by Sarah Smith
Artist residencies are the best spaces to learn, grow and meet incredible people; but it seems these opportunities have been reserved for the few who have built a Eurocentric face for the art world. Is it possible to support your art career and travel the world for the purpose of learning while promoting diversity? Here are the top grants that are supporting artists from five different continents, promoting inclusivity and changing the face of the world:
The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture
The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture – AFAC was founded in 2007 through the initiative of Arab cultural activists as an independent foundation to support individual artists, writers, researchers and intellectuals, as well as organizations from the Arab region working in the field of arts and culture. Since its launch, AFAC’s programs have steadily expanded to cover cinema, photography, visual and performing arts, creative and critical writing, music, and documentary film, in addition to funding research, training and cultural events. Based in Beirut, AFAC works with artists and organizations all over the Arab region and the rest of the world.
AFAC’s Training and Regional Events grant supports training and workshops in numerous cultural and artistic fields, in addition to residencies, symposiums, forums, and festivals (multidisciplinary, music, film, performing arts, visual arts, and literature). The program provides annual grants up to US $25,000 for individuals and teams and up to US $35,000 for institutions and collectives.
The Botin Foundation was created in 1964 by Marcelino Botín Sanz de Sautuola and his wife, Carmen Yllera, to promote the social development of Cantabria. Today it maintains its focus on Cantabria but also operates throughout Spain and Latin America, contributing to the integral development of society by exploring new ways of detecting creative talent, committing to the above to generate wealth.
The Art Grants are intended to aid both training and the development of personal and research projects, which must be directly linked to artistic creation rather than to the development of a theoretical study. Specifically, the Fundación Botín offers six scholarships for artists of any nationality with an expected duration of nine months and an endowment of 23,000 euros each, in addition to medical insurance for recipients who need to travel to a country other than their country of residence. Of these six grants, one will be reserved in priority for an artist who is Spanish or resident of Spain (for at least five years immediately prior to applying for the grant) under 30 years of age, who wants to spend time abroad to continue their work, their studies or a residence.
The Asian Cultural Council
The Asian Cultural Council makes fellowships and grants to support cultural exchange in the arts for practicing artists, scholars, and arts professionals. Priority is given to process-driven activities that enable cultural immersion, relationship-building, collaboration, or the exchange of knowledge among peers. Examples of process-driven activities include research, training, study, and exploration. The Individual Fellowship Program supports individuals (and up to one additional collaborator) pursuing research projects or other forms of creative inquiries across cultures. This may take the form of observation tours, specialized training, dissertation fieldwork, or other non-commercial creative, scholarly, or professional activity. As in all ACC programs, the emphasis is on process-driven activities that enable and promote cultural immersion, dialogue, relationship-building, collaboration, and/or the exchange of knowledge among peers. The project should foster mutual cultural exchange through learning, interacting, and observing.
Art Moves Africa
AMA gives grants to artists and arts professionals (curators, cultural operators and journalists) of all artistic disciplines who live and work in Africa, to travel within the African continent in order to engage in the exchange of information, the enhancement of skills, the development of informal networks, and the pursuit of cooperation. AMA supports projects that are aimed at building partnerships, completing research, creating new works, touring a show, or participating in festivals, biennales, residencies, workshops and professional meetings or symposia.
Culture Moves Europe
Culture Moves Europe provides mobility grants for artists and cultural professionals in all 40 Creative Europe countries. It covers the sectors of architecture, cultural heritage, design and fashion design, literary translation, music, performing arts and visual arts. The scheme follows the successful i-Portunus pilot project that took place between 2018 and 2022.
With a budget of €21 million, Culture Moves Europe offers mobility grants to around 7,000 artists, cultural professionals and host organizations from 2022 to 2025. Funded by the Creative Europe program of the European Union, Culture Moves Europe is implemented by the Goethe-Institut.