The Nordic culture ministers are inviting the Nordic embassies/diplomatic missions outside the Nordic region to submit proposals for innovative ideas to create new spaces for Nordic art and culture around the world. This is the third time the ministers initiate a joint-Nordic cultural initiative abroad.
“We want to provide a forum for discussion and reflection on the era we live in. This can offer new perspectives and establish relationships between cultural practitioners in the Nordic Region and around the world that will benefit us going forward,” say the ministers.
The deciding factor will be that the proposal has local support, an international outlook, and is of interest to Nordic artists and cultural practitioners.
Please note: only Nordic diplomatic missions outside the Nordic region may submit their proposals.
The Nordic Council of Ministers for Culture – the Nordic ministers for culture – is inviting proposals for innovative ideas that can create a platform for Nordic art and culture internationally, and thereby help to brand the Nordic region as one of the most exciting creative regions in the world.
The ideas must have the potential to spotlight Nordic art and culture in another part of the world, and enable interaction with a new audience and new networks. Through these meetings and experiences, the ideas should help to strengthen the role of culture in a sustainable society.
The Nordic region has had a strong, high-quality and diverse art and culture sector for many years, and artists and cultural representatives are also in demand outside the Nordic region. Many of these are involved in international collaborations, and this exchange and interaction is very important, not just for the culture sector but also for Nordic contacts with the rest of the world. This contributes to both the image of the Nordic region internationally and the exchange of important impulses between the rest of the world and the Nordic region.
In order to capture and capitalise on the potential of this interest in, and from, the Nordic region, the Nordic ministers for culture are initiating cultural initiatives outside the Nordic region. The aim of the initiatives is to increase the interplay between Nordic culture and the rest of the world and to further raise the profile of Nordic culture abroad.
The ministers for culture have previously supported two major initiatives. In 2013, Nordic art and culture occupied the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. for a month with the Nordic Cool event, and in 2017 Nordic culture and society were in focus for a whole year when Nordic Matters was held at the Southbank Centre in London. These projects have shown the value in the Nordic countries collaborating and jointly promoting their art and culture outside the Nordic region. By working together, we make a greater impact and utilise each other’s strengths.
The Nordic ministers for culture now want to take the next step in finding influential ways to spread culture from the five Nordic countries, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland to the rest of the world and become part of the common story about the Nordic region and our common values.
All Nordic diplomatic missions outside the Nordic region are invited to submit proposals for how the next Nordic cultural initiative could be designed, and how it could help to raise the profile of the Nordic region as a creative region internationally. We are primarily calling for an innovative model that will be relevant in the coming years, and that is based in one place, region or country, with a clear local interest and with strong local partners.
One or more initiatives will be implemented no later than 2021. When planning the timing of an initiative, one consideration is that the initiative requires an inclusive approach in relation to Nordic cultural representatives and other stakeholders. The Nordic Council of Ministers has allocated DKK 5 million for the purpose.
Further information about the purpose of and frames for the cultural initiative can be found in the document Model for joint Nordic cultural initiatives outside the Nordic region, drawn up by the Nordic ministers for culture.
Nordic embassies/diplomatic missions outside the Nordic Region. Please note that only Nordic diplomatic missions outside the Nordic region may submit proposals.
The proposal must describe in general terms:
• your model for how Nordic culture can generate exposure internationally and stimulate interaction locally in your location
• the Nordic concept: why the Nordic collaboration, what is the Nordic added value, what can the initiative contribute on a Nordic level
• which Nordic diplomatic missions (at least three) are behind the proposal
• which art and culture forms are included
• possible local partners
• proposal for the location of the project (possible stages, arenas, etc)
• local demand/interest
• estimate of costs and funding
• time of implementation
After the deadline, all submitted proposals will pass through a selection process. The proposals deemed to have the strongest ideas for innovative ways of presenting and creating meeting places for Nordic culture and the rest of the world, and a well- considered concept for the Nordic collaboration, will be selected.
• A strong Nordic message that engages
• Content from all the Nordic countries, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland
• Identified interest/demand from the location
• Collaboration with local partners and networks
• Inclusion of Nordic artists and cultural representatives
• At least three Nordic diplomatic missions must be involved
• Time for implementation
The selected proposals will be announced in mid-January, after which a project description will be requested. This is to include a more detailed description of the project, partners (including letters of intent), venue/s, draft ideas for the programme, and potential participants, plans for funding, organisation and communication, target groups, possible long-term results, etc. The selected proposals will have approximately six weeks in which to prepare a project description.
The Nordic ministers for culture are expected to make a decision in May 2019 on where the next initiative or initiatives will be held. After this, it is expected that the project and plan for its implementation will be developed in consultation with the Nordic Council of Ministers before implementation.
The Nordic Council of Ministers applies the EU regulations on procurement and state aid in the allocation of project funding.
Nordic Council of Ministers, Senior Adviser, Eva Englund
In addition to the concept for cultural initiatives: Concept for joint Nordic cultural initiatives outside the Nordic Region
The initiative(s) must also harmonise with the following strategies of the Nordic Council of Ministers: