Empathy and Sustainability:
The Art of Thinking Like a Mountain Artistic Residencies Programme (2023)

Deadline for submission: Sunday, 19 February 2023, by 23:59 CET

The EMPACT consortium is pleased to announce our open call for the upcoming Empathy and Sustainability: The Art of Thinking Like a Mountain, Artistic Residencies Programme (2023), is now open for applications!

If you are an artist above the age of 21, and work in any creative areas and in any medium we want to hear from you!

About the residency programme:

Four partner institutions of the European project EMPACT invite artists to apply for short-term artist-in-residence programmes in: Athens (Greece), Madrid (Spain), Sofia (Bulgaria), Taleggio Valley (Italy)!

Selected participants are invited to develop works relating to the themes of the project EMPACT – Empathy and Sustainability: The Art of Thinking Like a Mountain and explore how these broad topics can be interconnected. They will do so by relating to particularities of the local character and context of each residency and host institution. Artists will produce work in various media and artistic fields, depending on the mandate of each inviting institution (e.g., visual arts, performing arts, creative writing, philosophy).

New works will be presented to the public at the end of each residency and later a selection of the artworks will be jointly presented in an exhibition at Vorres Museum in Athens. The residencies will take place in the summer and autumn of 2023.


Each applicant can select up to two preferred hosts. Before applying, the applicants are advised to look into each partner institution and select the one that best matches their interests and artistic portfolio. Residencies will take place in Vorres Museum (Greece), Espacio Rojo (Spain), Nature, Art & Habitat Residency (NAHR – Italy) and The National Academy of Theatre and Film Arts (NATFA) (Bulgaria), at:

NAHR fellows will visit high and low pastures, walk across the mountains and landscapes (natural and built), attend and participate to dedicated lectures by specialists and have the opportunity for site-specific investigations in the area and topics related to EMPACT and to NAHR 2023 Topic AIR: Commons, Chaotic Fluid, Inspiration.

Vorres Museum will provide visual artists – working in all media – the opportunity to gain an in-depth knowledge of Greek modern art through their engagement with the museum’s permanent collection and immerse themselves in developing artworks relating to the given subject. Residents will be able to take advantage of its scenic natural environment – a paradigm of Mediterranean gardening redefined in the light of climate change, focusing on a sustainable approach.

NATFA’s residency theme is ‘Water: Memory & Movement’ and will be on the creation of a performative story, focusing on artists’ own resilience and sustainability. The residency will take place in the town of Sozopol on the Black Sea and residents will have the opportunity to get inspired by the beauty of the sea, rivers, and mountain areas in the region, as well as by the rich cultural heritage of the ancient city. The residency is organised in collaboration with the Apollonia Festival of the Arts and participants can attend a number of arts and culture events during this period.

Espacio Rojo artists will be able to facilitate empathic and sustainable art creation on the theme “Nature, Health and Care’ in the urban environment with vulnerable groups for social inclusion and change in collaboration in diverse sites, scales and cultural institutions to be confirmed.



The aim of the programme:

EMPACT initiates a dialogue between artists, sustainability experts, philosophers and social scientists, in order to explore the importance of empathy as a key to aid people tackle and act upon climate change. Specifically, EMPACT aims to facilitate artists in creating, through sustainable practices, art that fosters an empathic stance towards non-human beings and nature; that is, art that encourages people to relate to non-human suffering in a first-personal manner and thus acquire experiential knowledge about climate change related issues. EMPACT considers the artist’s own emotional and empathic stance as a key point that will allow them to effectively incorporate the concept of sustainability in their artistic production.

Who can apply:

The call is open to creative persons of all fields, backgrounds, working in any creative areas and in any medium. Applicants must be above the age of 21. Artists will be asked to state a preferred choice of the residency venue. Eligible applicants are individuals who are taxpayers in one of the project consortium countries (Bulgaria, Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Italy, Slovenia, Spain). The international jury consists of members from each partner institution. The selection criteria include originality, feasibility, and overall artistic quality of the proposals. Successful candidates are provided the space and critical context to push forward exciting art works and thinking models of re-learning to co-exist in empathetic environments and to produce sophisticated ecologies of shared futures.

Candidates are asked to submit their CVs (up to 4 pages), portfolio of recent creative projects (up to 6 pages, including illustrations) and short proposal for their project/relevant ongoing research that relates to the themes of empathy and sustainability and to the preferred residency host institution (up to 500 words).

Travel, accommodation, sustenance & deliverables

Artistic residencies will offer artists the chance to work with international collaborators (curators, cultural sector professionals) and create a new work of art at their equipped venues (see individual institution websites for details). During the residency, the resident will be expected to deliver a two-hour presentation about their artistic practice to the public. The residencies will culminate in each host institution presenting the work to the public. The works co-produced at the residencies will also be presented on the EMPACT website. Selected artworks will be shown in an exhibition at the Vorres Museum (Athens).

The residency will cover (this may vary slightly from host institution to institution, see each for details):

  • Travel (up to 800 EUR), the use of trains is encouraged, when possible, to limit emissions, flights are economy class only – receipts to be provided;
  • Accommodation (arranged by the host institution);
  • Sustenance (up to 800 EUR), see each residency call for details.


Intellectual property on the work, created during the residence (including images, videos, files, etc.), belongs to the respective artists but is expected to be provided to the residency host institution and EMPACT project free of charge for dissemination and communication purposes.


Apply here: