Funding Artists’ Mobility
Frank Hentschker, Director, Martin E. Segal Theatre Center at the Graduate Center, CUNY • www.thesegalcenter.org
My name is Frank Hentschker, and I am the director of the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. I am a Next Generation Fellow, and I’m here to talk about our Cultural Mobility Funding Guide, which was first launched during our Cultural Mobility symposium on January 7 of this year by the Segal Center at CUNY’s Graduate Center. The guide was developed in collaboration with Marie Le Sourd from On the Move (www.on-the-move.org), Roberta Levitow from Theatre Without Borders (www.theatrewithoutborders.com) and the Segal Center (www.thesegalcenter.org).
On the Move (OTM) is a cultural mobility information network with more than 35 members in over 20 countries across Europe and beyond. Our mission is to encourage and facilitate cross-border mobility and cooperation, contributing to the construction of a vibrant and shared European cultural space that is strongly interconnected worldwide. On the Move aims:
1. To organize, coordinate and improve a cultural mobility information service that is free, transparent, accurate and user-friendly, coming from an increasing number of sources and reaching an ever-widening audience.
2. To promote a concept of mobility that is respectful of social standards and environmental protection and that promotes cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue.
3. To improve the capacity of OTM members to deal with various aspects of cultural mobility through trainings, P2P sessions and meetings where the expertise of each of the members can be shared and further enriched.
On the Move has co-produced, with various partners (e.g. Asia-Europe Foundation, KAMS, Arab Education Forum), cultural mobility funding guides focused on Asia, the Arab Countries, Europe and now the United States. These guides are simple, streamlined and available to everyone on the web, where individuals and cultural organizations can go if they want to find support for artists to travel, visit, create work and build meaningful relationships.
A bit about the Segal Center: the City University of New York is one of the nation’s leading urban public universities, serving more than 480,000 students at 23 colleges and institutions across New York City. With students hailing from over 200 countries, CUNY has one of the most diverse student bodies in the United States. The Graduate Center is the doctorate granting institution of the City University of New York.
The Segal Center bridges the gap between US and international theater, as well as between academia and the performing arts.
Through our programming, we have presented and championed the work of artists from every continent.
Each year we present the Prelude festival, featuring artists at the forefront of New York City theater –
– and PEN World Voices, which this year alone presented the work of playwrights from Afghanistan, Argentina, Cuba, France, Germany, Indonesia, Kenya and Uganda.
We also present two full seasons of events in the fall and spring of every year. This past season, the Segal presented programming featuring the work of Takeshi Kawamura from Japan –
– and readings from four contemporary Belgian playwrights, whose plays were published in the Segal’s Four Millennial Plays from Belgium
Segal Center publications have featured many of the first English-language translations of plays from the Czech Republic, Spain and Argentina, and the Center is the largest English-language publisher of plays from the Arab world.
Our two international journals – European Stages (www.europeanstages.org) and the brand new Arab Stages (www.arabstages.org) – offer readers scholarly discourse from theater makers from around the world, as well.
For decades, the Segal’s Visiting Scholar program (www.thesegalcenter.org/home/about-us/visiting-scholars) has hosted research students from over 30 countries, including Brazil, Cameroon, China, Egypt, India, Israel, Italy, Nigeria, Poland, Spain and Sri Lanka, just to name a few. The Segal also has a dedicated, internationally diverse team that represents Germany, France, Lebanon and Taiwan. That’s a little about who we are – now I’ll tell you about our guide.
Last May, Roberta Levitow and Marie Le Sourd came to the Segal Center to discuss a collaboration between On the Move, Theatre Without Borders, and the Segal to create an international funding guide for the arts. I joined the Segal shortly after this and was asked to create the guide in collaboration with Marie, David Diamond and Roberta, following the model established by On-the-Move.org.
As the scope of the project grew, so did our team, and with the help of a fellow Wake Forest alumna, Isabella Curry, we conducted over two months’ worth of research and created the guide – a 99-page document featuring 93 funding opportunities from over 70 organizations.
The guide is broken down into the following subcategories: “Governmental Funding”; “Private Foundations/Organizations”; “Foreign Cultural Institutions/Organizations”; “Other Fellowships, Scholarships and Grants” and “Residencies.”
The final subcategory is an extensive list of “Other Resources” that are useful for both for US artists and cultural professionals when traveling abroad and for foreign artists and cultural professionals coming to the US. Our main focus when collecting funding opportunities for this guide was travel. More specifically, international travel.
For a US based artist or individual, this meant locating grants that would cover travel costs or award enough money to make international travel possible. We called this outgoing mobility.
Incoming mobility is how we defined a grant that provided money for non-US-based artists to travel to the United States.
Within each guide entry you will find a brief description and an outline of all information pertinent to applying for and obtaining the grant in question, as well as a link to the grant webpage.
As of now, our guide features funding opportunities tailored specifically to those who work in the theater and performing arts. It is our hope that the guide can expand to include literature, music and all the visual arts as well.
This guide is the latest in a line co-produced by On-the-Move.org that encompasses Europe, Asia, the Arab Countries and now the United States.
Looking forward, we hope that guides such as this can be created for Latin America, Canada and other unrepresented regions of the world as well.