Coming up: a joint, Europe-wide solidarity campaign by the heritage sector for the heritage sector.
Like most of the cultural sector, the European cultural heritage sector is profoundly affected by the impact of the Corona crisis. All over Europe, dedicated people that take care of their local or national cultural heritage, now need to sit and watch how visitors stop coming, projects are postponed or cancelled, and income drops. Uncertainty rules.
The avalanche of emergencies is pushing cultural heritage off the political agendas, we must make sure that this does not lead to a more permanent degradation. We would waste valuable time when we sit and wait until the crisis will wane. It is now that we must act and move forward.
New perspective, new opportunities
The crisis also offers a new perspective and creates new opportunities. Digital techniques provide new options to bring people and heritage closer together. All over Europe, in all parts of society people are now thinking of new ways for communication and organisation. There is a treasure of ideas and experiences waiting for the heritage sector to tap into.
Connect existing networks
The European Heritage Tribune and the Europa Nostra Digital Agora both run extended networks and already share experiences, knowledge and new ideas in all European countries. But the current situation requires more, the activity needs to be stepped up, more organisations need to be involved, networks should be combined, and the communication of ideas and experiences should be intensified.
This internet campaign wants to be the flag around which the heritage sector can rally. A flag that helps to keep cultural heritage on the agenda and embraces with optimism and realism the urgency and uniqueness of the moment.
We have a good starting point. Together, our two organisations have a direct line with many instrumental heritage organisations all over Europe. We already have the networks and the means to disseminate best practices, innovative solutions, and new ideas, we are only lacking financial means to increase our capacity and to step up our efforts.
Europe-wide solidarity campaign for the heritage community and by the community
‘Future for Heritage’ is a Europe-wide internet campaign that spreads a positive message of resilience and new chances for everyone actively involved in the field of cultural heritage.
Across closed borders, despite social distancing, it conveys a positive message that we are all in this together. It invites people, organisations and existing initiatives to join with colleagues in other European countries and to share good practices, experiences and new ideas, thus telling each other: you are not alone.
This European solidarity campaign will help organisations to keep cultural heritage on their local, national, or European political agendas and help them prepare for the revival of the heritage sector after this crisis.
All the action will be entirely online. Heritage organisations from all over Europe will be asked to join the campaign by placing the logo or banner on their websites and use the hashtag in their social media channels.
To back up the main message, the campaign will gather and share experiences, knowledge and ideas on coping with the situation. Good practices from all over Europe will be collected and shared via social media and via all partners and existing initiatives.
A Facebook campaign page, a Twitter campaign account and a two-weekly campaign newsletter will convey the inspiration with visual highlights of good practices of resilience from all over Europe and pointing the way to available European support and funding.
The campaign will be kicked off by the European Heritage Tribune backed up by Europa Nostra. Together these organisations have an extended, pan-European network in cultural heritage, with partners and members in all European countries at all levels of governance and partnerships with most European heritage projects. Other pan-European organisations, especially members of the European Heritage Alliance 3.3 (a network of 49 European organisations) and Future for Religious Heritage are expected soon to support the project.