'Imagine the Future' Talks • Perform Europe Opening Event
- So my watch switched to 15:18. Welcome back to the second part of Perform Europe, of our launch event. Welcome all those here with me in the zoom space.
With all their little pictures that have become so familiar with all of us. Welcome also to those on the live stream that are following us until we break out a little groups in about 45 minutes please feel invited to follow our session and keep using the Q and A pad for big parts of this meeting. Just some technical information for those in our Zoom space, please, as you all know, don't forget to mute and unmute yourself, mute yourself for now.
Could you also, if you can, even if you drink your coffee and have your cookie in your hand and have some crumbles on your cheek, prefer to please switch on your camera so that we can see each other. We know each other, we are family aren't we? Use the chat in this zoom space for comments for questions, for thoughts, and last but not least we record this meeting for research purposes in plenary but also later on in the different breakout groups without further ado let's start, with me in this plenary space. And I would love to have her right to me or left to me on this fantastic zoom space is Elena from IETM.
You know her all. I couldn't feel safer but to have Elena next to me. So Elena, can you help me to introduce further this part of our launch event? - Thank you, Kathrin.
I hope I can meet your expectations about -. I will do my best. Hello everyone indeed you have seen my face already today. So this part of the event, we are going to have a series of conversations in order to map and understand better. Some of the key issues, factors, and elements, which come to our mind when we are thinking about future schemes with distribution and touring in Europe and I'm very happy to start straight away with our five speakers.
Each of them is an expert in a specific topic, which is relevant for with the arithmetic of sustainable and inclusive touring. And I would like to start our conversation with Anita Debaere. Anita is Director of Performing Arts Employers Association, League Europe a European Federation of new music and live performance organizations.
Hello Anita. Welcome. Hello. - Hello Elena. - How are you. - How are you. (laughs) Hello everyone. - Nice to see your face here. - Yeah - So Anita, lets jump to the concentrates straight away.
Would you please help us to depict and understand what are the current economic and social legal conditions in which touring is happening to the, in Europe. - Before I start answering that question, first of all congratulations with the launch. I mean, it was a beautiful launch. Unfortunately, I had the breakdown, of the internet in the middle of the speech of Eleonora Bauer and I was a bit panicking for now. So let's hope everything works well but that's what you get with digital. So hopefully with digital performances, that doesn't happen.
So thanks for the question. I know we don't have much time to cover a complex set of topics and questions the current socioeconomic and legal conditions. Well, we know in what status we are to first start with the pandemic that is happening we have limitations to traveling. We have limitations to performing.
If at all, performing on stage is possible. If we have opportunities we are often in a quarantine, we need to do tests but I think that is not particularly what you were looking for as an answer, but nevertheless, I mean we are living in this current set of time and one way or the other, we have to deal with it. And it's also impacting a lot of people who work with third country nationals where it is very difficult to find out how they're flights, just that already physically and to deal with visa if they are coming. So that on a practical note, in the current context, now if we talk about current economic or in general on the socio-economic and legal conditions in which touring happens in the European Union, well we have the principles on which the European Union is based. It's the free movement of people, of goods and services. And we have what is called a European Internal Markets in which we can move around.
So that already said means that we are somewhat in a position where there are in one way you could say there are no obstacles. And we have also a Europe which has and this current commission has a very strong aims on further developing the social Europe. It develops lots of rules and conditions to make sure that everybody wants the governments, first of all. But then of course, everybody who is working and touring not particularly for us, but for everybody that it applies that you obey by those rules and the number of rules are growing. So they're good they protect, they're there to ensure that workers, people who are working in different countries that they are protected rightfully, but with that also comes quite a lot of administrative burdens. Everybody who has organized the tour knows that it is complex.
There are many things to take into consideration whether it is obtaining a portable document to so-called A1 document for social security or whether it is you have to deal with texts, every being able to reclaim taxes, other things. So we have to deal with many aspects but all for the goods. I mean, that's what Europe stands behind. So at the same time, when you think of digital touring you would think it's easy. But at the same time, we know one of the big claws that was discussed two years ago the copyright law is also about how you deal with the protection of the rights of the artists, the performance, the creators.
