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Commission publishes report on Artists Abroad: i-Portunus

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The first bottom-up, demand-driven mobility scheme for artists funded by the EU has proven to be a big success, the project report finds.

The European Commission has published its report “Artists Abroad: i-Portunus the EU’s First Mobility Scheme for Culture”. This project proved to be a success both in terms of the number of applicants and the feedback from participants.

Find the report, its annex and the executive summary in the Publications Office of the EU.

With a budget of €1 million, i-Portunus, a pilot project under the Creative Europe programme, funded 337 individuals in the performing and visual arts to go abroad and make their career more international, improve their skills and broaden their networks.

Participants highly satisfied with their experience

Based on testimonials from the participants, i-Portunus resonated most with young and emerging artists. Almost half of the participants were below 35 and 85% had a yearly income below €15 000.

With a grant ranging from €1 500 to 3 400 each beneficiary was able to spend between 15 to 85 days abroad. As a result of their experience:

  • 97% said they acquired new skills
  • 94% developed new audiences or outlets for their work
  • 94% developed new co-productions or co-creations
  • 49% received a job offer or new contract

With 76% of artists saying they would not change anything in the scheme, this project can be considered a success. However, the next two projects planned for 2020 and 2021 will seek to improve the scheme and expanded the scope to cover all cultural sectors (other than audio-visual).

Mobility scheme to be incorporated in the next programme

This mobility scheme will be incorporated into the new Creative Europe programme (2021-2027) with increased funding.
Taking into consideration the reality of the restrictions due to the coronavirus outbreak, a blended mobility experience may be appropriate and the exact modalities will be defined before the next call is launched.

Background

In May 2018, the European Commission published its “New European Agenda for Culture” which sets out objectives for cooperation at EU level and proposes 25 priority actions. One of these is to encourage “the mobility of professionals in the cultural and creative sectors”. i-Portunus was a short-term pilot project, selected and funded by Creative Europe, the EU programme which supports the European culture and audiovisual sectors.

To implement this initiative, a call for tenders was published in 2018. The successful bidder was a consortium consisting of the Goethe-Institut (Germany), Institut francais (France), Nida Art Colony of Vilnius Academy of Arts (Lithuania) and Izolyatsia (Ukraine). The pilot project ran from January 2019 to February 2020.

Header image: © Jasiek Mischke, title: TRIAL AND 2019

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