Every three years at the end of March, a temporary, creative world emerges in Rotterdam filled with unique community-based art projects and artists aiming to create bridges between people from all walks of life. The International Community Arts Festival (ICAF) draws theatre, dance, music, film and visual arts projects from every continent. It is built around the idea that community art is a worldwide, cutting-edge and highly relevant arts movement.
The festival program offers in-depth conversations, inspiration, and exchanges during the days. The evenings are chock full with live theater, dance, film and music performances. The eighth edition of ICAF was to take place March 25-9, 2020, however had to be canceled as the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
On Thursday, March 26, 2020, IMPACT was planning to co-host with The Porticus Community Arts Lab and the British Council a session entitled Artists and Funders Exchange: Strengthening work at the nexus of community-based arts and conflict transformation. We will open a space for generative conversation about strengthening trust among funders, artists, researchers, and cultural workers. We will also think together about questions for a global virtual learning exchange among funders active in the arts, culture, and conflict transformation space, considering questions such as: What can we learn from deeply listening and sharing perspectives on funding for arts, culture, and conflict transformation? How can we strengthen the relationship between community artists and philanthropists in working on conflict transformation? How can we dive deeper on the funding topics like system change, decolonizing wealth, instrumentalization of the arts, and beyond?
On Friday, March 27, 2020, IMPACT was planning to host another session entitled Strengthening practice through local and global networks: the Imagining Together Platform for Arts, Culture and Conflict and Conflict Transformation (IMPACT) ecosystem. Conflict dynamics around the globe endure and intensify (including violent extremism, gender-based violence, and marginalization of indigenous knowledge systems) while new conflicts emerge from planetary destruction and the effects of technology on human interaction. Effective and ethical local and global responses to these 21st century challenges require new and creative paradigms for thinking, acting and reflecting together, for cultivating capacities, and for advocating for change. Yet, the under-resourced nature of community arts initiatives means that the potential constructive impacts of arts, culture, and conflict transformation work are not fully harnessed. In this session, we will feel the collective pulse of those at the nexus of community arts and conflict transformation. How can we connect - both locally and globally - in ways that strengthen our abilities to support our communities and address 21st century challenges?
IMPACT continues its partnership with ICAF in different ways virtually.
IMPACT's advocacy team joined with the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life and the Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy from Oct 30-Nov 1, 2019 at Brandeis University. This gathering brought together 20 funding professionals, artists and researchers to develop creative, feasible strategies for strengthening the acct ecosystem. Support for the event came from Brandeis University’s Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts, the Fresh Sound Foundation, the Max and Sunny Howard Foundation and individual donors.