On Monday 4 May, Magdalena Moreno Mujica, Executive Director of IFACCA, participated in the online panel session The Role of Local Governments During the COVID-19 Crisis hosted and webcast by the Americas Society/Council of the Americas.
The session brought together leaders of municipal and sub-national governments in the Americas which are intimately involved the cultural lives of their cities, as they administer theatres, run festivals and companies, and support artists including Enrique Avogadro, Minister of Culture for the City of Buenos Aires, Argentina (Affiliate Member of IFACCA); Danielle Barros, Director of Culture and Creative Economy, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Ramiro Pallares, Director of Culture for Montevideo, Uruguay. In complement, Ms Moreno Mujica offered an international perspective and insights into diverse national contexts worldwide. The discussion centred on understanding the current situation relating to the COVID-19 crisis; identifying its different stages and required actions; and considering potential recovery plans. During the session, participants discussed comprehensive responses that take into account audiences, artists and cultural workers; the most significant challenges of lockdown; opportunities to reach new audiences; the role of culture and public cultural infrastructure during the pandemic; and whether the role of culture and cultural institutions will be different in the aftermath of the crisis. Among the key themes that emerged were the sudden and devastating impact of COVID-19, the effects of which have been felt across the sector; as well as the opportunity and need to rethink models of support, engagement, and access to arts and culture, particularly in the recovery period towards what will be the ‘new normal’.
The session was moderated by Sebastián Zubieta and Aimé Iglesias Lukin from the Americas Society and discussions took place in Spanish. You can watch the full webcast here