Very Interesting First Introduction. Thank you for the project Explanations .
We are an International Theatre Location / Platform, that has reinvented itself in the LOCKDOWN into an International Visual Community. Our Children's activities continue anyway during the Lockdown. And July does promise some limited real OPEN SPACE performances of Promoting the best International Groups in Town on our Amphitheatre Open Air Stage.
BUT the new situation is that the City Council of Amsterdam has given us a small budget to SHARE and OPEN the VIRTUAL window of European Solidarity.
We want to wave the FLAGS of Communication out of this window. Please mail us with your Clips etc.. We would like to Inform and share YOUR Virtual worlds with our Substantial Social Media Contacts. We believe in the POWER of the SMALL. Now it is time to tell these / YOUR Stories!
please mail us with Youtube links at : BADHUISTHEATER@GMAIL.COM
looking forward to cooperating with
ECF, Krytyka Polytizcna and ZEMOS98
The ALTERNATIVE SPACES, The SPACE FORCE!
Surviving the Plague
Non-commercial Venues essential for Post-Corona Major Cities
Life will be very different indeed when this lock down is lifted. With luck and solidarity, THE CITIES will recover and return to their former glory before long. The tourists and foreign investors that flock to Our Cities will likely continue to do so, but without decisive steps to protect the smaller non-commercial venues, Europe risks losing the rebellious volunteerism that makes its creative ecosystem thrive.
THE POWER OF THE SMALL
Alienation is dangerous. Alienation can come from feeling disconnected from your city. When local businesses are replaced by faceless chains, when soaring house prices change the make up of your community, or when quality local creative spaces disappear.
Creativity (visual, literary and performance) makes societies healthier and communities closer. Creativity brings people and different perspectives together and offers people opportunities to shine. Art can uniquely cut through isolation. When the lock down lifts we will all need to shake off the isolation clouding us today.
Then we lucky Amsterdammers ( Read your own City ) will happily emerge into our city and enjoy the open air shows , the world class acts ,and enjoy the treasures of the Rijksmuseum. But when we hear about THE prestigious BIG institutions facing hard times because of this crisis, and all Money goes to paying for the BRICKS and STONES of Art Mausoleums surely we must wonder about the fate of the alternative institutions, the former squats, the volunteer run spaces, vegan kitchens and improvised theatres which – surviving on tickets prices and good will – bring different communities together and make the cities just plain cool.
A world where art is made by richer people for richer people?
Before the corona crisis, even before the financial crisis, a worrying trend was already eroding the independence of Amsterdam's alternative venues. In Amsterdam and Most European Cities ,much of the world arts funding comes increasingly from corporate sponsorship or public subsidy. Sure, crowd funding can work too. With natural talent, training and a lot of hard work you can succeed as an artist, just as long as you're clean enough for corporate sponsors, or able to jump through the hoops to access public funding or drive clicks to your kickstarter. But are these really to be the criteria by which we measure creativity? Must art be sufficiently commercial, technocratic or click-baity to thrive? If so we will lose creativity at community level, where these skills and opportunities may be lacking, or where volunteers lack the time to chase these resources. The result? Public and private funding will flow to a shrinking handful of organisations and individuals who can thrive in a very narrow environment.
The demand for REAL ESTATE property and the massive costs involved in the arts mean venues are also obliged to charge more for admission, making art less affordable and appealing for all but the well off. Amsterdam has so far been a great place to live in or visit even with limited money precisely because you can enjoy some special creativity at the many off-beat venues around the city.
So how can we ensure we don't lose something precious and take steps to fix inequality in the arts? Luckily, support for the arts doesn't have to mean raising taxes or spending huge amounts of public funds. The answer, may be as simple as space.
Space is the artist's biggest expense. Helping spaces where artists can work and perform, store equipment, rehearse, meet with others from their trade and co-create should be a priority for the city councils after this crisis. Some creative projects have social rather than commercial aspirations. Look for ways to support spaces that make creative opportunities for younger people, older people, minorities, and so on. The city can help to protect existing spaces, remove barriers to their smooth operations, and provide training and other support.
The city council could go and discover what small alternative spaces need most. What are the regulations that hinder them? What regulations could make life easier for them? Many smaller spaces can't afford professional marketing – can the city help smaller venues and artists gain visibility? Most City DWELLERS spend at least some of their summer battling their way through throngs of tourists, tolerating it because apparently tourism is good for the economy. How about helping smaller venues get a slice of that action? What training could you help to provide for these spaces?
Engaging with these spaces on the basis of their needs will no doubt help raise their profiles, make them more sustainable and help bring some life back to communities that are struggling with profound changes.
They say an idle mind is the devil's workshop. How many people are sitting watching Netflix most evenings? How many people are sitting aimlessly on street corners? How many lonely, lost people will emerge after the lock down looking for purpose, fulfilment and meaningful social connections.
To support small, non-commercial venues is to support quality of life. And in a city full of rebellious volunteer creatives, that support doesn't need to cost a lot if carefully thought through.
Amsterdam's local alternative scene is healthier than most cities. Covid-19 provides Amsterdam and Most european Capitals with a rare opportunity to come up with a support model to make the cities alternative spaces an example for EUROPE.
writer Denis McEvoy is a resident Playwright and Actor.
Best Wishes , Michael Manicardi - 00 316 11173324