Mobility of Artists and Cultural Professionals
The Czech Republic offers different possibilities to support mobility of artist and cultural professionals. The Ministry of Culture delegated the main role of providing the support for mobility activities to state-funded institution Arts and Theatre Institute.
Artists and cultural professionals need to travel abroad to extend their scope of artistic perception. They need to meet cultural diverse environment and inspire themselves from it. Mobility allows artists to experience diversity and to integrate it into the creative process.
The Czech Republic as other European countries realizes that artists’ mobility is a key part of enrichment of the cultural diversity. The grant programs are provided at different levels (state, non-profit sector, network etc.).
The aim is:
- To disseminate Czech art abroad;
- To participate in international networks in the field of culture;
- To gain new experience and know-how;
- To encourage the development of international cooperation and communication;
- To support artistic creation, creativity and the development of human potential;
- To enrich the intercultural dialogue;
- To improve and strenghten the education and training of artists and cultural professionals;
- To extend cooperation projects at the international level.
Since 2004, the Arts and Theatre Institute offers a special program focusing on exchange residencies for artists. In 2013, there have been realized 17 residencies of 9 Czech artists abroad and 8 foreign artists in the Czech Republic. Within the residency activities The Arts and Theatre Institute cooperated with the Czech Center in Bukurest, Brussels and Sofia, Mexican organisation FONCA in New York, and Robert Bosch Sttifung/Literarisches Colloquium in Berlin. In the Czech Republic The Arts and Theatre Institute closely cooperates with National Theatre and Meetfactory.
Recently, the Arts and Theatre Institute also launched a call for proposal for the promotion of international contacts in the professional arts. This support aims at individuals sending abroad as participants in professional conferences, seminars, workshops, meetings of international networks, observers at festivals, shows, exhibitions, fairs and other professional events.
In June 2013, Prague hosted a meeting of representatives of Asian and European institutions and organizations that support artistic and cultural mobility.
Further, Ministry of Culture annually sends about 30 Czech writers on foreign readings, whether on the occasion of their books publication or to encourage their participation in important international book fairs or festivals.
Mobility of artist and cultural proffessionals is also assured thanks to bilateral agreements, memorandums and programs of cooperation. We can name for example: Understanding on cooperation in the field of culture between the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic and the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine for the period 2012 – 2014, Program of Cultural Cooperation between the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia for the years 2013, 2014 and 2015, Program of Cultural Cooperation between the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic and the Ministry of Culture of Republic of Bulgaria in the years 2012, 2013 and 2014 or Protocol on Cultural Cooperation for the period 2012 - 2014 between the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic and the Ministry of Culture of the People's Republic of China.
As a good example we can also mention the Orchestral Academy of the Czech Philharmonic. The Czech Philharmonic takes a keen interest in educating up-and-coming generations of young musicians, many of whom may, in the future, ascend to its ranks. In the 2012–2013 season, the Czech Philharmonic inaugurated its new Orchestral Academy. The Academy provides the opportunity for young musicians to enhance their education, and to gain valuable experience with the Czech Republic’s leading orchestra. The Academy is especially suitable for graduates of music performance programmes at the secondary and/or university level. Applicants between the ages of 18 and 26, of any nationality, are welcomed. Twenty-one successful candidates are accepted onto this two-year programme on the basis of an audition. The Academy’s emphasis is not only on orchestral playing, but also on development in the field of chamber music, gained through participation in concerts with the Czech Chamber Music Society and the Czech Philharmonic’s education programmes.
Challenges identified in the implementation of this measure:
The challenge is to stabilize the financial framework for these mobility activities and to increase the number of people, who can use different mobility offers.
Remark to point b): Also here, it is difficult to gain the exact data because of the various private organisations providing the possibility of art residencies. In 2013, The Arts and Theatre Institute has allocated 34 000 USD to creative residencies, 19 500 USD to creative residencies in Český Krumlov and 12 000 USD within The Visegrad Artist Residency Program.
While getting through the different residencies, the artists gain many experiences from different cultures, which inspire their work and artistic creation which is important to show the uniqueness of every artistic achievement.
The exchange of know-how is a gain for every culture. For example in the field of literature, the author reading abroad promotes not only the author and its work, but generally the national culture. It helps to promote not only the literature, but every field of culture and consequently the country as a whole (tourisme). This is of course applicable for every other field of culture, such as architecture, design, media, music, theatre etc.