RESHAPE is a research and development project that brings together arts organisations from the Europe and the South Mediterranean to jointly create innovative organisational models and reflect on concrete answers to crucial challenges related to the production, distribution and presentation of contemporary art practices. The aim of RESHAPE is to imagine an alternative to the European arts ecosystem by rethinking its instruments and collaborative models, placing them in line with artistic and social innovation and the principles of fairness, solidarity, geographic balance and sustainability. RESHAPE will develop and test an experimental bottom-up method to construct new narratives and new instruments that are appropriate to the evolutions of the arts sector and the society. By increasing the knowledge, competences and reactivity of intermediary organisations in relation to today’s artistic experimentations, RESHAPE aims to influence public policies and integrate future policy instruments.
Political, economic, technological and ecological changes in our society deeply influence the way in which arts are created, presented and experienced. Not all artists have the same opportunities to present or collaborate internationally. Public policies, industry practices and the market cannot ensure that diverse artistic voices and practices reach potential audiences across Europe. At the same time, artists work more and more across aesthetics, disciplines, national boundaries and sectors. The institutional not-for-profit arts sector – both on the national and European levels – hasn’t been flexible enough to integrate these changes.
How to continue supporting our arts sector within this context? RESHAPE partners are convinced that artists and cultural workers are innovation experts, that they are the ones who should invent future models for the arts sector. Innovative structures and projects emerge across the continent. They experiment with a variety of strategies to engage diverse audiences, to connect across sectors, to be more in line with the values they defend. These initiatives, although often fragile and disconnected, are “weak signals”, the indicators of future models and possible evolutions. RESHAPE looks for such innovative structures, provides them with time and space to work together in a transnational context and jointly reimagine how contemporary art practices of the future will be organised.
RESHAPE proposes a process to reboot business and organisational models of contemporary art practices. We choose to tackle these models in the broad sense: beyond management practices and diversifying revenue sources, we look for models that in the broad sense generate value for society. We identified 5 major challenges that will focus the process, shape all activities and, each in its own right, question how the contemporary arts sector contributes to generating value for society.