RESHAPE is a research and development project that brings together arts organisations from the Europe and the South Mediterranean to jointly create innovative organisational models and reflect on concrete answers to crucial challenges related to the production, distribution and presentation of contemporary art practices. The aim of RESHAPE is to imagine an alternative to the European arts ecosystem by rethinking its instruments and collaborative models, placing them in line with artistic and social innovation and the principles of fairness, solidarity, geographic balance and sustainability. RESHAPE will develop and test an experimental bottom-up method to construct new narratives and new instruments that are appropriate to the evolutions of the arts sector and the society. By increasing the knowledge, competences and reactivity of intermediary organisations in relation to today’s artistic experimentations, RESHAPE aims to influence public policies and integrate future policy instruments.

Political, economic, technological and ecological changes in our society deeply influence the way in which arts are created, presented and experienced. Not all artists have the same opportunities to present or collaborate internationally. Public policies, industry practices and the market cannot ensure that diverse artistic voices and practices reach potential audiences across Europe. At the same time, artists work more and more across aesthetics, disciplines, national boundaries and sectors. The institutional not-for-profit arts sector – both on the national and European levels – hasn’t been flexible enough to integrate these changes.

How to continue supporting our arts sector within this context? RESHAPE partners are convinced that artists and cultural workers are innovation experts, that they are the ones who should invent future models for the arts sector. Innovative structures and projects emerge across the continent. They experiment with a variety of strategies to engage diverse audiences, to connect across sectors, to be more in line with the values they defend. These initiatives, although often fragile and disconnected, are “weak signals”, the indicators of future models and possible evolutions. RESHAPE looks for such innovative structures, provides them with time and space to work together in a transnational context and jointly reimagine how contemporary art practices of the future will be organised.

RESHAPE proposes a process to reboot business and organisational models of contemporary art practices. We choose to tackle these models in the broad sense: beyond management practices and diversifying revenue sources, we look for models that in the broad sense generate value for society. We identified 5 major challenges that will focus the process, shape all activities and, each in its own right, question how the contemporary arts sector contributes to generating value for society.

RESHAPE is a partnership of intermediary arts organisations who support the development of the arts sector in their countries or regions.


  • ACT “Association for Independent Theatre – association of freelance professional theatre group” from Bulgaria, established in 2009 as a union of NGOs and freelance artists in the contemporary performing arts
  • Alt Art, an organisation that contributes to promoting the impact of culture on societal development through research, debates, networking and policy work, based in Cluj.Napoca, Romania
  • Artemrede, a Portuguese project of cultural cooperation operating uninterruptedly for the last 13 years, which currently gathers 15 municipalities, promoting the interaction between cities of different scales
  • Arts and Theatre Institute, a state-funded organization based in Prague with the mission to provide the Czech and international public with a comprehensive range of research, documentation and information services in the field of theatre, dance, music and other branches of the arts (literature and visual arts)
  • British Council, the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities
  • Bunker, a Slovenian non-profit that produces and presents contemporary theatre and dance performances, organizes different workshops and other educational programmes, carries out various research methods in the field of culture and brings together one of the most noted international festivals, the Mladi levi festival.
  • East European Performing Arts Platform supports the development of the contemporary performing arts in Central and Eastern Europe. The project is administratively housed by the Center for Culture in Lublin, Poland and is financed by the City of Lublin and the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.  
  • Flanders Arts Institute is an expertise centre for the arts from Flanders and Brussels, the contact point for foreign art professionals in search of information on the arts in Flanders
  • Goethe-Institut Barcelona that has strong ties within the local and regional cultural community and a long-standing reputation as an institution that promotes cultural diversity.
  • Onassis Foundation & Onassis AiR, is a year-round artists-in-residence program, located in the urban centre of Athens, that grounds its mission in commitment to supporting artistic process, towards a less product-obsessed arts ecosystem
  • Onda — French office for contemporary performing arts circulation that promotes the dissemination of contemporary performing arts in France, through information, expertise, networking, financial support and research.
  • Pogon — Zagreb Centre for Independent Culture and Youth that supports local independent organizations and artists by providing venues, by helping to build their capacities locally, by advocating their interests on a local and European level, and by facilitating their participation in international cultural cooperation.
  • Pro Helvetia that supports and disseminates Swiss arts and culture, it has a worldwide reach through its offices abroad and stimulate cultural production with its initiatives.

Associated partners:

  • Danish Arts Foundation whose primary goal is to promote the arts in Denmark and Danish art abroad.
  • Ettijahat, an organization that stimulates the growth of independent culture in Syria by encouraging a positive and real relationship between culture and Syria’s diverse communities.
  • EUNIC, European Union National Institutes for Culture committed to building trust and understanding between the peoples of Europe and the rest of the world through culture
  • Performing Arts Fund NL, the most important culture fund for music, music theatre, dance and theatre in the Netherlands that provides support on behalf of the government to every form of the professional performing arts.
  • Frame Contemporary Art Finland that advocates for Finnish contemporary art, support and promote international projects, facilitate professional partnerships, as well as act as an information centre for Finnish contemporary art.
  • Mondriaan Fund, a public fund for visual art and cultural heritage in the Netherlands that enables plans, projects and programmes of artists, exhibition makers and critics, museums and other art and heritage institutions, as well as publishers and commissioners.

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