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ECHO Academies in Budapest – Open Call for Creatives

As a part of ECHO Academies Project, a Creative Europe project coordinated by InterAlia, ECHO Academy in Budapest is looking for photographers and architects who are motivated to contribute with new artistic perspectives on the topic of Urban Industrial Heritage. The project aims to nurture talents, build capacities, create networks, allow synergies and expand the visibility of artistic works on a cross-national and international level.

The Academy in Budapest is looking for 10 individuals who will develop artworks and create proposals for their development as pilot projects. Participants of the Academy will be inspired by the reuse and reinterpretation of the Urban Industrial Heritage of Budapest. Project ideas will be presented and linked to artworks that will be created by the participants during the Academy. Artworks will be visual elements such as photo, mock-up or even design – anything. The artworks will be developed with the help and facilitation of artistic supervisors, academic researchers, and production partners through the Academy. The artworks will be presented in an exhibition and in an online digital archive

The Academy will be held between September 4 – September 24 in a hybrid form, a part online and a part in person. It starts with a two-week online preparation phase, and after the participants will be in Budapest where they can soak up the culture, create their visual elements and finalise their pilot project ideas. The final project presentations will be archived in a digital format on the project webpage. At the end of Academy, there will be an Award Ceremony, where a judging committee will decide upon those three winners that will be working on their pilot projects afterwards at their home country in collaboration with Pro Progressione and a local micro-organisation based on the place of residency of each winner.

At first, all three winners will be given the amount of €1000 each so as to develop and implement their pilot projects on equal terms. After their completion, and based on specific set criteria, a judging committee will decide on the final ranking of the winners, and will award additional prizes. The three associated micro-organisations (selected by the winners) will also receive the amount of € 2000 each for the needs of the project implementation. The project implementation phase ends in 2024 Autumn with an Open Event in the place of residency of the winners.


ECHO Academies, based on the experience of implementing “ECHO: European Cultural Heritage Onstage”, “ECHO II: Traditions in Transition” and “ECHO III: For Memory’s Sake”, addresses issues of visibility, networking, employability and opportunities to enter the art market for new European talents. For that purpose, it uses heritage as an inspirational tool, building on the values of the European and global perceptions of heritage.

Having an EU and non-EU Balkan Region exchange focus and character, ECHO Academies aims to:
– Cultivate and nurture young and emerging European talents from the fields of arts and the CCS in order to enhance resilience through monothematic, small-scale creative academies in the fields of comics, fashion design, music, photography and architecture by exploring different expressions of European heritage.
– Offer training opportunities and build capacities for artists and CCS professionals in order to improve employability through Capacity Building Activities (CBAs) that offer new tools and skills.
– Create networks between artists and CCS professionals with the art market by facilitating networking and synergy-building that will help artists generate jobs and growth, and
– Promote artists and their work on the international level in order to increase opportunities and outreach by supporting them in terms of resources in the implementation of pilot projects for selected Academies’ artists in order to generate jobs and growth, and by performing targeted communication and dissemination of the artists, their artworks, and projects internationally.

In Hungary, the 10 selected creatives will be exposed to the industrial heritage of Budapest between 1860-1960. This 100 years provides a past of rich industrial heritage sites that are either obsolete, functional or creatively reused. ICOMOS, the UNESCO World Heritage Convention and the Hungarian 30th National Monument Conference (2021) pay special attention to the acknowledgement of heritage sites of the 20th century and the protection of architectures built after 1945. Selected individuals will be called to get inspired, and document selected industrial heritage elements and provide photographical and architectural depictions inspired by them. The Academy will be enhanced by visits to industrial heritage places and spaces, lectures and presentations by experts.

ECHO Academies is co-funded by the European Union under the Creative Europe Programme and will run until December 2024. ECHO Academies is implemented by an experienced consortium led by Inter Alia, a civic non-profit organization based in Athens that is active in the cultural and creative sector, joined by Sfera International, North Macedonia’s association working in education, using several methods and about the protection of the environment, cultural and natural heritage; Open Space Foundation based in Sofia with the aim to support and promote cultural dialogue and relationships and focuses on engaging artists into projects with social causes; Pro Progressione, a Budapest-based artistic hub specialising in international cultural collaborations; and CUMEDIAE, a Brussels-based international non-profit agency providing consultancy services for Europe’s Cultural and Creative Industries.

Eligibility and supported projects

Who is eligible?

