Open Call Artists with a Refugee Background (closed)

application closed

For whom: visual artists with a (former) refugee status
What: a grant of 19,000 euros and a mentoring program
Deadline for applications: 2 March, before 5 p.m.

For whom and what?
This Open Call is for visual artists who have come to the Netherlands as a refugee. They can apply for a grant for developing and presenting new work. It is a fixed contribution of 19,000 euros. The grant can be used for everything involving the development and presentation of new work; for example carrying out research, participating in a residency, renting a studio, buying materials and equipment, hiring expertise or assistance, and preparing exhibitions or presentations.

The aim is to offer artists with a refugee background the opportunity to build up an artistic practice in the Netherlands so that they can contribute to a richer landscape of the visual arts.

Artists who receive a grant will be offered a mentor for a period of twelve months. This program is offered in cooperation with Cultuur+Ondernemen (Culture + Entrepreneurship). The mentor is an experienced visual artist or intermediary, who can guide the artist in developing new work and in forging a connection with the visual art practice in the Netherlands. Participants may themselves choose this mentor from this list.

The Mondriaan Fund makes available up to 10 grants for visual artists with a refugee background.

  • Who can apply?

    – You wish to build up a practice as visual artist in the Netherlands.
    – You have come to the Netherlands as a refugee.
    – You have lived in the Netherlands for less than 10 years.
    – You have not received a grant from the fund before.

    You cannot apply for this grant while studying at a community college, higher education institute or university. This includes post-academic or post-doctoral education such as the Rijksakademie, the Ateliers, BAK, Sundaymorning@ekwc or the Jan van Eyck Academy. Moreover, you cannot apply for a grant aimed at studying at any of these institutes.

    Within this Open Call, you may also apply together with other artists, as a duo or as a collective. This means: several artists who structurally create work together. In that case each participating artist must apply individually, and include an explanation regarding their individual contribution to the cooperation.

    This grant is subject to the General Terms and Conditions of the Mondriaan Fund.

  • Assessment

    An advisory committee assesses whether the work and the activity of the visual artist are expected to develop in a meaningful way. The committee will take into account non-western perspectives of applicants.

    The committee assesses the application on the basis of the following:

    • visual documentation of up to 20 pictures and, if applicable, a video or audio file of up to 15 minutes;
    • a CV containing education, exhibitions, presentations and other activities;
    • an explanation of the work;
    • a general work plan with the artistic development and presentations of the coming year.

    Work and activity:
    The committee assesses the work and the activity on the basis of the following:

    • The expressive quality of the work of the visual artist. The committee looks at the expressive strength of the work, the use of materials and techniques, the ideas of the artist, and how these are expressed in the work.
    • The active attitude of the visual artist. The committee looks at the presentations and exhibitions of the artist.

    If the committee is positive about the work and activity of the visual artist, it will also assess the work plan. This involves the expectations regarding the development of the work and the visibility of the applicant. The advisory committee assesses this on the basis of:

    • the development of the work that the visual artist has in mind;
    • the way in which the visual artist wants to show the work, for example through (interim) presentations, studio presentations, exhibitions, events, festivals, publications, artist talks, the online media or the artist’s website.

    Final assessment:
    A grant can be awarded if the committee is positive about the work, the activity and the plans of the artist. The committee can select up to a maximum of 10 artists, depending on the quality of the applications received.

  • Apply

    Applications can be submitted through the online application form. In order to be able to do so, you will need to create an account. An application can be submitted in both the Dutch and English form.

    The deadline for submitting applications for the Open Call for Artists with a refugee status was Monday 2 March, before 5 p.m.

  • Contact

    For more information about this call you may contact Niels Engel (020-5231506) or call the general phone number: +31 (0)20 5231523.

    For technical questions about submitting the application, please contact the Helpdesk,, 020-5231523.

  • Checklist

    In the online application form we ask for factual data: your name, date of birth, hometown, bank account number and any relevant qualification(s). In addition, you are asked to upload the following documents as a PDF file. We advise you to write and collect these parts before filling out the form.

    Create a PDF file with up to 20 pictures of your most important works. Start the documentation with the most recent work. It may help to also show some pictures of the work in presentations, such as an exhibition. In addition to the PDF file, you may choose to upload one video and/or audio compilation of 15 minutes maximum. This is possible if you create for example films, performances or installations.

    Documentation list
    Add a separate overview to the documentation, containing a description of each picture: the title of the work, the year of completion, the materials and the size or duration.

    In your CV, mention the most important presentations of your work, including year and location. Start with the most recent presentations. Indicate whether it concerns a solo or group presentation, performance or film screening. Also indicate the education you received and any side activities. The CV should not exceed two pages.

    Explanation of the work
    Explain what your work is about and what you have done to develop your practice. You may choose to highlight a selection of works. In the case of cooperation, describe your part in it. The explanation should not exceed three pages.

    Work plan
    Describe what your plans are for your work and its visibility in the Netherlands in the coming year. The work plan should not exceed two pages.

    Extract from the Municipal Personal Records Database
    A recent extract from the municipal personal records database. The document should not be older than three months.

    Proof of (former) refugee status
    A digital copy or scan of an asylum seekers’ residence permit for a limited or unlimited period, with a copy of the back side stating the commencement date of the right of residence. Applicants who are naturalized citizens of the Netherlands must also upload a proof of their former refugee status. Compile all documents into one single PDF file.

    Copy of diploma(s)
    If you received an art education, you can, if available, upload a diploma or registration certificate.

    Recent bank statement
    A recent bank statement of a bank account in your name, in which you wish to receive the grant.

    If applicable:

    A recent registration with the Chamber of Commerce
    If you use a corporate bank account, we ask you to upload a recent registration of your organization (one-person business) with the Chamber of Commerce to verify whether your account is connected to a one-person business.

latest update: 13.01.2020