This week I decided to check out some of the international funding links and possibilities on Culture.si. From my point of view as a migrant worker without permanent residence (the euphemism in artspeak is ‘nomadic art practitioner’, but a couple of cheeky friends call me Kiwi Gastarbeiter) there are of course many Slovene institutional funds that are unavailable to me. However, for anyone looking to work in partnership and collaborate with Slovene artists and institutions there are also some that are designed specifically for international collaboration both into and out of Slovenia.
Browsing from the portal home page on the left menu under the heading ‘opportunities’ is a funding category link. Following this link leads to 19 funding subcategories that helpfully divide up what would otherwise be a slightly overwhelming bomb of information. The subcategories are organised by discipline and also by region, making it that little bit easier to find the most appropriate funding pathways for the project you are planning. I followed the International subcategory and found Artslink Awards.
The Artslink Awards is specifically for artists and arts managers living and working in eastern European countries. As an international programme that works with arts agencies in eligible countries in cooperation with US organisations and artists, it provides valuable residencies, collaborative and independent projects in the US. The programme has a cycle of alternate year deadlines according to discipline, so there is a wide range of opportunity within the arts. Eligible countries are the former Soviet countries, the 30 countries of Eastern and Central Europe, Russia, Central Asia, and the Caucasus. In Slovenia the ArtsLink Awards programme is coordinated by SCCA-Ljubljana Centre for Contemporary Arts.
Typically (for me) I read about this programme shortly after the deadline for 2012 closed on December 1st (how many times has this happened to you?). So all those people who applied for next year will be waiting to hear the results and I wish you success. The deadlines for the next round are a few months away next year, but these applications need a lot of advance thought so if this kind of international exchange opportunity interests you, mark the dates in your year planner and start writing now.
Good background information about the 2011 Artslink Fellows and their projects can be found here. Special congratulations to Slovenian Alma R. Selimovič, active festival producer and public relations officer with Bunker Institute in Ljubljana, who travelled to San Fransisco in Autumn 2011 to work with performance space CounterPULSE as an Artslink Fellow. I will close with this thought from her residency blog in October.
“…in the end we are experiencing the same tough task in convincing funders (weather[sic] it be the ministry, individuals, foundation) about the worth of culture and the arts and about the positive impact our work has.”