About Folkwang

A fusion of the arts

The Folkwang University of the Arts is the central place for artistic training in music, theatre, dance, design and academic studies. In line with the Folkwang idea of the cross-disciplinary interaction of the arts, a plurality of different art forms and disciplines have been united under one roof here since 1927. Folkwangers from the photography, communication design and industrial design programs have been re-included as of 2007. Today there are Folkwang locations in Essen, Duisburg, Bochum and Dortmund.

Folkwang as a brand name
The “Folkwang School of Music, Dance and Speech” was founded in 1927; in 1928 the name of the pre-existing Essen School of Trades and Applied Arts was changed to “Folkwang School of Design”. For more than 80 years the name Folkwang has stood for outstanding artistic teaching, learning and production – and it has long since become a cultural brand name, far beyond national borders.

New ideas every day

Despite our advanced age we feel younger and livelier than ever. That’s due partly to our about 1800 students from almost every country in the world, and partly to the more than 300 public events we hold each year – always realised in a fresh and new way on our own eight in-house stages or together with cultural institutions and partners around the region. But it must also be due in part to the constant process of evaluation and the modularisation of our course range: the most recent idea to emerge was (for example) the Folkwang LABs, which have been giving interdisciplinary Folkwang projects a definitive new form as of the 08/09 winter semester.

A wonderful place with wonderful people

Last but not least, the Folkwang University of the Arts is special on account of its unique historic buildings and the many special people who have always been – and still are – here: Pina Bausch (dancer and choreographer), Armin Rohde and Caroline Eichhorn (actors), Frank Peter Zimmermann (violinist), Lothar Zagrosek (conductor), Hagen Rether (cabaret artist), Timm Rautert (photographer) to name just a few, did their study at the Folkwang. A whole array of important cultural, scholarly and creative pathways has been forged here. And every single day new highlights are being reached – in terms of aesthetics, content and setting cultural directions for the whole region and the international scene.