The 2020 Corona pandemic has catapulted the world into an unprecedent crisis, medically, socially and economically. This situation has also considerably weakened the social and economic status of artists and of cultural operators, who work most often as freelancers or form small-sized enterprises and are especially vulnerable to economic instability. But also larger institutions of the cultural sector suffer of restrictions in public life and easily fear a loss of state support, when economic pressure weighs hard in political decision-making.

It is under this impression that IAA Europe starts with a series of online debates in the fall of 2020 to bring its members and supporters closer together, to discuss what can be the role of artists associations and especially their international reunion in those times. How can we support artists internationally and assemble material for a successful publicity and advocacy work?

In the opening talk on September 2020 Fabio Tolledi, Marta Mabel Perez and Teemu Mäki will discuss how artists and art institutions currently deal with or recover from the crisis in - exemplarily - Italy, Finland and Puerto Rico. How do artists make a living in those countries? The Corona pandemic did not create the phenomenon, that the arts are largely consumed but artists tend to get paid little for their work. It only reinforced the problem. What measures are governments taking to improve the status of artists and what can be learnt from each other here? How can the foundations for freedom of expression be fostered: having the right to say what you think, but also having the means to actually say it?

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In this opening talk, we will also look into the history of the International Association of Art (AIAP/IAA) and the International Theatre Institute (ITI), both associations in partnership with UNESCO: What is their (common) strategy, what are their current activities? How can we get inspired across the artistic branches, where can we support each other?

The moderated discussion amongst the speakers will be followed by an open Q&A session, we look very much forward to the participation of our members to engage in the debate.

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