Yvette Hardie
President of ASSITEJ
Yvette Hardie

Hearing your voices, seeing your faces

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This month was going to be the much-anticipated period in which the ASSITEJ family came together from across the globe to celebrate, to reflect and to reimagine the Unknown Future – together in Tokyo at the ASSITEJ World Congress and the MIRAI Festival. Instead we find ourselves at home, with (for almost all of us), our projects postponed or cancelled, our theatre spaces empty, our rehearsal rooms and offices now our homes and no plans for travel in the immediate future.

It is an extraordinary time which is calling for the deepest resolve, the greatest solidarity, especially with the poorest and most vulnerable, and the most powerful imaginations to envisage what possibilities exist for the arts for our children and young people within this “new normal”.

We have seen incredible energy and engagement from artists and administrators across the world as they tackle the challenges presented, and there have been many inspiring examples of artists finding new ways to explore, to reach their audiences and to advocate for the importance of the arts in the lives of children – some of which are shared in this newsletter.

While we are excited that the possibility to meet in real time and space is still there for March 2021, and in the years ahead, as the recent call to members has made clear, we are also aware that we need to make a plan for the now as well.  

Our need for connection, for conversations about what is possible, for sharing of dilemmas and solutions, is powerful, and ASSITEJ wants to find ways to keep connecting with our members ongoingly through this difficult time.  We will hold a Special meeting of the General Assembly for the period when we would have come together in Tokyo, and we are planning a series of engagements hosted by different EC members and ASSITEJ members for the months ahead. While we know that online access is not easy for everyone, we want to see what we can do to make connection possible in these times, and we look forward to connecting with you in real time in the near future. If you have innovative ideas for how this can happen, please let us know.

I look forward to hearing your voices, seeing your faces and sharing the energy and passion which is at the heart of what we do and why we do it. Till then, enjoy what this newsletter has to offer… and see you soon!