So the many things you need to take into consideration once you are getting into an environment which is international and that we have to adhere to. I mean, it's only normal that when we set up such a wonderful project... - Thank you. I need to read this. Wonderful, I think I have to jump in and cut you a little bit. - Yes. - So you were mentioning this a lot of these issues and conditions and I really liked this administrative burdens, a reference but also the positive side of the whole spectrum.
Could you maybe answer my last question for now which is a little bit kind of a Hebrew hybrids how do these, all these conditions and maybe especially the challenging ones, but if you want you can focus on the positive ones actually affect the sustainable practices in touring and also how do they undermine or maybe simulate inclusivity of the touring landscape in Europe? - To start with the last, I think, well in principle, Europe is very much for inclusivity. I mean, they're also anti-discrimination laws. So you by law have to be inclusive or you people can take you to court, but as it was said much better than I can explain in the opening part.
It's the challenge in the practice of what we do, now for sustainability I think that's even more a challenge. How are we going to deal with it in a touring perspective, there you can get confronting discussions on the one hand wanting to be sustainable. On the other hand, you have people who for example would like to be with their families. So how do you deal? For example, with the concept of slow touring when people think of, Oh, I have a family at home I want to see my kids.
And on the other hand, you're trying to develop another notion of touring. So I think that they're kind of that they will come interesting discussions of, in what you will do and how you going to balance. And I liked divert very much in the use of the word balance. How can you balance to come to an environment where everybody feels yeah, respected. Because it's not because you say, for me it's a priority to be back in one day because I want to see my kids.
They shouldn't be furnished versus the people who say, well we should have another model of touring. We should not take the plane, but they need to train. And it takes two or three days longer. For example, I had a look before joining here and I thought, yeah, when you are in a remote area coming whatever from say Romania or so it's quite different to get here by train than if you have the luxury talking about Trestles base. And it only takes me three four hours to get to horizon of capitol city.
So also that is, and that was also discussed in the I pursue news project very much. So it is a challenge to deal with questions on how to reach those goals. And I think the first thing is about setting those goals, how to perceive that but also to talk with audiences because on the one hand you have, of course people who are traveling but you also have the audiences that you're talking to and there are many aspects there. So I think, yeah, in that, that's remit that there are many kind of factors and elements that will have to be unraveled and the one size fits all will not exist. It will be always tailor made.
- Absolutely. Absolutely. And yeah, thank you for this reference to balance because indeed inclusivity and sustainability has such a great values, but they are not necessarily feeding each other as well. So sometimes we need to find a balance between them as well.
So Anita, thank you very much. And I just would like to say to everyone that we are watched live on Facebook by 189 people, and here we're at 75 participants. So let's continue this conceptualization of Perform Europe and see into gaps which exist in cultural mobility. And I would like to welcome our next speaker Marie Fol who is the President of On the Move Cultural Mobility Network. Hello Marie. Very nice to see you.
- Hi Elena. Hi everyone. - How are you. Very well. Thank you. Thank you for having me. And I want to join us. I need our own congratulating all of you are and the consultant but also the performing arts sake told to pull this off and move forward with developing cultural mobility in practice, being in a digital form or in a physical form in the coming 18 months.
This is really stunning. - Yeah. But tell us please Marie as I'm on the move has a lot of expertise in mobility based on your expertise. Could you please share with us your insights about the current imbalances and gaps we should feast in cultural mobility in Europe. - Yes, so if I look back at the hypotenuse study, the operational study that was done in March, 2019 in the framework of an auto mobility funding pilot project from the European Commission.
And at the time, this was commissioned by the consortium of good Institute (speaks in foreign language) and that article needs to on the move. So we made the study to see what's mobility funding existed in Europe at that time. And given last year, this hasn't changed drastically. I would say the observation of 2019. So we can see three form of imbalances as far as the mobility of persons is concerned which is very relevant when we come to their mobility within the performing arts. So the first inequality I want to mention is the inequality in terms of access to funding in the 2000 regular calls that we studied, those calls are in the hands of about five to eight countries, mostly in Western Europe including France, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Austria, Spain and the UK, for instance.
