Call for solidarity with IETM members in Australia, Hungary and Flanders
These past weeks some IETM members have plunged into a real fight for survival. In Flanders and Brussels, IETM’s homebase, the government announced in mid-November a 60% cut for art projects subsidies. In Australia, one of the countries outside of Europe with the largest number of IETM members, the Department of Communication and the Arts is being merged into a new ‘super’ department called the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications. This week, the Hungarian government announced the reorganisation of state funding for the arts, threatening the whole independent sector. And just yesterday, we’ve heard that the Creative Europe budget is at risk as the MFF negotiations continue to unfold. One cannot help but wonder: what is next?
This development is undeserved and is in contradiction to the valuable contribution artists and arts organisations bring to their regions and countries – and most importantly to their artistic community and practice.
In these gloomy times, the IETM community will continue fighting to defend the value of the arts and its place in our societies. The recent example of the #BringBackCulture campaign, which urged the European Commission President to ensure the word “Culture” was brought back to Commissioner Mariya Gabriel’s title, shows us that we can achieve positive changes when we mobilise as a sector.
We urge you to join us in showing solidarity with our members and those of their artistic communities whose place in society is being questioned and whose very existence is placed under threat. We have asked three of our members in Australia, Flanders and Hungary to write a concise update on the situations in their countries/regions and suggest concrete actions on what we, as an international performing arts community, can do to support them:
- The Arts erased from a new Govt department reshuffle in Australia
- Culture budget cuts in Flanders: what is happening and what can you do
- An update on the situation in Hungary
With our very best wishes,
IETM Secretary General