European Network of Cultural Centres (ENCC)

Up Grants 2024: Culture for Inclusion Call

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The new edition of our microgrants programme is out and open to all socio-cultural centres based in a country joining the Creative Europe Programme.

General Information

In this edition of Up Grants, we are seeking to support socio-cultural centres (and other cultural organisations with a strong community focus) that are running or planning to launch impactful projects that promote inclusion. The programme will boost your initiatives by enhancing their impact and increasing their visibility. Up Grants goes beyond merely collecting existing good practices: it actively seeks to propel them forward for continued development. If your socio-cultural centre is currently undertaking or planning to undertake a project that promotes innovative practices in inclusion and community engagement, we invite you to showcase it by applying for Up Grants funding.

Who may submit their ideas?

Our Up Grants micro grant scheme is open to all socio-cultural centres (and other cultural organisations with a strong community focus) based in a country joining the Creative Europe Programme (EU Member States + countries from this list). All ENCC members, members of members, and any other non-profit socio-cultural centres are welcome to submit one or multiple proposals.

What's in it for my organisation?

All eligible submissions, including those not selected for the grant, will be included in a comprehensive database on the ENCC website. This database will not only offer visibility at national and international levels, but also serve as a valuable resource for sharing and learning from diverse experiences in the field. The four winning organisations stand to benefit in several ways from participating in the Up Grants scheme.

• Financial assistance: Four selected projects will be awarded a grant of €3500 each, providing financial assistance for the implementation and development of their initiatives.
• Showcasing best practices: The four selected best practices will be prominently featured on our website and various communication channels. This exposure will not only highlight their achievements but also inspire others in the socio-cultural sector.
• Participation in our annual conference: One representative of each successful project will be invited to join our annual conference in Riga, Latvia in June 2024, providing a platform to share experiences, network, and contribute to the broader discourse on socio-cultural initiatives for accessibility and inclusion. There they will be asked to organise a workshop related to the supported project. Travel costs will be covered as well as two nights of accommodation, together with the ticket to attend the whole event. NB: in case they cannot attend, grant winners will be asked to produce a video-summary of their project to be showcased at the event.

Timing

30 January 2024 - 18 March 2024: Applications submission

21 March - 28 March 2024: Public and expert voting

4 April 2024: Announcement of winners

April-August 2024: Implementation of the follow-up plan by awarded projects

5 June 2024: Workshop held by winners in Riga, Latvia

30 September 2024: Deadline for reporting on the implementation of the projects and sharing all relevant materials

15 October 2024: Publication of the database of practices

The Strands

In order to be eligible, your project needs to fit in one of these four thematic strands:

● Strand 1: E-inclusion and digital accessibility
● Strand 2: Building inclusive narratives
● Strand 3: Identification and removal of barriers for marginalised groups
● Strand 4: Equality and diversity criteria in boards and management

Strand 1: E-inclusion and Digital Accessibility

This strand supports actions implemented by socio-cultural centres aimed at creating digital interfaces (applications, tools, websites etc) that accommodate an entire community to the greatest extent possible, irrespective of factors like ability, age, location, language, education, literacy, culture, and economic situation.

Strand 2: Building Inclusive Narratives

This strand supports actions that craft inclusive narratives by incorporating diverse characters, countering stereotypes, respecting different cultures and prioritising authenticity in storytelling, or education and training actions that provide for cultural workers on how to adapt content for maginalised groups. Applicants should provide a set of indicators that demonstrate their commitment to inclusivity.

Strand 3: Identification and Removal of Barriers for Marginalised Groups

This strand encourages projects actively identifying and addressing obstacles affecting marginalised groups. The strand is about creating spaces in which barriers to access are removed or minimised. Applicants should provide indicators of their project’s commitment to and impact on inclusion and access.

Strand 4: Equality and Diversity Criteria in Boards and Management

A board is the governing body of an organisation: it sets the organisation’s strategy based on its core values. This strand is about building inclusive boards and management teams to achieve diversity in various dimensions which extend beyond gender and ethnicity. Some additional aspects to consider for a more comprehensive approach to inclusion are: age, ability, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, socio- economic status, linguistic barriers. Applicants will be asked to provide indicators of how their organisation works towards achieving inclusive and accessible managerial positions for marginalised groups. (i.e., diverse recruitment, transparent promotions, mentorship and cultural competence training, etc).

How to Apply

First of all, read this call in full to make sure your project is eligible. Then, go to the dedicated page and click on "Submit a project". You have until Monday, 18 March 2024 at 23:59 CET to submit your application. You can browse applications from other organisations in the projects’ gallery. Please note that your project will only be available for view once it has been validated by the ENCC office team. NB: all documents attached to your application should be in English.

Selection Criteria

Presented projects must:

● Fit one of the four strands;
● Be innovative;
● Contribute to awareness building and/or reach a wide community or a new
type of target group;
● Include a clear assessment of their impact through the use of quantitative
and qualitative indicators relevant to the specific initiative.

Priority will be given to initiatives that:

  • Engage the local community, citizens and organisations working in other sectors, highlighting the networking aspect of the practice;

  • Involve wider audiences and promote cooperation beyond cultural centres territorial development and civic participation;

Organisations are invited to explain the additionality provided by the Up Grants
(that is, why the grant provided would make a difference in relation to the
project).

Selection Process

● A team of ENCC representatives will check the eligibility of the submitted projects. All eligible proposals will then be published on our website and participate in the selection.
● Once all projects have been submitted, the voting phase will begin. Voting will be open from 21 March till 28 March, 2024 on our website. Everyone can vote simply by entering their email address. Voters can cast a maximum of one vote per strand.
● At the end of the voting phase, four best practices (one for each strand) will be selected for funding by combining the evaluation of a jury of experts and the results of the public online vote.

Jury of Experts and Evaluation

The jury of experts gathers experts related to the four thematic strands, a member of the ENCC board of Directors, and a member of the ENCC coordination office. Each project will be evaluated against six criteria:

  1. Relevance within the framework of the Up Grants;

  2. Innovation;

  3. Awareness building;

  4. Impact;

  5. Engagement of the local community;

  6. Additionality of the support.

Each criterion will have equal importance and members of the jury will assign a mark from 0 to 2 to each of the six aspects per project, with 12 being the highest score. Selection of the winners and final scoring. The four winning projects will be identified through the mathematical combination of two types of vote: the number of online votes received by each project, and the mark assigned to each project by the jury of experts. In order to be selected for funding, each project will need to get a high mark from the jury of experts and a high number of online votes.

You can find a PDF version of this call here and a preview of the application form here for your reference (NB: this is not the real application form. In order to apply you should click on the “Submit a project” button in this page.)

For any questions about the Up Grants and the selection process, please contact Cigdem Ozdemircelik, project and administration officer, at upgrants@encc.eu.