The NRW KULTURsekretariat (NRWKS) is a public initiative for cultural grants of 21 major cities and a regional association in North Rhine-Westphalia is furthermore committed to intercultural projects and cultural education.

Since 1974, in cooperation with its municipal partners and diverse cultural institutions, the NRWKS has organised and promoted innovative projects, festivals and programmes of events in the fields of theatre, music, the visual arts, literature, dance, internet and digital media.

Member cities: Aachen, Bielefeld, Bochum, Bonn, Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Duisburg, Essen, Gelsenkirchen,Hagen, Köln, Krefeld, Mönchengladbach, Moers, Mülheim an der Ruhr, Münster, Neuss, Oberhausen, Osnabrück (associated membership), Recklinghausen, Wuppertal, Landschaftsverband Rheinland.

As an internal and external dialogue partner, the NRWKS also stimulates cultural-political processes and discourse within the association network and enhances cultural competence through conferences and conventions on relevant and current topics.

An integral part of their international activities, the International Visitors Programme has been coordinated and steered by the NRWKS since the beginning of 2009. This programme brings journalists, curators, artists, cultural educators and policy makers to NRW from all over the world to work together to create supportive networks and collaborations which are eligible for grants.

The NRWKS comprises of a team of employees and freelancers who organise and coordinate the programme work in close collaboration with the individual cultural partners alongside selection committees, advisory councils and juries.  It is funded by the partner cities while the project funding is to a large extent provided by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

The work of the NRWKS is managed by an advisory council and a general assembly. In addition, the programme committee regularly takes decisions at the operational level of the participating cities. Projects are funded in accordance with the programme structure which is approved by the general assembly.