Culture of Solidarity Fund – Ukraine special edition
3 Mar 2022
Introduced by the European Cultural Foundation (ECF) in 2020, the Culture of Solidarity Fund was originally set up as a corona-response mechanism for pan-European cultural initiatives. Established as a public-philanthropic partnership fund, it supported nearly 100 cultural projects that contributed to maintaining and reinforcing European solidarity and the idea of Europe as a shared public space during the pandemic lockdowns.
Today, the war in Ukraine has put new relevance to our Culture of Solidarity mission and calls for funding urgent European and cultural action more than ever before.
With pooled resources from a group of European co-funders, the Culture of Solidarity Fund was relaunched as a pan-European effort right at the beginning of the war to respond to local cultural emergency needs. As a result of their long-standing programmes work in Ukraine and Eastern Europe, the team of the Culture of Solidarity Fund and its partners have relied on a widespread network of cultural initiatives in Ukraine to identify and answer such immediate emergencies.
The Culture of Solidarity Fund has financed more than 70 projects with more than 1 million Euros. Thanks to our many European partners and their contributions the Fund will continue to review the many proposals already received.
Due to the high number of incoming requests, we need to process these applications first before we can continue to receive new applications. Therefore, the application window is now temporarily on pause. We plan to reopen our application system in the coming weeks.
*Please note that we do not receive emergency applications.
After an initial phase of cultural emergency relief, the Fund was opened to individuals, collectives and organisations from all sectors and civil society at large that proposed short-term or mid-term European cultural initiatives in the following three areas:
- disinformation, misinformation, propaganda filter bubbles, fake news, ongoing war ‘infodemic’ by supporting independent, alternative, and trusted European (digital) media;
- providing and nourishing safe cultural spaces for individuals fleeing their homes and looking for shelter in exile or in Ukraine;
- counteracting forces of fragmentation through artistic and cultural expressions that provide hope to withstand the harsh realities of war and to act for a peaceful future of Ukraine and Europe.
The Fund had grants available in three amounts:
- Small: up to €5.000
- Medium: €5.000 – 20.000
- Large: €20.000 – 40.000
Grants were made available for a large variety of cultural needs required in this situation. Especially inside Ukraine, but also all over Europe. Culture of Solidarity support can cover production costs, rental costs, online co-working and communication tools. Grants can also be used to cover travel costs, expert fees, staff- and operational costs. However, the requested amounts must be feasible and justifiable.
Overall eligibility criteria
- Applications must be submitted in English and must include a complete budget;
- Applicants must be above 18 years old;
- Applicants can represent the private, public or civic sector;
- The Culture of Solidarity Fund is open to individuals (such as artists, activists, freelancers), collectives (including volunteer groups and networks) and any legal form of organisations (NGOs, public institutions, private enterprises, cooperatives) who operate in the creative sector or any other professional fields and sectors of society, including education and academia, health and social care, environmental, human rights, social entrepreneurship, rural development, etc.
- Applicants can be based anywhere in the world, but their action proposal must contribute to the overall focus of the Fund;
- We do not accept proposals submitted by political parties. Our work is strictly non-partisan.
Please note that the Fund has limited financial resources that are reserved for the support of cultural actions. In consideration of the high amount for humanitarian relief made available through other funds, we cannot consider strictly humanitarian initiatives or individual requests for cost-of-living support.
Selection criteria & process
All incoming proposals were assessed based on their
- relevance to the overall theme of the Fund and objectives for this special edition;
- urgency, feasibility and implementation potential;
- impact on the issue addressed and communities involved in Ukraine, but also elsewhere in Europe.
The complete timeline of the proposed action may be up to 12 months.
Applications were processed on a rolling basis and were continuously assessed by a team of internal and external experts from a wide spread of cultural, professional and geographic backgrounds, including Ukraine and other Eastern European countries. Due to the very high volume of incoming requests and proposals, we aim to complete the assessment within 4 to 5 weeks from the date of receipt.