International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People
Association International du Theatre pour l’Enfance et la Jeunesse
WORKING PLAN 2021 – 2024
Approved by the online General Assembly of ASSITEJ at the 20th ASSITEJ World Congress in Japan & Online, March 2021.
The Working plan is reconciled with the Constitution and its Aims and Means:
Article 3.1 – Aims
3.1.1 To work for the rights of children and young people to artistic experiences especially designed and created for them.
3.1.2 To work for the recognition and acknowledgement of theatre and performing arts for children and young people.
3.1.3 To work for improvement of the conditions of theatre and performing arts for children and young people all over the world.
3.1.4 To improve the common knowledge of theatre and performing arts for children and young people worldwide, thus drawing the attention of international and national authorities to the importance of taking children and young people, and the artistic work created for them, seriously.
3.1.5 To give people working with theatre and performing arts for children and young people the opportunity to learn about the work of colleagues from other countries and cultures, thus enabling them to enrich theatre and performing arts for children and young people in their own country.
3.1.6 To help to form in all countries, ASSITEJ centres and networks which function in accordance with the mission, constitution and policies of the Association. These centres and networks shall unite all theatres, organizations, and people interested in theatre and performing arts for children and young people.
3.1.7 To help to establish international artistic networks that work on a multinational basis on different aspects of artistic work for young audiences to increase the artistic competence of the artists and for their benefit.
Article 3.2 – Means
The means of achieving these aims will be:
3.2.1 Organization, promotion and support of national, regional, and international programmes, congresses, conferences, festivals, study tours, exhibitions, and other activities.
- Strategically support regional initiatives and development, using EC meetings, online connections and members as mechanisms.
- Implement regional workshops as requested by members, to fulfil the needs of ASSITEJ centres in a region, and to share expertise and experience.
- Provide support for members through letters of support on request, according to the protocol for Support, and through solidarity fundraising for artists from less-resourced regions to participate.
- Organise annual international meetings (Artistic Gatherings and the World Congress).
- Develop a three year artistic dramaturgy for these, in order to promote exchange, building of networks and new directions in TYA.
- Initiate, and adopt as members, new artistic networks, as these seem necessary and desirable.
- Focus on global accessibility and the use of multiple languages and translation tools to ensure better communication.
- Focus on sustainability, with reference to the sustainable development goals, and looking at sustainability environmentally, socially, artistically and economically.
- Continue online engagement with members, using the new www.assitejonline.org platform and other means.
- Initiate, organize and support projects in fair cooperation with theatres, networks, national and regional centres particularly with regards to creating access for children to theatre and the performing arts, stimulating artistic exchange, resisting intolerance and bias, and through giving the designation of “ASSITEJ International project”, where applicable.
3.2.2 Promotion and support of exchange of experiences between artists from all countries.
- Explore ways to increase diversity and enhance equity by securing mobility of members from countries with fewer funding possibilities to attend the events of ASSITEJ and continue the practice of offering online opportunities to engage.
- Maintain the Next Generation Residencies programme and encourage similar programmes of exchange on a national and regional basis.
- Support a Next Generation Placements programme to encourage younger artists to gain experiences in different parts of the world through engagement with members and festivals.
- Host Next Generation Alumni sharing opportunities at annual events.
- Devise educational and training projects for skills development and mentorship in order to develop TYA in the countries and regions that have need of such a development, through Regional Workshops, online platforms (ASSITEJ Online Academy/www.assitejonline.org) and other programs.
- Continue online coffee session discussions, regionally and globally.
- Initiate and support international and intercultural theatre projects of co-operation and exchange using international meetings and festivals, on the round and online, as platforms.
- Develop marketing and fundraising strategies to promote and fund such projects.
3.2.3. Encouragement of circulation and exchange of plays, texts, and other literature pertaining to theatre and performing arts for children and young people.
- Support “Write Local. Play Global” and “ITYARN” to ensure that texts are circulated, and to support the dissemination and translation of plays as well as of research materials.
- Motivate national centres to make connections with these networks, in order to amplify local publications of plays or research.
- Provide spaces at Artistic Gatherings, and other ASSITEJ events, as well as on the website, to promote and share plays and texts.
3.2.4. Collection of material and documentation on theatre and performing arts for children and young people.
- Continue the upkeep of the ASSITEJ Archives, making this more user-friendly and accessible for all members of ASSITEJ and all those interested in research.
