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ASEF Mobility First! 2018

Essential information

• Nationality: The applicant must be a national of an Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) member country. List of the 51 member countries can be found here:
• Destination country: The applicant’s destination country must be an Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) member country. Departure country need not be an ASEM country.
• Mobility route: Asia-to-Europe, Europe-to-Asia, intra-Asia; Europe-to-Europe routes are ineligible
• Occupation: Artist or Cultural Professional
• Travel dates: as per published dates for the round

Individuals & organisations actively involved in the field of arts & culture who are eligible as per following guidelines:

• Artists & cultural professionals from any artistic genre (such as visual arts, performing arts, film, heritage etc.) may apply. Applications focusing on contemporary artistic and cultural disciplines are encouraged.
• Artists are defined as those directly involved in the production of artworks in any genre of the arts.
• Cultural professionals are defined as others working in the field of arts & culture such as curators, arts writers (including critics), arts managers, researchers etc.
• Applicants should be citizens of member countries of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) and seek support for travel within the ASEM region.
• Applicants may seek travel support to participate in any of the 7 types of eligible activities listed below in the section on What types of activities are supported?

• Cultural organisations may apply to become ASEF’s partners; selected organisations will co-select individuals who will receive support to attend specific events organised by the partner (e.g. arts festivals, conferences).
• Selected partner organisations are expected organise the event as well as provide selected persons with local contacts and context. For example, an arts organisation organising a photography festival may wish to apply to Mobility First! and together with ASEF, will co-select 4 photographers who will be given ASEF’s support to be present at the festival.
• Cultural organisations that operate in any artistic or cultural genre may apply. Non-profit arts organisations will be prioritised.
• Cultural organisations should be based in any of the ASEM member countries and operating in the ASEM region (nationally or bi-regionally)
• Organisations should be applying for travel support for individuals to participate in any of the 7 types of eligible activities listed below in the section on What types of activities are supported?

Through this initiative, ASEF supports the mobility of artists and cultural professionals for participation in the following 7 types of activities:

1. Workshops or trainings
2. Conferences or forums
3. Festivals, biennales, or international exhibitions
4. Artists’ or writers’ residencies
5. Partner meeting/s to set up or maintain an existing partnership
6. Practice-led research
7. “Go and see” / short-term exploration / networking

• Currently, the selection criteria for Mobility First! prioritises cultural mobility from Asia to Europe; from Europe to Asia; and, within Asia. All travel must be international.
• Successful applicants will be given up to a maximum of Singapore Dollars (SGD) 2,000 for travel from Asia to Europe or Europe to Asia.
• Successful applicants will be given up to a maximum of Singapore Dollars (SGD) 1,000 for travel within Asia.
• Additional funding is available for people with disabilities and special needs.

1. Individuals should complete the online application form at:
2. Organisations should complete the online application form at:
3. Upon selection, ASEF will request for a scanned passport copy of each grantee.
4. For individuals receiving support, ASEF will issue a Terms of Reference (ToR) and the first 50% of the funding amount will be transferred after ASEF has received the signed ToR. Please note that the grantee may receive the 1st tranche after travel has commenced. The remaining 50% will be transferred post-travel and after ASEF receives the required post-event report.
5. In the case of organisations, ASEF will provide a Partnership Agreement with the selected organisation. The terms of funding will be agreed upon with the partner organisation & will be specified in the Partnership Agreement.
6. All artists and cultural professionals receiving mobility support are expected to complete an online post-event report no later than 4 weeks after travel has ended. The online report can be found here:

