Continued support for cultural cooperation in the Nordic and Baltic countries

The Nordic and Baltic ministers for culture have decided to extend the Nordic-Baltic mobility programme for culture through the period 2021 to 2023. The programme has three strands – mobility funding, network funding, and support for residency centres – and aims to increase the sharing of knowledge, contacts, and interest in Nordic and Baltic art and culture.

Nordic-Baltic co-operation on culture has been around for just over a decade. Before announcing their decision, the Baltic ministers for culture indicated that the programme continues to provide significant benefits, helping professional cultural practitioners to create contacts with their Nordic counterparts, develop partnerships, share experiences, and implement various culture projects.

“In recent decades, Nordic-Baltic co-operation – both institutional and at grassroots level – has been broadened and deepened. The culture sector has played a central role in this. The sharing of experience and partnerships in the field of culture are arguably the best way of bringing our countries closer together, which is why we are extremely pleased that the mobility programme has been extended,” says Stefan Eriksson, director of the Nordic Council of Ministers’ office in Latvia.

The total budget for the Nordic-Baltic mobility programme in 2020 is approximately EUR 1.8 million. The programme is administered by Nordic Culture Point under the direction of Ola Kellgren, who is also pleased about the extension of the programme.

“This is one of the most important forms of support offered by the Nordic Council of Ministers because it is aimed at professional cultural practitioners, and because it strengthens and promotes contact between the Nordic and Baltic countries,” says Kellgren.

The Faroese writer Helle Thede Johansen, chair of the expert group for mobility funding, points out that the impact of the mobility programme extends beyond those who have been granted financial support. It enables Greenlanders to gain insight into Lithuanian folk music, Faroese authors to participate in a literature seminar on island literature in Åland, and artists in different visual art genres and from different Nordic and Baltic countries to work together on the production and exhibition of their works in Iceland.

“Art and culture are the glue that binds the Nordic and Baltic countries, helping us to achieve our objective of being the most sustainable and integrated region in the world. The coronavirus pandemic has severely limited development opportunities for art and culture practitioners in recent months and consequently had a huge impact on their finances. Thanks to the Nordic-Baltic mobility programme, the artists of today can help to create the future history of the Nordic Region,” says Helle Thede Johansen.

The remaining application rounds that are still open for 2020 are for short-term network support (open until 9 October) and mobility support (open until 19 October).