- Use the assitejonline.org platform to centralise articles, best practice and discussion opportunities between members.
- Collect and share abstracts through ITYARN to demonstrate the breadth and depth of research currently available.
- Explore ways of mapping the activities of TYA on a national, regional and global scale.
- Present evidence of the connection between arts, well-being and mental health, as per the ASSITEJ Manifesto.
- Create toolkits to support the work of the association, focusing on child participation, integration of technology (4IR), taboos in different cultures, artists rights and equity (for children and for the artists) within the association.
- Support the networks to create toolkits or mapping projects in their fields, so, for example, theatre for babies (Small Size), dance in a digital era (YDN), etc.
3.2.5. Promotion of theatre and performing arts for children and young people through all media.
- Maintain and produce the Website, the monthly Newsletter, an annual Magazine/E-zine and ASSITEJ-related books and other publications.
- Maintain a proactive and vibrant social media presence which reaches out to all and is inclusive.
- Work towards new ways of fair translation, so that communications are for all members.
- Create a three year strategy for ASSITEJ World Day of Theatre and performing arts for Children and Young people
- Promote the ASSITEJ World Day for Theatre for Children and Young People, globally, through campaigns and the production of compelling media.
- Promote the ASSITEJ Award for Artistic Excellence, the Applause for Lifetime Achievement Award, the Inspirational Playwrights Awards and the ITYARN Geesche Wartemann Emerging Scholars Award, in order to put focus on TYA, both inside and outside the association.
- Use these Awards to explore and discuss what is meant by excellence in a global context.
3.2.6. Cooperation with other international organizations with related interests.
- Continue to seek connections and collaborations with other international theatre organizations.
- Develop strategic cooperative ventures with these associations to lobby more broadly for the necessity of theatre and performing arts for all children and young people.
- Build on the World Performance Week as a mechanism for cooperation between the international associations.
- Co-create with ITI (and other associations, perhaps) on a project around sustainability.
- Use the World Performing Arts Capital project of ITI-UNESCO as a means to bring attention to and strengthen practice in theatre and the performing arts for young audiences.
- Develop strategic relationships with non-theatre based NGOs, institutions or peak bodies which share common values and interests.
3.2.7. Introduction and support of proposals made by centres and networks in order to advance the work of theatre and performing arts for children and young people to appropriate national and international authorities and agencies.
- Advocate for recognition of theatre and performing arts for young audiences as an intrinsic part of the life-long artistic education of all children and young people, and create a working group for arts education which can advocate to this end.
- Advocate for theatre and performing arts for young audiences as a basic human right, and the right of every child.
- Advocate for theatre and the performing arts for young audiences as being intrinsic to health and well-being, and to the recovery of society post-COVID.
- Promote and advocate for theatre and performing arts that is inclusive of and sensitive to people of all abilities (theatre for, by and with), while incorporating principles of inclusivity in its own working methods.
- Explore different methods of child participation, including participation in the work of the association, creation methods with children and methods to amplify children’s voices.
- Support members to activate the ASSITEJ Manifesto in their own contexts.
3.8 Organisational Work: 2017 – 2020
- Work on strategies and practical projects for fundraising or income generation to ensure the sustainability of the association and its members, including a Solidarity fund, ASSITEJ Auctions, Friends of ASSITEJ, resource-sharing initiatives and other strategies, both local and global.
- Actively recruit new memberships from countries currently not represented in the international body.
- Increase online participation in the association, including ASSITEJ Gatherings, the World Congress, regional and national meetings and other conversations, and to share exchanges, knowledge and expertise with members from countries who struggle to participate in person at events: livestreaming, virtual conferencing, podcasts, online radio, online workshops etc; while continuing to promote and protect the importance of in-person meeting, live theatre and the performing arts.
- Find innovative ways to work with multiple languages and translation, to achieve greater participation and better communication.
- Increase participation from members of the association in the working meetings of the Executive Committee, in order for members to better understand the role and function of the EC.
- Provide workshops for members to explore ways for their national centres or networks to function more effectively using the National Centre Toolkit as resource material.
- Create a sustainability framework that not only serves to guide the Association across the next term, but can be used as a model for all members.
- Continue to focus on inclusivity and access to the Association, within our systems and our practice.
- Continue to explore child participation within the Association, and within theatre and performing arts practices.