About the programme
About the programme
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What is i-Portunus?
i-Portunus is a scheme funded by the European Commission that supports the mobility of artists, creators and cultural professionals, implemented by consortia of cultural organisations. It funds short-term mobilities for individuals to go abroad or for hosts to attract international talent.
i-Portunus’ main objective is to connect international artists, creators and cultural professionals and to support international collaborations among all countries participating in the Creative Europe Programme. It’s the “Erasmus” of the culture world.
Why is i-Portunus needed?
Several studies convincingly illustrate the importance and impact of mobility for the professional development of artists and those working in the cultural sphere. However, very little funding for mobility is available at the national level in the EU Member States or neighbouring countries. In fact, about half the opportunities offered are concentrated in a few northern European countries. These usually take the form of residencies with a top-down approach, with very precise criteria and limited support. Hence, a new mobility scheme, i-Portunus, funded by the Creative Europe programme, was launched at EU level to support international collaborations among artists and cultural professionals.
The philosophy behind this programme is to increase the opportunities for international collaborations, professional development and production oriented residencies. In other words, i-Portunus believes that working, performing, co-producing in a different country will contribute to the personal development of artists and cultural professions, give them access to different markets, help them attract new audiences or followers, start new or strengthen existing international collaborations, open their career perspectives, etc. It has a bottom-up approach where the individual artists or hosting organisations decide where to go, or who to bring in, according to their own purposes. This demand-driven support responds to the needs expressed by cultural stakeholders for international mobility.
Who could apply?
Artists, creators and cultural professionals working in any cultural sector other than audio-visual are eligible to apply, provided that they reside in one of the countries that are participating in the Creative Europe programme.
Hosts such as organisations, NGOs, institutions, museums, etc. (private or public), working in any cultural sectors except the audio-visual, were eligible to apply, provided that they are established in one of the countries that are participating in the Creative Europe programme. On well-justified cases, well-established artists, masters, or cultural professions of renown may also act as host.
There are two current i-Portunus projects which provided support either via individual applications or, as is the case with the second project, via a host/hosting institution.
- Individual applicants submitted a small project, with a well-defined objective, such as developing or increasing international collaborations, engaging in a production-oriented residency, in professional development activities, presenting/performing in the destination country, or, to develop projects with their counterparts there.
- The hosts, in collaboration with its visiting artists/cultural professionals, submitted one or more collaboration ideas, outlining the objectives of their cooperation and the mobility, justifying their choice of invitees and what they plan to achieve during their collaboration.
Future of i-Portunus
i-Portunus is still in a pilot phase with projects testing how to best organize an EU mobility scheme.
A first pilot project was launched in 2019 and was a great success, with astonishing results. The scheme was popular especially among women, young and emerging artists and people with lower incomes. It attracted over 3000 applications and funded 337 individuals to materialize their collaboration projects in another country. The most important result was the impact that the participants attributed to their mobility experience: 97% acquired new skills/knowledge, 94% developed new audiences/outlets, 94% developed new co-productions/creations, and 49% received a job offer. This is a most impressive impact considering the limited financial support of only 1.500 to 3,400 euros per individual.
A second phase for testing the EU’s new mobility schemes runs from the end of 2020 until spring 2022. Currently, i-Portunus is implemented by two projects, managed by two consortia of cultural organisations. One project, headed by the Goethe Institute, has already launched five Calls for applications in the cultural sectors of Music, Literary Translation, Architecture and Cultural Heritage and funds mobility for individuals. A second project, headed by the European Cultural Foundation, will be funding cultural mobility via an upcoming Call for Applications for hosts.
The results of all three projects will assist the Commission to set the parameters and funding conditions for a permanent mobility scheme under Creative Europe 2021-2027. The next projects are planned to start in the second half of 2022.
i-Portunus continues to support the mobility of artists, creators and cultural professionals among all countries participating in the Creative Europe Programme. A second pilot project was selected and co-funded by the Creative Europe Program of the European Union. It is implemented by a consortium, headed by Goethe-Institut with Institut français and Izolyatsia. This second phase runs from the end of 2020 until the end of 2021.
i-Portunus bases itself on the experiences obtained in the first phase and shifts its focus on other areas of international cultural cooperation, in order to get a thorough look at the various sectors and their different needs for mobility, defined by the Operational Study organized by On the Move.
i-Portunus 2020-21 organizes five open calls to support the international mobility of artists, creators and cultural professionals in the sectors of music, literature, architecture and cultural heritage. These open calls will be open for two months and launched on three different dates being 9 December 2020 (for music and literary translation), 15 January 2021 (architecture), 15 February 2021 (music and cultural heritage).
Mobility should focus on international collaboration, professional development and production oriented residencies. In every sector i-Portunus focuses on specific needs.
i-Portunus foresees a total budget of 500.000,00 EUR, spread over the upcoming five calls. Financial support will exist out of a fixed amount per applicant for transportation and a per diem, depending on the destination country.
To apply, you should organize a project with a host institution/partner/fellow in another Creative Europe country. As inspiration you could visit the database of Transartists, where host organisations that previously welcomed i-Portunus grantees are highlighted. In your application you would need to describe the project and its main objective, being international collaboration, production oriented residency, or professional development. You should explain how mobility will allow you to achieve the stated object and provide documents showing that you have made plans with a partner and that the partner is committed to your project.
Creative Europe countries
Bosnia and Herzegovina
United Kingdom °
The UK is still eligible to take part in i-Portunus calls, as it is currently still funded by the budget of the previous Creative Europe programme (2014 – 2020).
* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.
° Overseas countries and territories to which the provisions of part four of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union apply are Greenland, New Caledonia and Dependencies, French Polynesia, French Southern and Antarctic Territories, Wallis and Futuna Islands, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Saint-Barthélemy, Aruba, Netherlands Antilles (Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten), Anguilla, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Montserrat, Pitcairn, Saint Helena and Dependencies, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, Turks and Caicos Islands, British Virgin Islands and Bermuda.