Initiated by playwright Vaclav Havel, poet and artist Jiri Kolar, and artist Theodor Pistek, the Jindřich Chalupecký Award was first presented in 1990 and envisioned as an annual award. The award was named to honor the philosopher, art and literary critic Jindrich Chalupecky for his lifetime achievements and unwavering position in promoting freedom of thought and expression as the pre-requisite for the existence of art.

The Award has been presented to an artist up to 35 years old in an open and transparent competition process every year since its inception. The Jindrich Chalupecky Society, a civic association was founded to manage the annual competition. The finalists and the winner are selected by an expert jury, whose members are appointed for a period of two years.

OHO Award for visual artist is established by the P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E. Institute with it's partners The Foundation for a Civil Society and Trust for Mutal Understanding, New York.

The prize is awarded to artist up to 35 years of age, for works of art in the field of painting, photography,video, new media and performance. The aim of OHO Award is to provide support to young creative artists and facilitate the continuation of their activities by shifting them from the marginal to a central role in the society. By creating a positive context for creativity and innovativeness.

The award was named by an influential Slovene artist group OHO, active in the second hald of the 1960s and early 1970s. The members of the avant-garde group wanted to develop a radically different relationship towards the world: instead of a humanistic position, which implies a world of objects dominated by the subject, they wanted to achieve a world of things, where there would be no hierarchical difference between people and things; the correct relationship towards such a world is not action, but observing. OHO used a number of media (and their in-between forms), drawings, photographs, film, video (the first video works in Slovenia were produced in this context by Nuša and Srečo Dragan), music, texts, but also a way of dressing, living and behaving, to redirect the awareness of people into Reistic observing.

The Award was named after Radoslav Putar, eminent art historian, critic and curator, who by his effort significantly directed Croatian culture towards the contemporary visual arts language. His work was also significant in its social aspect, because he promoted the ideas of democracy and advocated dialogue, tolerance, freedom of expression and the openness to other cultures. We can hardly imagine today to what extent his work was indeed heroic, and we can positively assert that his contribution to theory and practice provided one of the keystones of contemporary Croatian art and culture.

The important features of the Award are the openness and the public accessibility of the contest, as well as the accessibility to public scrutiny of the entire organization of the contest for the young artists, while the Jury composed of experts has to guarantee that the award winner is selected in a fair way, without prejudice, and that the decision on the winner rests entirely upon professional considerations. The contest has to be selective and prestigious, for the artists as well as for all other participants.

The project of the prize has been conceived as a new and prestigious point of gathering of the most creative forces of contemporary scene, locally, where the prize is being awarded, but also regionally, in the countries where the prize is acknowledged.

Established in 2006, the award has immediately attracted numbers of young artists from around the country. The organizer, the Sarajevo Center for Contemporary Art, named the award after the influential and important artist group from the 1980s, and included the competition among its many activities.

SCCA decided that the name of the Award would be ZVONO as a tribute to the artist’s group formed in Sarajevo in 1982 and active until the outbreak of war in 1992. Its members were Biljana Gavranovic, Sadko Hadzihasanovic, Sejo Cizmic, Narcis Kantardzic, Kemal Hadzic and Aleksandar Sasa-Bukvic (considered being the initiator of the group’s collaborative work and the driving force behind its organization and promotion). The group was named after the Zvono café (Zvono=The Bell) where the artists met. Activity of the Zvono group (especially its engaged relation to the cultural space) represents the most radical 'behavior’ in the B&H art scene in '80s. In the beginning of the war, majority of the group members migrated all over the world, from Europe to Canada with the last member residing in Banja Luka where the first exhibition and winner announcement ceremony for the ZVONO Award was held.

The Oskar Čepán Award is a competition designed for young visual artists, which was initiated by Wendy Luers, the founder and director of The Foundation for a Civil Society, and established in 1996 as a parallel to the Jindřich Chalupecký Award in the Czech Republic.

Since 2001 the competition has been bearing the name of the leading Slovak art theorist Oskár Čepan (1925 – 1992), who by his numerous studies on the visual arts considerably contributed to Slovak theoretical writings and artistic events. The competition is open to candidates under 35 years of age holding Slovak citizenship. They may present their work in painting, sculpture, graphics, drawing, installation, photography, multimedia and video art. The applied arts, theatre and film are not included.

Visual artists may apply for the competition individually. In addition, art theorists may nominate an artist for the competition on the basis of written consent of the artist. An expert commission of visual arts professionals and artists whose members are nominated by the Foundation – Center for Contemporary Arts for two-year terms selects the award winner. In the first round, the expert commission selects four finalists from all the applicants, of whom it chooses the winner in the second round. The second round tis decided at the joint exhibition of the four finalists. The winner is awarded a six-week residency in New York and a solo exhibition, conceived on the basis of the experience acquired during his/her stay in the U.S.

