Let's Talk Money: Good Things to Know About Subsidies and Financing
By Sandra Walkenhofer (mica) & Magdalena Fürnkranz (ÖMR)
A seemingly endless number of guidelines, submission deadlines, and application forms can quickly leave you feeling lost in the jungle of public financial support options. And putting together your applications can present you with new challenges. But once you’ve overcome this hurdle, sent off your materials, and—ideally—received a positive response, you’ll be handling it like a pro in no time flat.
Who provides subsidies and grants in Austria, and for what?
One of the largest providers of public financial support is the Federal Chancellery of Austria (BKA), the Arts & Culture Division of which offers various options. Individual artists should especially look into its composition grants, individual grants, investment grants, and publishing grants. For concert tours, the BKA offers travel and tour expense grants, as do the various branches of the Austrian Cultural Forum in foreign cities. Planning the greatest possible number of concerts in a given region keeps travel expenses down.
The culture departments of the Austrian federal provinces, cities, and municipalities likewise provide numerous forms of financial support, though their criteria for doing so vary greatly. And you should definitely be looking into options at the municipal and district levels, since the competition from other applicants may be less there. For most providers of support, you’ll have to show how what you’re doing is geographically related to their jurisdiction.
Alongside support that specifically targets the arts, there are also business grants. These cover areas outside the strictly artistic such as production, marketing, and distribution. In Austria, you have organisations like the Vienna Business Agency and similar institutions in the other federal provinces. Their support offerings are usually quite extensive, though they often require that you start with some capital of your own.
And Austrian institutions such as the Österreichische Musikfonds, the LSG, the SKE Fonds, and the GFÖM support album production, tours, and event series, and they also provide annual grants for musicians.
Where can I get advice on ways of obtaining support?
The website of mica – music austria offers an overview of support options as well as its “Handbuch für KomponistInnen & MusikerInnen in Österreich”[ Handbook for Composers and Musicians in Austria], and mica also provides personal advising. It’s important not to be shy about approaching organisations that provide support—they view themselves as service institutions and will competently inform you about what they offer. Personal contact with them also makes all further steps easier!
And how do I benefit personally?
Working on all of this means dealing intensively with one’s own project beyond the creative aspects and getting clear on possible problems in terms of both time and money ahead of time. This can help you eliminate a lot of stumbling blocks before they have a chance to actually trip you up.