Europa Nostra Agora launched!
Updated: May 15, 2020
As the unprecedented COVID-19 outbreak is impacting the entire world economy and society, the cultural and cultural heritage sectors are particularly affected due to travel bans or limitations, public closures and event cancellations with alarming financial implications (both short and long term) and a prevailing uncertainty about the future. Even the survival of smaller and non subsidised organisations is at serious risk. Cultural heritage stakeholders are nevertheless turning challenges into opportunities. Plenty of museums and cultural organisations have seized this occasion to re-engage with their audiences and reach new ones through creative and innovative digital solutions – such as free online content, social media challenges, online concerts or webinars.
Today so many citizens and organisations are learning and adapting – in such a quick pace – to live, work, learn and communicate in a different way, often from home and in self-isolation. All these creative digital initiatives contribute to a better understanding of our shared history and heritage and foster the sense of togetherness and the value of solidarity, both much needed in these extremely trying times.
Europa Nostra has decided to respond to this unprecedented challenge by encouraging citizens, civil society organisations and cultural heritage operators to connect, interact and learn from one another across various types of borders and barriers.
To achieve this aim Europa Nostra has launched the Europa Nostra Agora: a virtual platform to share and promote digital best practices related to culture and cultural heritage from across Europe and the world. By joining forces through creative and innovative solutions, Europa Nostra hopes to give more visibility and understanding of Europe’s “Unity in Diversity” while advancing the digital shift and optimising people’s confinement time. By sharing and promoting news and content, Europa Nostra aims to make a modest but meaningful contribution to enhancing the mental health of citizens during the trying times of the COVID 19 pandemic.
Following a request from Executive President Hermann Parzginer and Secretary General of Europa Nostra Sneška Quaedvlieg – Mihailović, Europa Nostra UK contributed information about the impact of COVID-19 on the Cultural Heritage sector in the UK. Furthermore, we provided information about the various initiatives that the UK cultural heritage sector have provided in light of the pandemic. The information submitted to Europa Nostra on behalf of Europa Nostra UK can be found here.
The breadth of materials, from virtual tours to online webinars, has been outstanding, demonstrating the resilience and strength of the whole sector. Nonetheless, these are incredibly difficult times for the majority of cultural heritage organisations across Europe. In light of this struggle, Europa Nostra have released their website platform ‘Europa Nostra Digital Agora’.
You can get involved and contribute to the agora through email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and through social media using the hashtag #EuropaNostraAgora. In addition to the website, accessible to everyone, there will also be a weekly update that provides an overview of the information submitted to the database. You can sign up for the newsletter here.