Participation in cultural life, exposure to art, access to artistic knowledge and training are enriching both to the individual and communities. They also strengthen civic and social ties. Arts and culture are key to increasing the public’s awareness of political and societal issues. A democratic society where people actively participate in culture has the means to foster social inclusion.
In 2010, the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion, the European Festivals Association (EFA) invites arts festivals worldwide to open doors!
Festivals are in a privileged position to provide the means for everyone to experience culture. Festivals open doors to new artistic forms, new performers, new audiences, unusual venues, unknown cultures, new points of view, new approaches to arts and the world, new social orders, new political discussions.
- insprire citizens through the arts, challenge and offer them occasions to broaden their horizons.
- help deconstruct stereotypes.
- promote a creative society that sustains and develops quality of life, social well-being and equal opportunities for all.
- boost geographic, social and generational solidarity by bringing people together through inventive and participatory initiatives.
All arts festivals are invited to open doors and
- include the Open-The-Door logo and the link wherever possible.
- endorse the Arts Festivals’ Declaration on Intercultural Dialogue and become a partner in the FestLab for Creativity and Innovation.
- endorse the Access to Culture Platform’s Policy Guidelines document and get involved in its distribution and discussions about it.
- take part in the UNESCO activities for The International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures and open the doors to creators, performers and other festivals from all over the world.
- organise a debate or a workshop on the importance of mainstreaming arts and culture in all areas of policy making.
- devise learning actions for a creative access to the artistic process and objects.
- include participatory projects in their programmes and address different social groups with the purpose of increasing access, participation and interactivity.
- develop synergies and partnerships between traditional institutions and independent artists/creators.
- use innovative forms of communication that audiences can relate to.
- participate in studies and consultations on participation in order to provide strong data to support demands for policy reviews.
- Call for regional, national, European and international policy-makers to always take culture into account for the role it plays in people’s well-being, the promotion of human values and social inclusion.