So it was grants covers the grants that are provided cover travel but often only partially. And all the related costs are often only partially covered. So a lot of performing arts professionals still have to put in money, and if they come from certain region of Europe they will not be able to access this funding. And additionally to that, it's very irregular open calls.
And a lot of project-based calls that make the very short-term timeframe to apply very difficult for the sustainability of the sector itself when it comes to accessing those funds. So that's the first issues of access to funding. The second one is an inequality between what the funders are providing and what the need of the sector or so in this study, we also analyzed what the sector wanted in every discipline.
So we covered visual arts architecture and so on but we also covered performing arts and it was clear that the performing arts sector wanted more, had more needs for research, for exploration, for networking. And I was very glad to hear PR mentioned that those were a priority for Perform Europe because that was a need. And that's not often seen as what is being funded also as was mentioned also by Anita in this issue of sustainability and durability. This question that a lot of the performing arts practitioner were saying that they have the need for a very short mobility three to 15 days mobility because of the reality of the sector.
And that was very difficult to match with all four offenders. Finally and this is linking to what Anita was saying also very quickly before me on the inequality of access to information. There are a lot of burdens which are very positive obviously as, as Anita said but it's very difficult for independent artists for independent companies to really be able to have the capacity to answer and fully benefit of the existing opportunities. - Thank you, Marie.
And my next question to you was how did COVID-19 impact all's imbalances? But I think you already said that nothing really changed since 2018 and probably is too early to say but I assume that everything became, all these balances became even bigger. What's your opinion. - It did become bigger. So of course it was an immediate negative impact in the sense that mobility wasn't possible. The funding opportunity have also shifted more to a national base national focus because of the limitation to mobility because of the health requirement and the sanitary requirements. So there is this potential shift that we see already happening that a lot of funding is more nationally focused, more less for the cross border touring.
And this is quite important to note because on the website has been extremely viewed during depending make time. And there is a huge competition towards the existing calls. So this it's important to be reminded that for many artists and cultural professionals, mobility, the need for mobility and the need for cross border touring comes from an economical reality and then economic necessity. So it is a way to make a living and it is important to see how artists and cultural professional will be able to sustain themselves after the pandemic has ended.
That being said of course it also boosted the digital practices. A lot of funding for digital practices has been made available to a lot of international funding move to digital which created somehow online as a new country in the calls that were presented. So that was quite interesting but the imbalances I mentioned before were still there in the sense that the paid opportunity were coming from the same countries. So there is a replication of the same inequality and I think it's important to know about it to be conscious of it to make sure that opportunities continue to be as widely accessible as possible.
Especially if we consider as a territory of creative Europe countries, a point also I wanna mention on online practices is that it cannot be a solution that fits everything. We are all a longing for physical contact for physical expression footfall for cross border touring and practice. And we often have this question when it comes to sustainability and durability is online a green alternative that we were all looking for. And I think a lot of what has been trade areas over the last year and also before because online is not a new practice that just appeared last year is that we need to avoid polarization and really consider all the options that are in front of us. And finally, to add on a brighter side (chuckles) of we had a pandemic indeed, but when talking with mobility funders, and this is what we do also with the members of, from the move there is not only in latitude to answer the crisis with support to hybrid formats, with support to a company is the practitioner through the digital shifts but also readiness to rethink and revamp mobility funding schemes to the needs of artists and professionals to enhance the dialogue with those professionals.
So I think there is really a momentum with Perform Europe that we see right now, definitely but also to continue thinking, and this links to the topic we will talk about in a minute to rethink on what are the needs for access what are the needs for parents? How can we really make a cross border mobility inclusive and sustainable? And this is really what I want to live. The performing arts, Perform Europe, sorry team where's that this is really the challenges that are there and the opportunity that you're creating to really look into this. - Thank you, Marie. This was quite inspiring.
Actually, I expected to hear like a more dry information but we also got inspired from you. Thank you so much. And now, in the second part of our conversations panel we are going to hear about three topics which we find very relevant for Europe.
