Contemporary Art – In The Spotlight Of European Funding.

October 27, 2023

Investments in contemporary art: more than € 200,000 has been allocated to the first and most complex mentoring programme for emerging artists, Accelerator, which has come to an end after two years of implementation.


  • Mentoring and Production for Emerging Artists Programme was implemented by Asociația Culturală Eastwards Prospectus (ACEP) and financed with the support of EEA Grants 2014-2021 within the RO-CULTURE Programme.
  • Accelerator becomes a series of programs of the association aiming to support emerging artists and connect local audiences with contemporary art. Currently, ACEP is scaling up the program, implementing the Accelerator Brașov and Accelerator Câmpulung Muscel projects from different funding sources. Accelerator Brașov has received a grant from the Municipality of Brașov of 149,500 lei and will run for 3 months. Accelerator Câmpulung Muscel received a non-reimbursable funding of 177.106,05 lei from the PNRR programme and from the Municipality of Câmpulung and will run for 7 months.


October, 27, 2023 – Asociația Culturală Eastwards Prospectus –  Accelerator is the first and the most complex mentoring programme, with the aim to boost the career development of Romanian emerging artists. Devised as an incubator, Accelerator aims to drive the careers of 10 emerging artists forward by providing them, through a diverse mix of activities, with the tools to approach their own careers in a strategic, integrated and sustainable manner.

The programme started on October 1, 2021 and ran until the end of October 2023. The budget of the project was 1,069,301.00 lei (216,707.74 euro) for its entire duration. The amount of non-reimbursable funding (85% EEA grant and 15% national budget) was 962.370,90 lei (195.036,97 euro).

The programme had two strong partners: i8 Gallery in Reykjavik, Iceland, and Gaep in Bucharest, a local gallery that embeds international standards, with a long-standing presence of 10 on the Romanian art market.

The directions of the programme aimed to: share knowhow and knowledge from internationally established mentors in Iceland, involved both in the selection of artists and as mentors, resources for the production of new artworks and facilitate several presentation opportunities in various spaces in several cities across the country.

The 10 emerging artists who were part of the program are: Andrei Arion, Flaviu Cacoveanu, Roberta Curcă, Lucia Ghegu, Mihaela Hudrea, Alina Ion, Maria Mandea, Delia A. Prodan, Stanca Soare and Ana Maria Szöllösi.

Through its three stages – mentoring, group exhibition and public art – Accelerator presents emerging artists with a game-changing opportunity, at a key career juncture.

The stages are:

  • The mentorship programme (which consisted of workshops and 1-on-1 mentoring sessions), running both in 2022 and the early months of 2023,
  • The Back to Where It All Began group exhibition, open to the public at the Gaep Gallery from February to May 2023, followed by related events and guided tours,
  • The Art in Public Space stage, nationwide in 5 cities in Romania: Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Constanța, Oltenița and Timișoara.


Andrei Breahnă, project manager and president of Asociația Culturală Eastwards Prospectus:

Accelerator is our association’s most important programme in terms of its scope, diversity of activities and duration, elements which have enabled us to achieve real impact. Essentially, what we proposed to the artists was a change of mind-set on their career to their benefit in the medium and long term. There are two long- unchanged premises that we intended to address: the fact that art remains an underfunded field – I say this from my experience as a cultural manager, also referring to other countries in our proximity. In this context, the EEA grant funding we won was a concrete financial resource we could rely on for 2 years. The second premise is that the educational system still remains conservative, being largely channelled towards the development of art-making skills. With Accelerator, we wanted to give artists a game-changing experience: we took them out of the studio, brainstormed together in the mentoring stage on various dimensions of art, created a community of artists and went out into the community, interacting with the public in cities during the roll-out of public art projects. We have been agile, innovative and I hope our somewhat out-of-the-box entrepreneurial approach has created an experience that emerging artists will consistently turn to when making career decisions in the future.”


Accelerator – key figures:

  • Over 2000 people visited the group exhibition “Back to Where It All Began” and attended the related events organised by Gaep.
  • 3 major events on about contemporary art in Romania:
    • Artist Talk by international contemporary art superstar Ragnar Kjartansson in March 2023 in Bucharest and the screening of his record-breaking 12-hour video work, Bliss (2020);
    • Screening of Bjarni Þór Pétursson’s video work – Facade No.3 (2023);
    • Screening of the video work – Ocean Glory by Icelandic artist Hulda Rós Gudnadóttir.
  • 11,000 visitors of the virtual exhibition “Back to Where It All Began”.
  • The Art in Public Space stage consisted of 7 contemporary art projects in public spaces developed in 5 cities: namely Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Constanța, Oltenița and Timișoara.
  • More than 1500 people participated in the performances of the Art in Public Space stage.
  • More than 800 hours of mentoring were offered by the 6 Romanian and Icelandic contemporary art professionals in workshops and 1-to-1 meetings.


“The best part is that Accelerator ends, but, most importantly, Accelerator goes on. We will scale the program and build, as a core pillar of the Asociația Culturală Eastwards Prospectus, a series of Accelerator programs aiming to reach communities across the country: artists’ community and the general public. Real, tangible support, anchored in the concerns and challenges of emerging artists remains my primary focus. That’s why I founded Asociația Culturală Eastwards Prospectus, to meet the needs of the artists, which are very familiar to me, through systematic and complex programs. I am very pleased with the outcome of the big Accelerator and we will definitely not stop here.” – Andrei Breahnă concludes

Asociația Culturală Eastwards Prospectus has already started two projects from different funding sources: Accelerator Brașov, where 10 artists from all over the country have been selected and whose mentoring phase has already been completed. In parallel, the team of the association is working on the preparatory activities for Accelerator project in Câmpulung Muscel. Accelerator Brașov has received a grant from the Municipality of Brasov, amounting to 149,500 lei and the project will last 3 months. Accelerator Câmpulung has received a grant of 177.106,05 lei from the PNRR programme and from the Municipality of Câmpulung and will run for 7 months.



Founded over 7 ago, Asociația Culturală Eastwards Prospectus (ACEP) promotes contemporary art at national and international level by the means of implementing cultural and educational programmes. Through the Accelerator series of projects, ACEP supports emerging artists in the development of their career path by offering them learning opportunities inspired from international approaches and practices. In addition, ACEP aims to deepen its efforts of training and developing new audiences by the means of activities organised in Bucharest and country-wide, both online and offline. By taking part, the public starts to get familiarised and connect to contemporary art. ACEP received financing for the production of artworks; organised over 30 online and offline shows; supported an artistic intervention in public space of artist Tania Mouraud, held simultaneously in 9 cities; supported the participation of artists in national and international art fairs and developed projects for children and for the employees in corporations interested in contemporary art.

Thus, with the help of ACEP projects, art contributes to individual and collective progress – fulfilling its well-known role from older ages – to foster the evolution of society.


The EEA Grants represent the contribution of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway towards the reduction of economic and social disparities in Europe and towards strengthening the bilateral relations between the donor countries and the 15 EU countries in Central and Southern Europe and the Baltics. The three donor countries cooperate closely with the EU through the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA). The donors have provided €3.3 billion through consecutive grant schemes between 1994 and 2014. For the period 2014-2021, the EEA Grants amount to €1.55 billion. More information is available on and

RO-CULTURE Programme is implemented in Romania by the Ministry of Culture through the Project Management Unit. The Programme aims at strengthening social and economic development through cultural cooperation, cultural entrepreneurship and cultural heritage management. The total budget amounts to almost 34 million EUR. For more details access: