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Bank Austria 2015 Art Award and Social Prize presented to winners today

Bank Austria Art Award with a total prize pool of EUR 218,000 given for the sixth time this year, comprising:
o EUR 100,000 for prizes for important cultural institutions nominated by a jury
o EUR 8,000 for cultural journalism
o EUR 110,000 for cultural crowdfunding projects which have raised over EUR 330,000 in investments
• High-calibre jury presents Art Award to “Theater der Jugend” in Vienna
• Norbert Mayer recognised in the Cultural Journalism category
• Bank Austria Social Prize awarded to “SALE für alle” (“SALE for all”), “Deutsch zum Mitnehmen” (“German to go”) and “Gesund Wohnen im Grätzel” (“Healthy living in your neighbourhood”) in Vienna

• Visit http://presse.leisuregroup.at/bankaustria/kunstpreis2015/gewinner for pictures for this press release

Having become a permanent fixture in Austria’s cultural landscape and one of the country’s major supporters of culture, Bank Austria has been presenting the Bank Austria Art Award, Austria’s most lucrative private-sector cultural funding, every year since 2010. After five successful years, the Art Award was revamped, primarily to better meet the funding needs of creative minds. Since 2015, Bank Austria has been presenting its Art Award with the same total prize pool of EUR 218,000 in the form of:
• a crowdfunding campaign for new, innovative projects with social relevance (EUR 110,000)
• a large prize awarded by the jury to recognise outstanding local projects (EUR 100,000)
• a prize awarded by the jury for cultural journalism (EUR 8,000)

“Culture makes an important contribution to a better society. Bank Austria is proud to be awarding Austria’s most lucrative art prize for the sixth time already and recognising outstanding projects in the process,” emphasises Robert Zadrazil, designated CEO of UniCredit Bank Austria. The Art Award and Social Prize will be presented this evening at the Viennese Theater in der Josefstadt.

New Art Award from 2015
In 2015, EUR 110,000 was already given to reward-based crowdfunding projects to make up a third of the investment required. This start-up capital enabled the 30 projects which reached their targets in the first round to gather a total of EUR 220,346 from 2,098 supporters, meaning that EUR 330,346 was invested in Austrian art projects overall. For the crowdfunding campaign, Bank Austria partnered with wemakeit.at, one of Europe’s largest and most successful crowdfunding platforms with a strong focus on cultural projects.

As part of the Art Award, Bank Austria gives a further EUR 100,000 to existing institutions for their services to Austria as a location for art and culture. This prize, which went to Theater der Jugend in 2015, is awarded by a jury in a nomination process which is separate from the crowdfunding. The same jury also awards the EUR 8,000 prize for cultural journalism.

Winners selected by high-calibre interdisciplinary jury
The prize winners were chosen in a multi-stage evaluation process involving discussions between members of a high-calibre jury. The jury comprised Thomas Angyan (Director of the Friends of Music in Vienna), Christine Dollhofer (Director of the Crossing Europe film festival), Daniel Ebner (Artistic Director of VIS – Vienna Independent Shorts), Andrea Ecker (Arts and Culture Section Director at the Federal Ministry for Arts and Culture, Constitution and Media), Herbert Föttinger (Director of the Theater in der Josefstadt), Günther Friesinger (Philosopher, Director, Curator, Composer and Media Artist), Andreas Leisner (Chief Dramaturge and Deputy Artistic Director of the Tyrolean Festival Erl), Johanna Rachinger (General Director of the Austrian National Library), Klaus Albrecht Schröder (Director of the Albertina Vienna) and Willibald Cernko (CEO of Bank Austria).

