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What are the most frequent questions you receive from applicants in your role as a project ambassador?
The most common question I get is about the Nordic relevance of projects, what it means and how much Nordic relevance is enough. I also get many questions about Opstart and how it works.

Do you have any good tips for our applicants regarding project planning or the application process?
When applying for project funding, I suggest people start early to fill out the application and use the process as a tool to develop their ideas and projects further. I also advise people to speak with more than one ambassador or at least speak with several different people about your project, people that know the topic well but also people that have been successful in getting funding from the Nordic Culture Fund.

Based on your own experience and work as a project ambassador; How would you describe the importance of Nordic and international cooperation of the arts and cultural life?
Nordic and international cooperation widens the scope, enlarges the audience and creates more opportunities for projects. This aspect is particularly relevant for small countries such as the Nordics. 

Lastly, how is the current situation in the arts and cultural field in Iceland and within your own field (music)? How has the pandemic affected the ways of working?
In my view, there is more tiredness and hopelessness to be found among organizers of cultural events now than ever before during the pandemic. People are tired of organizing events that can’t take place in the end and are keen on just waiting things out now. Our government announced an aid package for the arts and cultural field back in October that included financial support to those that suffered a significant income loss. Unfortunately, the COVID-situation is still ongoing so many, including artists, professionals, venues, festivals and more, are being hit harder than these government actions can make up for.  

On the positive side, I believe that for many in the field of arts and culture, COVID-19 has been an opportunity to start anew, hit the restart button, reorganize and gather forces because a pandemic really challenges systems and crystallizes their strengths and weaknesses. This is very true for the Icelandic music industry which I’m a part of and as a response, the Icelandic music industry is now more organized. Different projects, offices and organizations collaborate now more than ever and it’s very likely that we will see significant changes that will benefit the whole music scene as an outcome of these challenging times.  


María Rut Reynisdóttir:
With a great wealth of experience in the music tech sector, social media, events and festivals and as an artist manager for Ásgeir and more, María Rut Reynisdóttir is currently spearheading the Reykjavík Music City project where her responsibilities are to create favourable conditions for thriving musical activities throughout the city of Reykjavík.