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The Mobility travel grant system was broadened to include all non-professional artforms.

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Bulgaria/ 3.4 International cultural co-operation  

3.4.5 Cross-border intercultural dialogue and co-operation

Cultural cooperation is incorporated in the existing PHARE-CBC grant schemes with all neighbouring countries (Serbia, Macedonia, Greece, Turkey and Romania). The most successful of these schemes are those in the fields of cultural heritage, traditional arts and crafts, and youth exchange.

National and international mobility programmes facilitate efficiently the cultural operators from Bulgaria, as well as foreign artists who would like to work in Bulgaria on a short-term basis.

The main source of support at national level is the programme for cultural contacts - "Mobility" - of the National Fund "Culture", which started in 2003. The main aims of this programme are:

  • distribution of Bulgarian culture and arts in the country and abroad;
  • to support the integration of Bulgarian authors and artifacts in the European and the world culture exchange;
  • acquiring and adopting successful foreign practices and models related to development of arts and culture;
  • support for professional training and development of Bulgarian authors and professionals in culture; and
  • encouraging cultural cooperation and the participation of Bulgarian authors in international cultural networks and initiatives.

To accomplish its aims, the programme supports: Bulgarian authors participating in international cultural forums; foreign producers, managers and programme organisers in the field of culture and the arts, touring and attendance at conferences and events in Bulgaria.

This programme consists of 3 modules - 1) individual and group travel for professionals; travel in relation to promoting non-professional art abroad; and 3) the third module was initiated in 2008 as a consequence of the rising number of applications for promotion of non-professional folklore art, and in 2009 its scope was broadened to include support for non-professional art in all its forms. Grants cover 80% of travel expenditure of successful applicants.

The Mobility programme offered 111 travel grants in 2006 and 138 in 2007. In 2008, 147 project proposals were supported amounting to 154 973 BGN. In 2009, 141 project proposals were successful, amounting to 183 118 BGN.

In 2007, the Maecenas programme initiated by the Minicipality of Sofia started operating. One of its priorities is the support of "Intercultural Dialogue and Mobility". The grants allocated to mobility in this programme for 2008 amounted to 51 000 BGN, with 7 projects granted support, аnd for 2009, the sum amounted to 43 697 BGN, with 16 projects offered grants (for more information see:

Bulgarian individuals and organisations are eligible for the existing international mobility Programmes: STEP Beyond mobility programme of the ECF: between 2005-2008 over 20 Bulgarians received travel grants for short term trips to other countries (up to 7 days). The US Artslink programme encourages and supports the exchange of artists and cultural managers between the United States and Central Europe, Russia and Eurasia. Between 2001 and 2008, 11 Bulgarian artists and managers received support for residencies in the United States. Courants du monde of the French Government supported over 130 professionals from Bulgaria to take part in capacity building activities between 1995 and 2008). Kulturkontakt Austria since1990 established cooperation with over 60 Bulgarian organisations; most of the projects include short-term or long-term mobility. Gulliver's Connect Programme provided 26 placements for artists and cultural operators over the last 10 years. UNESCO Aschberg bursaries for artists provided 4 Bulgarians with bursaries since 1996 up to now.

For more information, see our Intercultural Dialogue section

Chapter published: 20-01-2011

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