The European Cultural Foundation (ECF) mobility fund STEP beyond was launched in February 2003 and encourages cross-border cultural cooperation and exchange between all European countries, including those that are not currently members of the European Union. The fund is open to art professionals, cultural operators, cultural translators, cultural researchers and cultural journalists. It enables people to travel, encounter, explore and cooperate.

The ECF mobility fund, STEP beyond (Supporting Travel for European Projects) encourages travel that is guided by the following principles:

1. Stimulating travel between the countries of the enlarged European Union and non-EU European countries.

2. Supporting individuals in the DEVELOPMENTAL phase of new cross-border projects in the field of culture and the arts.

3. Allowing the individuals and cultural partners involved to initiate real cooperation and possibly enter a long-term PARTNERSHIP.

4. Giving preference to exploration eastwards in order to emphasize that Europe continues beyond the eastern borders of the European Union.

In its first year, the fund awarded 65 grants, averaging 640 Euros each. These awards resulted in highly promising travels, such as the visit of two Polish filmmakers to Belarus in order to prepare a documentary on Belarusian artists, and a Balkan round trip by a German art professional to explore new partnerships in the field of electronic music festivals. In the first nine months of its second year, STEP beyond received 163 applications and awarded 60 grants.

Areas of low take-up
The STEP beyond team have documented and analysed the programme take-up and note that there are certain countries which provide only a few applicants. This is a missed opportunity for professional artists and cultural operators in these countries and they would like to specifically encourage applications from:

Of course, if you come from another country, you are still very much encouraged to apply!

Full guidelines are available in English, French and Russian on the website of the European Cultural Foundation: European Cultural Foundation under - Programmes - Mobility


Lieke Schuitmaker
Programme Officer
---------------------------------------------- European Cultural Foundation
Roemer Visscherstraat 18, I
NL- 1054 EX Amsterdam
Tel: +31 20 412 10 17
Fax: +31 20 412 24 68

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Modified on Monday 6 December 2004