National Socialism.
The promotion of culture in the city is the Department of Arts and Culture’s main task. This role is carried out through advisory and consultancy services, through the provision of a cultural infrastructure (also in separate, distinct neighborhoods of the city), support at cultural events as well as financial and material assistance for institutions and projects. The Department also funds awards and recognition for those involved in the creation of culture and the arts. Furthermore, the municipality supports professional artists and cultural creatives with measures such as the allocation of artists‘ studios, prize and award ceremonies and grants.
When it comes to ”local“ or “neighborhood culture“ at a grass roots level, the focus is more on reaching a wide audience and generating cultural engagement for all the city’s citizens. Cultural education is the basis for this, to ensure that all those living in Munich can participate somehow in art and culture. The Department of Culture also practices and encourages international cooperation and international cultural exchange - as one might expect in Munich, with its broad spectrum of cultural diversity and intercultural work.
Culture has many aspects and effects: The enjoyment of art and joie de vivre, an expansion of personal horizons and new ways of seeing the world, education and the gaining of insight, social integration and the creation of identity. Above all, the discourse on identity and an increasing discussion between various ethnic groups in the urban community regarding their own understanding of what constitutes culture, are challenges for the future.
Around 1300 staff work in the Department of Arts and Culture’s various institutions and facilities, not including the “GmbH” (Ltd.) companies attached to the Department. Of these some 520 work in libraries, around 185 in municipal museums, approximately 150 at the Munich Philharmonic, around 360 in theaters and some 135 staff in the specialist departments for the promotion of culture, cultural infrastructure and events. Librarians in the city library, craftsmen and artists in the city’s theaters, exhibition curators and restorers in museums, orchestra musicians, teachers at Munich’s Adult Education Center and many other colleagues and team-members all play their own role in providing Munich’s rich cultural offering.
In 2016, the Department of Arts and Culture’s total budget, covering all of its various areas of activity, was around 200 million Euros. A large portion of these funds are taken up by the Munich City Library and the Münchner Kammerspiele theater (19,3% and 17,7% of the budget respectively).