On the Move was set up by IETM, by then named the Informal European Theatre Meeting, nowadays designated as International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts.

In 2001, the European Cultural Foundation (Netherlands), funded a feasibility study undertaken by IETM in collaboration with Relais-Culture-Europe (France), with advice from the Lasipalatsi - Film and Media Centre (Finland).

This study allowed the conception and construction of a pilot portal by partners in the Netherlands, Belgium and Portugal. The “pilot” attracted development funding in 2003 from the European Commission, the European Cultural Foundation and the Dutch Fund for Performing Arts (Fonds Podiumkunsten).

The pilot site was developed by Rudy Engelander and Tela Leão, Contexto Intercultural Lda, Portugal and designed by Tallieu & Tallieu nv. Since July 2002 On the Move has been accessible to performing arts professionals.

During 2003, under site manager Tela Leão, the pilot site was technically improved, a German version was added and the scope broadened by including sites relevant for music professionals. The revised and improved version of On the Move was made accessible to the public in December 2003.

During 2004, the site continued to expand and appointed Judith Staines as General Editor. In December 2004, on the move established itself as an international non-profit association constituted under Belgian law (aisbl: association internationale sans but lucratif). Judith Staines has been General Editor/Executive Director of On the Move from 2004 to 2009.

From 2007 - 2009, On the Move developed a partnership network of Connectors who provided expertise, content and knowledge in the fields of online information and the performing arts. Connectors were:

  • Centro Dramático de Aragón
  • Dance Info Finland
  • Finnish Theatre Information Centre (TINFO)
  • Goethe-Institut Brussels
  • Irish Theatre Institute
  • Miso Music Portugal/Portuguese Music Information Centre
  • Open Society Institute Arts and Culture Program
  • Pisa-Papéis
  • Russian Theatre Life in Brief
  • Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute

In 2009 the network was expanded to become On the Move - network for cultural mobility information with over 30 members in over 20 countries in Europe and beyond.

Following a successful application submitted under the EC Culture Programme in 2010, for the period 2011-2013 On the Move was supported by an operational grant from the European Commission. The On the Move network established a strategic plan 2011-2013 focusing on three priority activities: information provision, advocacy for a sustainable and responsible cultural mobility, and strengthening of its network. In line with its strategic plan, OTM constantly implemented and improved its information service about cultural mobility and related issues (mainly through this website); and works on a Charter for a sustainable and responsible cultural mobility together with its members. 

The period 2010-2013 showed an increasing international positioning of On the Move, completed by a larger focus on arts and cultural disciplines beyond the performing arts and music sector.

In 2011, Tara Schneider-Appriou was in charge of the administration of On the Move together with Cristina Farinha dealing with the communication tasks. From January 2012  till August 2014, Marie Le Sourd was the Secretary General of On the Move while Elena Di Federico was in charge of the communication and advocacy strategy of the network. Elena Di Federico was replaced from September 2013 till March 2014 by Maxime Demartin.

In 2012 and 2013, there were two staff exchange with two OTM member-organisations, DutchCulture/TransArtists (Marie Fol) and RES ARTIS (Alvaro De Salvo).

On August, 18th 2014 we got the bad news that On the Move (OTM) was not one of the networks selected for Creative Europe funding by the European Commission. While every challenge provides an opportunity, OTM needed a period of re-thinking and restructuring. The contracts of both Marie Le Sourd and Elena Di Federico ended on 31 August and the secetariat had to function for a few months on a voluntary basis. Still the website was regularly updated together with OTM facebook and twitter accounts.

2015 was a transitory year at many levels: securing of new sources of funding, development of new types of activities (training, information sessions, contribution to websites etc.), instalment of a system of membership fees and donations etc. This webpage illustrates this exploration of new ways to develop partnerships and projects while keeping in mind the raison d'être of On the Move: to offer a free, regular and updated access to cultural mobility opportunities.

2016 saw the consolidation of these advancements in terms of partnerships, supports and activities both in Europe and worldwide. As far as the OTM team is concerned, Marie Le Sourd remains Secretary General of the network, supported by the OTM Board and members, more than ever eager to work on the sustainability of On the Move as a cultural mobility information network active in Europe and worldwide.