Since 1983, together with all major cultural institutions, the City of Karlsruhe’s Cultural Department and the Baden State Theatre (Badisches Staatstheater) train the spotlight in Karlsruhe’s thriving cultural scene for several weeks on the Festival of European Culture. Theatre performances, readings, scientific lectures as well as symposiums and concerts are an integral part of the festival that is held every two years. With the Festival of European Culture, the organisers want to take a clear political position for a society without borders and a society of diversity and tolerance. In 2016, a year marked by large refugee movements, the festival's theme was “Migration – Happiness, Suffering, Alienation”, a burning issue at that time. In 2018, the theme “New starts, Changes – Equal rights for all” will reflect current social issues and discussions.
In March 2017, the Karlsruhe Anti-Racism Weeks are organised for the fifth time. They cover an extensive programme including lectures, discussions, contact opportunities, films, concerts, theatre performances and many other forms of activity. The series of events seeks to voice concern about any kind of discrimination or hostility against specific groups and foster more interaction and tolerance in our society. With over 100 items on the agenda (most of them free of charge) and more than 100 co-organisers and partners, the Karlsruhe Anti-Racism Weeks are the largest and most comprehensive event in Germany. Numerous school activities (not open to the public) are specifically targeted on young people.
From 2013 to 2017 annually, then held only in uneven years in the month of March