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€600,000 worth of funding available to support emerging artists



Young painter working at her studio
The deadline for bursary applicants is 19 September 2022 | Photo: Jadson Thomas

The Supporting Act Foundation, new independent charity launched by WeTransfer, has announced €600,000 worth of funding to support emerging underrepresented, underfunded and marginalised artists and organisations with an ambition to remove barriers to entry into the arts.

The Supporting Act Foundation was established by WeTransfer in 2021, and marks the most recent endeavour by the company to give back to its global creative community. Since being established in 2009, the certified B-Corporation™ has worked relentlessly to empower creative professionals and creative institutions. Whether it’s donating 30% of all advertising space to support artists; speaking out against pressing issues like climate change; or partnering with University of the Underground to launch the world’s first free Master’s program, WeTransfer believes in fostering creativity through a better internet, and a better world, for everyone.

The Foundation has been constituted as a standalone charity with an independent Board, which will operate initially across the Netherlands, UK, Italy, France, Spain and Germany. WeTransfer has endowed it with an initial €1 million and will pledge 1% of revenue annually each year, plus access to its global advertising and editorial platforms.

The €600,000 announced today is split between three inaugural programs that will deliver on the Foundation’s mission to create opportunities for underrepresented people in the arts, and support communities and organisations who seek to do the same.

Funding for the cultural and creative sectors has gradually diminished over the years. This was exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis, with the vast majority self-employed and often excluded or only partially covered by social security protection. The setback in the growth of the arts is predicted to have an effect for years to come, with fewer opportunities for artists and less diversity in the industry.

“The career paths of up-and-coming artists are rarely straightforward, and often precarious. Achieving recognition and long-term systemic change is even harder for artists from underrepresented backgrounds and ethnicities who continue to face inherent inequalities that make it almost impossible to pursue a career in the arts. This in turn makes our cultural landscape less diverse and less vibrant. We’re thrilled to be launching our first programs, targeted at supporting individuals, communities and organisations who have the know-how, track record, and trust to make a difference.” Says Jenne Meerman, Director of the Supporting Act Foundation.

The first targeted programs include:

  • Creative Bursary for emerging artists, in the final year of their studies, to provide financial support to people whose work sits in the intersection of arts and technology and are underrepresented. The Foundation will give away 10 x €10,000 bursaries decided by a six member jury. 
  • Impact Grant is for emerging organisations that support artists and communities, to help cover operational costs. Six two-year grants of €25,000 grants per year will be given away, decided by a three member jury.
  • Community Grant will be for existing community-driven projects that support artists in growing their networks and opportunities. 10 x €20,000 grants will be given away over one year, decided by a three member jury.

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World’s Youth for Climate Justice receives Carnegie Peace Prize



World's Youth for Climate Justice receives Carnegie Peace Prize
More than 120 students, diplomats and representatives of international organizations attended the event on December, 7th.

This week the international youth organization ‘World’s Youth for Climate Justice’ has been awarded the Youth Carnegie Peace Prize at the Peace Palace. The global youth movement received the prize for its dedicated efforts in fighting climate change by means of international law and for advocating climate justice. 

“The link between climate change and peace might not be the first one that comes to mind. However, it is a strong one. Consequences of climate change include an increase in extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, heat waves, more frequent floods, wildfires and drought, that can lead to food insecurity, destruction of land and livelihood, and increased displacement – factors that foster conflict”, said Quint van Velthoven and Marijn Vodegel, from World’s Youth for Climate Justice, during their winner’s speech.

The event took place at the Great Hall of Justice, Hague, Netherlands, normally used as courtroom for the United Nations International Court of Justice, where more than 120 students, diplomats and representatives of international organizations gathered on December, 7th.

Jan van Zanen, mayor of The Hague, the international city of peace and justice, concluded the ceremony by underlining how important it is for young people’s voices to be heard: “Especially on a topic directly related to the future of today’s young people and generations to come. Young people should be at the table, locally, nationally and internationally.”

The Carnegie Foundation, owner and manager of the Peace Palace, and the Youth Peace Initiative award the Youth Carnegie Peace Prize every two years in order to garner best practices from young individuals or youth-led organizations and to put them in the spotlight. The prize recognizes the work of young peacebuilders and aims to encourage others to start their own projects. 

