Call for Applications: Virtual Residencies

Call for Application

Virtual MRI residencies with host organisations from Germany    

The global corona pandemic is currently severely restricting the work of artists and cultural workers. The planning, implementation, and/or continuation of artistic projects is made difficult by the current situation. This also affects shelter programmes by the Martin Roth-Initiative (MRI).  Due to ongoing travel restrictions and other pandemic-related challenges, it remains challenging to plan and implement temporary relocations to Germany and third countries for at-risk artists and cultural workers. 

Despite or rather because of these circumstances, it is an important objective of the MRI to continue its mission and to promote artistic and cultural activities even under challenging socio-political conditions. Especially in such difficult times, it is of utmost importance to support artists and cultural workers who are committed to freedom of the arts and a pluralistic society in their home countries to overcome the crisis with solidarity.

With this call for applications, we invite art and cultural organisations in Germany to submit project applications for virtual residency projects together with international artists-in-residence.

In the following FAQ you will find answers to the most important questions.

In den folgenden FAQ finden Sie Antworten zu den wichtigsten Fragen:

We look forward to receiving your application!

Virtual Residencies

What does MRI understand by virtual residencies?

Similar to physical residencies, a host organisation from Germany and international participants (scholarship holders) take the opportunity to implement a project together. Unlike a physical residency, exchange and collaboration take place virtually. In a virtual residency, for example, joint research can be carried out, concepts and projects can be developed/implemented, artistic (pre-)productions can be created (e.g. in the form of a digital writers' room), or digital training or exchange formats, campaigns and the like can be conceived or implemented. The MRI also remains open to other formats and project proposals.

Please note that projects that have already been started or completed cannot be funded.

Host Organisationen

Who can be a host organisation and what are the associated responsibilities?

Recognised and established cultural institutions and collectives (e.g. museums, theatres, festivals, art associations, etc.) in Germany are eligible as host organisations. The applicant organisation must have a legal form (e.g. e.V., gGmbH, GmbH, etc.) and may not financially profit from the project. We require that the host organisation has experience in dealing with public funding as well as proper accounting procedures in place. The host organisation is responsible for the implementation of the project as well as for the management of funds (e.g. payment of scholarships). Following the project, we expect a full report on the activities implemented and impact achieved.

Please note that host organisations must propose potential artist-in-residence scholarship applicants. The Martin Roth-Initiative cannot support any matching processes.

Scholarship Holder

Who is eligible as a virtual artist-in-residence (scholarship holder)?

MRI’s virtual residency projects aim to support artists and cultural actors who are exposed to risks in their home countries, particularly due to their artistic or cultural work, and who stand up for artistic freedom and promote pluralistic societies. Virtual residency participants must still be active in their home countries and have language skills that enable them to cooperate with the host institution.

We do not have a regional focus. This programme, however, targets artists and cultural actors who are active in illiberal structures in which the practice of critical creative work is limited (for orientation, you can use the classification of the current „Atlas of Civil Society“: countries classified as restricted, suppressed or closed). 

Please note that MRI funding for artist-in-residence applicants from within the EU is not possible.

Definition of Risk

What does MRI consider to be existing risks?

All those are at risk who face threats, are under surveillance, and/or are being persecuted by state and/or non-state actors because of their work or due to other circumstances (e.g. based on their gender, their sexual orientation, critical statements made in public). The threat can manifest itself in the form of physical and psychological force, oppression or censorship as well as a prohibition to work.

IMPORTANT: For the purposes of this call for proposals, work restrictions due to the Covid 19 pandemic are also recognised as existing risks.

Time Frame

What is the duration of the virtual residencies?

The virtual residencies can last up to three months and must be implemented between 01.10.2020 and 31.12.2020.

Funding Details

Which funding can I apply for?

A project should not exceed a total funding amount of 25,000.00 EUR.

The total funding amount includes monthly scholarships (the amount is based on the DAAD scholarship rates for graduates), production costs, IT security measures, fees for digital workshops/trainings, as well as for additional personnel and administrative expenses of the host organisation.

Application process

How can I apply?

Get in touch with the Martin Roth-Initiative as soon as possible for further advice and relevant application forms. We will only accept your applications and financing plans until the deadline of 20.08.2020 at 23:59. Supporting attachments can be submitted by 31.08.2020 at 23:59.

The following documents are required:

  • MRI form: Application form including attachments (to be filled in by the host organisation)
  • MRI form: Financial Plan (to be filled in by the host organisation)
  • MRI form: short personal statement/motivation letter including references (to be filled out by the artist/s).

Please find our contact details and further information on secure communication here.

Selection Criteria

Who will approve the project applications and according to which criteria?

After a formal review of all submitted documents, successful applications are selected by an independent committee consisting of members of the German art and cultural scene and of representatives of civil society institutions. The selection criteria consist of:

  • Review of the risk situation of the potential artists-in-residence

  • Relevance of the project (e.g. to what extent does the project contribute to strengthening and maintaining artistic freedom? What potential impact does the project have on the participants’ home region)?

  • Quality of the application and concept (Is the concept coherent? Are the project goals realistic? Do host organisation and artist-in-residence match artistically?)