Cultural mobility, whether for work, co-production or participation in a seminar or residency, is integral to the practice and career of artists and cultural professionals in Asia and Europe. The benefits of such mobility are personal (e.g. building professional capacities, co-creating international work, broadening markets for one’s work and finding new professional contacts etc.) but they also ensure public good (e.g. maintaining a heterogeneous world of ideas, increasing the diversity of the cultural content produced and consumed, fostering intercultural competencies, socio-economic benefits for local festivals and venues).
However, securing funding to finance international travel (for touring shows, residencies, exploratory visits, collaborations etc.) remains a major challenge for most artists, particularly in the Asia-Asia and Asia-Europe contexts. In particular, ensuring balanced bi-directional (i. e travel from Asia to Europe as well as from Europe to Asia) and reciprocal (i.e. adequate funding for incoming and outgoing mobility) mobility remains a challenge.
It is in this context that the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) is launching Mobility First!, a new fund to support the travel of Asian and European artists and cultural professionals between Asia and Europe.
Mobility First! – ASEF Cultural Mobility Initiative is being launched in April 2017 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of ASEF, which was established in 1997 as the only institution of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM*).
Travel regions & grant amounts
• Currently, the selection criteria for Mobility First! prioritises cultural mobility from Asia to Europe; from Europe to Asia; and, within Asia. All travel must be international.
• Successful applicants will be given up to a maximum of Singapore Dollars (SGD) 2,000 for travel from Asia to Europe or Europe to Asia.
• Successful applicants will be given up to a maximum of Singapore Dollars (SGD) 1,000 for travel within Asia.
• Additional funding is available for people with disabilities and special needs.
Final deadlines for 2017: 31 August and 15 September 2017.
* The 53 ASEM partners are Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Cambodia, China, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, the Lao PDR, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mongolia, Myanmar, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, the Russian Federation, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Kingdom, Viet Nam, the European Union, and the ASEAN Secretariat.
ASEF/Culture360 is a member of On the Move.