In the Middle Ages, the Jewish communities in Speyer, Worms and Mainz formed a center of Jewish life (collectively covered here by the acronym ShUM formed from the Hebrew first letters of the cities’ Hebrew names) and was unique for the whole of Ashkenaz – as Middle and Western Europe was known in Rabbinic literature.

These towns formed a unique association that deeply influenced the architecture, culture, religion and jurisdiction of the central and east European Jewish diaspora, an impact still evident today. Monuments, synagogues, women’s shuln, teaching houses, ritual baths and the old Jewish cemeteries in Worms and Mainz together with the religious tradition bear testimony to the immense importance and innovative power of the ShUM communities. Unique tangible heritage from this period is preserved in the three towns.

Since 2014, an academic project team in collaboration with the Rhineland-Palatinate Ministry for Science, Further Education and Culture, the General Directorate for Cultural Heritage Rhineland-Palatinate (GDKE) and the ShUM-Cities Association that is funded by the Jewish communities Mainz and Speyer, the Federal Association of Jewish Communities Rhineland-Palatinate, the three cities and the Federal State have been engaged in preparing the UNESCO World Heritage nomination dossier for “ShUM-Sites Speyer, Worms and Mainz”. It was submitted in January 2020 in Paris.


We are offering up to three project fellowships for the realization of an artistic project that addresses the history of the ShUM communities and their religious, cultural and architectural legacy.

A public presentation of the completed projects (exhibition, concert, reading, performance, etc.) is intended.

Required is an artistic approach to the ShUM legacy, taking into consideration Judaism’s ideas, history and current position.

During their stay, the artistic ShUM fellows will also be expected to allow interested visitors an insight into their work and concepts in a suitable form, e.g., in workshop discussions. Young people and schools will also be invited, and an exchange of ideas with local artists and cultural institutions is also desirable.

Events linked to the fellowship are organized in collaboration with the curator and artistic director of the residency program.

Communication is in English or German.


The call for applications is open to professional artists from around the world working in the following areas:


Painting, sculpture, plastic art, drawing, installation, film, video, print, ceramic, textile, performance, photography


Architecture, urban and spatial planning, applied art, design, calligraphy, book and printing art, gold- and silversmithing


New compositions, performances


Novel, poetry, narration, essays, plays


The residency will last for 4 to 6 weeks and is scheduled between October 2021 and February 2022 (start date is in 2021).

Fellows will work and live in one of the three ShUM cities (Worms, Speyer or Mainz).

Fellows are offered a rent-free, furnished apartment, a studio/work room, travel expen ses up to € 1,000 (tourist class flights and 2nd class train travel, car expenses based on the state travel expenses law (Landesreisekostengesetz), an allowance of € 250 per residency week and a contribution to other expenses (materials or services) of up to € 1,000.

Further costs (usage rights, purchases of artworks etc.) must be arranged separately. In addition, the curator and artistic director as well as the respective cultural departments of the three towns will offer help and advice in realizing the project/s by arranging contact to local artists and cultural institutions as well as with government offices, companies and organizations.


The following documents must be presented for the application:


  • a short description of the intended artistic project (max. 2,000 characters)
  • a detailed explanation of the project (max. 15,000 characters)
  • information as to whether or not a local cooperation partner is required, and if so, which
  • information about necessary production costs

Download application documents:


  • an artistic-oriented CV
  • information about previously completed projects
  • information about institutions with which a collaboration exists/existed
  • documentation
    (catalogs and other publications, CDs, press clippings, websites, …)


Applications must be submitted in full by email by July 1, 2021.

Dr. David Maier
Cultural Coordinator of the City of Worms
Marktplatz 2, 67547 Worms

A committee of five experts, from various artistic disciplines, will decide who will be awarded the Artist in Residence fellowships.

The committee’s decision is final and incontestable. Applicants will be informed by August 1, 2021.

Further information: