21.03.2018

Mobility First! ASEF Cultural Mobility Initiative : Calls 2018

To commemorate its 20th anniversary in 2017, the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) builds upon its support to cultural mobility over the past 2 decades by launching Mobility First! - ASEF Cultural Mobility Initiative, a new fund that supports the movement of Asian and European artists and cultural professionals in Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) partner countries.

UNESCO reiterates that limited availability and access to funding remains a huge challenge for cultural mobility, and ASEF continues its efforts to narrow this gap through its Mobility First! grant. In its latest Reshaping Cultural Policies report (2nd edition), the only global document on trends in cultural development launched by the new UNESCO Director-General Ms Audrey Azoulay on 14 December 2017, limited funding for cultural mobility has yet again been recognised as a key challenge to international cultural co-operation. However, a positive trend is been observed in mobility opportunities provided through transnational cultural collaborations, with a renewed interest in South-South mobility. In this context, ASEF's Mobility First! travel fund has been acknowledged as a "success story" by an a multilateral intergovernmental organisation to bridge existing gaps in support for artists' mobility. ASEF’s Mobility First! is funded by 51 Asian and European countries, the European Union and the ASEAN Secretariat in the framework of the Asia Europe meeting (ASEM).

In its pilot year, Mobility First! has supported the participation of a total of 73 artists and cultural practitioners in the ASEM region for a wide range of capacity building activities, including from networking and pre-creation of artworks (training, study visits, partnership meetings) and artwork creation (artists' and writers' residencies) to public presentations (festivals, biennales, conferences).

An equal number of males and females were supported as well as a balanced selection of fields including film, visual arts, contemporary dance, and theatre. In addition, trainings for museum professionals and different kinds of arts managers, including heritage professionals, were also supported. In terms of mobility routes, Asia-to-Europe and intra-Asia routes were prioritised.

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.

Next deadlines for 2018: 25 April, 31 May and 30 June 2018 (check carefully the calendar for travel dates). 

Find all details online

* 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.