Wales Arts International is launching a new fund to support individual creative practitioners and arts organisations based in Wales to engage with European networks.

The purpose of Connect is to support the arts sector in Wales to develop, maintain and strengthen their long-term links with key strategic networks in Europe.

As an individual or as an organisation, membership of an international network can bring multiple benefits.  Most European networks are open to members from outside the EU.    They are a place to meet and share ideas with peers; to collaborate, learn, exchange and many lead to future international collaborations and partnerships. 

Networks can also be informal, with artists and organisations developing their own personal networks of collaborators and peers across Europe and the world, either through participation in residencies, in festivals and international projects.

One of the five main ambitions of our international strategy, Wales Arts: a bridge to the world, is to redefine our relationship with Europe.  It’s a crucial time to renew our relationships with key networks; as well as develop new ones with partners across the continent.  This is what the Connect fund will support.

Connect is part of a wider Welsh Government initiative, whose focus is looking at future relations with European regions, nations and networks beyond Brexit. 

Connect funding will prioritise attendance at and participation in an event organised by one of the established European networks (typically an annual meeting/conference).  This can be a network or one applicants are looking to join.  See Creative Europe Desk UK for a list of key European networks (not exhaustive). 

We will also consider supporting applications for attendance at a meeting or event organised by an informal European network of collaborating individuals or organisations that applicants are an active member of or are looking to work with.  In this case they will need to demonstrate the value of the network and its long-term commitments or ambitions.

We are looking to support a balance between creative professionals and arts organisations; and across events taking place up until 31 October 2020. We are unlikely to offer more than 5 awards for the same event.

The Connect fund will be open for applications until 15 March 2020 or whilst funds are available.