About us

supportive, brave, independent

Pannonica de Koenigswarter (Illustration: Annika Albrecht)

NICA artist development offers outstanding musicians from NRW working in the field of jazz and contemporary music a platform for artistic profiling and professionalisation of their careers.

The artist development programme, which is funded by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, started in autumn 2019 as a pilot project at the European Centre for Jazz and Contemporary Music at Stadtgarten.
Within a funding period of a maximum of three years, NICA artists selected by a jury of experts will be given the opportunity to further develop their artistic and entrepreneurial skills in equal parts in order to live freely and independently of their art.
To achieve this, NICA artist development offers support in the areas of masterclasses, concerts and residencies.
NICA artist development understands jazz and contemporary music in the contemporary sense as music/sound and therefore requires a courageously expanded concept of music in all its activities.

Every year, new musicians are admitted to the programme, who are encouraged to build up a professional, international network of sustainable business relationships and a long-term presence at home and abroad, to sharpen their artistic profile and to acquire the necessary knowledge for a successful career.

Name giver

Pannonica de Koenigswarter, called Nica, is the role model and name giver for the support programme and patron saint of the participating NICA Artists.
There is no comparable figure in the history of jazz who was so independent (especially financially), brave (as a »white« Jewish woman with »black« musicians in New York in the 1960s) and supportive (her home was the last home of Thelonius Monk and his wife). Her life story is marked by incredibly great courage and radically independent decisions.

More about Pannonica de Koenigswarter


NICA artist development is a courageous ally of NICA Artists. With its three measures - residencies, master classes and concert opportunities - NICA Artists’ artistic development is made possible in accordance with the three wishes of the female jazz musicians that Pannonica de Koenigswarter has collected, so that they can become independent and thus finance their lives with their art.
International projects are to promote networking within the European music scene. Coachings offer assistance in business topics such as marketing, project management and production. At concerts of the Stadtgarten Köln or other cooperation partners the musicians can present their artistic ideas.

NICA artist development is very flexible in its approach and is primarily geared to the individual needs of NICA artists and their interests. The successful realisation of residencies, project plans and networking initiatives requires a high degree of personal responsibility on the part of the NICA artists.

the three columns of the support programme

  • Masterclass
  • Residency
  • Concert

NICA artist development is part of

Funded by