Fair artist conditions a prerequisite for artist residencies

Fyra personer sitter runt ett bord. I bakgrunden en kyrka, båtar och ett rött hus.

Aske Zidore (DK), John Chantler (SE), Nordic Culture Point's grants advisor Sidsel Eskesen, Johanna Henriksson (AX) and Mari-Liis Rebane (EST). Photo: Katja Långvik

14 applicants were granted Funding for Artist Residencies from the Nordic-Baltic Mobility Programme for Culture when the decision-making expert group gathered in Helsinki on 3 May. According to Mari-Liis Rebane, chair of the group, the experts put particular emphasis on sufficient provision for financially supporting participating artists.

“This round received 72 applications for a total of 3 million euro. We are very pleased to see so many interesting residency programmes taking place in the Nordic and Baltic countries”, says Mari-Liis Rebane.

“The committee very much considered the balance between administration costs and the benefit that goes directly to the artist. We prioritized projects that provided better conditions and fair fees for the artists. This is elementary for accessibility and creates realistic possibilities for artists from various backgrounds to stay at a residency”, says Mari-Liis Rebane.

Documented networks needed

Funding for Artist Residencies is available for all fields of arts and equally for all Nordic and Baltic countries. The Expert Group strives for a good balance between different areas of art and culture as well as various geographical areas in each application round. Funding decisions are based on how the applicant conveys its existing regional and international artistic context and its capacity to support the artist’s work. As a rule, the residency must also be able to work with more than one artist at a time and have documented co-operation with the local art and culture scene. 

“Besides assessing the professional level of residencies, we also considered the inclusion of both Nordic and Baltic artists, regional aspects as well as sustainability. I am happy with the outcome, we managed to balance the selection of projects by approving funding for both new or small initiatives such as The Hands on Press residency in Lithuania and well established residency centers i.e. Baltic Art Center in Gotland, Sweden”, says Mari-Liis Rebane.

Next round in 2025

“The overall quality of applications was very high. It was great to see that there are so many well organized and well equipped residencies with good local networks. We saw many projects and initiatives with high potential that we could not approve for funding this time due to high competition, but which we hope to see re-applying after developing their ideas or adjusting their budgets in an artist-friendly manner”, Mari-Liis Rebane concludes.

The exact dates for upcoming application rounds will be published on Nordic Culture Point’s webpage in autumn.  

Click here to see all granted residencies