Season closing: Staying united as an international community
Let's face it: no one expected a season like this! Already affected by budget cuts and defection of cultural policies at the end of 2019, the cultural ecosystem and the performing arts were dealt yet another severe blow at the dawn of the twenties with the COVID-19 outbreak. Venues remained closed, cancellations succeeded each other, and the whole sector was casually invited to ride an unprecedented wave of digitalisation with little consideration of the value of the arts.
That being said, global lockdown measures brought us together as a strong performing arts community. During the global lockdown that followed the COVID-19 outbreak, IETM members organised national and regional digital talks with both members and non-members to address the crisis from every angle. Overall, we observed a spike of solidarity that assured one thing: we would overcome this crisis together.
The end of the 2019-2020 season therefore seemed like the perfect time to ask ourselves: What challenges are still ahead and what tools have we acquired to rise up to them? How can we recover and collectively retrieve our pivotal place in a changing world? How to prevent widening of the gaps between arts communities across the world, as confinement measures and terms have been varying greatly between countries? And how can we stay united as an international community?
On the eve of an unusual summer break, we hosted a season-closing online talk to assess how to keep supporting each other in the months ahead and start sketching the first lines of a new season that would herald a resilient future for our sector.