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San Cristóbal de La Laguna wins 2024 Access City Award



Winners of the 2024 Access City Award on the stage
Since 2010, the Access City Award celebrates cities that make accessibility their priority.

The Spanish city of San Cristóbal de La Laguna has received the 2024 Access City Award, for its comprehensive approach to accessibility and its improvement of the quality of life of people with disabilities.

The city has prioritised the accessibility of persons with disabilities across urban spaces, transportation systems, and social activities.

Some of the improvements in San Cristóbal de La Laguna includes all vehicles and all stations of the city’s tram network being fully accessible. And the city centre has acoustic traffic lights and tactile paving to guide visually impaired people.

In 2021, the municipality launched the Orange Point, a mobile space with resources for inclusive and accessible events. Orange Point provides sign language interpreters, anti-noise systems, and trained staff, as well as easy-to-read materials.

The city’s commitment to accessibility also includes the adoption of an institutional declaration for the defence of the rights of persons with disabilities to promote positive actions in this area. In addition, a disability council and an ombudsman for people with disabilities have been created.

Accessible spaces, both physical and digital, are a crucial first step towards achieving equality. Around 87 million people in the EU have a disability.

The city of Łódź (Poland) was awarded thesecond-place prize for implementing comprehensive standards of accessibility to guide all municipal investments, and the city of Saint-Quentin (France) won the third place for improving accessibility of the city’s public transport network.

In addition, Tübingen (Germany) received a special mention for its city development aligned with the principles of accessibility and the New European Bauhaus.

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EU journalism prize awarded for investigation into migrant boat shipwreck



EU Parliament journalism prize awarded for investigation into migrant boat shipwreck
A Greek, German and British consortium has won the 2023 Daphne Caruana Galizia Prize for investigating journalism.

A Greek, German and British consortium has won the 2023 Daphne Caruana Galizia Prize for investigating the Adriana shipwreck, which left over 600 migrants dead off Pylos in Greece.

The joint investigation by the Greek investigative outlet Solomon, in collaboration with Forensis, the German public broadcaster StrgF/ARD, and the British newspaper The Guardian revealed how the deadliest migrant shipwreck in recent history happened as a result of the actions taken by the Greek Coast Guard. It also reveals inconsistencies in the Greek authorities’ official accounts.

Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament, Pina Picierno, Vice-President responsible for the Prize, and Juliane Hielscher, President of the Berlin Press Club and representative of the 28 members of the independent European-wide Jury, participated in the award ceremony held in the Daphne Caruana Galizia Press Room of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

“Today, as every year, we honour Daphne Caruana Galizia’s memory with a prize that is a powerful reminder of her fight for truth and justice. Journalists around the world continue to be targeted just for doing their job, but they refuse to be silenced. This Parliament stands by their side in this long-standing battle to safeguard press freedom and media pluralism in Europe and beyond”, said Metsola.

When accepting the prize on behalf of the winning consortium, Iliana Papangeli of Solomon said: “The fatal event has forced us to confront questions about so-called European values and where the EU really stands on protecting human life – regardless of passport, ethnicity, race, gender, disability, or class. This joint investigation showed how violent and restrictive EU migration policies are, ultimately leading to a massive loss of life”.

Between 3 May and 31 July 2023, more than 700 journalists from the 27 EU countries submitted their stories for consideration. Twelve of these submissions were shortlisted by the jury before the overall winner was decided.

About the winning story

The investigation took an in-depth look into the events surrounding the loss of the fishing trawler Adriana on 14 June this year some 50 nautical miles off Pylos, in south-western Greece, killing over 600 migrants who had left Libya some days earlier.

Over 20 interviews were made with survivors, and court documents and coastguard sources were looked into. The findings detail missed rescue opportunities and offers of assistance that were ignored, whereas the survivors’ testimonies indicate that it was the attempts by the Greek coastguard to tow the trawler that ultimately caused its sinking. The Greek coastguard denied that it attempted to tow the trawler.

The fateful night was simulated by Forensis using interactive 3D modelling of the trawler thanks to data from the coastguard’s log and testimony of the coast guard vessel’s captain, as well as from flight paths, maritime traffic data, satellite imagery and videos taken by nearby shipping vessels and other sources.

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