Culture and art programme

The Culture and Art Programme supports Nordic cooperation within art and culture. You can apply for funding for a project with artistic and/or cultural quality which promotes a multifaceted and sustainable Nordic region.

Read our information to funding recipients regarding the coronavirus here

Which activities are funded?

The programme grants support to projects within all areas of art and culture, in all project phases: preliminary work, production, presentation and dissemination. However, you cannot apply for funding for activities which have already been conducted.

You can apply for support for projects that invest in cultural and artistic productions and creative work as well as to organise and implement projects that develop skills within the field of art and culture. Support can be granted for all types of costs that are directly associated with the project.

For example, the projects may entail:

  • creation or dissemination of works, projects and initiatives that require a creative process
  • creation of meeting places between artists/cultural bodies and the public
  • development and dissemination of knowledge and/or work methods
  • organising discussions and debates, as well as seminars and workshops

You cannot apply for funding for:

  • tours with already existing works or productions
  • running costs of institutions or other activities
  • basic financing of projects which run for several years – such as ongoing costs for an annual festival
  • productions of works without the active involvement of partners other than artists themselves, e.g. solo performances or album recordings.
  • film and TV productions, productions of computer games and book publishing.
  • projects that are part of an education or training course
  • commercial activities that aim to generate a financial profit
  • projects outside the artistic or cultural area, for example, sports events.
  • projects which have already started before the decision on support by us has been approved and dispatched
  • activities that have already been completed. At the earliest, activities that are supported by the programme may begin 10 weeks after the application deadline.


You can apply for support for all phases of a project, from preliminary work to implementing a full scale project. The amount applied for should be reasonable considering the scale of the project. The larger the amount applied for, the larger the requirement for self-financing from, for example, other funding bodies. Co-financing is considered a key part of the project’s conditions.

Projects can be granted:

  • up to EUR 7,000 with full financing
  • up to EUR 40,000 with at least 30% co-financing
  • up to EUR 100,000 with at least 50% co-financing

Therefore this means that the grant from the Culture and Art Programme can cover between 50 – 100% of the project’s total costs, depending on the size of the applied grant.

In-kind financing can count towards co-financing. In-kind financing consists of goods or services as payment instead of cash. For example, voluntary work. How you estimate the working hours of volunteers should be specified in the budget and the amount must be reasonable considering the tasks and their duration.

For an example of how to make a detailed budgetary appendix, please see here.

Support from other Nordic organisations
It is also possible to apply for support from other pan Nordic institutions and organisations, such as, for example, the Nordic Culture Fund, for the same project. The total funding from the Culture and Art Programme and other Nordic organisations may not exceed 85% of the budget.

Who can apply?

Everyone who is active within the field of art and culture can apply, provided that the project fulfils the programme’s criteria and the cooperation includes partners from minimum three countries, of which at least two are Nordic, that is, either Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, Finland, the Åland Islands, the Faroe Islands and/or Greenland.

Applicants can be:

  • individuals
  • groups
  • organisations, institutions and companies

It is neither necessary for the applicants to live or work in the Nordic region. Furthermore, it is neither necessary for the person or members of the group to have Nordic nationality, as long as the Nordic dimension of the project is fulfilled in other ways.

How is an application assessed?

The assessment is conducted based on the aforementioned criteria and depending on how well the application has managed to convey the following:

Nordic dimension
The Nordic dimension is assessed based on how it promotes cooperation between the Nordic countries or between the Nordic countries and the rest of the world. This by, for example, contributing to greater understanding between the Nordic countries and/or knowledge of Nordic artists and their works. It would also be an advantage if the project promotes language comprehension in the Nordic region.

In cases involving Nordic participation/themes in international projects, the Nordic participation should have a significant impact on the content of the project and should be clearly explained in the application.

The cooperation dimension is assessed based on how well it creates exchange of knowledge between the different participants and/or organisers of the project, and whether it creates new contacts between persons who work with culture.

The project is assessed based on how it develops and raises the quality of the art and culture area, the innovativeness of the project and whether the results of the work will persist. The applicant’s ability to complete the project in a good manner will also be assessed.

The project’s sustainability is assessed from a social, economic, cultural and ecological perspective. Projects are also assessed in terms of their contribution to creating cohesion and the promotion of an inclusive and multifaceted artistic and cultural life in the Nordic region. Please see the definition of sustainability in the Nordic strategy for cultural cooperation below.

Strategic focus
Another assessment tool is the new programme for cultural co-operation 2021–2024. It will be based on the Council of Ministers’ Vision2030 and its three strategic priorities – a green, competitive and socially sustainable region – as well as an action plan with tangible objectives. The programme will be published in January 2021 when Finland takes over the Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers.

The policy for mainstreaming sustainable development, gender equality, and a child rights and youth perspective in the Nordic Council of Ministers is also taken into account within the assessment.


To view an FAQ about our programmes, please click here.


Please note that the application deadline is 15:59, Finnish time. Granted projects may begin 10 weeks after the application deadline within the Culture and Art programme.

Application rounds:
08.02.2021 – 08.03.2021 15:59
10.08.2021 – 13.09.2021 15:59

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