2018 Open Calls

2018 Deadlines

Announcement of Results

Travel timeline

21 March 2018

25 April 2018

31 May 2018

01 June to 30 Sep 2018

26 April 2018

30 May 2018

31 July 2018

01 Aug to 30 Nov 2018

31 May 2018

30 June 2018

31 Aug 2018

01 Sep to 15 Dec 2018

• Only applications that meet the Eligibility requirements will be evaluated
• Priority will be given to applications focusing on contemporary artistic & cultural disciplines
• Early career artists & cultural professionals are encouraged to apply; applications showing relevance to the applicant’s professional development will be prioritised
• Small & medium, independent, non-profit organisations are encouraged to apply
• First time visits to destination countries are encouraged
• Priority will be given to applications that show potential for:
o Long-term impact in the arts & cultural sector
o Benefiting other artists & cultural professionals both in the destination country & back in the applicant’s home country (multiplier effect)
• Mobility First! is an equal opportunities programme. Applications from artists & cultural professionals of any ASEM nationality, ethnicity, caste, creed, gender or disability are welcome

Application Guidelines and Frequently Asked Questions

ASEF Mobility First! 2018 Selection Results

ASEF Mobility First! Key Trends and Statistics

External Selection Panel 2018

ASEF Mobility First Ferdinand Richard

Ferdinand Richard (France)

Ferdinand is the founder/director of the AMI Association in Marseilles (since 1985), a multi-sectoral cultural development platform with a consistent international cooperation programme and the first incubator for cultural micro business in France. He also co-founded of La Friche Belle-de-Mai in 1992 and has been Deputy Director for the past 8 years under architect Jean Nouvel. From 2009-2019, Ferdinand was President of The Roberto Cimetta Fund, funding the mobility of artists and cultural activists in the Euro-Arab-Middle East regions.

Ferdinand is a member of governance of the Institut du Monde Arabe in the Hauts-de-France Region (since 2016). He is also the Founder-President of Global Grand Central, a global internet platform for artists and cultural projects, archives, and narratives (since 2017). In addition, Ferdinand is a board member of the Observatoire des Politiques Culturelles-France (since 2002), as well as President of The European Forum for the Arts and Heritage (re-named today Culture Action Europe). Further, he is a collaborator/expert for Agenda 21 for Culture (United Cities and Local Governments) since 2006. He is also a premier coordinator and expert of the International Fund for Cultural Diversity/UNESCO experts panel (2006-2015).

Ferdinand currently sits on the Selection Committee for Asia-Europe Foundation’s Mobility First! programme (since 2017). Ferdinand was a musician and producer from 1971-2000.

ASEF Mobility First Tay Tong

Tay Tong

TAY is an internationally experienced arts worker, enabler and consultant, with close to 30 years of professional experience, working both locally and internationally. He was the Managing Director of TheatreWorks (Singapore) and its home and creation space, 72-13, created in 2005. From 1989 to 2018, he has produced over 200 productions and international arts festivals here in Singapore and internationally. He was Aide to the Festival Director for Singapore International Festival of Arts, 2014 – 2017. Most recently, Tay consulted for the National Arts Council (NAC), Singapore, formulating the blueprint and providing a business plan for the implementation of the Arts Resource Hub that aims to provide arts freelancers with the necessary resources to sustainably continue their practice, unlock new opportunities and grow meaningful careers. 

Tay is an advocate for engagement with diverse cultures and across disciplines. He firmly supports the philosophy of ‘celebrating differences’ and cultural negotiation as well as the internationalisation of the arts. He produced the long-running inter-cultural, multi-disciplinary Flying Circus Project between 1996 and 2013 as well as the capacity building programme, The Continuum Asia Project in Luang Prabang, between 2002 and 2012, and the first edition of the Curators Academy 2018, for TheatreWorks. Tay was also the Director of Arts Network Asia (ANA) from 1999 to 2017 and he brokered greater intra-Asia dialogues and exchanges. He currently sits on the panel for the Asia-Europe Foundation’s Mobility First! grant programme, and was Advisor to the Next Generation : Producing the Performing Arts, a programme by the Japan Foundation Asia Centre

About the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF)

The Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) is an intergovernmental not-for-profit organisation located in Singapore. Founded in 1997, it is the only institution of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). ASEF promotes understanding, strengthens relationships and facilitates cooperation among the people, institutions and organisations of Asia and Europe. ASEF enhances dialogue, enables exchanges and encourages collaboration across the thematic areas of culture, education, governance, sustainable development, economy and public health.

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