EU Japan Fest and European Capital of Culture

EU Japan Fest is a nongovernmental organisation that supports the cooperation between Japanese and European artists and the public by subsidising research and project-based initiatives. The organisation, established in 1992, is dedicated to working with the European Capital of Culture initiative by supporting the active presentation of Japanese artists and art managers in Europe and assists European experts and artists for work visits and project presentation in Japan. Throughout its existence, the EU Japan Fest has supported and taken part in the programmes of more than 40 European Capitals of Culture in 30 countries, which makes it the only organisation in the world to have cooperated with every European Capital of Culture since the initiative originated.

EU Japan Fest's key activities are directed towards:

  • Preserving traditional culture and aim for its upgrading and expansion;
  • Supporting youth activities;
  • Encouraging the sustainability and self-sufficiency of creative communities and individual artists;
  • Stimulating and encouraging avant-garde creative approaches;
  • Supporting the development of international networks in the field of culture and art.

Japanese business in support of Japanese and European artists:

“Business can work daily at full capacity, and in 10 years it may find itself having achieved astounding economic and production results. And when this moment comes and society is left with no poets, musicians, philosophers, artists, young artists full of energy and courage, what would the meaning have been of all the investments over these 10 years?”

This is EU Japan Fest's motto, which unites a network of donor organisations which, in a selection process, support, partially or entirely, art projects submitted under the commission-announced open calls. The calls' deadlines and criteria follow strict rules and are announced in advance. Annual reports are open to public scrutiny.

Support will be given to projects that:

  • Suggest a long-term cooperation with artists from Japan and/or Japanese descent and have been coordinated with the foundation that manages the European Capital of Culture project;
  • Have guaranteed shares of self-participation and partner support;
  • Meet the specification requirements and procedure as laid down by EU Japan Fest.
  • Support will be refused to projects:
  • Whose field of activity does not suggest long-term development and sustainability of the activity and cooperation.
  • That do not guarantee collaboration between the city hosting the European Capital of Culture and the project participants.
  • That envisages no contribution and sustained intervention in the cultural and social development of the city hosting the European Capital of Culture.

Plovdiv 2019 in collaboration with EU Japan Fest announced an Open Call for projects which to be implemented in 2019 as part of the official programme of the Bulgarian city European Capital of Culture. See the full details HERE and join the profile on the social media. Here are the selected prokects through the call which are part of the official programme of Plovdiv - European Capital of Culture 2019.

The process of applying, reporting, paying out grants is done in English directly between the applicant, his Japanese partner and EU Japan Fest.

From HERE you can download a detailed presentation in Bulgarian language dedicated to the work of EU Japan Fest and Plovdiv 2019. HERE you can download a detailed presentation in English language with concrete examples and additional graphics and information.

Link to instructions and forms for exploratory trips. Password: LV2018 Deadline for submission minimum of 5 weeks before departure.

Link to instructions for a project proposal. Valid only for the approved from the first stage of the open call candidates. Password: mAtErApLoVdIv

Details of the CULTURAL PASSPORT programпе, which runs from 2019 and is valid until 2020, can be found HERE. It provides the cost of an international flight to Bulgaria and back for a Japanese artist coming to an event in 2019 in Plovdiv and to the Bulgarian host returning the visit in 2020. Details you can find here apply-passport-program-eng/, password: emsehcaetdnal

HERE you can see a list of possible partners from Japan in case you are interested in making contact. The proposed lists are not binding and are purely informative in nature, you as cultural operators can contact Japanese or Japan based artists with your priorities, experience and network of contacts. Tripartite collaborations are also stimulated, as a third partner is attracted by an artist or organization from other European Capital of Culture capitals. The list is updated annually.

For questions related to the EU-Japan Fest project initiative, please write to or call + 359 877 842 426



General partners

EU Japan Fest

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