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Arts mobility in Europe: drivers and barriers

30 & 31 October
  • Season


  • Schedule

    De 16:30h a 18:30h

  • Rate


A two-days seminar conducted by Cristina Farinha adressed to managers, productors, distributors and artists working on the performing arts sector and to all those interested in the artists’ mobility in a European context.

Mobility is an important resource for artists and professionals from the cultural and creative sector. Yet obstacles to their circulation in the European space remain, defying their practices and professional profiles. The building up of networks and common platforms in this area is essential to gain economies of scale and share resources.

The right to move in the EU may constitute an asset for artists since it might mean not only more work available and more freedom to take this work, but as well as the possibility for communication and interaction with other cultures and backgrounds. On the other side, mobility in the arts can represent an ideal opportunity for EU action as part of the achievement of the internal market and the free movement of workers, goods and services as well as a promoter of its cultural diversity and of European citizenship. Cultural NGO´s and the EU are claiming that mobility is low in Europe due to many administrative, political, economical and cultural barriers and have been advocating for its promotion.

However the movement of artists and creative professionals is hard to get hold of: there is a lack of reliable European-wide datasets that would shed some evidence on the myths of nowadays European mobility. Therefore one should question the social-demographic profile of these mobile workers along with their motivations and outcomes, but also to map directions, patterns of flows and to list obstacles.

The arts characterized before as an atypical professional activity come out nowadays, due to several changes in labour markets, as a kind of laboratory to study and provide guidelines for other fields of employment. But these new changes bring as well challenges to artists as professionals demanding new competences and a reformulation of arts curricula.


  • Frame current mobility context and policies in the Europe and identify the main driving forces
  • Acknowledge changes in current artistic labour markets and debate the processes and the effects of mobility for artists’ and arts organisations working conditions, practices and profile
  • Identify main obstacles and opportunities for the mobility of artists and culture professionals and their organisations
  • Understand mobility requirements in terms of competences and career/project management
  • Acknowledge mobility promotion and support policies, funds and tools


1. Are we free to move?

  • From the Internal Market to Culture in the EU
  • Intra-European Mobility: the pioneers

2. Art as a Laboratory? Mobility as a Chance for the Performing Arts

  • Reshaping Moves: from Migration to Mobility
  • Performing Arts Labour Markets: vitality and vulnerability

3. Questioning Mobility in the Arts in Europe

  • Driving forces and purposes
  • Patterns and flows
  • Outcomes and impact
  • Competences requirements

4. Mobility Promotion Policies and Tools

  • Mobility Promotion Policies and Tools
  • The Role of Networks
  • The Mobility Funds
  • European cooperation projects

Methodology and tools

  • Presentation and dicussion: theoretical concepts and policy frameworks; cas estudies: statistical data; support and promotion tools and programmes.
  • Braimstorming discussions and exchange of experiences.

Cristina Farinha

Born in 1973 in Porto, Portugal. PhD and researcher of the Sociology Institute University of Porto, specialised in arts, culture, communication and labour law. She has worked from local and regional to European level with diverse international institutions and networks.

Cristina is interested in cultural policies most particularly in the strengthening of the role of culture in governance and development; the promotion of cultural cooperation and international mobility; and the development of capacity building and coordination within the culture and creative sector.

She is the Managing Director of ADDICT – Agency for the Development of the Creative Industries since April 2012.