Dimitrije Bašičević Mangelos Award was founded in 2002 by The Center for Contemporary Art Belgrade and The Foundation for a Civil Society (FCS) from New York, as part of the regional project Young Visual Artists Awards (YVAA) and with the idea of establishing annual residential award (first year grant was held in Sausalito, California, since then in New York, New York) awarded to a young artist from Serbia.

The award is named after a renowned artist, one of the founders of conceptual practice and an art historian from former Yugoslavia – Dimitrije Bašičević Mangelos.

Since 2006, the organizers of the Award contest have been the Kontekst Gallery and Art Association DEZ ORG from Belgrade.

The award consists of a six-week residential program in the ISCP (International Studio and Curatorial Program) in New York which represents one of the most important programs for young artists nowadays.

The residential program includes visits to numerous galleries, museums and  the attempts to establish connections to the leading representatives of New York art scene. On returning from the residential program, a solo exhibition will be organized for the awarded artist.

Dimitrije Bašičević Mangelos Award had been granted to the following artists in Serbia: Bob Milošević (Sausalito, California, 2002), Vladimir Nikolić (New York, 2003), Milica Ružičić (New York, 2004), Milena Gordić (New York, 2005), Siniša Ilić (New York, 2006), Katarina Zdjelar (New York, 2007), Ivan Petrović (New York, 2008) and Ivana Smiljanić (2009).


Organized and established by TICA, Tirana Institute of Contemporary Art, the Contemporary Art Award ARDHJE is a new art event on the Albanian art scene. Conceived in collaboration with the Foundation for Civil Society in New York the award is supported by the Tirana Academy of Fine Arts and the US Embassy in Tirana. The event adds to the variety of TICA's programs, aiming at increasing the support for Albanian-based artists, while at the same time extending the dialogue and the exchange with artists and professionals from the region and the world.

The Artist of Tomorrow Award was first organized in 2002 in cooperation of the Kosova Art Gallery and the Kosovo Open Society Fund office with the support of the US Office. Since 2004, the Award has been solely organized by the Kosova Art Gallery. The aims of the award is to offer young Kosova artists the possibility to compete for this award which holds special significance for the art scene in Kosovo where there are no other similar competitions; to raise professional interest in art institutions such as KAG and other institutions that develop contemporary art; to present creativity of young artists to Kosova audience and beyond; to stimulate young artists in their work and creativity; and to enhance and widen regional cooperation of artists and institutions of countries where similar awards are organized.

The competition based on an open call for applications is open to anyone who meets the general conditions: the candidates must be younger than 35, and the submitted art work should be new, created during the last two years. A committee of art professionals selection the award finalists -- there are no more than 6 and no less than 4 finalists each year. The finalists then have 1-2 months to prepare their works for a joint exhibition of the finalists which takes place at The Kosova Art Gallery,

A professional jury with 3-5 members (established personalities from the art world) announces the winner on the night of the exhibition opening ceremony. The winner of the Award receives a six-week residency in New York and also wins the right to have a solo exhibition at The Kosova Art Gallery after his /her return.

Taking the Jindřich Chalupecký Award as its model, The Contemporary Art Center – Skopje in cooperation with the Foundation for a Civil Society in New York established in 2002/2003 an annual award for a young artist from the Republic of Macedonia under 35 years old.

The award was established in order to address the lack of such opportunities for artists in Macedonia and in order to show contemporary Macedonian art to the general public in the country, as well as overseas.

The aim was to strengthen discussions among institutions and young artists while including a number of various fine arts institutions and professionals in an annual and impartial process of reflection and decision making. This award also creates new opportunities for the participating artists, exposes young creativity to a wide circle of public and results in introduction of new models of operation in cultural and institutional life.

Established in March 2008, the BAZA Award is organized by the Institute of Contemporary Art - Sofia.

The aim of the BAZA Award for contemporary art is to provide support to young creative artists through opening new possibilities for education, research and professional realization. The award creates a positive context for the young contemporary art and builds friendly milieu for its development.

The winner will receive a solo exhibition at the gallery of ICA-Sofia. Sofia Art Gallery ( hosts the exhibition of finalists.

The Institute of Contemporary Art – Sofia is an independent non-profit organization, an association of curators, artists and cultural theoreticians. It is dedicated to the study, understanding, promotion and practice of the visual arts of the late twentieth and early twenty first century, to the reestablishment and furthering of the dilogue between cultures and art scenes, and to the search for an open art dialogue with everyone.

