Money raining down from the sky?

Hanna Hietaluoma-Hanin

Expert Tips on How to Get EU Support

In a classic Donald Duck comic book, money rained down from the sky. Funding a culture project isn’t quite as easy, but Hanna Hietaluoma-Hanin from the Finnish National Agency for Education gave us some tips on how a culture project might gain support from the EU.

“I would say that the parameters of the Creative Europe Programme are quite reasonable. It is quite likely that what you are doing will fit these objectives,” Hietaluoma-Hanin revealed to an audience of over a hundred culture professionals and activists gathered in Hiedanranta, Tampere.

Tampere and Tampere Region’s ECoC bid project invited EU expert Hietaluoma-Hanin to join the region’s culture professionals and activists in a workshop to work through any kinks in the programme proposal phase and EU funding.

It Pays to Participate!

Yes, Tampere and Tampere Region are applying to become the European Capital of Culture in 2026. An open call for programme proposals is underway. Many people might have ideas, but where to get the money?

If Tampere is designated the European Capital of Culture, the 2026 culture projects will also receive municipal and governmental funding. Of course, no one can throw any numbers around yet, as no decisions have been made.

Let’s recap: If Tampere is chosen, the funding will come. How much, that remains to be seen. But in previous ECoC projects the funding has been significant. In any case, it is worth investigating other avenues of funding, and even using them.

And it is definitely worth taking part in the open call for programmes, open until October 15th, as participation is free. Now, more than ever, is the time and the chance to think big.

Or let’s put it this way: If you are planning a promising culture project to be realized in Tampere Region in the coming years, why not propose it to the European Capital of Culture programme? There is nothing to lose.
Seek Out Partners!

The EU and especially its Creative Europe programme offers one further avenue in funding particularly international projects.

Creative Europe provides funding for European cooperation in the culture sector. This means that the project requires international partners. Of course, partners can also be smaller organisations. Support is offered towards such objectives as mobility of artists, distribution of creative works, audience development, development of skills and new initiatives, social integration and promoting culture heritage.

Organisations in culture and creative sectors are eligible to apply for this support. Projects with organisations from at least three countries and a budget of less than 200 000 euros are considered small-scale cooperation projects. In these, funding can be up to 60%. Large-scale cooperation projects include organisations from no less than six countries. In such projects, the maximum level of support is 50% or two million euros.

Not Just for the Money!

Hanna Hietaluoma-Hanin gave us tips on what elements to include in the projects. The projects should promote “cross-border mobility and development, cooperation and audience development or capacity building.” Capacity building may include such things as encouraging digitisation.

How does a project manager find these international partners?

“Invite partners with the skills needed in the project,” Hietaluoma-Hanin advises.

Hietaluoma-Hanin gave two more good pieces of advice for those dreaming of EU projects. First: Even if the possible funding seems impressive, it doesn’t pay to chase it if you don’t have the idea.

“You don’t want to put a project together just for the funding. The funding processes are so time-consuming, it simply wouldn’t make sense. And along the way, you would have to convince a lot of people of the project’s viability,” she cautioned.

“My second advice would be to prepare carefully. Do some research on these funding programmes. What is the angle, what are the emphases, what has already been done on a particular theme? Could the same be applied on your sector?”

The slide show of Hanna Hietaluoma-Hanin can be found here.

More about Creative Europe.