International network
for contemporary
performing arts

Réseau international
pour les arts du spectacle

Rete internazionale
per le arti performative


Internationales Netzwerk
für zeitgenössische
darstellende Künste

Международная сеть современного 

Red internacional
para las artes escénicas

Internationaal netwerk
voor hedendaagse

თანამედროვე საშემსრულებლო
საერთაშორისო ქსელი

Rede internacional
para as artes performativas

الشبكة الدولية
لفنون الأداء

í sviðslistum

Xarxa internacional
d'arts escèniques

Rhwydwaith rhyngwladol
ar gyfer celfyddydau
perfformio cyfoes

Rrjeti ndërkombëtar
për artet skenike

Διεθνές δίκτυο
για σύγχρονες
παραστατικές τέχνες

Međunarodna mreža 
za savremene 
scenske umjetnosti

Mezinárodní síť 
pro současné 
divadelní umění

International netværk
for kontemporær

Internasionale netwerk
vir kontemporêre
uitvoerende kunste

თანამედროვე საშემსრულებლო
საერთაშორისო ქსელი

Nemzetközi hálózat
a kortárs


líonra idirnáisiúnta
na taibhealaíona

Starptautiskais tīkls
skatuves mākslai

Netwerk internazzjonali
għall-arti performattivi

Międzynarodowa sieć
na rzecz współczesnych sztuk

Internationellt nätverk
för samtida

Međunarodna mreža
savremenih izvođačkih

Международна мрежа
за съвременни
сценични изкуства

Rrjet ndërkombëtar
për arte skenike

Міжнародная сетка
перфарматыўных мастацтваў

Međunarodna mreža
za suvremene
izvedbene umjetnosti


kaasaegsete etenduskunstide

현대 공연 예술을 위한 국제 네트워크

Tarptautinis tinklas
scenos menai

Интернационална мрежа
за современа
изведувачка уметност

شبکۀ بین المللی
برای هنرهای نمایشی معاصر

Rețeaua internațională
pentru artele spectacolului

Medzinárodná sieť
pre súčasné
scénické umenie

gösteri sanatları için
uluslararası iletişim ağı

IETM Plenary Meeting in Sofia

16 – 19 October 2014
Bulgaria, Sofia, National Palace of Culture

Organisers: IETM / International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts (Brussels), ACT Association (Sofia), Culture Desk (Sofia), Art Office (Sofia)

Support: Ministry of Culture of Bulgaria, Municipality of Sofia

Speakers: Henk Oosterling (The Netherlands), Maude Bonenfant (Canada), Rayna Gavrilova (Bulgaria) and many others.

Working language: English

On 16-19 October 2014 IETM will gather more than 500 performing arts professionals from all over the world in the city of Sofia. Bulgarian contemporary arts sector will reveal and share its urge for new incentives and models. Participants will take part in this momentum for change and tackle the vital issues facing the international cultural community. With the main theme “Space for Change”, the meeting will serve as an informal platform for networking and mutual learning. The ACT Festival of the Independent Theater has composed a rich artistic programme, presenting the diverse performing arts scene of Bulgaria. 

IETM is a network of over 500 performing arts organisations and individual members (contemporary theatre, dance, circus, interdisciplinary live art forms, new media). It holds plenary meetings in different European cities, and smaller meetings all over the world. Besides, IETM commissions publications and research projects, facilitates communication and distribution of information, and advocates for the value of performing arts.


Sofia hosts the second IETM plenary meeting of the year. In April, the network gathered in Montpellier, France, around the topics of “trans-formation”, “trans-gender” and “trans-border”. For this autumn, focus is turning towards the opportunities for change in the midst of bleak economic reality and alarming political and social trends. Now is the moment to look at the crisis as a step to new opportunities, partnerships and solutions. As artists and cultural operators, we need to rethink our position in society, maintain the viability of our sector, and contribute to a more humane and vibrant future.

Nan van Houte, Secretary General of IETM: “Bulgaria, country at the edge of Europe, has come a long way from the socialist regime to the EU membership, but is still in a thirst for a profound change. Bulgaria is paradoxically at the top and bottom end of two statistics: it is a country with the lowest cultural participation in Europe and the largest Internet connection. Wouldn’t we find here the perfect spatial context to talk about the future of the performing arts in a world in transition?”

