The Tandem programme supports long-term cooperation, knowledge development and networking opportunities between cultural managers across the EU and beyond.
In 2016, we celebrated the 5 years of the Tandem programme. Launched in 2011 and developed as part of ECF's European Neighbourhood programme, which has been active in capacity building, knowledge exchange and cultural policy development throughout wider Europe for the last 15 years, Tandem has brought together around 400 independent cultural organisations and supported the professional development of over 320 cultural managers coming from more than 160 cities and 35 countries in wider Europe.
There are currently five different Tandem programmes.
Throughout a year-long collaboration, participants work together in a Tandem to co-develop cultural projects and take part in a vocational placement at each other’s organisation. The entire group also meets several times a year and receives support, capacity building and arts management training from the programme organisers.
Our over-arching goal is to see change-makers and creative networks develop from the different projects we run and to find more formalised ways of influencing government and local economies on a regional, national, EU level and beyond European borders.
The Tandem exchange programme has supported the professional development of more than 130 cultural managers from 35 countries across the EU and wider Europe – including Moldova, Turkey, Ukraine and the Arab-Mediterranean region.
There are currently five different Tandem programmes: Tandem Europe, Tandem Shaml, Tandem Turkey, Tandem Turkey and Tandem C&P.
Throughout a year-long collaboration, managers work together in a Tandem to co-develop cultural projects and take part in a vocational placement at each other’s organisation. The entire group also meets several times a year and receives support, capacity building and arts management training from the programme organisers.
The five Tandem Programmes
Partners & Funders
Tandem is an initiative of European Cultural Foundation (Amsterdam) and MitOst e.V. (Berlin). Each programme round is implemented with regional partners and supported by various funders:
- Tandem Europe is an initiative developed by ECF (Amsterdam) and MitOst e.V. (Berlin) together with Fondazione Cariplo (Milan). It is financially supported by Robert Bosch Stiftung (Stuttgart) and Stavros Niarchos Foundation (Athens).
- Tandem/Shaml is led by MitOst (Berlin), Al Mawred Al Thaqafy (Cairo) ECF (Amsterdam) and Anadolu Kültür (Istanbul), and co-financed by the Robert Bosch Stiftung (Stuttgart) as well as the DOEN Foundation (Amsterdam) and Mimeta (Norway) in the framework of the Abarra capacity building initiative.
- Launched by ECF in collaboration with partners MitOst (Berlin), Anadolu Kültür (Istanbul) and Istanbul Bilgi University, the Turkey – EU Tandem was co-funded by Stiftung Mercator (Essen).
- Co-devised by MitOst, the Moldova – EU – Ukraine Tandem launched in conjunction with Culture Action Europe, Centre for Cultural Management and Soros Foundation Moldova. It was kindly supported by European Commission through the CULTURE-Programme and Robert Bosch Stiftung.
- Tandem “Community & Participation” is an ECF – MitOst initiative that we co-devised with the Dutch Fonds for Cultuurparticipatie (Fund for Cultural Participation – FCP, Utrecht), as well as ECF and MitOst (Berlin).
Tandem Europe is the most recent addition to the Tandem programme family. It is tailor-made for people who work on creative solutions that make social innovation possible throughout the EU. The programme stimulates strategic thinking in organisational renewal processes, helps to create and sustain culturally innovative effects across sectors, disciplines and borders, and explores creative and collaborative solutions for contemporary challenges in our societies.
Tandem Shaml supports experimental and lasting collaborations between change makers from the Arab region and Europe. Joint projects confront global challenges like migration and support local community development by linking local people, places, art forms and ideas.
The Tandem Shaml pilot project ran from early 2012 until June 2013. "Shaml" means “include, involve and embrace” in Arabic. The first edition offered six cultural organisations based in Germany and other European countries the opportunity to establish long-term collaborations with new partner organisations from Arab countries in the Mediterranean region – including Egypt, Syria and Tunisia.
Tandem Turkey aims at establishing long-term partnerships between cultural organisations from Turkey and the EU countries. The political landscape across the EU, Turkey and the neighbouring regions has substantially changed since Tandem Turkey started in 2011. In times of harshening working circumstances for cultural actors in Turkey and a vanishing EU integration perspective, building robust long-term collaboration channels between Turkey and the EU has become ever more essential.
The first Turkey – EU Tandem ran from 2011 to 2012. Following its success, we launched a second edition in the region in June 2013, which ran until the end of 2014.
Tandem Ukraine is based on our belief that, especially in times of crisis and transition, working together on tangible cross-border collaborations supports not only dialogue, but also allows for the development of new forms of civic engagement, enabling a process of social transformation.
Now Tandem Ukraine, the Moldova – EU – Ukraine programme was the first Tandem programme to launch, back in 2011. It culminated in Moldova’s first contemporary arts festival in May 2012. Nearly 50 artists and cultural managers from over 30 cities across Europe travelled to the capital city of Chișinău to take part in the final event.
Community & Participation (C&P)
Tandem C&P Community & Participation kick-starts a collaboration and co-creation process for Dutch organisations and their counterparts from Germany, Belgium and the United Kingdom, resulting in a lasting network of knowledge exchange in cultural participation and community engagement.