Lately, in the ASSITEJ Executive Committee we have been having open meetings, and we have had a fundraising working group based on an open call.
At these open meetings we have experienced a fantastic participation from several people from the ASSITEJ community, who with commitment and curiosity have brought to the table offers of help with concrete, practical work and new ideas. Some have even put in a considerable number of hours through several months in order to assist ASSITEJ.
To me, this participation and commitment illustrates ASSITEJ’s great strength as an association – as a member organisation in which the work of many people is brought together and creates a greater whole. ASSITEJ is a collective endeavour to make a difference through performing arts for children and young adults. The endeavour is driven by us in the Executive Committee and by the many dedicated activists in the 72 national centres and six professional networks.
Further, ASSITEJ is not primarily the organisation ASSITEJ, and the purpose of the organisation is not mainly realised in the administrative work. In a way, ASSITEJ is primarily the hundreds or thousands of performances and workshops taking place every day all over the planet, for and with our fantastic young audiences.
Every time you as theatre people create a magical space through your artistic work, you are first and foremost serving your audience, but you are also given the opportunity to regard what you do as a part of a global, collective movement. ASSITEJ is the voice by which all these many activities are articulated as a common project and lifted above their immediate context.
Not because the performing arts should serve any other agenda than to enrich their audiences, but because knowing that you are sharing what you do with many others all over the world can be a great source of resilience and energy. And also because together, as a collective, we are better able to facilitate artistic exchange and development, political awareness about what we do, and dissemination structures that ensure that (ever more) children have access to theatre and dance.
This is why ASSITEJ has to be an association of members and a collective, transnational movement that realises its value in many small, local encounters with children and young adults.
Long live our collective endeavour to develop and multiply the magical encounters between children and performing arts!