Course blog for American University PERF-570, Fall 2014
Some European countries are facing major difficulties to overcome the economical crisis of the last years. Right after Greece, Portugal´s government declared bankruptcy and since then the country has been following the economical austerity measures imposed by troika – the team formed by the EU +IMF+European Central Bank.
Since the crisis (really) started in 2009 I was expecting that a lot of arts organization would struggle so hard that would eventually disappear. And unfortunately there are some cases. However, I have been realising that less government support has enhanced high levels of creativity and problem solving skills in portuguese culture(s). Please note that I still do not understand how some organisations are expected to survive but the fact is….most of them are. Portuguese have been showing the rest of Europe that even “without money” there are plenty of things that we are doing well even though on the way we lost the Ministry of Culture.
The national dance company had to join forces with the national theatre and orchestra to form an artistic coalition and their program has been very consistent so far. Other organizations had to come together as well and find solutions to overcome the consequences of the financial cuts. Furthermore, it is interesting to see how much Portugal is investing in hybrid art festivals not only as a strategy to attract tourism but also to take advantage of the collective aspect of this activity.
We have been talking about “multi-modal” attendance tendencies in the arts as a result of many factors like education, technology, life style and income. I hope portuguese art organisations can follow the success of some of our creative industries and turn into positive case studies of arts organisations in the future. It is ambitious but who knows?
photo of Lisbon taken by me