2015 prize winners
The following received the 2015 Bank Austria Art Award:
• Theater der Jugend in Vienna is the largest theatre organisation for children, young people and adults – and not just in Austria. Its clear commitment to innovative theatre makes the institution, in positive terms, a gateway for art and culture for up to 300,000 visitors of all ages. www.tdj.at
• Norbert Mayer started working as a journalist at the Südost Tagespost newspaper in Graz in 1984. Following various positions covering home and foreign affairs, in Brussels and Berlin, and in management at newspapers Der Standard and Berliner Zeitung, he returned to Austria to work for Kurier in 1999. Since 2003, he has helped shape Die Presse’s cultural pages as head of the features desk. http://diepresse.com/unternehmen/mitarbeiter/mitarbeiterprint/mitarbeiterredaktion/feuilleton/617788/MAYER-Norbert-Mag

Announcing the 2016 Bank Austria Art Award
The 2016 Bank Austria Art Award and associated crowdfunding campaign will be announced in spring 2016. The competition documents and all other information is available at http://kunstpreis.bankaustria.at.

Bank Austria's cultural responsibility
As the country’s largest supporter of culture and the leading Austrian bank, Bank Austria is backing long-term and sustainable initiatives to preserve traditions and promote new ideas. Its cultural support is based on firm foundations, the main elements of which are projects initiated internally to promote a cultural infrastructure in Austria at an international level, foster regional initiatives and aid up-and-coming young artists. It also focuses on high-quality partnerships with established cultural institutions in the visual arts and classical music.
For further information, visit: http://kultur.bankaustria.at.

Bank Austria Social Prize
Bank Austria is not only committed to financial success and culture, it also takes social responsibility. Supporting disadvantaged people is very important to Bank Austria. In this regard, the bank established a social prize six years ago, which it has awarded in every federal province since 2014. The jury, comprising Michael Landau (Caritas Director for the Archdiocese of Vienna), Mag. Nora Deinhammer (Head of Department, SOS Children’s Villages Austria), Roman Jost (Sustainability Management, Bank Austria) and Willibald Cernko awarded the 2015 prizes for Vienna to “SALE für alle”, “Deutsch zum Mitnehmen” and “Gesund Wohnen im Grätzel”.
• SALE für alle (SALE for all)
The open children’s and youth centre aims to provide a space for mutual social learning for children, young people and students as helpers from different cultures, nations and religions. SALE is guided by the values of the Salesians of Don Bosco. www.salefueralle.at

• Deutsch zum Mitnehmen (German to go)
This project run by the Peregrina women’s service is not just about providing German courses for immigrants, it is also about making contact with social and cultural institutions and learning about the important civic networks in the city. http://peregrina.at/de/news/227/deutsch-zum-mitnehmen-startet-wieder/
• Gesund wohnen im Grätzl (Healthy living in your neighbourhood)
In this project, volunteers known as Grätzeleltern (“neighbourhood parents”) share information with other people in their area to help them improve their living conditions and quality of life. www.caritas-wien.at/hilfe-angebote/zusammenleben/nachbarschaft-stadtteilarbeit/graetzeleltern/

The other winners of the Bank Austria Social Prize are:
Burgenland: Pannonische Tafel Lower Austria: Ki-Ju-Pall
Upper Austria: Owizahra Vorarlberg: Caritas
Tyrol: Gemeinschaftsgarten Wilten Styria: Sportbündel
Salzburg: Fasten Teilen Helfen Carinthia: Caritas
For further information, visit: http://sozialpreis.bankaustria.at/sozialpreis/

+++ IMAGES +++
The images can be published free of charge for the purpose of editorial reporting. Press photos are available for download from http://www.leisure.at.

Enquiries: UniCredit Bank Austria Culture Sponsorship
Dr Katja Erlach
Tel.: +43 (0)5 0505-56839
E-mail: katja.erlach@unicreditgroup.at

UniCredit Bank Austria Press Office
Matthias Raftl, Tel. +43 (0)5 05 05-52809
E-mail: matthias.raftl@unicreditgroup.at

leisure communications
Dr Wolfgang Lamprecht, Tel. +43 (0)664 8563002
E-mail: wlamprecht@leisure.at