And the topics are excess of disabled artists, touring digitalization of distribution and rural touring and, just it has to be said, where there are many more other topics which are very important for sustainable and inclusive touring such as psychological sustainability, gender balance ethnic diversity, and so on. And all these topics will be definitely tackled within Perform Europe. But we wanted to now to hear about issues which we've found are perhaps a bit under discussed in the current setting. So let's jump to the topic of access for disabled artists with sort of the touring opportunities. And I'm very happy to welcome Ben Evans here. Ben Evans is Head of Arts and Disability on British Council and also Project Direct for the You Fund Project, Through Beyond Access.
And Ben is really an expert in this issue. And I would like to hear straight away from you Ben. So one of the ambitions of the project, Your Beyond Access was to help disabled artists to internationalize their careers. From your experience and observations.
How do you think is able to artists experience the current European touring markets and how did your project try to approach touring in a new way and welcome - Thank you. And thanks for Perform Europe consortium for inviting our contribution. I think firstly, I just wanted to say it's really important to know that there is a remarkable generation of disabled theater and dance artists across Europe. And I would encourage everyone to go and explore. And another thing to say is this work is not niche it's being commissioned and presented by leading arts organizations, organizations that understand and respect the innovative practices and the new approaches to the art forms. So disabled artists and not only making work for disability arts festivals that's an old and outdated way of thinking.
But touring in particular is hugely problematic, accessible buildings accommodation transport for artists are not standard. And I think cultural managers assume that disabled artists and arts professionals simply will not be part of their touring programs unless they develop a special law dedicated program. So I've already heard of compared with international contracts and carnegies and transport and language barriers and especially compared with COVID contingency plans accessible touring is not complicated for our professional arts managers in Europe. It just needs to be on the agenda and it needs to be on the agenda from the start and it needs to be planned and budgeted in from project design.
So I think that's a key takeaway for us. It's not difficult. It just needs thinking about. But I think I'm just gonna move on to the next part of what I wanted to say which is that there is a huge opportunity here.
I think the perform Europe offers with the new touring program. It can no longer be assumed that disabled artists and arts professionals will not be hoping hoping to benefit from European touring opportunities. And I think funding that touring not only needs to follow the direction of the cultural sector but also at times it needs to lead the way. So I think some things in the perfect world are not negotiable.
So we need to include budget lines for access costs. You know, the things that we, that others take for granted personal assistant sign language and additional transport costs we need to see those budget lines in the application so that everyone who applying has thought about it and we need to understand that some artists work best in slightly different timescales, and we need to create protected budgets to cover access costs and not include this in the budget ceiling for artistic work because currently disabled artists are penalized because they're taking access seriously. So some huge opportunity, but also some challenges which would like to share with them. - Yeah, that's very interesting. I cannot agree more.
And how has the digitalization of the lockdown periods taught us to maybe offer new ways for disabled artists or where there anything to learn from? - That's to learn from? I think, I think the sad irony of COVID is that for many, many years, cultural institutions have insisted on a specific way of working one, which has to be face to face eight to 10 hour rehearsal days a particular touring schedule not taking work online. And this is despite years of disabled cultural professionals and audiences asking for online access to conferences to digital exchange and hybrid events or online learning. And then suddenly in the space of a few weeks or months our sector found the creativity to respond to a new situation.
Of course we did but what we learned was change as possible. And as we just heard the reality that we all are desperate to meet and work together again despite that we can never go back to the ways that we worked before. So we've got to acknowledge the people that you want to reach. Some of them may have challenges traveling to a conference or a production. And along with our environmental responsibility we have to take responsibility for not re marginalizing those people. And I just, one last thing and I promise I'll end here, but, but just to say as we develop those digital tools we must reflect on how those tools are accessed by professionals and audiences with access needs.
So this is a practical consideration, but in my view a political challenge to us all how to make our digital offer accessible to visually impaired or deaf or audiences. How do we develop those tools without creating more barriers at a time we should be tearing them down in the arts. - Thank you, Ben.
I think what you're saying is super important and continuing our discussion about the digital. And before I invite our next panelists Karen Toftegaard who is an expert in the digitalization of distribution, I would like to bring up another digital aspects were watched by 225 people on Facebook. And while here you can see the twisted 76. So they're just, you know, hello, Karen, welcome and very nice to see you. Karen Toftegaard is the CEO of, of Wildtopia, which produces the digital first slash performing arts festival relocation.
