ASEF Cultural Mobility Initiative

Mobility First! ASEF Cultural Mobility Initiative 2017


Deadline: September 15, 2017

The Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) is launching Mobility First!, a new fund to support the travel of Asian and European artists and cultural professionals between Asia and Europe. Mobility First! – ASEF Cultural Mobility Initiative is being launched in April 2017 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of ASEF, which was established in 1997 as the only institution of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).

Applications are invited from individuals and arts organisations at least 10 weeks in advance of the event for which mobility support is being sought. Through Mobility First!, ASEF seeks to reaffirm the importance of face–to-face encounters not only in knowledge and experience sharing, but also in setting up long-term alliances and partnerships based on trust, reciprocity and fair exchange.

Grant Details

  • 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 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 for travel within Asia.
  • Additional funding is available for people with disabilities and special needs.


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.
  • 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)3 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 the following 7 types of activities:

  1. Participation in workshops, conferences, festivals, biennales, networking sessions
  2. Participation in artists’/writers’ residencies
  3. Participation in culture-related training
  4. ‘Go and see’ or short-term exploration visits
  5. Participation in practice-led research
  6. Participation in partner meeting/s for exchanges and collaboration (to set up new cross-border collaborations)
  7. Participation in transnational networks (to sustain and/or widen existing networks)

Application Process

  • Individuals should complete the online application form
  • Organisations should complete the online application form
  • All applicants must ensure that the activity/event will commence at least 10 weeks after the application is submitted.
  • Successful applicants will be notified by ASEF within 4 weeks.
  • For individuals receiving support, the first 50% of the funding amount will be transferred after ASEF has received the signed Terms of Reference. The remaining 50% will be transferred posttravel and after ASEF receives the required post-event report.
  • In the case of organisations, ASEF will sign 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.
  • All individuals receiving mobility support are expected to complete an online post-event report no later than 4 weeks after travel has ended.

Note: The application process is on a rolling basis. They will be announcing a total of up to 10 selected artists, cultural professionals, & organisations every first week of the month from May until October 2017 (6 rounds).

For more information, visit Mobility First! ASEF Cultural Mobility Initiative.


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