Sustainable international touring and collaboration

In collaboration with Julie’s Bicycle Arts Council England and The Development Platform, The Danish Arts Foundation (Statens Kunstfond) launched a programme in 2022 to enable performing arts professionals in England and Denmark to develop a sustainable and innovative approach to international touring, collaboration and co-production.

Being able to tour nationally and internationally is a key part of any performing arts professional’s work, but as the climate crisis exacerbates, the necessity of international travel is increasingly under scrutiny. It’s time for the performing arts sector to seek new ways of sharing art across borders and supporting the transition to a more sustainable world.

Based on Arts Council England and Julie’s Bicycle‘s ‘Accelerator Programme’, this is an educational, leadership, exchange and mentoring programme that aims to help cultural organisations work more sustainably.

The programme is currently in phase two. Three projects involving a total of seven organisations from Denmark and England have been chosen to explore climate-conscious approaches to international touring and collaboration. The projects and participants are chosen by The Danish Arts Foundation, Arts Council England and the not-for-profit organisation Julie’s Bicycle.

The three projects:

  • CPH Stage and London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT) are launching a research project to explore sustainable operation of festivals. Amongst other things, they’ll be looking into alternative organisational structures and the ethical and financial challenges posed by making large-scale organisational changes.
  • Helsingør Theatre and Bristol’s In Between Time are approaching sustainability by putting the artist first and inviting Sisters Hope, Mechanimal and Rita Marcalo—all of whom work with sustainable principles—to explore what kind of organisational changes could drive a sustainable transformation in the performing arts sector at large.
  • Danish production company Wildtopia, Mind the Gap from Bradford and Fast Familiar from Reading present ‘RE: LOCATIONS’—a “digital first”, live performing arts festival that experiments with how to work inclusively and sustainably by using hybrid (live and digital) formats.

Read more about the projects on The Danish Arts Foundation’s website:
INTERNATIONAL SUSTAINABLE PERFORMING ARTS PROJECTS[5] 

THE PROGRAMME STRUCTURE

The ‘International Touring and Environmental Responsibility’ programme is a new online pilot project with the sustainability organisation Julie’s Bicycle (UK), Arts Council England, The Danish Arts Foundation and The Development Platform. The purpose of the programme is to equip Danish and English performing artists and companies for sustainable internationalisation, with a focus on both sustainable touring tools, production and international collaborations.

A total of 20 groups were selected (10 based in England and 10 in Denmark) to participate in a two-month interactive online programme that explored challenges and practical approaches to reducing the climate impact of international performing arts work.

THE SELECTED PARTICIPANTS:

The groups have been selected by Statens Kunstfond and Arts Council England. The selection is based on an OPEN CALL. The deadline was November 29. 2021.

For more information, see the Danish Arts Foundation

The programme is led by Julie’s Bicycle, which is internationally recognised in the work of sustainable art and culture, with input from guest speakers and a session from the Development Platform for Performing Arts. Participants were encouraged to collaborate on developing concepts appropriate to the purpose of the programme.

The online programme included 12 sessions in early 2022, each lasting three hours:

13, 17, 20 and 27 January
3, 10, 17 and 24 February
3, 7, 15 and 17 March

After completing the online programme, participants then applied for grants for collaborative projects, which could, for example, be focused on new artistic content, exploration of new methods and models, research or development of a larger project.

The selected participants receive guidance from Julie’s Bicycle and the Development Platform to develop and then complete the projects.

The participants could apply for grants for collaborative projects of up to £ 20,000 per. project. Three projects were selected.

The deadline was April 8, 2022, and the selected collaborative projects received a response in April 2022. The projects are expected to begin in the autumn of 2022.

The partnerships could be in digital, physical or hybrid formats depending on travel restrictions and so on. Physical partnerships were prioritised, but these could also be transformed into digital projects if necessary.

CONTACT

If you have any questions, you can contact producer Camilla Gürtler, Udviklingsplatformen for Scenekunst camilla@udviklingsplatformen.dk