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[Call for Applications] European Cultural Foundation – Culture of Solidarity Fund

Deadline for applications: 27 April 2020 (All information here)

The European Cultural Foundation invites you to apply for the European Culture of Solidarity Fund. The Fund supports imaginative cultural initiatives that, in the midst of the global pandemic crisis reinforce European solidarity and the idea of Europe as a shared public space.

Facing the Coronavirus crisis could be a strong European moment. A moment when people understand how important it is to have friends who support each other, a moment of sharing vital information, expertise and supplies, a moment when you realise how a fundamental crisis can be managed much better through cooperation and solidarity.

But so far this has not been the European moment we had envisioned. National leaders have taken the initiative and do whatever it takes to protect their citizens against the virus. Their approaches might differ in terms of public health responses, but they are surprisingly consistent when it comes to protecting the national interest. Where is Europe and the EU? Where is the shared European interest?

Over the last 75 years, Europe has managed to reinvent itself as a collaborative power, a sharing society. This has served us Europeans well. We cannot afford a rollback. We need to do whatever it takes to keep the sentiment of European cooperation and solidarity intact.

In the past weeks, many emergency funds for the cultural and creative sector have been announced at national, regional or local levels and funding opportunities by the EU for the arts and culture are also underway. But so far public funding in Eastern and Southern Europe has been scarce compared to Western and Northern Europe, and we are yet to see support mechanisms for creative initiatives that strengthen a pan-European culture of solidarity.

There is still hope. All around the globe we see people reaching out to each other, practicing small and often imaginative human gestures of everyday solidarity, uniting us, across balconies, social networks, cities and countries. It is exactly this culture of solidarity we ought to nourish during this global crisis and beyond. This can be a European moment of solidarity, a moment of citizens and communities with creativity, imagination, caring for and supporting each other.

What we look for:

It is this moment – a European culture of solidarity – we have set out to capture and encourage. The Fund – set up in partnership with other foundations – is looking to support imaginative cultural initiatives – big or small – that reinforce solidarity and the notion of Europe as a shared public space in response to the current crisis and its aftershocks. It is open to individuals, collectives and organisations from all sectors and civil society at large with initiatives and ideas that:

  • expand the notion of Europe as an open and shared public space for everybody in times of inward- looking and national decision-making;

  • express and act in hands-on solidarity with people and communities across closed borders;

  • share experiences, knowledge, skills, stories, ideas and resources of solidarity across Europe, especially outside mainstream public attention;

  • sustain people-to-people interaction beyond European borders and in times of travel restrictions and social distancing;

  • maintain cultural life and social experiences with a European outreach in times of home lockdown and prepare the ground for a cultural revival of Europe after the crisis;

  • develop new approaches in operations of cultural work and new alliances across sectors to deal with the current challenges imposed by the crisis.

What we offer:

The Fund has grants available in three amounts:

  • €5.000 – 15.000 (5 – 10 awarded projects per submission round)

  • €15.000 – 30.000 (2 – 3 awarded projects per submission round)

  • €30.000 – 50.000 (1 – 2 awarded projects per submission round)

Grants can be used for financing a wide range of activities ranging from seed money for entirely new initiatives
to (co-)funding for scaling up already existing ideas to European level. They can cover material costs, office costs, online co-working and communication tools, production costs, but also expert fees and staff costs.

How does it work:

The Culture of Solidarity fund will see various application windows this year, and we will distribute funding equally over all windows. The first round opened April 6 2020 and has a deadline of Monday, 27 April 2020, 12.00 CET. We will communicate results four weeks after the deadline.

All incoming proposals will be assessed on the basis of their

  • relevance to the overall theme and focus of the Fund;

  • feasibility and implementation potential;

  • impact they may have on the challenge addressed and communities involved.

We will pay special attention to proposals coming from:

  • regions where so far there is little to no emergency funding made available for the cultural and creative sector institutions;

  • people and communities that face discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, (cultural) background, people with disabilities and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Representatives of organisations as well as individuals over 18 years old are eligible to apply; and applicants can be based anywhere. We do not accept proposals submitted by political parties. Our work is strictly non-partisan, although pro-European.

More information

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