The ICA started as a professional partnership among friends who after 1989 shared the vision to open up and develop the Bulgarian contemporary art scene. The goals of ICA-Sofia are focused on the development of the contemporary art scene in Bulgaria in relation to the world at large - general public. Primary objective is the constant deepening and strehgthening of relations to the international art world - in a two directional and reciprocal manner by triggering and facilitating a two-way flow of artists, curators and critics, projects, etc. to not only "take" your/our home out into the world, but also to bring "the world" back home.

Our mission

The Foundation for a Civil Society (FCS) with affiliates in eight countries in Central Europe and the Balkans has organized a major international fellowship award program for young visual artists in the region. This unique program was established with President Havel and a group of artists in Czechoslovakia in 1990. Since then this highly successful annual program with national exhibitions and awards, including travel fellowships to the United States for artists under the age of 35, has now been expanded from the Czech Republic to Slovakia, Bosnia and Herzegovina,Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia, Albania and Bulgaria.

What's new

YVAA-Vilcek Fellowship Open Call | 08. 04. 2013

 The Foundation for a Civil Society is pleased to announce the Young Visual Artists Awards: Marica Vilcek Fellowship. Fellowships will be awarded to two US-based curators, critics and art historians with demonstrated experience and excellence in engaging with international contemporary art. The fellowship is composed of two main features: First, fellows will be provided with an opportunity to travel to one or more of the YVAA countries in Central and South-East Europe to serve as guest jury members for the national awards, as well as conduct short-term independent research, curatorial projects and develop professional networks. Second, fellows will serve as guest critics for the 10 YVAA artists in residence at International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP) from September 2013 to May 2014. Fellows may be asked to write and publish features on the resident artists for the YVAA blog and other outlets. Furthermore, fellows may be invited to a six-week curatorial residency at ISCP between December 2013 and January 2014. The fellowship will cover economy air travel to and ground transportation within the YVAA countries (up to $1700), accommodation and per diems (up to $600), and honoraria ($500). A panel of professionals who live in, or have extensive knowledge of the region, will select the successful applicant. The YVAA juries convene in June and October and short-listed candidates will be contacted by YVAA Program Director for an informal conversation to establish eligibility and availability.  

The Young Visual Artists Awards is an international network of awards and a New York residency program in Central and South East Europe. First established with President Havel and a group of artists in Czechoslovakia in 1990, this highly successful program has grown to 10 countries and has to date awarded and presented in the US 111 artists.

The YVAA awards and their local organizers are: ARDHJE AWARD – TICA , Tirana, Albania;  ZVONO AWARD – Sarajevo Center for Contemporary Arts, Bosnia and Herzegovina;  BAZA AWARD – Institute of Contemporary Art – Sofia, Bulgaria;  RADOSLAV PUTAR AWARD  – Institute for Contemporary Art, SCCA, Zagreb, Croatia;  JINDRICH CHALUPECKY AWARD – Jindrich Chalupecky Society, Prague, Czech Republic;  ARTIST OF TOMORROW AWARD  – Kosova Art Gallery, Prishtina, Kosovo;  DENES AWARD – Contemporary Art Center, Skopje, Macedonia;  DIMITRIJE BASICEVIC MANGELOS AWARD – Remont Gallery, Belgrade, Serbia;  OSKAR CEPAN AWARD – Foundation/Center for Contemporary Arts, Bratislava, Slovakia;  OHO AWARD  – P74 Center and Gallery, Ljubljana Slovenia.

This fellowship is made possible by the generous gift of Marica Vilcek an art historian and co-founder of the Vilcek Foundation.

Please submit the following with your application:

1. One page cover letter stating the applicant’s interest in the fellowship and particularly in the artistic scenes of the YVAA countries. Please note how the applicant is qualified to recognize artistic excellence? And how the applicant’s practice will benefit from and incorporate YVAA artists. Preference for a particular YVAA country will be taken into consideration, but fellows will be assigned according to the needs and availability of all participating countries.

2. A current CV (abridged to no more than 4 pages).

3. Two writing samples.


1 Candidates must have a Master’s Degree or higher in art history or related field with emphasis on modern or contemporary art.

2. Minimum 5 years curating and writing about contemporary art experience. Independent curators and those with institutional affiliations may apply.

2 Availability to travel June or October 2013

Please direct questions and submit PDF applications to the attention of YVAA Program Director, Eriola Pira, at Deadline April 30, 2013. 

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