•  July 7, 2022
Deadline for applications: 15 August 2022.
Announcing the results: 3 October 2022.
Maximum funding per project: 5 000 BGN.
Total amount of the Fund: 65 000 BGN.

“State of emergency” is the theme of the second open call of the Bulgarian Fund for Women to women artists from all fields of contemporary visual arts to propose projects for new works. Through the Fund for Art Projects by Women Artists, established in 2017, the BFW aims to bring to the fore the issue of women’s representation in the world of art and their disproportionate access to financial resources. (Read more on the topic of women in the arts system in Bulgaria in Dobromira Terpesheva’s analysis here.)

The first edition of the contest and the exhibition of the finalists were successfully realized in 2019-2020 and were titled “Everything is (just) Fine”. It is now clear that everything is not fine and it is time to react, act, take a stand and take responsibility in the situation of emergency, urgency and anxiety in which we all live today. This year’s theme aims to contribute to women artists’ engagement with current topics and issues.

All mediums of contemporary art are accepted, as well as concepts for interdisciplinary projects and collective work. The idea of the contest is to give freedom and opportunity for female artists to express themselves while showcasing the most current trends in the contemporary Bulgarian and international art scene. The selected works will be presented in a joint exhibition in 2023, curated by Svetlana Kuyumdjieva.

Funds for the contest have been provided by the Chanel Foundation, the Lachezar Tsotzorkov Foundation, Veronica Puncheva Philanthropist, and Ubisoft.

If you would like to support the realization of the second edition of the contest, please contact us at

THEME FOCUS – “State of Emergency”

It is of most importance that the participants are able to answer for themselves and the audience the questions: what are the hottest topics and what are the most painful issues for them today? What challenges their sense of justice as women and their sense of security? How does the current situation affect their lives and their daily choices? What do they want to change? What are their strongest priorities? What are the relationships between partners, friendships, and rivalries? Where and how do they live? What is it like to have a position? Are they disempowered? What is their superpower? What does their voice sound like? Each one chooses whether to reveal their private, intimate self or create a different public persona.

With this contest, BFW aims to contribute to the creation of a snapshot of women in the arts, to complete the chronological and historical picture of their participation and impact on events. Responses are sought in the present tense, in relation to the most current events, in relation to the specific biographical moment of the artists and the place in which they find themselves. What captures their eye and their creative intuition in the flow of passing images and what holds their attention from the world around them is most essential to the success of this task.

After two years of isolation, at a time of record numbers of people displaced for a variety of reasons in the world, of economic crisis and war, and after the outright attack on women’s autonomy and reproductive rights, the need to act and make our voices heard is once again on the agenda.


Eligibility of project proposals:

The project proposal must present a new and previously not shown work created for the contest and to reflect its thematic focus. If the applicant is proposing a new work from an existing series, they must clearly describe how it differs from previous works and how it responds to the theme of the contest.

Painting, printmaking, illustration, drawing, collage, sculpture, installation, object, photography, video art and sound art, digital art, actions, and performances are eligible. All mixed, interdisciplinary, and experimental formats are welcome, as well as research and documentary, but they must be conceived for display in a gallery and museum context. Site-specific works for the urban environment (installation, intervention, performance) are also allowed. In this case, the artist must prepare a plan for the installation/performance of the work and obtain the necessary permits for its display. Theatrical performances, films, books, etc. (in the classical sense) are not accepted.


  • The competition is open to women in all their diversity.
  • Individual and collective projects are allowed, both between Bulgarian women artists, and between women artists from abroad and Bulgarian women artists, without limitation of age, education, and experience.
  • A participant may submit one (1) individual proposal and may be part of up to two (2) proposals from different teams.
  • If the project is a collective one, each participant should submit a separate portfolio of their previous work and a joint portfolio if they have already completed joint projects.
  • Collectives must have at least one Bulgarian participant and be composed of women only.
  • Collective works are realized under the same financial conditions as individual works. Regardless of the number of members, the collective is accepted as one participant.

Eligible costs:

  • The maximum amount of funding requested is up to BGN 5 000.
  • The budget may be used for production and commission.
  • The maximum eligible commission is BGN 2 500.
  • Eligible costs: purchase of materials, equipment and space rental, printing and other production costs. Expenses for travel, accommodation and third-party fees are also allowed as long as their appropriateness is proven and approved in advance by the organizers.
  • The grant will be paid to the selected applicants as grant funding.
  • Upon completion of the project, the participants must submit a brief financial report containing an inventory of the expenses and a copy of the financial documents. Originals of the documentation will only be requested in case of doubt or need for further clarity.

Copyright and presentation of contest results:

  • All works created in the framework of the contest remain the property of their authors.
  • The organisers would be grateful if their support is acknowledged in any future public presentations of the works.
  • The participants grant the organisers the right to use information, reproductions of the works and photo and video documentation from the exhibition in order to promote the activities and aims of the BFW for an indefinite period. BFW is responsible to mention the artists and their works correctly, not altering the materials and not using them for commercial purposes.
  • All works created within the framework of the competition will be presented in an exhibition, the dates and venue of which will be further announced and discussed with the participants.
  • The participants are required to provide information and images necessary for the public communication of the contest. They will be invited to contribute to the communication of the contest by participating in various media appearances, etc.


Applicants must include the following documents in their applications:

  • Portfolio (containing a biography, contact phone number and at least five reproductions of artworks – links to webpages are not accepted instead of a portfolio, it should be a separate file attached to the application).
  • Project proposal* (up to 2 printed pages). In the project proposal, the relationship of the project to the thematic focus of the competition must be clearly mentioned and justified.
  • A project budget that includes the amount and breakdown of production and commission costs.
  • Time required to complete the project (maximum 6 months).
  • Visuals and additional materials – optional.

*The organisers of the competition encourage thorough research and study to be undertaken in order to create the project proposal. In this sense, the project proposal may describe not so much a specific final product as a theme and direction to be addressed. However, the purpose and approach should be clearly defined, and all project participants should be clearly identified.

The BFW can assist on request with guidance, materials and information on various topics related to women’s rights and public expression at:

Technical requirements:

  • Eligible files: pdf, doc, docx, xls, odt, jpeg, mov, mp4, mpeg;
  • Required documents must be no more than 10 MB in total size;
  • If files are larger than 3 MB, they should be sent via a file-sharing platform (wetransfer, tranzit, google drive, for video: with a private link). Automatic messages are not accepted The download link must be copied into the body of the email and its expiry date must be mentioned;
  • All documents should be in Bulgarian or English.


The contest jury will evaluate:

  • Creative achievement and artistic merit, the evaluation is subjective by each member of the jury and is formed in a complex way based on the portfolio submitted and on the project proposal. For collective proposals, the evaluation also includes the realization of previous collaborations and partnerships, if any.
  • Level and comprehensiveness of the presentation with recommended inclusion of quality images, additional materials, links and references to give the most realistic view of both the applicant’s/collective’s portfolio and the specific project proposal.
  • Justification of the project proposal, describing it as clearly and specifically as possible and providing comprehensive information on the study and the envisaged implementation process.
  • Realistic budget – it is advised to base the budget on a realistic preliminary cost analysis.

All documents should be submitted by 23:59 on August 15 2022 by e-mail to:

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