Forum der Kulturen: “Making diversity visible”

by | Jul 17, 2019 | Communities, In BaWü

Forum der Kulturen was founded in 1998 by around 20 organizations involved with migrants and integration in Stuttgart. The Forum der Kulturen focuses its activities on the empowerment of migrant associations. Today, more than 130 migrant associations from Stuttgart and its immediate surroundings are members of the Forum der Kulturen Stuttgart e. V. The services, however, are directed at more than 300 migrant organizations. The need for this Forum comes with the fact that more than 40% of Stuttgart’s citizens have immigrated in the last 50 years or have at least one parent who was born outside Germany.

The Forum der Kulturen is committed to making cultural diversity visible. They organize and host interculturally oriented cultural festivals, theme series, workshops, information events, and conferences. Their activities include the six-day “Sommerfestival der Kulturen” the regular in-house productions of their theatre group, the theatre festival “Made in Germany”, the intercultural breakfast meeting “Brunch global” as well as the contributions to intercultural discourse, which are taken up nationwide.

Sommerfestival der Kulturen

The “Sommerfestival der Kulturen” is a real highlight happening in Stuttgart this summer. From the 16th to the 21st of July, the whole Marktplatz in the centre of Stuttgart will be filled with stands hosted by communities from all over the world. Famous international bands will be performing for free on the stage in the Marktplatz. Dancing, singing, and eating with different cultures will be celebrated beautifully in these six days!

Ca. 130 migrant associations are supported by the Forum der Kulturen

Festival der Kulturen 2018

The philosophy of this festival

In the summer of 2001 the first Sommerfestival der Kulturen took place on a small scale in the inner courtyard of the Alte Waisenhaus. What has developed from this in recent years is a success story that cannot be compared with anything in Germany. Six days of dancing, celebrating and feasting in Stuttgart. Celebrities of the international music world inspire thousands of people with concerts ranging from Griot to Balkan beats — and all this with free admission. Culinary delicacies from all over the world and a rich cultural program are provided by the Stuttgart Migrant Associations. There is also a colourful Market of Cultures, which meanders through the side streets of the Marktplatz.

The festival is not only a cultural highlight — it is also a strong and positive signal against racism and exclusion of all kinds

What is happening this year

A total of fourteen bands and numerous musical highlights will perform at the festival this year. Brand-new acts such as the Afro-Beat and Highlife legend Gyedu-Blay Ambolley, the singer and global pop musician Rupa and her band The April Fishes, the extraordinary all-star music collective The Turbans as well as La Yegros, the Argentine “Queen of Nu Cumbia” are part of the overall program. 



Around 70 of Stuttgart’s migrant associations are spread across numerous food stands, providing culinary delicacy’s from all over the world. The food stands will be extended to Hirschstrasse, Kirchstrasse and Münzstrasse from Tuesday to Sunday. The Market of Cultures also offers handicrafts, jewellery, spices and other things.

At the Sommerfestival der Kulturen 2019 there will be a children’s program, just like last year. The KESSLER stand of the traditional Esslinger Sektkellerei will also be there again – the stand will be present during all six festival days in Münzstraße, at the corner of Marktplatz. The Forum der Kulturen will also be cooperating with KESSLER and the VVS on the opening day of the festival: all holders of a valid VVS ticket will receive two glasses of sparkling wine for the price of one!

Ca. 85,000 people are expected to visit the festival this year

The organisation

The Sommerfestival der Kulturen is run and organised by the Forum der Kulturen. The team involved in all other projects will be a part of this one too. Approximately 23 employees from the Forum der Kulturen will support this festival. 300-400 volunteers will be helping at these great events as well. It is important to note that all communities exhibiting at the Sommerfestival der Kulturen are volunteering to do this.

Rolf Graser, the Managing Director of the Forum der Kulturen, makes the last decision considering the program of the Sommerfestival der Kulturen. “The musical quality is of course in the centre of the band selection. However, it is also important that the line-up forms a harmonious ensemble and that the program as a whole is balanced.” He says, that there is always a surplus of communities and organisations applying to be part of the festival.

Rolf Graser, Managing Director of the Forum der Kulturen

The city of Stuttgart and its representatives have understood just how important it is to support this celebration of diversity. As Rolf Graser said, “People should come together and celebrate, exchange ideas, dance, eat and experience great moments with each other!”

16-21 JULY is when the Sommer Festival of Cultures will take place this year

The development of the Forum der Kulturen

The organizers of the Forum der Kulturen have a clear goal: make diversity visible. They are giving impulses for the whole region. Even though the focus is on Stuttgart, the Forum der Kulturen is increasingly active nationwide. For example, the Forum der Kulturen is connected nationwide with migrant organisations and supports measures to open up cultural institutions in Baden-Württemberg interculturally. At the federal level, the Forum der Kulturen is a founding member of the “Bundesweiter Ratschlag Kulturelle Vielfalt” (National Council on Cultural Diversity), with which it jointly launched the first federal Intercultural Congress in Stuttgart in 2006; in the meantime, the Federal Congress has been held six times in changing cities. The Forum der Kulturen is also a founding member of NEMO, the nationwide network of migrant organisations.

Das Sommerfestival der Kulturen

When: 16.-21 JULY 2019
Where: Marktplatz, Stuttgart
More infortmation: 
The team of New in BW looks forward to seeing you at the festival this July!