START – Create Cultural Change
International Cultural Exchange

START - Create Cultural Change

A program for cultural managers in Greece

START - Create Cultural Change is a capacity building and fellowship program for aspiring cultural managers in Greece. The program supports creative minds kick-starting cultural initiatives that generate a positive social impact on their local communities. By facilitating growth and exchange in the socio-cultural sector, START aims at creating new perspectives for young professionals in Greece and at fostering social cohesion in Europe.

The program comprises three consecutive phases in Germany and Greece, enabling START fellows to develop an innovative project idea into a cultural initiative and to acquire the entrepreneurial skills to scale the initiative into a sustainable creative venture.

Phase I: Capacity Building
September - November

The two-month capacity building program in Germany offers 30 START fellows the opportunity to enhance their applied knowledge in international cultural management. It also helps them shape their idea for a cultural initiative into a viable project design. A pitching event marks the end of phase I, gaining successful fellows access to the project implementation phase.

Benefits of Phase I
  • 2 weeks of advanced training in project management, public relations, fundraising, and audience development
  • 6 weeks of job shadowing in a vibrant socio-cultural organization, including a small-scale project grant of up to Euro 1,500 each
  • Stipends, covering accommodation costs in Germany, travel expenses and monthly subsistence of Euro 800

Phase II: Project Implementation
December - May

The six-month fellowship and project implementation phase in Greece provides 15 START fellows with funds, networks, and a support structure to launch their cultural initiative in Greece. It also offers them an opportunity to promote themselves as cultural managers. A two-day START Fellowship Celebration event concludes phase II, providing all fellows with a public platform to present their projects and networking opportunities with public and private donors.

Benefits of phase II
  • A coaching scheme, furthering grant management, entrepreneurial and problem solving skills
  • Project grants of up to Euro 10,000 each
  • Stipends, covering travel expenses to START events and a monthly subsistence of Euro 800

Phase III: Scaling
September - onwards

START Scaling Grants will be awarded to exemplary initiatives of the program that excelled in creating a positive social impact, sparked cultural innovation and showed potential to be continued and expanded in the future. These project grants are being provided by supporting organizations of the program in Greece. Accordingly, the availability, number and amount of scaling grants may vary between program years.

Benefits of Phase III
  • Every program year, START seeks to facilitate 3 to 5 scaling grants with a budget ranging between Euro 5,000 and 15,000 each
  • Special access to the services of the Social Dynamo, a hub for civil society capacity building in Athens
  • Alumni network activities
START is a program of the Robert Bosch Stiftung, conducted in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki and the German Association of Sociocultural Centers, supported by the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation and the Bodossaki Foundation.

More Information

Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki  Magazine "START Stories"  Read and recommend
2017 Bundesvereinigung Soziokultureller Zentren e.V.  START spots - Cultural Collaborations 2016/2017  Read and recommend
The next open call for participation in the program START – Create Cultural Change is scheduled for spring 2018. START is a program for cultural managers in Greece and cultural organizations in Germany.

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 in the second week of July 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 Wednesday and Thursday)

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 44 596
(Wednesday and Thursday)