From the middle ages to high-tech, from the Weser Renaissance to postmodernism: Ostwestfalen-Lippe (OWL) has a vibrant cultural landscape with many inviting museums, as well as a lively theater and music scene. The OWL economic and cultural region “at the top of North Rhine-Westphalia” combines the advantages of a big city with the recreational and leisure opportunities of its vast countrysides.

Ostwestfalen-Lippe brings together regional city centers and developed rural areas. Diverse urban culture can be found in the large university cities of Bielefeld and Paderborn, as well as in medium-sized towns like Detmold, Gütersloh, Herford, Höxter, and Minden. Numerous small businesses, many of which are family-run, regularly take part in internal and external collaborations that promote the cultural development of the OWL region. In rural areas, music schools, museums, and local residents are largely involved in the cultural program. Over 120 gardens and parks provide the region between Wiehen Hills and Egge Hills with its distinctive appearance.
There are roughly 170 museums in OWL, with subject matter ranging from the Weser Renaissance to East Westphalian-Prussian history, and the rich monastic heritage of the region. Two outstanding examples of world architecture can also be found here: the Kunsthalle Bielefeld, designed by Philip Johnson, and the MARTa Herford by Frank Gehry. The region is brought to life by an active contemporary cultural scene with a variety of intriguing options, from music to the independent theater scene to art, film, and photography. When it comes to cultural education, projects like KulturScouts OWL strive to structurally and sustainably encourage and facilitate youth participation in cultural activities. The create music project that was initiated in the OWL has spread throughout all of Westphalia.
The OWL Kulturbüro der OstWestfalenLippe GmbH is funded by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and supported by the Sparkasse in OWL. It represents the districts of Gütersloh, Herford, Höxter, Lippe, Minden-Lübbecke, and Paderborn, and the independent city of Bielefeld.