Musicboard-Berlin > Funding > Residencies > Detroit / Berlin

Co-Creation Residency: Detroit / Berlin

Next Application Deadline 1.6.2024, 6:00 p.m.

Maureen Noe, Zoe Stroebel-Haft
T +49 (0)30 221 84 89 88

1 Overview

The dance floor as a safer space: from Motown to Detroit Techno, the Motor City is the birthplace of numerous musical genres that are breathing the spirit of political resistance. Detroit and Berlin are linked by a close musical history. Experience the origins of techno and house as Black, queer music cultures!

Musicboard Berlin in cooperation with the Detroit-Berlin Connection is granting an international, two-part co-creation residency to solo musicians from the field of electronic music who are living in Berlin and Detroit. Berlin musicians can apply via Musicboard for a stay of up to two months in Detroit. Through the Detroit-Berlin Connection, a musician from Detroit is selected for a stay of up to two months in Berlin. Both musicians will be consulted about the selection of the respective artistic partner.

The aim of the co-creation residency is to foster exceptional collaborations and long-term artistic and cultural exchange between musicians living in Detroit and those living in Berlin. Further, the residency project intends to raise awareness for the origins of techno and house as Black, queer music cultures. In addition to the intended artistic collaboration, the residents serve as a point of reference and contact for their partners, connecting them with the respective local creative scenes and artistic networks.

The Musicboard residency programme intends to be accessible to everyone and as inclusive as possible. Nevertheless, this residency cannot be taken up with family. If you have questions about the accessibility of this residency, please contact Maureen Noe before applying:

2 Conditions

Eligible to apply are:

  • solo musicians who live and work in Berlin
  • musicians from the electronic field that work professionally and stand out through their creative achievements
  • musicians with a high level of independence and personal initiative
  • musicians who reflect on their own social position and are critical of power imbalances and discrimination. Prior knowledge of topics such as whitewashing, white saviourism and cultural appropriation is desired. Applicants will have the opportunity to acquire relevant information in a mandatory workshop on power relations
  • musicians who have a good knowledge of the Berlin music scene and are willing to take on the role of co-host in Berlin (no organising responsibility) and to connect the artist from Detroit with the local community

3 Time Frame

Stay in Detroit: 6 to 8 weeks around May 2025
Stay in Berlin: 6 to 8 weeks around August 2025

The exact periods of the residency will be coordinated between the cooperation partners and the selected musicians.

4 Residency Details

As the birthplace of techno, Detroit has been closely connected to the Berlin techno scene since the 1990s. Particularly in the US, but also in Berlin, house and techno music was significantly developed by Black and queer communities who established clubs and dance floors as safer spaces and sites of resistance against discrimination and political repression. The residency programme aims to promote an engagement with the origins of electronic music culture and create more visibility and recognition for the role of queer and BIPoC communities that continue to fundamentally shape the development of these genres.

The Detroit residency usually takes place during Movement Electronic Music Festival, one of the longest-running dance music events in the world. In Detroit, the Musicboard residents live and work in the premises that are home to the legendary techno label and DJ collective Underground Resistance, the younger Detroit Techno Militia collective, and in-house record store Submerge. The residents will be given access to a studio space to develop own and collaborative works as well as engage with the community. Co-creation is seen as an open-ended process that can be shaped in many ways. It is not mandatory that joint musical works are created.

To continue the transcultural collaboration, Musicboard Berlin subsequently will invite the artist from Detroit for a residency in Berlin. A live presentation of the joint production at Pop-Kultur Festival in Berlin in August 2025 is desired.

5 Contributions

The Musicboard covers:

  • the round-trip travel costs as well as costs for accommodation, food, working and rehearsal space
  • a singular contribution to project-related costs

6 Application

The following information and documents must be supplied, in German or in English, using exclusively the online application tool that can be accessed via the button at the end of this page:

  • completed application form
  • artistic project & motivation
    motivation and presentation of the planned artistic project in the context of the residency
  • artistic profile
    including a list of artistic milestones such as shows, productions, releases, collaborations, awards and grants
  • three music samples
    to be uploaded as mp3s
  • scans of certificate of registration or personal ID (front and back)
    indicating Berlin as place of residence
  • for non-EU citizens: Passport scan
    including residence permit, duration of stay, and type of work permit

In each round of funding, applicants may apply for more than one residency. In this case, separate applications must be submitted.

Only fully completed documents can be considered. All applications will be handled confidentially and used exclusively for decision-making and funding purposes. Publication of certain relevant details is granted by the applicant as part of the application process.

7 Selection Procedure

The residencies are awarded through Musicboard Berlin GmbH upon recommendation of an independent jury of Berlin-based pop experts and in consultation with the Senate Department for Culture and Social Cohesion. Jury members are usually appointed for a period of three years. The following jury is appointed to the Scholarships & Residencies programme in 2024:

  • Aida Baghernejad
    cultural journalist
  • Ebru »Ebow« Düzgün
    artist, label owner, manager and event organiser
  • Ji-Hun Kim
    Editor-in-chief Das Filter, freelance lecturer, DJ and music producer
  • Misla Tesfamariam
    artist manager, label owner
  • Thien Nguyen
    label owner, DJ, music and film producer
  • Yeşim Duman
    curator, moderator, DJ

A short description of the jury members is available here.

