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. 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.
It is this moment - a European culture of solidarity - 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
Grants can be used for financing a wide range of activities ranging from seed money for entirely new initiatives
and (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.
Special attention will be payed to proposals coming from regions where so far there is little to no emergency funding made available for the cultural and creative sector institutions and to people and communities that face discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, (cultural) background, people with disabilities and members of the LGBTQ+ community.
The application phase starts June 22nd and ends on July 14th, 13:00 CET PM. Further information on how to apply and how the application is assessed can be found here.
"Culture includes not only culture and arts, but also the way of life and system of values. In this sense culture becomes the major power for intellectual renewal and human perfection." (European Council Report on European Cultural Policy)