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Urban Heat is a timely and strategic response to the urgent needs of the cultural sector by a network (FIT) consisting of many of Europe’s leading independent festivals. It is a logical continuation of the work of FIT in supporting innovation, audience development and the skills and capabilities of a new generation of performing artists. UH has a two stage programme of activity. The first is focused on skills development and knowledge transfer at a series of intensive European Academies and Urban Labs; the second on the creation of innovative new performances and participatory practices that engage with many of those audiences and communities currently excluded from mainstream cultural provision in our cities. It aims to:- Develop new audiences for the arts, including those from under-served communities, enabling artists and organisations to build a broader base of public support and legitimacy- Build new skills and competences amongst artists and organisations, and specifically equipping them to understand and act upon the transformative potential of digital technologies in engaging audiences, increasing distribution and enhancing the public’s experience of the arts – Learn from, and apply the lessons of, highly successful existing strategies of community and public engagement that exist outside the world of the arts, particularly the strategies of activism- Increase international capacity and intercultural knowledge- Promote the creation and transnational circulation of cultural works and the mobility of artists across the breadth of Europe and beyondUrban Heat is of real benefit to the wider sector. It will strengthen cooperation amongst the participating organisations, build a pool of audiences, data, knowledge and undertanding and, through independent evaluation, will disseminate information and models of good practice across the European arts sector
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