The Austrian arts promotion system includes various measures of direct support for creativity. The main measures are awards, prizes, scholarships, purchase of art works, grants such as contributions to printing costs of catalogues, running studios (federal studio house in Vienna and various studios abroad), productions, travelling expenses; and commissioning art works. Various artist-in-residence programmes have been established by the government, the provinces, the municipalities and various institutions in recent years for Austrian and international artists at home and abroad.
Every year, 95 interdisciplinary scholarships for young artists are awarded by the Arts and Culture Division of the BMKOES, 35 for music, performing arts and dance, 15 for literature, 10 for fine art, 10 for architecture and design and 5 each for artistic photography, video and media art, fashion, film and cultural management, with a support amount of 7 800 EUR per scholarship. In addition, work- and project-scholarships for fine art, architecture, design, photography, video and media art and more than 60 scholarships abroad are awarded in various branches: there are scholarships for studios abroad for fine artists in Beijing, Chengdu, Chicago, Istanbul, Krumau, Mexico City, New York, Paris, Rome, Shanghai, Tokyo and Yogyakarta; and scholarships abroad for photographers in Rome, London, Paris and New York. Trainee scholarships for cultural managers and post-graduate further education scholarships abroad for dancers are designated for young artists from these branches. TISCHE, a six-month scholarship programme, promotes the professional and practical experience of young architects with a stay in a well-known architect’s office abroad.
Since 2016, AWAY – a project around residencies for artists – has put the spotlight on the renowned international residency programme under which the Division of Art and Culture of the BMKOES has sent Austrian artists all over the world since the 1970s. In addition to providing a documentary analysis of the programme, AWAY and its extensive website have become a well-established information and participation platform on the topic of artist residencies.
The Arts and Culture Division of the BMKOES awards prizes annually or biennial – following a rotation system – in different categories. The Outstanding Artist Awards are awarded annually (or biennial), with prize money of EUR 10 000 each, to artists from the branches of visual arts, photography, video and media arts, performing arts, music, film, literature and ‘current annual matters’; biennial from the branches cartoon and comics, experimental trends in architecture, experimental design, and children’s and youth literature.
The Outstanding Artist Award for Women’s Culture honours art and cultural work that contributes to strengthening the position of women in public life.
The Outstanding Artist Award for Intercultural Dialogue for artistic and cultural achievements that contribute to the understanding of people living in Austria from different countries of origin.
The Austrian Art Award (Österreichischer Kunstpreis) is a lifetime achievement award, allocated with 15 000 EUR and awards in the following categories: visual arts, photography, video- and media-arts, music, film, literature, children and youth literature as well ‘current annual matters’. The Outstanding Artist Awards are partly judged by a special jury; the Austrian Art Awards are always awarded on the basis of a jury-recommendation.
Special prizes are awarded in the field of literature and journalism, among others the Erich-Fried Prize for Literature and Language, the Ernst-Jandl Prize for Lyrics, the Manes-Sperber Prize for Literature, the Austrian State Prize in the categories artistic photography, European literature, cultural journalism, literary criticism, literary translation, children’s and youth literature, children’s lyrics and Austria’s most beautiful books. Every two years, in cooperation with the s-Bausparkasse and the Vienna Architectural Centre, the architecture prize The Best House is awarded for the best architectural design of a detached house. In the field of photography, the Birgit-Jürgenssen Prize is awarded annually by the Vienna Academy of Fine Art, and in film, the Thomas-Pluch Screenplay Prize is awarded. The Grand Austrian State Prize of EUR 30 000 is awarded on the proposal of the Austrian Arts Senate without a fixed rotation principle within the fields of architecture, fine art, literature and music for an artistic life work. Since 1988, the government has also been awarding an Austrian Museum Prize with the aim of encouraging Austrian museums of different legal entities to design their content, presentation and communication in an appealing and contemporary way.
The federal provinces also award various arts prizes in support of Austrian artists, for example the Salzburg Art Prize, the Salzburg Music Prize and the Salzburg People’s Sculpture Prize.
Since 2010/11, the International Culture Department of the Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs has had a special support programme called The New Austrian Sound of Music (NASOM), which supports young musicians in appearances abroad. Every year, about 25 young musicians from classical music, jazz, new folk music/world music and pop are being supported.