And Karen is also Cultural Entrepreneur and Producer of Copenhagen Stage. Hello Karen. Hello. Thank you, Elena. I just have to add on the international producer, COVID hanging States.
There are several producers at this festival so not to take all the credit. Thank you very much for this invitation to share my perspective. I would say that when the COVID-19 started, I mean it was kind of gave me the opportunity to combine two of my professional interests. Like the festivals. I really like festival has been contributing to a ton of them or a lot of them, at least.
And then also I've been working a lot in the with digital communication. So in some way, that kind of just whoa, this combination and I decided also very much to look at the opportunities. And I think that what I hear when people are talking about digital, whereas this in person it's very much also about, is it the company is it's the digital compromise or is it a creative opportunity? And what's important here is that it all this was the response to this very much depends on the eyes who was looking at it. And so we all have a choice to make there.
Do do we want us to see it as a compromise or do we want to see it as an up digital or as a creative opportunity? And I definitely want to embrace the part of the later one. And I think that when we look at the landscape I think it's a pleasure to see that the festival they are embracing the hybrid formats. And I mean also, I mean, this is a actually a very important for touring aspect because when the ones who are presenting the works they are embracing the hybrids aspects then we should also, and there is also an evict.
It makes a lot of sense because theater is very much there. It's all, in all time it has been there where the people are where the audiences are so connected with the audiences. And at some point people have been talking about, okay we have the digital state, or is it real theater when it happens digitally? And I mean, this is just another stage. It's just another stage with an audience.
And it's our job to find out what are the opportunities in this. And I think that I would like to ask them, instead of giving, talking a lot of things, I'm just gonna raise some questions regarding what I've been seeing and recognizing in the works, the digital works that I've been seeing and collaborating with. So what does digital intimacy look like please try and reflect.
What does digital intimacy look like? Because it's actually that working on that and there is also how do you enhance this in-person work with a digital presence. There was this a Dutch company who made Swan Lake where they combined, they did a hybrid work there and they combined the digital audiences selections with what happened in the in-person, the physical in a space and that's where the two different, both the digital audiences and in-person audiences they were kind of intertwined there. So you can work with that. And there's also a participant with you to in person that is going to be very much affected by the COVID-19, because it personal distance that is a thing in our mindset that has been challenged a lot.
And so participatory theater in person might change a lot, but maybe we could then make the participatory theater digitally because then you're not afraid of the body fluids or whatever, what you are afraid of in the in-person aspect. And then also there's something about this immersive theater. That's another thing. How can you actually interact with people when you are more feeling when you want to create safe environments in person? So that's also something that you can actually develop in the digital sphere. So it's very much about looking at what like in every aspect of doing creation what kind of rate of opportunities do we have here digitally and like diving into that? I think that's incredibly interesting.
- Yeah. - Thank you. - Wanna jump into, With one thing. And also this thing about the audiences, you, they have a there's actually a possibility online to have a co-experience with somebody who is on the other side of the world, or is in another side of the country. And so on this co-experience for audiences without traveling I think that's also a very important aspect, especially for like the participatory and immersive theater aspects. - Thank you for that, Karen, yeah. You and, in your answer, you kind of brought up what unique values digital actually can bring to the performing arts because we are used and you hear it all over again.
That's digital brings like takes away the main assets of foreigners who live sliding these. So thank you for bringing up this kind of inspiring aspects but maybe if we go to the values of Perform Europe briefly how do you think the digital world can enhance inclusivity and sustaining of touring of distribution. - You're mute.
- Oh sorry, I would like to begin to address a myth? Because there has, I've been hearing that several times this thing about the two hours of next Netflix streamed every single day in a year that pollutes as much as orange affects the environmental situation just as much as flying 385 and 84 kilometers. And if you know that the Klein distance between Copenhagen and Amsterdam, that is almost that I mean, that's just one way then I think there is something about, yes, that watching digitally it's not solving all the sustainable issues and it's not like you're like totally one Hertford hung one 100% sustainable when you're working digitally. However, I mean, you can show a lot of live performing arts, a lot of times during the year and not at all coming any way close to the flight, or the amount of flying around the world for doing the same thing in person, because yes these two hours, each day of streaming that's, I mean, that's only a week a flight between Copenhagen and Amsterdam.
