On behalf of the members of the aita/iata Executive Board and Council I send you warmest greeting for the coming festive season and I wish you enjoyable celebrations to bring in the New Year.
Those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, where the weather has already been stormy, snowy and cold, may think of those in the warm southern hemisphere with a little envy at this time of year. But wherever you are I am sure that we are thinking of our families and our loved ones, whether close or far away.
I believe that my confidence in December 2012 that our love of theatre and our wish to educate through theatre would provide us with the strength and energy to make 2013 a good and creative year has been proved right. We had an excellent World Congress, General Assembly and Mondial in Monaco where we all saw such good theatre, listened to fascinating discussions on the performances and met some wonderful new theatre people. I am sorry that many of you were not able to join us – perhaps you will be able to do so in July 2015 when the International Festival will be in Westouter, Belgium. More information will be announced in early 2014.
And very importantly, our most active Members, Affiliates and Associates in Monaco helped us to start Shaping The Future: to look at where aita/iata is going and what changes are needed to ensure it is still a vibrant, active and essential organisation in 2025. In Monaco we established a Renewal Working Group and at the EB in Gent, I asked Aled Rhys-Jones to co-ordinate the work. The Working Group will meet in January in Denmark, generously hosted by DATS. A new page on the website HERE will post information on the work of the Group. I would love to hear your thoughts for the future: do please share them with the Working Group by sending them to Aled-Rhys Jones.
The European Forum for Amateur Theatre (EFAT) held a meeting on 14 and 15 December and we will post information about this on the aita/iata website as soon as possible. This is an important development for the three European Regions of iata/iata – CEC, CIFTA and NEATA and I wish them every success in their endeavours for closer European cooperation and exchanges of ideas and information. Background information can be found now on the CEC website HERE.
My warmest wishes to you all.
President Merja Laaksovirta
Suomen Harrastajateatteriliitto / The International Amateur Theatre Association
Minervankatu 1 C 21