Leader Transnational Culture: Transforming rural areas through international cultural cooperation

Agrarmarkt Austria
Arts and Culture Division of the Federal Chancellery of Austria
Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management
Key objectives of the measure:

Support of positive transformation processes in rural regions by means of art, culture and creativity: 

  • development of transnational showcase projects that use culture as a positive force for change
  • positioning Austria as a location for creative innovation and transnational artistic interaction
  • strengthening the involvement of individuals active in Austrian arts and culture both in rural development processes and in transnational cooperation
  • promotion of the international transfer of expertise in the area of “culture as a transformative force”
Scope of the measure:
National, International
Nature of the measure:
Main feature of the measure:

Transformation processes like the digital revolution, the sharing economy, migration, etc. strongly influence the rural context. Art and culture have the potential to question, accompany, and shape change using their creative means. In a networked world, intercultural sensitive approaches are called for.

For these reasons, the Arts and Culture Division of the Federal Chancellery and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management have jointly initiated the funding scheme Leader Transnational Culture as part of the Rural Development Programme / LEADER 2014-2020.

The initiative supports projects aiming at positive transformation processes in rural regions that can be implemented by means of art, culture, and creativity. Project proposals should address one of the following topics:

  • transformation of occupational fields and associated intercultural and creative challenges
  • new relationship networks in the context of discourse between locals, immigrants, and refugees as well as visitors, and relevant (inter)cultural answers
  • social innovation and the structuring of participation using creative and artistic means
  • cultural and artistic challenging of stereotypes and contributions to a new image of the countryside

Eligible projects are required to feature high cultural and artistic quality and direct involvement of local cultural players, as well as combine local activities with transnational cooperation (at least one project partner outside Austria).

Funding is provided for activities such as events, establishment and development of networks, cultural strategies, concepts and studies, and activities promoting art and culture in Austria; cooperative project development and implementation, transnational marketing and public relations, transfer of good practices, and study visits with partners from outside Austria. The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Federal Chancellery cover up to 80% of the eligible costs incurred by the Austrian project management. The partners outside Austria take care of their funding themselves.

Results expected through the implementation of the measure:

Funding of at least 20 projects (implemented by Austrian project management agencies in cooperation with partners outside Austria) that contribute and accelerate rural transformation processes by the end of 2020.

Financial resources allocated to implement the measure:

Funding: EUR 1,5 million for the programme period 2014 – 2020  

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