Support areas


"Every individual is an artist"

in the opinion of the anthroposophically inspired sculptor, conceptual artist and illustrator Joseph Beuys. The MAHLE FOUNDATION shares this view that art (Old High German: "Knowledge (science)", "skill") comprises all the products and activities that arise from the creative abilities of an individual. The creative artist transforms and expands the things and skills which nature has given him or her by means of his or her creative will.

In this sense, artistic creation forms part of the individual. Both the activity of independent creation and the sensory perception of colours, shapes and shades during the artistic process (and also during the experience of art) are essential constituents of the exploration by the individual of him/herself and the world in which he or she lives. This is being increasingly recognised in the field of education and upbringing, so that ever greater importance is being attributed to the role that art has to play. It has long been the case that it is no longer only the Waldorf schools which emphasise the importance of artistic activity for developing the imagination, creativity, emotional intelligence and self-competence.

The founder of anthroposophy, Rudolf Steiner, was also convinced that "devotion to the beautiful" contributes significantly to a "healthy mental life" – today one might say to a stable psyche. For this reason the repertoire of anthroposophic therapeutic approaches includes various forms of art therapy: the creative acts and artistic activities of the patient not only supplement orthodox medical treatment, but also stimulate the patient's self-healing powers.

"Eurythmy" – a form of expressionist dance

A form of art which was newly developed from scratch at the suggestion of Rudolf Steiner is eurythmy: this expressionist dance renders language and music visible by expressing it in shapes and movements. If for example a poem or piece of music is danced eurythmically, its contents are not only audible (in the form of the language or tone sequences), but also visible, in the form of movement, colour, sound images, rhythm, beat and melody.

Anthroposophic art and culture scene

Today there is a large anthroposophically inspired art and culture scene which includes, inter alia, areas such as poetry and speech formation, painting, sculpture and architecture. An unprecedented work of anthroposophic artistic creation is the Goetheanum, which combines all of these activities.

Examples of support from the MAHLE FOUNDATION in the field of art and culture

A very successful funding project from the field of art and culture is Circus Calibastra, which began at the Michael Bauer School in Stuttgart-Vaihingen: at the school hostel a sleepy class was to be roused by juggling, acrobatics, unicycling and improvisation games. The result was a circus programme lasting almost two and a half hours with a constant stream of new highlights. This was the first chapter of a success story, as the educational idea developed its own unexpected momentum. Today, Circus Calibastra is indeed the oldest and most famous circus for children and young people in southern Germany - a role model and ideal for similar initiatives. Currently, more than 150 pupils are taught by 20 instructors on one afternoon each per week. Despite the development from a children's circus into a large company whose performances have a semi-professional character, the educational aspect remains at the heart of the concept. Through the commitment to the joint circus project, children and young people acquire important key qualifications in a wide variety of fields. The parents of many former circus pupils can confirm one thing: Whether at university, during vocational training in the company or the job interview in the Personnel Department – their adult children today are self-confident, social, creative and proficient.

A further example of a funding project worthy of mention here from the field of art and culture is the inclusive "Carmina" dance project of the Christopherus Lebens- und Arbeitsgemeinschaft Laufenmühle registered association, which brings together disabled and non-disabled people in joint dance performances. The support of various eurythmy projects also plays an important role within the framework of the support activities of the MAHLE FOUNDATION.

Click here to go to further funded projects in the field of art and culture