TEH Startup Support Programme 2020-2021

Trans Europe Halles calls for emerging civic initiatives with a focus on arts, culture and creativity that are located in repurposed buildings to participate in the fourth edition of the Startup Support Programme. This time we’re looking for initiatives in Cyprus, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain.

Trans Europe Halles is a network of grassroots cultural centers, with more than 100 members in 36 European countries. We believe that creativity, grass-roots initiatives and public activism can improve our lives and societies. We are striving to bring a positive change through the cultural revival of (post-industrial) neighbourhoods and its communities. We believe that our work matters and that it reinforces the future development of independent cultural and creative spaces in Europe.

We have always been supporting those who dare, who are curious and who have imagination. With this idea in mind, we launched the Startup Support Programme three years ago. This programme is addressing socially engaged NGOs that are developing emerging cultural and creative spaces in repurposed buildings.

Within the Startup Support Programme, we carefully look at the challenges each project is having and set up a tailor-made scheme to move towards a sustainable future. This year we will focus on Cyprus, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain, that have both the tradition and the potential for many inspiring cultural centres and creative hubs – even though we all have to reinvent those places in times of COVID-19.

What is a Startup?

In our vision, a startup is a civic initiative that is situated in a repurposed building (industrial or otherwise) with a focus on creativity, arts and culture along with a Do-It-Yourself / Do-It-Together (DIY/DIT) approach. It is still in its preliminary phase, but is already self-sufficient (either economically or due to people’s dedication), though not yet sustainable.

What has been done within the programme so far?

  1. Communitism in Athens (Greece)
  2. Anibar in Peja (Kosovo)
  3. Cinema ARTA in Cluj-Napoca (Romania)
  4. Dnipro Center for Contemporary Culture in Dnipro (Ukraine)
  5. ReZavod in Lviv (Ukraine)
  6. Korpus in Minsk (Belarus)

What does the Startup Support Programme do?

From 2017 to 2021, the Startup Support Programme is investing in bringing emerging cultural and creative spaces to their next level of development through:

  • Expert consultation and coaching for their teams.
  • Peer-to-peer knowledge sharing involving other emerging spaces in our network.
  • Networking activities during our Conferences and Meetings
  • Access to TEH Capacity Building Programme and activities.
  • Inspirational case studies of spaces in the startup phase.

For the fourth edition, we are looking for three emerging cultural and creative spaces from Cyprus, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain to take part in the programme. The program will run until July 2021.

Eligible countries are Cyprus, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain.

You can apply for this programme if:

  • You are not a TEH Member or Associate yet.
  • You are located in one of the five eligible countries mentioned above.
  • You are legally established as an organisation.
  • You are repurposing a building for creative, cultural and artistic uses.
  • You have a legal agreement – or you are in negotiation – with the owner of the building about its future use.
  • Your organisation has been operating inside the building for less than two years, or you are planning to work in it in 2021.

We are offering the following:

  • A scoping visit of two international experts, who have founded and run their own cultural and creative spaces. 
  • Situation analysis and organisational diagnosis.
  • Coaching from TEH peers until July 2021, including a tailor-made workshop at your centre.
  • Your case to be included in a publication about the programme.
  • Access to a vibrant community of like-minded organisations in Europe.
  • Become a TEH Associate for two years.

In case travel is still not possible, the scoping visits and workshops will be done online.

How does the selection process work?

Your application will be evaluated immediately after the call is closed by the programme’s selection committee. It includes five international experts selected among our member centres, our Executive Committee and the staff of our Coordination Office. We will announce the results a couple of days after the call is closed.

What do you commit to if you are selected?

If your cultural centre is one of the three lucky ones selected for this fourth edition of the programme, you commit to:

  • Actively participate in the programme.
  • Pay a participation fee of 300€. (Which covers two years of TEH associate membership fee, participation in the full program mentioned above.)
  • Present your work to TEH members during TEH Camp Meeting in Nicosia (Cyprus), 5-8 November 2020.
  • Deliver a short written report about the process, including visual documentation.

How can you apply?

If you wish to apply on behalf of your organisation, submit your online application before Monday 31st August 2020 at 23:59 Central European Time.

If you have questions or need help with your application, contact our Capacity Building Manager Ella Overkleeft at ella@teh.net.

The Startup Support Programme is part of the project Factories of Imagination, which is co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.


Experts you will be working with

Chris Keulemans grew up in Tunis, Baghdad and Jakarta. He is a traveling writer and moderator, based in Amsterdam, where he previously founded and/or ran three cultural centers: Perdu, De Balie and Tolhuistuin. For TEH, he has been an advisor for the Startup Programme since 2017.

Lives and works as a literary translator from English in Verona, Italy. Has volunteered in the local cultural sector for ages, from a film club to Interzona APS, where she was briefly the chairwoman but also did a bit of everything, from preparing sandwiches for the bands to meeting the mayor. Was in TEH Ex Comm for 6 years and loved it.



Published on July 1, 2020