Responsibility requires participation

Our goal is to create an open, humane society together, where everyone can unleash their own creative potential. That’s why we support people through the decisive phases of their personal development while also motivating them to take on responsibility for themselves and others. We achieve this aim by combining cultural and social elements and enabling participation. In addition to supporting people, we are also investing in the ongoing development of social systems that will establish the preconditions for ensuring that everyone can unlock their own creative potential.

Participation requires personality

Since the Crespo Foundation was set up as a private charitable foundation in 2001, our activities – both implementing our own programmes and supporting social and cultural initiatives with partner institutions – have focused on people as individuals. Our spheres of activity encompass art, cultural education, personal development and educational opportunity, reflecting our founder’s own wide-ranging interests.

‘Artists, children, and all those who approach challenges courageously despite starting off with disadvantages: these people are particularly close to my heart.’

Ulrike Crespo (1950–2019)







Our work focuses on the cultural and social sectors. Thanks to our programmes and projects we can support artists, advocate for cultural education, enable people who start out with disadvantages to access education, and help empower them as individuals.

Cultural education

Children and teenagers possess enormous creative potential. That’s why we ensure they can access art and culture at the earliest possible stage. The idea is to give them their own aesthetic and sensory experiences and enable them to express themselves creatively, while also teaching them about creativity as a problem-solving skill. We will foster and enhance their potential and character by developing structures that integrate art into their everyday lives and allow them to participate actively in culture. These structures set up points of contact with artists, ultimately benefitting not only the children and teenagers themselves but also the artists.



Artists need more than just creativity on their way to becoming professionals. Stipends and scholarships are a key element of being able to work freely. Our aim is to support artists with their professional development, ranging from their initial training through to continuing education and advanced studies. That’s why we fund settings where artists can learn about and produce art. And this also includes a responsibility for giving both young and more established artists spaces where they can present themselves and their art to the general public. After all, they should be able to do more than merely produce works of art: the idea is that they can also live with and from their art. At the same time, they play an important role in teaching culture at schools and other educational facilities. 

‚Our main focus is to introduce the students to what-if thinking and to have an exciting and inspiring time together.‘

Lena and Paloma, artists-in-residence (Fliegendes Künstlerzimmer 2022/23)

‘SABA has helped me to flourish, to get to know myself, to find out about my strengths.’ 

Shabana Maliki, former SABA scholarship holder 

Contact for cultural affairs


Friederike Schönhuth
Head of culture and education 

Contact for social affairs


Cora Stein
Head of education and social affairs