  • Applicants that are legal residents in the countries within the Creative Europe framework and non-EU countries of the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia). The selection of the ten (10) participating artists will consist of 5 artists from the EU and 5 artists from the Western Balkan.
  • Applicants with skills in Photography and/or Architecture is required.
  • Young and emerging creatives between 18 and 35.
  • Good English language communication skills, as the working language is English.

What we support

  • Project ideas with visual elements that reflect on reinterpretation and reimagination of urban industrial heritage.
  • Project ideas and visual elements that can be enhanced digitally and will be available on a digital archive.


What we offer:Participant opportunities and support

What we will provide?

  • Exposure through ECHO Academies’ dissemination and engagement activities, such as announcements, networking and events, social media, video and photo documentation, and general promotion of ECHO Academies’ work through its large partner network.
  • A cross-border and cross-disciplinary opportunity for exchange and artistic enrichment with fellow artists across Europe, including activities with partners and collaborators.
  • Professional development support and in-depth knowledge of ECHO Academies’ core topics, provided by experts and specialists and facilitation by academic researchers, and project partners.
  • The accommodation and travel expenses, and the per diem costs of the selected creatives are supported by the Project during their stay in Budapest.
  • Mentorship programme on project development from ideas to implementation, and consultations for marketability.
  • Three winning projects will receive 3000 EUR for project implementation – 1000 EUR for the creative individual and 2000 EUR for each local micro-organisation whom the winner will work with.
  • Additional award after the project implementation based on an expert jury evaluation.

What we expect

What we ask from participants:
Participation: We expect that selected creatives will participate in the ECHO Academies’ events, including the Academy in Budapest and the final event. Please note that attendance of Academy in Budapest lasting for 21 days in total, 7 days out of this requires physical presence in Budapest.
Attendance: The selected creatives are expected to attend and engage in online mentoring meetings, consultancy sessions, two online forum events, online progress reviews and contribute to the project’s reporting.
Engagement: Creatives must be committed to ECHO Academies’ objectives. As success depends on the activation and engagement of European audiences, creatives are encouraged to support ECHO Academies’ general communication by using their personal and professional communication channels and networks.
Commitment: A contract with the ECHO Academies Consortium, open to the creatives’ proposals, will define the terms and conditions for the intellectual property rights of digital artworks. In any case, any participants will be asked to grant all necessary rights for the dissemination of their work in any activities directly related to this Project.

Application timeline, key dates

Application Timeline:
April 25: Launch of Open Call
July 31: Application deadline
During August: Selected artists are notified

Selection process of the 10 creatives:
A Selection Committee will review applications based on the applicants’ body of work and quality, relevance, concept suitability & feasibility, and the strength of motivation and commitment to the topic and to the objectives of the Project.
Finalists may be invited for interviews with ECHO Academies staff.
Notification of program acceptance and entry will occur in August 2023.


Key Dates for the 10 selected creatives:
September 4 – 24, 2023: Academy online and in Budapest – Participants will pitch their pilot project ideas and submit a visual element created during the Academy. The physical presence in Budapest is between September 16 – 24, with arrival and departure days.

Optional Dates for the 10 selected creatives:
October, 2023: Capacity Building Activities – Participants of the Academy have the chance to attend on the international online lectures

Key Dates for the three winners of the Academy in Budapest
Winter 2023-2024: Online mentoring sessions for the three winners of the Academy.
March 2024 – November 2024: Three winning creatives will work on their pilot projects to implement them at their country of residency.
February 2024: First Forum Event – Good practices, panel with the three winners of the Academy and international speakers
November 2024: Second Forum Event – Feedback of the practises of the three winners used for the project implementation period that they gained in the First Forum Event.
November 2024: Open Event – Final Event in the country of the three winners and showcase of implemented pilot projects.


How to apply?

All applicants must submit the following documents in English via the online Application Form:

  • A project proposal (min. 1000 words), including
    • Personal Statement
    • Synopsis of the project idea and how it is connected to the Urban Industrial Heritage
    • All applicants need to propose a micro-organisation with whom they will work together in the project implementation period if successful
    • Communication and distribution goals and desires
    • Anticipated material needs
    • Link to applicant’s website and/or submission of selected work samples
    • Curriculum vitae

All submissions must be sent digitally through the Application Form

Notification of Results
The selected individuals will be informed of the outcome and may be asked to provide further relevant information. They will be requested to sign a document of commitment regarding the work with the team and their participation in the ECHO Academies Project activities. Unsuccessful applicants will be informed of the outcome of the process as well.

Contact & Further Information: Bianka Faddi, faddi.bianka@proprogressione.com