START – Create Cultural Change
International Cultural Exchange

START – Create Cultural Change

A program for next generation cultural managers in Greece

Affected by economic restraints and disruptive technological developments, the cultural fabric in Europe is changing. While established cultural institutions struggle for funds and audiences, a new generation of cultural managers is evolving. Defying uncertainty and limited job perspectives, they set on a quest to start their own creative ventures. A distinct feature of their work is to engage their communities through cultural innovation locally and to reach out for professional networks and funds internationally.

START is a capacity building and fellowship program that empowers these next generation cultural managers in Greece where the reverberations of the economic crises in Europe are strongest. The program comprises two consecutive and competitive stages, a job shadowing phase in Germany and a project implementation phase in Greece. The goal is to enable START fellows to transform an innovative project idea into a cultural initiative and to acquire professional skills to develop the initiative into a sustainable creative venture.

START is a program of the Robert Bosch Stiftung, conducted in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki and the German Association of Sociocultural Centers.

Please find our application criteria for START – Create Cultural Change below. The next open call is scheduled for April 2017.

Cultural Managers in Greece

We welcome applications from aspiring cultural managers permanently residing in Greece who combine a successful graduation in academic or artistic studies with a record of first working experience in the area of culture. Key to applying to START is the aim and commitment to kick-start and to sustain an independent cultural initiative that generates a positive social impact.

Questions & Answers
What are the application criteria?
Please check if your profile meets the following criteria:
  • Permanently residing in Greece
  • Graduate in the area of arts and cultural studies OR graduate of another area with work experience in the cultural field
  • Junior management experience with cultural initiatives through volunteering or professional work
  • Good command of English

Please review if your culture initiative is geared towards:

  • Motivating existing potential in your cultural area
  • Actively involving your local community in the process
  • Connecting with local cultural institutions
What kind of support does the program offer?
Program participation

First of all, START offers cultural mangers in Greece participation in a rich capacity building and fellowship program. Please refer for details to comprehensive program overview.

Living costs and travel expenses

  • During the time of participation in the START program (i.e. in phase I and phase II), all START fellows will receive a monthly subsistence of Euro 800.
  • Accommodation in Germany during START phase I will be provided through the program.  
  • Travel expenses, which are part of the program, will be covered as well.
How does the application process work?
After having received your application, a selection committee composed of representatives from each of the partner organizations of START and experts of cultural management will review and grade it according to the following selection criteria:
  • Completeness of application
  • Statement of motivation
  • Originality and maturity of proposed culture initiative

Successful applicants will receive an invitation to an interview which will take place between July 11th and July 13th, 2016, at the Goethe-Institut in Thessaloniki. Travel expenses will be reimbursed up to Euro 100.

Cultural Centers in Germany

We also welcome applications from German cultural centers and initiatives which are eager to offer one cultural manager from Greece a job shadowing opportunity as part of the START capacity building program. We particularly encourage organizations to apply that focus on a socio-cultural approach in their activities.

Questions & Answers
What does START expect from participating cultural centers?
  • Organizing the fellow's accommodation (rental costs will be reimbursed up to max. Euro 750 for six weeks)
  • Mentoring the fellow personally and in English during the six weeks of job shadowing
  • Providing the fellow with insight in your center’s work and the current activities
  • Actively involving the fellow in a project your institution is planning to conduct or prepare in the time of the job shadowing. The program is open for any kind of artistic reflection (performing art, visual art, media, literature, etc)
  • Providing the framework which enables the START fellow to launch a small scale project in your institution as part of the job shadowing (project costs will be reimbursed up to max. Euro 1.500).
  • Supporting the fellow in developing the idea of his project with which he can apply to phase II of the program (focusing on fundraising, cost and financing plan, acquisition of participants, project management, public relations and communication strategy)
What kind of financial support does START offer for participating cultural centers?
The guest institution are eligible to receive up to Euro 5.750 max.. The amount is subdivided in:
  • Euro 3.500 fixed administration costs;
  • up to Euro 1.500 max. reimbursement of expenses (material costs, fees) for implementation of a small-scale project
  • up to Euro 750 max. reimbursement of rental costs for the fellow’s accommodation

Please note: The fellows receive a monthly subsistence of Euro 800.

Contact in Greece

Maria-Louiza Laopodi
Phone +30 2310 889 587
(9.00-17.00 Monday to Friday)

Contact in Germany

Jennifer Tharr
Phone: +49 30 397 4459 6
(10.00-16.00 Tuesday and Wednesday)
Phase I: Capacity building and job shadowing in Germany

September 28th to November 26th, 2016

Up to 30 fellows get the opportunity to participate in the two-month capacity building and job shadowing program in Germany. It has been designed to support START fellows to enhance their methodological and applied knowledge in international cultural management and to shape their idea for a cultural initiative into a viable project design.

Phase I includes:

  • One week of advanced training in Berlin, imparting core skills related to fundraising, project management, public relations and communication strategy
  • Six weeks of job shadowing at German cultural centers which allow START fellows to get hands on work experience in a vibrant socio-cultural environment and support in drafting a sustainable concept note for their cultural initiative
  • One week of applied training in Stuttgart which advances the fellows’ skills of presenting their concept notes to potential donors

A pitching event at the Robert Bosch Stiftung marks the conclusion of the START capacity building and job shadowing phase in Germany and the transition to the START fellowship and project implementation phase in Greece.


Phase II: Fellowship and project implementation in Greece

December 1st, 2016, to May 31st, 2017

Up to 15 START fellows who successfully pitched their cultural initiative after completing START phase I will have the opportunity to participate in the six-month fellowship and project implementation program in Greece. START phase II provides these fellows with a supporting framework to launch their cultural initiatives in Greece and to start a career as independent cultural managers. It offers:

  • A professional mentoring and peer-to-peer coaching scheme which focuses on the development of entrepreneurial and problem solving skills
  • Project grants of up to Euro 10,000 for the cultural initiative proposed which shall be complemented by additional funds raised from other donors or in-kind contributions from local partners
  • Up to three Scaling Awards of Euro 5,000 are being awarded to exceptional cultural initiatives, developed and implemented throughout a START program year, that excelled in creating a positive social impact, sparked cultural innovation and showed potential to be scaled into a sustainable creative venture.

The conclusion of the START program year will be celebrated with a public event displaying the results of all cultural initiatives started. The public presentation will be followed by a project review event that offers a platform for exchange and future collaborations between START fellows, grant giving organizations, and private donors.

Robert Bosch Stiftung

Christian Strob
Phone: +49 (0)711 46084-683

Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki

Maria-Louiza Laopodi
Phone: +30 2310 889 587

Bundesvereinigung Soziokultureller Zentren e.V.

Jennifer Tharr
Phone: +49 (0)30 397 44 590