So I'm just thinking that is something that we should also think about. So there is actually an actual fact in this thing that you can work internationally using the digital aspect and you can also say the audiences don't have to travel as much. So there's definitely a thing about not traveling as much I as early on. And then I think there's also something about the resources you can reframe, you can reuse you can reimagine the works that you're doing and you can actually bring it to more audiences but you could also make it more sustained and sustainable in the production production wise.
So you can present it in Denmark and in Brussels, in South Africa and at the same time but you don't have to like to send your Synography across over the ocean or anything you don't have to like you sent away all your Synography where you can actually navigate in another way and be more careful of all the traveling and transportation, all that around which we're normally dealing with when it comes to touring. And I just think, as you also want to appreciate the fact that there are several digital festivals also arising I'm working on one, who's called relocation. And I just put in a link there in the chat it's supported by the Deans Apps Foundation. Thank you so much.
But then we have shared, for example Edinburgh, Edinburgh was a thing that arose at the, in the, because of Edinburgh festival fringe, not happening last year. And then the shedding bird actually appeared as a smaller digital festival. I think that was very interesting to see. And that's also a thing about digital twenty-six. I think just like the festivals and venues are starting to think in in-person events and in digital events then the touring agents and the touring and the companies they should also just try and start try and start thinking in digital and in-person is two different things. It's two different programs, but it's just like bringing more different kinds of performing artworks to the audiences and to the venues. - Thank you Karen.
Thank you. I really sense your positive energy. And I hope that participants does this was really great. You're a positive approach to the digital and now let's jump to some completely different world maybe not, but a another topic, the rural touring and I'm happy to welcome here Ralph Lister, our fifth speaker. Welcome Ralph.
And thank you for being with us. Ralph Lister, is the Chief Executive of Take Arts and UK based organization. And this organization is also leading that you funded projects for us supporting and promoting arts and rural settlements of Europe. Hello, Ralph.
And my first question to you would be please share with us some of your insights and experiences and knowledge on how does rural touring and specifically the touring models developed in your projects inspire environmentally sustainable practices. - Yeah, thanks Elena. And also as with the others congratulations on the project.
I think it's going to be a very interesting experiment. Rural touring for those that don't know brings professional performing arts companies into rural areas. And it's achieved by working with rural communities. And importantly, there is no compromise over the artistic quality of the experience. Sparse is a three-year creative for the projects and it uses existing rural touring models in the UK and also in Sweden as the basis for creating new networks in Estonia, Italy, Lithuania, and Romania. We recently increased the network and it also has partners now in Sweden, Norway hungry the Czech Republic, Spain and Poland.
So to answer your question the beauty of rural touring is that it brings the artists to the audience rather than asking the audience to travel in. They calls their vehicles to the nearest theater in a town or sissy in their own region. In the UK Judy's Bicycle an organization who advises the arts council of England on environmental matters. They undertook a railroad touring carbon assessment analysis. It showed that the rural touring model reduces emissions by a third in relation to artists and audience travel.
When compared with a single show at a town based theater. In addition now sparse evaluation has shown that nearly 50% of our audience led is less than five kilometers from the village hole. People often walk to the performance and I have an experience one winter in the UK where because of the snow, the roads were completely blocked and the whole audience walked to the village Hall.
And I saw them coming down the road. It was really, really beautiful experience. In addition, linking rural touring agencies together can optimize touring opportunities, collaboration between seven agencies in the Southwest of England and enabled a tour by a Spanish circus company in the spring of 2019.
And that resulted in 11 performances several workshops in 11, rural venues over two and a half weeks, the company drove to England. They brought all their equipment and they stayed in local accommodation and they were also able to enjoy the beautiful countryside in which they were touring. - Yes, I had to unmute myself.
