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The ROOTS & ROUTES Experience

What happens when a puppeteer from Athens, a drummer from Rotterdam and a filmmaker from Cologne develop a project together? Along with 30 to 40 other young artists from all over Europe (and beyond)?

Photo © Nora Schwarz

“The ROOTS & ROUTES Experience” (#RRXP) is a series of international residencies started in 2008, in which young artists from 8 to 10 countries develop an interdisciplinary stage performance.

This happens in three steps:

  1. At an international preparatory meeting, the group decides on a common theme.
  2. During a two-week working phase – usually at the Landesmusikakademie NRW in Heek-Nienborg – a full-length play is created that is made up of the ideas and artistic input of all participants. Throughout this process, the group is supported by an artistic director and professional coaches.
  3. After these two weeks, the group travels to Cologne, where the piece is premiered – usually twice, in the theatre hall of the Alte Feuerwache community centre.

There is room for almost everything at #RRXP: Precisely because all participants can bring in their own experiences, skills and personalities, each Experience has its own feeling, its own story and usually combines urban, classical and modern art forms at a professional level.
In addition to the up-close production experience from the first ideas to the last applause, participation in #RRXP is an adventure for everyone who is interested in exchanging ideas with open-minded people and in new experiences.

The ROOTS & ROUTES Experience 2017 was awarded one of two equivalent young.europe.awards at the Youth Culture Prize NRW.


May 2022
May 28
28 May 2022

You are between the ages of 16 and 27 and enjoy music production, dance, theater or media creation? You want to participate in international artistic exchanges in the year 2022…

June 2022
Jun 27
27 June 2022

In summer 2022 the time has finally come again: Around 40 young artists from different countries and cultural backgrounds will meet for two weeks of living and creating together in…

July 2022
Jul 12
12 July 2022

40 young artists from 8 countries met up in the summer of 2022 for two weeks of living and working together in the Landesmusikakademie NRW in Heek-Nienborg: the working methods…

News about The ROOTS & ROUTES Experience Projects

Statements from participants


Our previous “The ROOTS & ROUTES Experience” projects have all been funded by the EU’s Erasmus+ programme, the Child and Youth Development Plan of the State of NRW and the City of Cologne.