Albert Meijer
Advisor Culture - Creative Europe
a.meijer [at] dutchculture.nl

Opening event: Perform Europe, a new initiative for performing arts in Europe

Opening event: Perform Europe, a new initiative for performing arts in Europe

European consortium launches Perform Europe project on 28 January to pave the way for a European programme on performing arts.
By Albert Meijer

Creative Europe is the European Commission programme to support the European cultural and creative sector. Historically, the programme has been divided between the MEDIA programme, funding TV, cinema and games, and the Culture programme, funding projects in any other form of culture. This Creative Europe Culture programme was organised in different strands, such as cooperation projects and networks, but each strand was in principle open to all forms of culture (except for the small Literary Translations strand).

But when the Commission prepared the new Creative Europe programme for 2021-2027, it introduced a new approach. The European music sector had remarked many times that the music sector was on par with or even bigger than the audiovisual sector in terms of audience and number of employees. Why then was there no action geared specifically towards the music sector? As an answer, the European Commission opened up a few preparatory calls for a new music programme: Music Moves Europe. In January 2021, the outcomes of these calls were presented at Eurosonic festival and were said to be continued into a fully-fledged Music Moves Europe programme, which would still fall under the Creative Europe Culture programme.

Perform Europe

The music sector responded happily with this designated programme, but other sectors were wondering whether they would also need to lobby for a sector-specific programme. A consortium of performing arts organisations, therefore, started the initiative Perform Europe, choosing to focus on finding sustainable ways of physical and digital distribution of the performing arts in the 41 countries that participate in the Creative Europe Programme. The consortium consists of IETM – international network for contemporary performing arts; European Festivals Association; Circostrada – European network of circus and street arts; European Dancehouse Network and IDEA Consult. The project is funded by the Creative Europe Programme. Within the context of Perform Europe, performing arts are defined as theatre, dance, circus and street arts. Music, opera and musicals are excluded from the scope of the project as these are already represented under the Music Moves Europe programme.

The project will kick off on 28 January with the Perform Europe opening event, in which policymakers and professionals from the sector will be able to learn what the project is aiming to do.

Input needed from the Dutch performing arts sector

Behind the scenes, the project has already started by making an inventory of existing mobility support schemes at a local, regional and national level in each of the Creative Europe countries. DutchCulture is the country correspondent for mapping funds and digital tools that exist in the Netherlands. We are asking the Dutch performing arts sector to especially share their digital tools that make internationalisation of the sector possible, be it online viewing platforms, funding schemes or practical tools such as subtitling glasses.

We invite you to send all your suggestions or questions to Albert Meijer.

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