8 Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve collected here some frequently asked questions about Musicboard’s residencies. This information is intended for general advice, is not legally binding, and does not take the place of an examination of individual circumstances. We will gladly answer further, detailed questions on the funding programme by phone or by email. Please read the FAQs and other explanatory notes on this website carefully before contacting us. We also recommend the free services of the Kulturförderberatung by Kreativ Kultur Berlin, which supports artists in all disciplines in their search for possible funding, can offer tips for preparing applications and can provide review of applications.

What is meant by »living and working in Berlin«?
In this residency programme, Musicboard funds exclusively musicians and bands who live and work in Berlin. Residency and creative focus must be verified with residence permits or personal ID (front and back). The nationality of the musician is irrelevant to the funding decision. However, for non-EU citizens filing an application, it is necessary in addition to the Berlin residence certificate to provide a passport that includes residence permit, duration of stay, and type of work permit. Please note that Berlin residence must be officially verified. Rent contracts etc. are not sufficient for proof of residence. We kindly ask you to refrain from submitting such documents containing sensitive personal data.
I’ve just submitted another application to Musicboard. Can I still apply for the residency?
In general, it is possible for musicians to be funded repeatedly and in successive periods. In each round of funding, applicants may apply for more than one residency. In this case, separate applications must be submitted. It is important that a statement of purpose is submitted for each residency site. Applications without a statement of purpose cannot be considered. It is also possible to simultaneously apply for a scholarship and one or multiple residencies. In this case, separate applications must be submitted. In general, due to the large number of applications in a given funding round, the jury will recommend only one grant per artist.
How do I submit my letter of motivation?
Since 2023, the motivation can be entered into fields in the online application form. In the application form, applicants must explain, among other things, why they are applying for the residency and what artistic project or type of collaboration they would like to pursue as part of the residency. In addition, they are asked what they expect to gain from the residency for their own artistic and professional development. The letter of motivation should reflect that the applicant is aware of the artistic and cultural context and the profile of the residency location. This information must be submitted in English when applying for a residency abroad, since in the event of jury approval, it will be sent to the foreign residency partner.
How should my artistic profile look like?
The artistic resume is meant to describe the applicants’ artistic career. In the application form, we also ask for milestones in the artistic career in the form of a brief list of artistic milestones such as shows, productions, releases, collaborations, residencies, awards, and grants. You are welcome to voluntarily provide information about your accessibility requirements and your social position in the field access information (e.g. self-description, gender, disability, age, sexual identity), if it plays a role in your artistic identity and your work and you would like the jury and partners to be aware of it. This information must be submitted in English when applying for a residency abroad, since in the event of jury approval, it will be sent to the foreign residency partner.
What songs can I submit as music samples? Are demos acceptable?
The music samples should be three songs that represent you and your art. They need not be the newest songs, or the ones that you want to work on during your project. Demos can be submitted. Depending on their quality, it may be wise to provide in addition one or two fully produced works.
Are your residencies accessible and/or family-friendly?
The Musicboard residency programme is intended to be accessible to everyone and as inclusive as possible. Whether a residency is accessible or can be taken up accompanied by family depends very much on the particular location and the individual needs of the applicant. In Detroit, accommodating family members is not possible. If you have questions about the accessibility of this residency, please contact Maureen Noe before applying:
When exactly is the application deadline?
The application deadline for the residency is June 1, 2024 at 6 p.m. Until then, applications can be submitted online and will be posted as received before the deadline. The application has been successfully received as soon as it appears in your user profile in the »Submitted Applications« section. We recommend allowing plenty of time for the application and its attachments to upload, and not waiting until the last minute to apply. If technical problems arise, please take a screenshot, save the application draft and notify us by email at:
What are the jury’s selection criteria?
The jury makes its recommendations primarily on the basis of the quality of artistic work, the chances of success, and the conclusiveness of the proposed project. A particular focus of the jury is the music samples provided. In addition to these general criteria, transcultural criteria play a major role, especially in the awarding of international and co-creation residencies, e.g. whether applicants have familiarised themselves with the residency location and its cultural context, whether they already have personal or professional connections to the local music culture, or whether transculturality is reflected in the applicant’s proposal. Funding decisions are made with a view toward building the diversity of Berlin’s music scene. Musicboard and the appointed jury place great value on diversity, inclusion, and gender balance.
When will I be informed of the funding decision?
The jury’s decision follows the application deadline by 4 to 6 weeks, and applicants are informed by e-mail. Acceptances and rejections are sent at the same time. Usually, more applications are received than can be funded, and Musicboard is not obliged to explain its decision. There is no legal entitlement to funding.

The next Call for Concepts will be published shortly. The next application deadline is expected to be 1 June 2024.


Detroit (Photo: Sarah Farina)
Detroit (Photo: Sarah Farina)
Shot of a gigantic, vacant Detroit building complex that used to house a hotel.
Detroit – Hotel Fort Wayne (Photo: La Fraicheur)
Detroit (Photo: La Fraicheur)
Detroit (Photo: La Fraicheur)