ellae Foundation

Strengthen cultural infrastructure.

There is a desire to connect with a larger audience from various corners of the cultural sector, as well as a need for narrative and genre advancement. We assess how we can respond to such advisory requests and close the gap in collaboration with your organization.

Ellae Foundation, in collaboration with its partners, is dedicated to multivocality, emancipation, and a qualitatively diverse cultural offering. We accomplish this by stimulating cultural institutions on a project-by-project basis or by providing long-term support through long-term partnerships or policy projects. We provide opportunities for cultural institutions to grow.

Find out below what we can do for your organization and what our terms are in an FAQ you've never read before. Featuring eight common real-world situations and patterns that we want to overcome and avoid.

You will probably wonder where such an FAQ is needed in the arts, culture and media sector. Let me explain: the Fair Practice Code, Governance Code Culture and Diversity & Inclusion Code are popular codes and now requirements for obtaining grants, but their application is often still experimental. We are bothered by this in practice and have therefore written policy on it. Cooperation is sometimes not (yet) possible or only possible if the client or cooperation partner is aware(er) of what is asked of us and conditions for working together are safe(er) and attractive(er).

Multivocality, emancipation, and a diverse range of high-quality cultural offerings.
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Ellae breaks through a mosaic ceiling

The methodology we use, a structural approach to raising awareness, with research, recommendations and actions, and, if desired, action implementation, is empowering and leads to increased creative and social impact.

Integral approach

We opt for an integral approach and long-term collaboration with our partners and clients in the creative industry and other relevant fields. Together, we play a major role in engaging commissioning parties and strengthening their learning capacity by facilitating mutual knowledge exchange.

The added value of multi-vocality.

Diversified offerings are essential for connecting with a larger audience. This entails presenting more than one perspective on what art and culture are and what they "should" be. When it comes to innovative storytelling, we see unique opportunities for collaborations between creators and clients. Stories that deviate from the implicit norms that have been established in the arts and cultural sector. We see a synthesis of these kinds of collaborations and stories that reveal a lot more about the world as we know it.


Our signature is interdisciplinary and for each issue we think circularly and iteratively. We let go of genres and look for the right artistic form and platform per question, topic or research. This approach creates space to look more broadly at how we can realize the intended impact. We then involve appropriate makers, thinkers, doers, partners and communities. We like to break down disciplines, make new connections and/or develop new methodologies, often in places that are overlooked and always with social urgency and artistic relevance. We do this at home and abroad.


An FAQ you've never had before

Working together is like dating ... Do we swipe left or right? Is it true love or are there red flags? Ellae uses love as a metaphor, since everyone feels something about it or has an association with it and policy terms such as "diversity and inclusion," "fair practice," "cultural governance," etc. are abstract terms, while we are really talking about opportunity inequality. Below is a FAQ with 8 common situations and patterns from practice that we would like to break through and watch out for. Click on the topic or situation for explanation.

You will receive feathers, kudos, and exposure, particularly on my annual report ea pr material. Unfortunately, we cannot contribute if our time, professional knowledge, and expertise are not compensated. Regardless of how beautiful the projects are or how well-intentioned the institutions are. We have positive references, a warm network, and a track record of assisting small and large institutions with programming, policy, artistic development, business strategies, and target group approaches. This leads to success, which makes us very happy. We want to be recognized for our positive contributions. Only then will we be able to keep our initiative going.

Positioning my institution, that's what it's all about, isn't it? That's what fun collaborations with innovative creators are for, right? Isn't it an honor for them that we give them a place? Isn't it unique that we take risks and want to be inclusive and thus deviate from our safe course? Yoo-hoo! Creators/artists are not your plumbers or handymen. To be treated that way, though, we think is unethical. Therefore, we ask that you only contact us if your organization is truly ready for a culture shift and reciprocal relationships. If in preliminary discussions or within a collaboration it appears that reciprocity is not the norm, we will sound the alarm and, if there is no improvement, we will not continue the collaboration or make any further contribution.

We are honored when an organization wants to work together and endorses the mission and values we have. Feel free to send an email with a request, and we can always meet once without any obligation. Especially if there is a lot of synergy. When your proposal becomes concrete and there is budget available, then we can resume contact. After all, we don't think in scarcity, but in possibilities. In the meantime, we continue to develop and grow in our current projects.

Over time, we will develop programs to make our knowledge and findings available to a wider audience in an accessible way. You can then sign up for those. In the meantime, subscribe to our newsletter and follow our social media channels to stay informed.

Very nice! Have you heard of the fifth P? (created by Ellae). The Perverse Incentives. If your organization suffers from that too, thank you kindly. Let me explain: a casual unconscious-bias course and endorsement of diversity policies may help organizations identify blind spots within the sector and organizations, but contributes little to concrete development beyond a paper reality mbt a changing society and thus sector. Stepping outside comfort zones requires more than careful engagement and cosmetic interventions. It can even be harmful; experimenting in the time of creators from marginalized groups often results in a questionable form of window dressing for self-preservation. Especially when institutions do not do so with real commitment. Ellae therefore only collaborates with partners who dare to be vulnerable, open-minded, make room for a new élan and give talent outside their network the key to the building or give real trust and in this new zeitgeist are already committed to broadening the art canon and its disciplines.

Before you know it, all the departments come by for input and you're crowned diversity oracle, when actually you came to make art and don't get paid for everything else. Nor do you get any credits for that, so the institution gets a front-row seat and gathers institutional knowledge and network for free. Ellae's cultural capital is valuable. Within collaborations, we do not simply open up our network, not only for professional reasons, but also to guard against careless approaches to our network. Also, with us, multi-questions are multiple questions, so we ask for good and clear conditions from clients, with clear questions and fair fees. If that's not possible, we don't take on an assignment or limit our work to what is possible within budget. We can plan it in phases, so everything doesn't have to be done at once. That's how collaborations stay productive and healthy!

Heartwarming! Institutions often mean well. But our experience is that many institutions approach talent from non-Western backgrounds solely on the basis of origin and not on the basis of content or artistic excellence, and make concessions in their approach to the target group by opting for low-threshold participation and other (often one-off) cosmetic interventions. Time and budget are minimal and that is at the expense of quality in dealing with makers and of artistic quality. Ellae guards against institutions perpetuating stereotypical approaches and underestimation when it comes to culturally diverse offerings, due to previously mentioned patterns and woeful errors in the art and culture chain. Therefore, we are selective in our collaborations. Finally, in light of the above, women are structurally underrepresented. We would like to extend that to intersectionality.

Ellae is happy to provide professional advice and practical assistance. However, as creators and directors, we would prefer not to be approached in the run-up to cultural grant applications for  board positions, or vague mention in plans, unless a reciprocal relationship has been established. After all, we don't live in a paper reality. Relationships are more than just a means to an end, and instrumental engagement is not an option. Such requests are turned down. Make a genuine effort and invest. Then we're all ears and will work with you to make a significant impact and achieve success!