Four organisations from Wales, along with Wales Arts International, attended IETM (International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts) Asia Satellite Meeting in Melbourne in May 2014.
IETM Asian Satellite ran from May 12-14, with the New Wave Festival preceding it and the IETM Sydney Caravan running concurrently between the 10th and 16th of May. The meeting gathered performing artists, funders and professionals from three continents to ‘increase international understanding, collaboration and engagement’. It was a rare but essential event for Asian and European Arts professionals to meet and share beyond their local practices and networks.
The four organisations from Wales that attended the meeting were Theatr Iolo, No Fit State, National Theatre of Wales and Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru. The visit offered the opportunity to build on existing relationships in the region, develop new ones and explore the growing arts market in South East Asia.
Lisa Maguire, Executive Producer at National Theatre Wales said:
"I found the experience immensely useful, informative and inspiring. It was my first IETM and having been somewhat sceptical about how the meetings might help to forward our organisational aims and ambitions I became a convert! Unlike performing arts markets (which are very sales focused) priority is given to exchange of ideas, practise and thinking. That such a wide range of organisations and countries are present makes for a very exciting and invigorating dynamic. We were well hosted by the Australia Council and the caravan that followed in Sydney was also excellent. I think we benefited from being part of a Welsh contingent as meeting many of us helped the other participants to better understand the context we are working in. We were also able to help faciliate introductions on each others behalf and share recommendations and advice.
Whilst international experiences of this kind are a pressure on time, budgets and environmental resources the benefits of taking time away from the day to day and being able to spend quality time with so many people at the top of their fields, from a wide range of places, is invaluable. "
Camille Beaumier, Associate Producer & International Relations said:
"NoFit State has been attending a variety of networking and showcasing events for a number of years.
Traditional Market Places (Pams, Apam, Apap, Cinars, etc…) are crucial to the work we do. They are where we build new contacts and maintain the relationships with presenters we are already in discussion with. These events are all about selling and buying work.
We also attend a number of festivals each year, here again we meet presenters, but also have the opportunity to see work and often participate in discussions, seminars and project pitches.
Sector gatherings such as IETM have a different purpose. There, we meet our peers and find out about projects happening around the globe, discover new networks, and exchange practices, resources, tools and ideas. They are a place to find advice, be inspired and invent new projects."
For more information on IETM go to http://ietm.org/