Manifesta purposely strives to keep its distance from what are often seen as the dominant centres of artistic production, instead seeking fresh and fertile terrain for the mapping of a new cultural topography.

A joint initiative of local institutions and cultural practitioners from the Ruhr Area wrote the Bid for Manifesta 16. The initiators, among them well-known curators, institutions and foundations from the region, were given considerable support in the application process by the Regionalverband Ruhr (RVR) and the Ministry of Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia.

On November 17, 2022, the International Foundation Manifesta (IFM) and the RVR officially established Manifesta 16 Ruhr GmbH by signing the articles of association. As the implementing foundation, Manifesta’s role is to prepare, organise and execute the 16th edition of the European Nomadic Biennial in the Ruhr Area in 2026.

Exploring the impact of global logistics, new trade routes, digital economies and evolving working conditions on Europe, Manifesta 16 delves into these questions on both artistic and social levels. The initiative for Manifesta 16 began with a cross-city effort led by renowned creative artists and institutions in the Ruhr Metropolis.

The realisation of this significant event is made possible through the generous support of various entities, including the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Regionalverband Ruhr, the RAG Foundation, the E.ON Foundation, the Kunststiftung NRW, the Brost Foundation, and the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen and Halbach Foundation. Additionally, the German Bundestag's budget committee recently decided to provide federal support for Manifesta in the Ruhr area.