70 years of the International Theatre Institute

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Many international centers of the International Theatre Institute commemorated in 2018 the 70thanniversary of founding the biggest international non-governmental organization in the field of performing arts, which had been founded in 1948 in Prague.

ITI advances UNESCO’s goals of mutual understanding and peace and advocates the protection and promotion of cultural expression, regardless of age, gender, creed, or ethnicity. ITI works to these ends internationally and nationally in the areas of performing arts education, international exchange and collaboration, and youth training. The Czech (Czechoslovak) ITI Centre was one of 15 founding members of the organization that is represented in theatre, dance and music communities of 94 countries.

On the occasion of founding the ITI, the Czech ITI Centre organized the symposium International Theatre Institute, UNESCO’s Goals and Performing Arts for the 21st Century. International guests along with Czech delegates presented a variety of visions for 21stcentury performing arts linked to substantial topics of contemporary global society. Three blocks of the panel discussion focus on the following topics: “Education in Performing Arts”, “Artists’ Rights, LGBT and Performing Arts” and “Theatre in Conflict Zones”.

UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is one of the 15 United Nations international agencies and focuses on topics such as peace, security, sustainable development, human rights, international rights as well as social, economic and humanitarian issues. UN priorities have changed in the course of time, yet their use remains the same: the international community should aim at diminution of differences between industrially developed and developing countries. The proposal for the establishment of the International Theatre Institute was presented at the UNESCO General Conference back in 1946, the first and founding congress of the organization took place in 1948 in Prague. Czechoslovak theatremakers were represented by Jan Kopecký and Jindřich Honzl (in the executive committee). The main mission of the ATI has always been to utilize and support cooperation of theatre and theatremakers to build bridges between nations when keeping and respecting the identity of their national culture regardless of their political systems.

Recording from the symposium is available here.

The symposium was organized by the Czech ITI Centre in cooperation with the Arts and Theatre Institute, International Festival Theatre in Pislen and the Theatre Faculty, Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. It took place on 17thSeptember 2018 in the premises of the Ministry of Culture.