Balkan Incentive Fund for Culture (BIFC)


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Sklad za spodbujanje kulture na Balkanu (BIFC)
Jan van Goyenkade 5, NL-1075 HN Amsterdam
Katherine Watson, Director
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The Balkan Incentive Fund for Culture (BIFC) is one out of three grants schemes awarded by the European Cultural Foundation (ECF) in order to strengthen relations across the Western Balkans and the region's relations with Europe. The Balkan Incentive Fund was established in 2006 and funded by the European Cultural Foundation (ECF) with partners Humanist Institute for Development Cooperation (HIVOS) from Netherlands, the Open Society Institute, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia (only in 2006).

During 2010–2012 the BIFC Regional Hub was run by Asociacija, Association of Arts and Culture NGOs and Freelancers from Ljubljana. In July 2013 the management was re-named into the Balkans Art and Culture Fund (BAC) and was taken over by ArtAngle, an organisation based in the region (Sarajevo, Belgrade and Skopje).

Funding overview

The BIFC awards grants to support collaborative artistic and cultural exchange within, between or with countries of the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia).

The aim of the grant schemes is to promote Empowerment of People through Art and Culture, Connecting Sources of Knowledge and Linking Policy and Practice. The eligible applicants are independent organisations coming from the region or any other European Union country wanting to collaborate with partners from Western Balkans. The applicants for BIFC grants pursuing international and regional collaboration with independent art and cultural organisations from the region are welcome to apply for a grant throughout the whole year.

The contemporary art biennial D-O ARK Underground is one of the recent projects funded by BIFC and is organised in the Herzegovinian town Konjic in order to promote human rights and tolerance.

Background: BIFC Regional Hub in Slovenia

The BIFC Regional Hub was launched in 2010 with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia based on their "Platform for South East Europe" initiative. The BIFC Regional Hub was run by Asociacija, Association of Arts and Culture NGOs and Freelancers from Ljubljana up to 2012. It provided advice to project applicants on the application criteria and application forms, and helps to find partner organisations.

In 2010 the BIFC supported 13 projects, in Spring 2011 the film-making workshop Who is Afraid of the Big Bad Crisis for young film-makers was organised in three regional cities: Skopje, Tirana, and Athens. The final short films will be presented at the final screening and Balkans Beyond Borders Film Festival in Athens in June 2011. In 2012 12 grants were awarded, grantees selected out of a total of 106 applications.

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