On 31 July, over 180 Outdoor Arts professionals from 24 different countries gathered together for the second XTRAX / Stockton International Riverside Festival (SIRF) Showcase. Building on the success of the first Showcase last summer, this event took on a brand new digital format in response to challenges posed by COVID-19.
The event took the format of a one-day virtual symposium, with a packed professional programme providing platforms for conversations on a variety of topics currently affecting our sector.
The day started with a relaxed morning session, giving delegates the opportunity to network in smaller breakout rooms and find out more about fellow professionals attending the event.
The first professional session saw the launch of our new series of online webinars: XTRAX Global Conversations. These sessions are designed to maintain and strengthen our international connections in a time when meeting in person is uncertain, and provides valuable opportunities to artists and organisations wanting to find out more about the Outdoor Arts scenes in different regions.
This first XTRAX Global Conversation focused on East Asian Outdoor Arts, featuring speakers from Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan. Our speakers provided an intriguing insight into how outdoor arts and their respective governments have responded to the COVID pandemic. This followed on from our first East Asian Outdoor Arts panel discussion hosted at SIRF last year.
Following this session, SIRF Artistic Director, Jeremy Shine, presented an introduction to the festival’s SIRF AT HOME programme, accompanied by a series of videos celebrating past performances.
In the afternoon, delegates joined a session to hear practical tips, information and how to plan for touring internationally post-Brexit. The speakers discussed the future of touring, identified challenges and opportunities and shared some excellent resources that artists and festivals can use to continue our creative exchanges between UK and European Outdoor Arts.
You can find out more about touring post-Brexit in the next XTRAX Global Conversation session on 16 October. Find out more and register here.
We want to say thank you to all of our wonderful delegates who attended on the day, creating lively and informed discussions throughout the sessions. We hope you had opportunities to catch up with old friends, meet new faces and of course took some food for thought home with you after the sessions.
You can find resources, downloads and re-watch the professional sessions by using the block below.
Find out more about our Showcase work here.