Goldrausch Künstlerinnenprojekt is a comprehensive programme devoted to the professionalisation of women in the arts. A one-year postgraduate course conveys the specific professional skills and information that are needed to cope with the complex demands of independent artistic activity. The goal is for each participant to develop her own perspective as she goes about knowledgably and self-confidently shaping her career in the fine arts.
The objective of the Goldrausch project for women artists is to support participants in successful career activities. The point of departure, therefore, is the participants’ own artistic work, and the objective is pursued through a combination of acquiring specific knowledge, effectively presenting work to the public, and engaging in focused discussions and networking.
By passing on important career information, the Goldrausch Künstlerinnenprojekt seeks to open up the areas of activity available to women artists, starting from existing problem areas: women artists and their achievements are still underrepresented in the public sphere. Despite their disproportionately high numbers in educational programmes, women artists continue to be conspicuously in the minority when it comes to the leading exhibitions, prizes and academic appointments. Moreover, ongoing training in this evolving professional field is indispensable when it comes to the ability to earn a living from one’s artistic work.
An independent postgraduate programme
Goldrausch Künstlerinnenprojekt is designed for women artists who have completed their formal education and already have some degree of professional experience. Participants are expected to demonstrate artistic competence and be ready for intensive involvement in a subject of their choice. The assumption is that artist-participants want to acquire additional practical skills that will enable them to communicate effectively about their work (a task increasingly incumbent upon artists themselves) and to deal with traditional areas that freelancers are also responsible for, such as tax and copyright law, insurance, time management, and financial planning.
In a collaborative process with course participants, the Goldrausch project for women artists creates a reliable network that facilitates both practical mutual support and theoretical exchange, a network that often endures even after the course has ended. This shared self-determined forum structurally expands the artists’ individual fields of activity.
Each year, the Goldrausch professionalisation programme accepts 15 artists for the course. Participants are selected by a jury, which is comprised of a different group of art scholars, art critics and artists each year. To be considered, applicants must have a diploma in the arts or, in the case of self-taught artists, demonstrate equivalent practical experience. The selection criteria include the applicant’s high level of artistic work as well as an indication that the programme will meaningfully enhance her career.
Sponsoring organisation and funding
The Goldrausch project for women artists has been operated by Goldrausch Frauennetzwerk Berlin e.V. since 1989. The objective of this non-profit association, founded in 1982, is to assist women in setting up their own businesses and to fund activities relevant to women’s rights.
Professional knowledge in the field of fine arts
The Goldrausch project for women artists responds to the individual needs of the participants. The coursework treats both practical and theoretical topics, always dovetailing with the actual artistic work of the participants, who have a say in its content. Self-directed learning, teamwork, and responsibility for the work’s results are integral components of the course. A focus on practical applications and ongoing evaluation of the participants’ own positions and the steps involved in carrying out their work are the basic methods used in the course.
The course combines practical exercises in the promotion of artistic work with seminars on other aspects of career- and self-management. Through insights into the mechanisms of the art market, the media and cultural institutions, the rules of the game operative in this multifaceted arena become more transparent. Tools and processes from fields outside the arts also enter into the discussions.
The process of creating a representative ‘showcase’ of artistic work generates not only greater visibility but also greater clarity in the work’s presentation. Course participants develop and produce presentations in a variety of media (websites, printed material, etc.). Basic multimedia skills needed to conceive and manage the production process are conveyed and deepened in seminars conducted by expert guest consultants. The annual final exhibition, now well established in public awareness, represents another level in the systematic networking of the artists’ work. The programme offers practically oriented courses covering public relations, artists’ talks and documentation in tandem with the exhibition.
The Goldrausch Künstlerinnenprojekt is co-funded by the European Union (European Social Fund Plus) and by the Federal State of Berlin.