Numerous arts and culture institutions are involved in transnational cooperation, ranging from major institutions such as museums and theatres, arts universities to small cultural initiatives. Since the 1990s, cooperation projects have been concentrating above all on Central and South-East Europe, but there are international cooperations beyond Europe too. The activities include festivals (music, film, etc.), exhibitions (fine art, architecture, photography etc.), conferences and workshops, information and training programmes, and activities within European and international networks, such as Culture Action Europe, European League of Institutes of the Arts (ELIA), European Network of Cultural Administration Training Centers (ENCATC), International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts (IETM) and International Council of Museums (ICOM).
The association KulturKontakt Austria (KKA), founded in 1989, is responsible for cultural cooperation with states in Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, which are of historical strategic importance for Austria, especially in order to carry out educational cooperation projects. KKA falls under the responsibility of the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research. As of 2020, KKA will be integrated in the Österreichische Austauschdienst (OeAD GmbH), the central Austrian service centre for European and international mobility and cooperation programmes in the fields of education, science and research.
Private institutions (such as banks and insurance companies) have also started initiatives to make visual art, architecture and design, especially from Central and South-Eastern Europe, accessible to a broader public. Examples are the programmes by the Erste Stiftung or activities of private exhibition houses (including Bank Austria Kunstforum and Siemens Artlab).
The UNESCO Country Report on the Implementation of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions in Austria (2016) lists a number of outstanding international cooperation projects in the field of art and culture:
- The European Digital Art and Science Network,
launched by Ars Electronica in
cooperation with seven artistic and cultural institutions as well as the ESA
(European Space Agency), CERN, and the ESO (European Southern Observatory). The
network offers artists the chance to spend several weeks at ESA, CERN, ESO, and
the Ars Electronica Futurelab. In an annual call, artists from all countries
are invited to apply for this residency by proposing innovative ideas situated
at the interface of art, science and technology.
- The SMartAt Mobility Portal has been designed to support artists, cultural professionals and creative entrepreneurs living and working in Austria and abroad who seek to be mobile or to cooperate international. It facilitates and encourages cross-border mobility of artists and their projects through provision of professional information on labour law and other relevant issues like taxation, copyright, insurance etc. There is a link to a detailed funding data base with interdisciplinary information on funding sources for international cooperation in Austria. The project is supported by the Austrian Federal Chancellery.
- Since 2012, Vienna hosts the LET’S CEE Film Festival once a year (although it did not take place in 2019). The festival features exclusive high-quality productions from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), including the Caucasus region and Turkey. The festival is accompanied by a support programme (up to 200 side events) emphasising the festival’s role as a place for cultural exchange, reflection, know-how-transfer and networking between film professionals from Austria and the CEE region. In the sphere of media cooperation, the Chinese Zhejiang Radio Television Group (ZRTG) and the Austrian Community TV-GmbH (which operates the community TV station OKTO) signed a comprehensive cooperation agreement in 2015.