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Commission paves way for new scheme enabling European artists to work abroad

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i-Portunus, the first pilot of an EU-funded mobility scheme for artists and cultural professionals completed its implementation phase: 343 artists or cultural professionals from 36 countries went abroad for professional development.

The European Commission has successfully tested a new scheme to promote the mobility of artists and cultural professionals. i-Portunus, a pilot funded through the EU’s Creative Europe programme, is a result of the New European Agenda for Culture adopted in 2018.

With a budget of €1 million in 2019, i-Portunus funded 343 artists and cultural professionals in the performing or visual arts from 36 countries to spend a period of 15 to 85 days working abroad.

Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics, said,

“I am proud to have launched this first-ever EU funded scheme helping artists and cultural professionals to gain experience abroad and build new partnerships with other creators across borders. This is key to boosting innovation and competitiveness in Europe’s cultural and creative sectors which have an important role to play in our economies and societies.”

i-Portunus: an experience influencing careers

A conference in Brussels on 15 and 16 October brought together some of the artists taking part as well as major stakeholders representing the cultural sectors to discuss how to improve the scheme.

Feedback from the participants of the pilot programme has been positive.

“I consider this mobility to be one of the most influential steps in my career.”

 a young artist from Slovakia describes her i-Portunus experience. Watch testimonials from artist who took part in the pilor project:

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/programmes/creative-europe/file/iportunus-testimonial-martina-stellamp4_eniportunus-testimonial-martina-stella.mp4

Based on the testimonials, i-Portunus resonated most with young and emerging artists. 40% of applicants were below the age of 34 and 85% of them with a yearly income below €15,000.

Next steps

These discussions will feed into the recommendations that stakeholders will present to the Commission at the end of the project ,which is working on how to best implement such a scheme as a permanent action under the Creative Europe Programme as of 2021.

In 2020, the Commission will invest another €1.5 million in two similar trials. The results and recommendations from all pilots will then define the permanent action proposed for the next Creative Europe programme 2021-2027.

Backgroud

In May 2018, the European Commission published its A 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 is 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 new 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 started in January and will run until February 2020 when the consortium is due to put forward its evaluation and policy recommendations.