In the light of all the necessary changes that were provoked by the coronavirus outbreak in the past few weeks, in the afternoon of March 18th, 2020 ALDA held a special open webinar on how to address the coronavirus crisis.

The webinar, which took place both in English and in Italian, aimed specifically to be an outlet for fruitful collective discussion and brainstorming: at this time more than ever, ALDA stands strongly alongside its members, partners, networks and friends, taking all the possible steps to foster connection and solidarity at European level and beyond, identifying both problems and possible solutions.

Both sessions were well participated and brought great inputs. The English session saw the contributions of LDA Delegate Sasa Marinkov from the Local Democracy Agency Central and Southern Serbia, in Knjaževac; Ruth-Marie Henckes, Advocacy & Communication Officer at the Europsko partnerstvo za demokraciju, of which ALDA is member; and Serena Foracchia, Managing Director of Reggio Children Srl.

Special guests of the Italian session, in turn, were Agostino Zanotti, founder of the ADL Zavidovići association, Brescia; Nina Zanotelli, Project Director at La Piccionaia Theatre Productions, Vicenza; and Francesco Zarzana, President of the cultural association Progettarte, in Modena as well as Member of the ALDA Governing Board.

In both webinars, as well, ALDA Secretary-General Antonella Valmorbida presented ALDA’s thoughts and strategic plans for the current situation and the near future, with an overview of the different scenarios that ALDA is implementing to react to the obstacles it’s facing. How to address the crisis, then?

Re-considering, re-modulating, extending, revising, re-connecting were some of the key words which, together with flexibility and resilience, marked Mrs Valmorbida’s intervention; and they found common ground in the other speakers’ interventions, too. As all speakers purposefully highlighted the difficulties they are facing and the solutions they are exploring, in fact, it became positively apparent that we are all united in the approach we are trying to take in response to the coronavirus crisis.

In Knjaževac, curfews and restrictions are accompanied by new services for the most vulnerable parts of the population, and the LDA is considering the use of podcasts, vlogs, e-democracy activities and online trainings to support its ongoing activities. At EPD, the staff is looking to adopt online platforms that best allow everybody to interact and keep the conversation going, and has already set up and online server and a video-conferencing schedule as well as specific group chats. Serena Foracchia suggested the interdependency and domino effect that connects the health issues, production issues and social issues we are facing – and hence the need to understand the value of our communities in their different facets, and to push forward with determination. Not to mention the warm intensity with which Agostino Zanotti, Nina Zanotelli, Francesco Zarzana bore testimony to the strain that the cultural sector is inevitably under in this situation, which in Italy started already three weeks ago.

In their (combined) words, today we are called to translate into facts a new awareness of our common social responsibilities; to accept that we must learn to adapt beyond our expectations; to act with strength despite how scared we may be.

We are very grateful to all speakers for their important contributions, and to the audience for clearly being eager to implement the proposed strategies and adapt them for their local needs. Perhaps, as remarked by ALDA President Oriano Otočan, what’s most important is that we are a community, and we are in this together with the firm belief that we can make it.

In the light of all the necessary changes that were provoked by the coronavirus outbreak in the past few weeks, in the afternoon of March 18th, 2020 ALDA held a special open webinar on how to address the coronavirus crisis.

The webinar, which took place both in English and in Italian, aimed specifically to be an outlet for fruitful collective discussion and brainstorming: at this time more than ever, ALDA stands strongly alongside its members, partners, networks and friends, taking all the possible steps to foster connection and solidarity at European level and beyond, identifying both problems and possible solutions.

Both sessions were well participated and brought great inputs. The English session saw the contributions of LDA Delegate Sasa Marinkov from the Local Democracy Agency Central and Southern Serbia, in Knjaževac; Ruth-Marie Henckes, Advocacy & Communication Officer at the Europsko partnerstvo za demokraciju, of which ALDA is member; and Serena Foracchia, Managing Director of Reggio Children Srl.

Special guests of the Italian session, in turn, were Agostino Zanotti, founder of the ADL Zavidovići association, Brescia; Nina Zanotelli, Project Director at La Piccionaia Theatre Productions, Vicenza; and Francesco Zarzana, President of the cultural association Progettarte, in Modena as well as Member of the ALDA Governing Board.

In both webinars, as well, ALDA Secretary-General Antonella Valmorbida presented ALDA’s thoughts and strategic plans for the current situation and the near future, with an overview of the different scenarios that ALDA is implementing to react to the obstacles it’s facing. How to address the crisis, then?

Re-considering, re-modulating, extending, revising, re-connecting were some of the key words which, together with flexibility and resilience, marked Mrs Valmorbida’s intervention; and they found common ground in the other speakers’ interventions, too. As all speakers purposefully highlighted the difficulties they are facing and the solutions they are exploring, in fact, it became positively apparent that we are all united in the approach we are trying to take in response to the coronavirus crisis.

In Knjaževac, curfews and restrictions are accompanied by new services for the most vulnerable parts of the population, and the LDA is considering the use of podcasts, vlogs, e-democracy activities and online trainings to support its ongoing activities. At EPD, the staff is looking to adopt online platforms that best allow everybody to interact and keep the conversation going, and has already set up and online server and a video-conferencing schedule as well as specific group chats. Serena Foracchia suggested the interdependency and domino effect that connects the health issues, production issues and social issues we are facing – and hence the need to understand the value of our communities in their different facets, and to push forward with determination. Not to mention the warm intensity with which Agostino Zanotti, Nina Zanotelli, Francesco Zarzana bore testimony to the strain that the cultural sector is inevitably under in this situation, which in Italy started already three weeks ago.

In their (combined) words, today we are called to translate into facts a new awareness of our common social responsibilities; to accept that we must learn to adapt beyond our expectations; to act with strength despite how scared we may be.

We are very grateful to all speakers for their important contributions, and to the audience for clearly being eager to implement the proposed strategies and adapt them for their local needs. Perhaps, as remarked by ALDA President Oriano Otočan, what’s most important is that we are a community, and we are in this together with the firm belief that we can make it.