Cultural Mobility

We understand cultural mobility as:

“… the temporary cross-border movement of artists and other cultural professionals. Certain forms of mobility relate to the individual (e.g. networking, residencies etc.); others are intrinsically connected to the mobility of works or performances in another country. (…) Mobility is not only understood as occasional movements across national borders that may be useful to gain professional experience required for career advancement, as well as advance artistic endeavour, but more as an integral part of the regular work life of artists and other cultural professionals.” (From Ericarts, Mobility Matters, 2008)

This definition was updated in the Operational Study, related to the Mobility Scheme for Artists and Culture Professionals in Creative Europe countries (page 33):

“Mobility is a central component of the professional trajectory of artists and culture professionals. Involving a temporary cross-border movement, often for educational, capacity-building, networking, or working purposes, it may have tangible or intangible outputs in the short term, and/or be part of a long-term professional development process. Mobility is a conscious process, and those involved in it, whether by directly engaging in it or by supporting it, should take into consideration its cultural, social, political, environmental, ethical and economic implications.”

On the Move focuses on the mobility of professional artists and cultural professionals - including only people, not artworks. Several forms of “mobility” exist, among which the most frequent are residencies, touring (to perform in another country than the one in which the artist/company is based), networking experiences (to connect with the artistic and cultural scene in another country through meetings, conferences, symposia etc.). Other forms of mobility include e.g. virtual mobility.

Cultural mobility at a glance

Types of mobility support

Artists’ / writers’ residencies; Event participation grants; Scholarships for further / postgraduate training courses - including training/work placement; “Go and see” or short-term exploration grants; Market development grants; Support for the participation of professionals in transnational networks; Project or production grants; Research grants; Touring incentives for groups and Travel grants (valid for different purposes)


Performing arts (theatre, dance, opera, circus, street arts etc.); Visual arts (painting, sculpture, photography, installation, applied arts, graffiti etc.); Music; Literature (including translation and publishing sector); Cultural Heritage (tangible heritage, movable heritage, intangible heritage, archives); Multi- or Cross-disciplinary arts; Research; Cultural management; Cinema; Video/new media; Cultural journalism, criticism, curating.


Depending on the disciplines, creators, film directors, painters, photographers, playwrights, choreographers, dancers, media artists etc.

Cultural professionals

Any non-artistic professional related to the arts and cultural field from technicians, producers to curators, cultural journalists and critics

Cultural operators

Professionals engaged into facilitating arts and cultural programmes and activities such as festival directors, venue or company managers, network secretary generals etc.

Domains encompassed in mobility experiences

Artistic, cultural, social, economic, environmental, political and philosophical (values implied)

Stakeholders involved in mobility processes

Private and public funders, policymakers, cultural organisations, artists, cultural professionals, local communities and public (audience)