Mobility First! – ASEF Cultural Mobility Initiative is a mobility grants programme that supports the mutual cultural practice of those working in the arts. Since it was launched in 2017, Mobility First! has supported the cross-border mobility of over 300 cultural professionals between 48 ASEM countries.
In 2021, in response to the continuing restrictions on travel and physical gatherings due to Covid-19, Mobility First! will offer virtual collaboration grants to artists and arts managers from Asia and Europe to jointly create new works or texts. This initiative aims to create opportunities for international cultural exchange and professional connections at a time of very limited face-to-face encounters.
The current call has four focus areas:
- The role and value of artists/arts in a time of crisis: Activities that raise awareness of the significance and contribution of artists and the arts in bringing people together and nurturing positive social change in times of uncertainty.
- The arts in crisis: Activities that respond to challenges in the arts in the time of Covid-19, particularly the loss of livelihood of many artists and cultural practitioners, disruption of traditional business models of arts organisations, unequal opportunities, and the current debates on the arts as ‘non-essential’ services in a crisis.
- International cultural collaborations in the new normal: Activities that inspire new and innovative approaches to international collaborations in the time of physical distancing and restricted mobility. International collaborations that involve cross-sectional themes between arts/culture and sustainability and climate change, technology, economy, public health etc. are welcome.
- Art and well-being: Activities that contribute to the growing body of knowledge on the intersection between art and mental health. Activities that demonstrate improving health and well-being through the arts.
The call is open to artists and arts managers who are citizens of any ASEM partner country, forming a team of 2 or 3 collaborators; or to arts organisations that are based and operating in any ASEM partner country, applying on behalf of 3 to 6 collaborators.
Each selected project will be awarded a grant of SGD 500 (~310 EUR) per collaborator. The total grant amount is therefore dependent on the number of participants in the collaboration.
Deadline: rolling (response in 2 weeks)