New online programme, reflecting on recent events regarding the COVID-19 crisis, exploring ways of caring and coping, finding a new normal and imagining possible futures for ourselves and cultural institutions.

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With FORUM, three open discussion pages on our website, we want to actively involve you to help us (and each other!) shed more light on three issues, regardless of your (professional) background or situation.

Go straight to FORUM 1: Crisis – A multitude of perspectives

Go straight to FORUM 2: Reframing – Finding a new normal

Go straight to FORUM 3: How to go ahead – cultural institutions

Contributions can be short or long, personal or descriptive, English or Dutch, and you may refer to other resources, initiatives, sites, or organizations. The most inspiring/interesting contributions will be (after your approval) shared on our social media. The ultimate goal is to get a good overview of the current situation, but also imagines what a better future could look like, for ourselves and for cultural institutions such as HMK. Take care!

Crisis: a multitude of perspectives

The recent outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the far-reaching precautions made to fight its rapid spread, many lives being turned upside down, entire countries locking down, practicing social distancing, working from home or sitting at home without work, uncertainty about the future, anxiety, loneliness – we are all experiencing big changes in our personal and professional lives.

Help us map a multitude of perspectives on the current situation by answering the following question:

What changes have you experienced in your personal and/or professional life and what (emotional, social, financial) challenges are you facing because of that, now and in the foreseeable future?


Reframing: finding a ‘new normal’

We are all facing a time of great uncertainty. What do practices of care look like from our homes, our sofas? How do we cope (emotionally and practically) in times of uncertainty? When income disappears? When we find ourselves distanced from our loved ones, the people who care for us and who we care about and for? When we need to carve new ways to go ahead? As we try to flesh out a new normal?

Many of us are currently exploring ways to withstand or move through the challenging times, now and ahead – as well as the feelings of stress, anxiety and loneliness caused by it. We take care, of our situation, ourselves and our loved ones, by coming up with creative solutions that help us overcome current obstacles and challenges, routines that keeps us sane, new ventures that can keep us occupied and inspire us.  Or we use this time of social distancing to reflect on our lives and rethink what matters most to us and what we want to do differently, both individually and collectively. In other words: we are all, in one way or another, trying to give shape and adjust to a new normal.

We would love to hear from you! Please help us think about how we could reframe the current situatio by answering the following question:

What do you do to take care (emotionally, socially, financially), how do you give shape to this new normal, and what can we learn and take with us while imagining the future?


How to go ahead: cultural institutions

The last decade has been a dire time for cultural institutions like HMK. One the one hand there have been serious cuts in funding and on the other higher pressures on institutional performance and organisational efficiency – which, in turn, has resulted in overproducing and overworking across the cultural sphere. With Slow Burn, our year programme, we are taking time to care: to reflect on all the things we have been doing, to recuperate from the things we did wrong or too much, and to ask ourselves what HMK could do and be in the future – for the institution, its artists, its employees and its community.

Recently, these questions seem even more pressing and urgent, albeit in ways none of us had ever imagined. How can cultural institutions adjust and learn in these new and precarious times, even when the doors are closed? We would really appreciate your thoughts! Afterall, we run this place for you. In our third and final forum we would like you to share your thoughts by answering the following question:

What challenges do cultural institutions like HMK need to overcome now, and what can they do and be, now and in the future?