Space for Change

Change is not only about reflecting, but also about acting and moving forward. In Sofia members and guests of IETM bring together their energy, creativity and expertise and open up a space for exploring new approaches, models and strategies.  The three-day programme offers a wide range of working groups, training sessions and debates focused on how to build a sustainable cultural sector.

The meeting brings in inspiring speakers from other sectors challenging the collective intelligence of the international performing arts community and give place for mutual learning, mentorship and know-how transfer between generations. Presenting current and future projects will facilitate networking and emergence of new partnerships.

Key topics

  • Developing and sustaining new independent art spaces: learning from the examples of the existing interdisciplinary cultural venues, their challenges, best practices and failures.
  • Measuring the impact of culture and arts: reflection, practical recommendations and strategies on how cultural sector should deal with the current tendency to measure the impact of all aspects of public life in order to prove their value.
  • Digital shift: impact of digital innovations on the content and concept of the performing arts work, its distribution and the relation with audiences.
  • Sustainable management models: training session providing basic tips on how to run a viable and successful organisation in times of crisis and change.
  • Reinforcing connections with the local communities: how can we encourage our society to be more supportive of the arts?
  • International fair exchange: how can we ensure mutual support in the context of international economic inequality?
  • Intercontinental cultural cooperation (Asia, Europe, Australia): presenting the results of the IETM Asia Satellite Meeting in Melbourne, 10-14 May 2014 and best examples of intercontinental cooperation.
  • Workshops on taxation and social security

More information about the Meeting:



IETM is a membership organization, which exists to stimulate the quality, development and contexts of contemporary performing arts in a global environment. It aims at proving the value of the performing arts in society by initiating and facilitating professional networking and communication, the dynamic exchange of information, know-how transfer and presentations of examples of good practice. More than 500 member organisations from around 50 countries from Europe and beyond are part of IETM: companies, independent producers, venues, festivals, public agencies and institutions etc.

IETM Plenary Meetings

A plenary meeting is the main IETM network meeting organized twice a year (spring and autumn) in different cities, bringing together +/- 500 professionals to exchange ideas in an informal way and build closer relations with various partners/members. The IETM Plenary Meeting includes around 25 working sessions and a full performance platform of work from the host country or city.

Culture Desk

Culture Desk Foundation, based in Sofia, Bulgaria is working on its own projects, advises cultural managers and artists how to design and develop their projects, and looks for partners from around the world. It aims to develop multicultural and multidisciplinary projects, which are innovative, experimental and have impact on social issues. Culture Desk strives to strengthen the cultural management in Bulgaria as a main factor for the development of the cultural sector.

ACT Association

ACT Association is an alliance of non-governmental organizations and artists active in the field of contemporary performing arts. Since its establishment in 2009, the association has actively worked to attain its main objectives: to unify, coordinate and research the independent performing arts scene in the country; to carry out advocacy campaigns and actions for decentralization in the field and to set up better conditions for professional work by the principle of free initiative and on a project basis; to promote diverse artistic practices and develop new audiences; to open up Bulgarian independent scene to the processes in the European cultural field and its active presentation in international context.

ART Office

Foundation Art Office is an agency for production and dissemination of performing arts (theater, dance and music) in Bulgaria and abroad. It aims to support individual artists and artistic organizations in presentation and distribution of creative products by applying professional tools of art marketing. Art Office works on engaging audiences, including young people, with the contemporary arts and contributes to improvement of the institutional environment and opportunities for funding of the arts in Bulgaria.

ACT Festival for Independent Performing Arts

ACT Festival for Independent Performing Arts is ACT Association’s project of the largest scale so far. The festival aims to start up an annual forum for autonomous artists and organizations in the field of performing arts in the country; to become a stepping stone for new artistic practices as well as to promote Bulgarian professionals in the field of theatre, dance and performance in a broader international context; to become a place for critical reflection and free discussion on the developments of independent theatre in the country.


For more information and accreditation please contact:

IETM Secretariat

19 Square Sainctelette
1000 Brussels, Belgium

[email protected]

+32 2 201 0915