Strengthening International Exchange in Turbulent Times

On 9 August 2023, the International Presenting Commons (IPC) and the Edinburgh International Festival gathered an invited, international group of presenters, producers, artists, and agents for a candid exploration of the opportunities and barriers artists and programmers face as they move work across borders. Given the common challenges of limited budgets, governmental support, time, and space, participants shared their innovations and successes in the creation and touring of work. The conversation began by honoring the context in which it was taking place and centering the Scottish voices in the room, and expanded to include everyone present. This unique, horizontal space for sharing experiences across roles and hierarchy led to the discovery of common questions, learning opportunities, and potential collaborations.

About the IPC

The International Presenting Commons (IPC) is an emergent, evolving, volunteer group of United States–based performing arts presenters and creative independent producers who have joined forces to keep international cultural exchange and engagement alive and vibrant now and into the future. IPC does this through advocacy, active learning, resource sharing, and collaboration among performing arts presenters, artists, producers, and funders, who work together to build more sustainable policies and funding models for the exchange of work around the world. The group’s mission is in service of its increasingly diverse communities throughout the country. IPC celebrates its role as part of a global cultural ecosystem and by partnering with artists and presenters from all over the world. IPC does its work through a commons-based approach and is currently organizing with the support and thought partnership of HowlRound.

About the Edinburgh International Festival

The Edinburgh International Festival is a global celebration of performing arts, bringing the finest performers of dance, opera, music and theatre from around the world to Edinburgh for three weeks every August. The Edinburgh International Festival exists to promote the exchange of ideas and deepen understanding between cultures through a global celebration of exceptional performing arts. The International Festival was the inspired idea of Rudolf Bing, a refugee of the Nazi regime who became the General Manager of Glyndebourne Opera, along with Henry Harvey Wood, the Head of the British Council in Scotland, and leaders from the City of Edinburgh. It was established in the aftermath of the Second World War as a cultural event to bring together audiences and artists from around the world, and over 76 years has gone from strength to strength. 

The next International Festival will take place 2-25 August 2024 and is the second from Festival Director and Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti. Each year the programme is developed around a central question or theme. 2024’s theme “Rituals That Unite Us” follows on from Benedetti’s first year, which asked “Where do we go from here?”

The International Festival’s impact also extends beyond the annual programme, with community learning, engagement and professional development programmes running throughout the year, contributing to the cultural and social life of Edinburgh and Scotland.

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