EC3 brought together Peterborough arts leaders during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic to talk about the challenges they were facing and what they needed to meet them, in a series of three roundtables. The goal was to encourage artists and arts leaders to speak with each other, provide peer support, and solidarity; to assess the impacts of COVID-19 on the local arts sector, share knowledge and information on such pressing topics as finances, audience attrition, scenario planning, and to think about the future and plan how the local arts sector might move into a healthy recovery – when the timing is right. EC3 contracted Laridae Communications, a professional strategic planning and consulting company with extensive experience in the arts, to provide arms-length management of the project. Laridae assisted with designing the ‘shape’ of the roundtables, developing the questions asked, ensuring consistent atmosphere and ambiance, thanking participants, and providing a follow-up report. We decided to work with an external firm to ensure a neutral environment and well-rounded investigation.
- The groups were: Visual and Media Arts; Theatre, Dance, and Professional Venues; and Music and Literary Arts.
- Issues and ideas raised at the roundtable and included in the report were later used in advocacy to municipal, provincial, and federal government; in the Impact of COVID-19 on the Arts & Culture Sector Research Report; and in reporting on the COVID-19 Impact on Local Organizations Survey.
- These roundtables were crucial in driving the content and direction of EC3’s COVID-19 response and recovery initiates.
- Activity date: May 11 to 13, 2020
- Location: Online
- Attendance: 45
- Partners: Laridae Communications