Since 1953 the Cultural Group of the German Economy awards young artists with the famous ars viva price of Visual Arts, whose works are characterized by trend-setting potential and high artistic quality. Connected to the price of 5.000 Euro and a series of exhibitions at changing renowned institutions for contemporary art in Germany and abroad where selected works of the price winners are shown. Since 2016 all price winners can participate at an artist residency in Canada due to the Fogo Island Arts residency program. Additionally a bilingual catalogue is published.

Artists can’t apply for the ars viva price themselves. Possible artists are recommended by the members of the board of the Cultural Group for Visual Arts under the chair of Ulrich Sauerwein and the consultants in joint meetings. Since the existence of the ars viva price more than 350 artists were honoured.
Honoured by the ars viva price are: Georg Baselitz, Anna Oppermann, Albert Oehlen, Rosemarie Trockel, Candida Höfer, Thomas Ruff, Wolfgang Tillmans, John Bock, Thomas Demand, Omer Fast, Peter Piller, Mariana Castillo Deball, Hanne Lippard, Flaka Haliti e.g. For most of the nowadays world famous artists this price was the beginning to a successful career.