Yeah. Thanks for that. And what about social aspects? what could you say about since rural touring and social sustainability? - Yeah, well, it was also very interesting hearing some of the speakers talk at the plenary session because the social and community aspects of our work is integral and central to the work we do. So there are two key aspects of rural soaring. One is the role of a local volunteer village promoter. And secondly, the fact that it's the village that chooses the show that they're going to present rather than be told what the show is going to be.
The local promoter is not a professional programmer or they live in their local community and they know their local audience. And they will often work with a group in the village to make the necessary arrangements to sell tickets and to host company. As I say, the village has a range of shows that they can choose from and this element of choice results in a sense of local ownership around the staging of the performance and the desire for its success. The performance itself is a social effect for the community. As much as it says, a cultural event there's a lack of stigma for those who are less confident or intimidated by the thoughts that go into a theater they're more comfortable in the surroundings of the familiar village space.
And the show is an opportunity to meet friends and neighbors and enjoy the convivial atmosphere, in the sparse evaluation we also found that audience feedback was very strong in the fact that they felt very connected to each other. And it's very common for food and drink to play parts in the event, the intimacy created by the artist performing so close to the audience creates a real sense of cultural exchange. And our adults is experiencing this love, this connection. And I can't overestimate how unique and how important it is, quite often the performer will maybe be only two or three meters from the first row of the performer, from the audience. Rural promotes a feedback, conveys a great sense of pride in organizing a successful events. They're memorable, and they provide a talking point long after the show's over, feedback also shows a sense of validation experienced by the vetted community and appreciation that professional artists are willing and enthusiastic to travel and perform in their virtual.
This all helps to build stronger social connections in vintage communities and also across a region where several rural promoters can meet and support each other. Although 40% of the European population is in rural areas. Something like 10% of a valuable cultural investment is directed into rural areas. This imbalance in the distribution of results for the arts impacts on the ongoing sustainability visibility and accessibility to the arts of rural areas. I want to finish with two quotes one from a Lithuanian promoter and one from a dance company the quote from the Lithuanian promoter they said "my main task is to arrange the venue and to invite the audience.
I always feel infinite responsibility and anxiety but after all goes well, the stone rolls from my heart and I feel immense satisfaction when psycho dance said performed, people were so touched, they even cried." It's a real joy to be able to show it to ordinary people and to see the viewer and the whole community grow together and to be United. And from the dance company from an artist perspective "rural touring is a wonderful way to tall dance to new audiences who appreciate the work in a genuine and an unreserved way. What is the point in touring dance only for dance people were all altering opens up new world thought says and we're incredibly grateful and overwhelmed to have been offered some experience." So I'll put a couple of links to a couple of websites in the chat box as well. Thank you.
- Thank you very much Ralph. And thank to all speakers. I hope it's was dynamic and everyone got quite some inspiration about various topics relevant to Perform Europe. And I believe to all of us and Kathrin where you are.
- Yeah, thanks Elina wow, everyone, I think it's so clear that there are so many considerations reflections. Oh, don't put away Elena next to me, keep her with me. I need to talk to her. (laughs) That is that were mentioned, thinking knowledge questions that were put on the table.
And I guess it's really high time not to put our heads together in this little group of breakout groups that we are going to have now and start discussing. But before that, it's time to say goodbye to those ones that are following us on the live stream. It's not just a goodbye but let me tell you that it was an impossible exercise we had to do to bring the number of these little bread or groups to down to 80 participants. And we tried, of course, it's a hard exercise to consider the balance in terms of sectors presenters, producers, artists, countries, male, female I mean live up to our own values, backgrounds, interests occupations that you put down and to our own values that we want to live and experience with Perform Europe. And since it was such an impossible exercise we decided that we are going to repeat this workshop on the 18th of February yet the time was yet to be defined but we are not going to exclude.
I hope anybody who would like to contribute to this very first part of our 18 months trajectory together. So having said that we are now going to break out and we say goodbye to the live stream audiences. We are going to break out now.
And we have around 50 minutes time to assemble each of us in an exercise that was shared with you beforehand, by email three wishes that we want to formulate when it comes to our idea of how the performing arts touring fund should look like. So we really go now down to the ground. We bring in our own professional backgrounds, our proposals that we can bring from the field and come back and plenary just before the ending to conclude together.