Supporting contemporary art production, paying special attention to young emerging artists
In 2009 the Art Department of the Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture (BMUKK) introduced a new scholarship programme named START-scholarship to promote young, emerging artists in all branches at the beginning of their professional career by supporting their work and their involvement in the Austrian and international art scene. 90 START-scholarships are awarded annually, each endowed with USD 8.800 (6.600 euros) for a period of six months (USD 1.467, 1.100 euros / month), paying special attention to female artists. (2009 62% of the scholarship holders were
women). There is a high level of demand for this scholarship (more than 600 applications in 2009), showing that the scholarship meets a need.
Additionally, a mentoring-programme for female artists in all branches was introduced by the Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture in 2011. The initial launch of the project in 2011, to be continued in 2012, was a result of the consultation process with civil society representatives and artists during the inter-ministerial talks (see chapter 3), which showed the need for a special “career exploration instrument”
for female artists. The objective of the programme is to support know-how transfer between established and emerging female artists by assisting the tandems of
mentee/mentor through workshops, networking meetings and supervision. The evaluation of the pilot phase (by detailed questionnaires) showed broad approval for the programme and that most of the objectives individually defined by each tandem were achieved.
In addition to these cross-disciplinary measures a coordination centre for young talents in the film sector has been established in 2009 at the Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture in cooperation with the Austrian Film Institute (ÖFI). The centre coordinates federal initiatives for the promotion of young filmmakers, functions as advocacy and networking centre and strives to create, in cooperation with the relevant stakeholders, new opportunities for young professionals to establish themselves on the national and international film market. These measures include selective support programmes, promotion of scheduling their works in theatres, in broadcasting and on digital platforms, the establishment of a pool of film experts and professionals for mentoring and networking, etc.
The initiative New Austrian Sound of Music, or NASOM, is a successful support programme initiated and sponsored by the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs (FMEIA) for young musicians from the genres of classical music, jazz, pop, new music, and new folk music/world music. Implemented by the Austrian cultural fora, embassies and consulates through the organization and financing of concerts, NASOM’s objective is to help promising young talents in finding opportunities to perform abroad. 2007-2011 a total number of 100 artists benefited from the programme. The artists´ selection is done in cooperation with the Federal Ministry for Education, Arts, and Culture (BMUKK), the Music Information Center Austria (MICA), Austrian music universities, and “Gradus ad Parnassum”, a music competition programme.
With the aim of highlighting the important role of women in Austrian music, a reference book „Frauen/Musik/Österreich“ (Women/Music Austria) was published in 2009. To present the continuously updated full range of female musicians and composers in Austria, a database was set up in 2010 in cooperation with MICA. Both book and database were sponsored by the FMEIA.
Next to the federal level, the Laender have also launched initiatives to support artists at the beginning of their careers. In 2008 for example the Department for Culture, Society and Generations of the government of Salzburg initiated Podium, a biennial call for artistic projects of young artists and cultural initiatives, who engage in new, innovative artistic expressions and explore new spaces for the arts. The objective of the initiative, which was developed in consultation with the Association of Cultural Initiatives in Salzburg, is to strengthen the visibility of artistic creation in Salzburg and give artists and cultural initiatives the opportunity to realize and present innovative artworks to a larger public. The criteria for projects eligible to apply for funding are deliberately kept open so as to react flexibly to unconventional approaches and experimental formats. Projects should, however, be public, exploring new spaces for the art, presented for the first time in the City of Salzburg or the Land Salzburg and attract interest for the arts. For each call the Department provides USD 133.333 (100.000 euros) for project funding. The projects are selected by an independent jury, the composition of which varies each biennium. Since the first call in 2008 32 projects have been realized, ranging from artistic performances in taverns (Kreisverkehr by Jakob Buchner, Thomas Stadler, Kulturverein KunstBox Seekirchen / Gruppe 2009) to three-dimensional, accessible print magazines (Living (in a) magazine by Mariam Lempert, MARK Verein Jugend in Salzburg, 2010). The objectives of strengthening visibility for artistic expressions of the young generation and exploring new spaces for encounters with art have been reached, based on an assessment of the number of responses to the call for entries, numbers of visitors at the individual project sites, media coverage and feedback
by the participants.