International event in Hull to explore the reality of inclusion

IETM Hull 2019 is a major European arts networking event that takes place as the UK departs the EU

IETM HULL 2019 Image credit Hull Comedy NightHull Comedy Night as part of Hull UK City of Culture 2017. Photo: Chris Pepper

The arts world is currently debating inclusion with new energy. But what is the reality of inclusion in the arts? Is it something that we want to deliver in theory but find hard to do in practice? Is the language that we use problematic, including the terms 'inclusion'? One size doesn't fit all, so who do you choose to include and how do you deliver this practically in your work?

We're delighted to work with IETM, Arts Council England and Absolutely Cultured to deliver IETM Hull 2019, an event for international programmers, producers and artists, taking place on 28–31 March 2019.

With a meeting and discussions strand alongside an artistic programme, the event will explore the reality of inclusion in today's societies, in their artistic representations and in the process of creation. It will examine issues around race, ethnicity, faith, disability, age, gender, sexuality, class and economic disadvantage. The discussions will consider social and institutional barriers that prevent people from participating in and enjoying the arts. The artistic programme includes UK companies Middle Child Theatre, Keisha Thompson, and Candoco Dance Company.

IETM is an international network for contemporary performing arts. It holds regular events that hop between cities across the world, primarily in Europe. It's perhaps the most important networking event for European performing arts professionals, with an increasing number of participants from other parts of the world. This is the first time its plenary meeting has taken place in Hull.

"It's taken three years to make this event happen, with the British Council working alongside UK IETM members, including Hull based E52, Hull UK City of Culture 2017, Arts Council England and IETM itself" says Andrew Jones, Theatre and Dance Senior Programme Manager at the British Council. 

"There's a growing concern about how we continue to engage with our European peers"

Hull Freedom festival Saturday 139 c Tom ArranFreedom Festival took over Hull for September as part of the city's UK City of Culture 2017 programme

Discussions began at the planning stage for Hull's UK City of Culture 2017 programme. The British Council was the international partner of Hull 2017 and is an associate member of IETM. All parties agreed that an IETM Hull event would help to sustain the legacy of its year of culture, building on the city's celebration of international arts and local artists and communities.

"In light of the current political situation in the UK, there's a growing concern about how we continue to engage with our European peers," Jones continues. It's no accident that the event takes place during the exact time that the UK leaves the EU.

Jones adds: "Since the UK's referendum, I've seen an renewal of interest from our performing arts industry in attending IETM meetings. Many UK artists are thinking about their international prospects and how to physically engage with contacts in other countries when we are no longer part of the EU."

IETM Hull 2019 is led by Absolutely Cultured in partnership with Arts Council England and the British Council. Absolutely Cultured, built on the foundations of the company which delivered Hull’s year as UK City of Culture 2017, continues to play a leading role in cementing Hull’s reputation as a thriving cultural centre.

The British Council offers bursaries to UK creatives from groups that are under-represented in UK arts to attend overseas IETM events. We won't be running these bursaries for Hull, but we will be offering them for the next big IETM meeting. Sign up to our newsletter and follow us on Twitter @UKTheatreDance to hear more news as it's announced.


Get involved: 

Explore the full programme and book your place on the  IETM website


Find out more:


Check out upcoming events in Hull from Absolutely Cultured

> Take a peek at past highlights of Hull 2017 from the BBC

> Discover the story of Hull 2017 and its legacy with The Guardian

> See IETM’s resources for performing arts professionals


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