Saxon Academy of Arts
The initiative for the founding of the Saxon Academy of Arts came soon after the reestablishment of the State of Saxony from a group of founders, which included among others the publicist and essayist Friedrich Dieckmann, the sculptor Wieland Förster, the music virtuoso Ludwig Güttler, the actor Friedrich-Wilhelm Junge and the art historian Werner Schmidt. The Free State's government adopted this plan and in November 1992 appointed a founding committee of seventeen artists and art historians from various disciplines (Architecture, Plastic Art, Performing Art, Literature and Music). After completion of the Founding Bill and the Statutes, Saxony's state parliament passed the "Founding Bill of the Saxon Academy of Arts" on 27 May 1994. The law states that the Academy "has the task to promote art, make suggestions for its promotion and to cultivate the traditions of the traditional Saxon area of culture". The Academy is responsible only to itself and acts directly in public.
In cooperation with Saxony's Senate of Culture, the Free State's Minister President appointed thirty founding members, a number which increased to sixty at the first meeting on 29 February 1996 when new members were voted in. With the passing of the Statutes and the appointment of presidential and Senate positions, the founding process was completed in May 1996.
Since july 2017, Holk Freytag, stage director and former director of numerous german theaters - amongst others the Saxon State Theatre Dresden - has been elected as President of the Academy for three years. Deputy President is Prof. Franz Martin Olbrisch.
Currently, the Saxon Academy of Arts has 164 members, including corresponding members from Austria, Chile, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Switzerland and the Ukraine.
The Academy is the youngest of three five-faculty state art academies in Germany. As a product of a period of democratic renewal, which coincided with the revival of the united Germany, it defines itself in its Statutes as an "association of artists and art theorists", which represents "freedom and artistic sophistication to state and society" and "familiarises the public with important and contemporary artistic achievements". The Statutes' preamble states that it is the Academy's mission "in the reflection of the arts to acquire images of present and past, which are committed to a humane future". It is important to promote ideas as to "how German culture in its international interaction can contribute to societal cooperation".
Even at the dawn of the 21st Century, the Saxon Academy of Arts acts according to the two guiding principles which were associated with its founding. As a place of cultivation of the arts in the central German cultural area, in the territorial centre between its older sister academies in Berlin and Munich, it is its task, within the federal spectrum of the German national culture, to bring to life the intellectual and artistic richness which has, through the centuries, remained characteristic of the motherland of the Reformation. And it seeks to build a bridge to the central and south-east European neighbouring countries in order to emphasise the cultural experience in the European unification process, in which culture acts as a unifying element.