iac Berlin: Culture in the Civic Space in the MENA Region Learning Programme

Text of the call with coloured lines.

In the MENA region, the civic space and the arts and culture sector face significant challenges such as organisational self-preservation, reliance on external funding, and the need to constantly adapt to emergencies. Additionally, deteriorating operating conditions in contexts of censorship and armed conflicts exacerbate these challenges. While some factors seem hard to influence, this invitation supposes that taking an ecosystem perspective on the wider field of arts and culture and its connection to the civic space offers valuable questions in working with these challenges and the means to address them.

The Culture in the Civic Space in the MENA Region programme invites 12 organisations working in Tunisia, Morocco, Jordan, Egypt, or Lebanon to a learning journey to further develop their role as field supporters and to work on their learning practice towards the field they operate in. Operating in another country in the region is welcome, as long as at least one of the five mentioned countries is a major focus. Diaspora organisations coming from the region and working for the region are equally invited to take part.

It is an 18-month pilot programme (2024–2026), comprised of three core components:

  1. Peer-learning: Up to four gatherings will be organised for selected participants and co-learners to facilitate knowledge exchange. The first gathering is scheduled for 30 September to 2 October 2024. The others will follow around May and Autumn 2025, concluding with a gathering in Spring 2026. Each in-person session will typically last two to three days.
  2. Role-experimentation grants: Participants will receive a total of 20,000 USD in two instalments to support tailored interventions and integrating learning into organisational processes.
  3. Practicing the role of a field supporter: Participants will self-define activities or approaches to explore and develop, while receiving coaching and support throughout the programme.

Participants do not have to cover any costs associated with attending programme activities. The iac Berlin will cover accommodation and travel expenses for workshops or gatherings.

The iac Berlin runs this programme from 2024 to 2026 also with the aim to establish a caring role for field supporters which can be handed over to one or more organisations from the region in its final phase. The programme is funded by the Ford Foundation.


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