ASEF Cultural Mobility First 2021

Looking for funding to travel to a festival, workshop, training, or research trip in the arts and culture? Apply to #MobilityFirst! 2020 marks the fourth year of Mobility First! and to date, they have supported 312 cultural professionals to facilitate cultural exchange between 48 ASEM countries.

Mobility First! is the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF)’s travel grant for artists and cultural professionals. They invite eligible arts practitioners from Asia and Europe to apply to their periodic competitive open calls through an individual application. International travel support is then granted to selected cultural professionals in Asia and Europe to participate in activities that are integral to their professional development; that would initiate a multiplier effect on others and benefit society.

ASEF supports the mobility of artists and cultural professionals for participation in the following 6 types of activities:

  • Workshops or training
  • Conferences or forums
  • Festivals, biennales, or international exhibitions
  • Artists’ or writers’ residencies
  • Partner meetings to set up or maintain an existing partnership
  • Practice-led research

Through these activities and focus areas, Mobility First! contributes to the pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly:

SDG #10: Reduce inequality within and among countries

  • by facilitating the mobility of artists and cultural professionals (target 10.7)
  • by implementing the principle of differential treatment for developing countries, thereby contributing to achieving a balanced flow of cultural works (target 10.a)

SDG #4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education, and promote lifelong learning for all

  • by increasing the number of both youth and adults who participate in activities to acquire skills needed for employment in the cultural and creative industries (target 4.4)
  • by supporting the foundation (e.g. partner meetings/networking) for long-lasting collaboration and learning

SDG #5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women

  • by increasing the participation of women at leadership programs in the cultural sector and thereby contributing to equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision making in political, economic and public life (target 5.5)

SDG #11: Sustainable cities and communities

  • by social links between urban and peripheries (target 11.a)

Apply for the travel grant now!


  • The Mobility First! grant is intended for covering international travel and visa costs only.
  • Accommodation and any other costs (such as per diem, registration fees etc.) are excluded from the grant amount.
  • The grant amount provided by ASEF can vary according to each application, based on the mobility route and destination country which you are intending to visit.


Applications are welcome from individual artists/cultural professionals who are:

  • nationals/citizens of any Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) partner country
  • working in any artistic genre (such as visual arts, performing arts, film, heritage etc.)
  • at least 18 years old at the time of travel
  • seeking support for travel within the ASEM region
  • not recipients of the Mobility First! grant in 2019
Eligible Regions: Australia, Indonesia, Mongolia, Singapore, Bangladesh, Japan, Myanmar, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Korea, Pakistan, China, Lao PDR, Philippines, India, Malaysia, Russian Federation, Austria, Finland, Lithuania, Slovakia, Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Germany, Malta, Spain, Croatia, Greece, Netherlands, Sweden, Cyprus, Hungary, Norway, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Ireland, Poland, United Kingdom, Denmark, Italy, Portugal, Estonia, Latvia, Romania