The UM Festival for contemporary art, music and literature takes place every two years in the Uckermark region around the villages of Fergitz, Pinnow and Sternhagen Gut. The aim of the UM Festival is to enliven one of the most beautiful, but also structurally weak, areas of Germany through the art event and to draw attention to it. The programme is diverse – it offers artists the opportunity to work in this unique environment and the Uckermark itself can be experienced by all as a unique cultural landscape.

The Uckermark in the north-east of Berlin is not only a destination for excursions, but meanwhile also the residence of many Berlin artists and creators of art. Some of them got together in 2007 and founded the non-profit association “Friends of the Uckermark” to develop an exchange between city and country. This civic commitment gave rise to the UM Festival in 2008. Every two years, contemporary artists are invited to engage with the region and its inhabitants over a period of several months. The artists deal with local spatial, social and historical conditions and refer to them in their works. We offer the artists the opportunity to present their work away from the usual exhibition possibilities. Our exhibition spaces are fields, forests, lakes, abandoned farmsteads or other unusual places where the works are created and placed in the context on site.

The highlight is the three-day festival: in addition to the presentation of artistic works created on site, musicians and authors are also invited to perform their current productions. Through the presentation at the various locations in the rural environment, the UM Festival aims to make visible not only the arts, but also the beauty and diversity of the region and to encourage people to stay – even for a long time.

An invited curator selects the visual artists. Gudrun Gut curates the music section and Ute Koenig the literature section. The festival now attracts more than 1,000 visitors and has established itself as an important cultural event in Brandenburg. The festival on Saturday evening is a central programme item that unites artists and cultural workers from Brandenburg and Berlin over contemporary music.

The initiative “Freunde der Uckermark e.V.” wants to initiate measures for structural further development for culture in this region. The festival is one of these measures and is carried out in close partnership with and with the involvement of regional partners.

In order to involve young people from the region in the art project, a cooperation agreement was concluded with the Active Nature School Prenzlau and an artistic contribution by the students was presented for the first time at the UM Festival 2016.

The Friends of the Uckermark Association has held a cooperation with the University for Sustainable Development in Eberswalde (HNE Eberswalde) since 2019 to support artistic productions with natural science themes.