Showing Up as a Global Field: A UNESCO Invitation for Our Readers
The Ensemble Editorial Team
We say we are a global field. But are we? An open call from UNESCO—which you may not have heard about—presents us with an unprecedented opportunity to move in that direction.
As longtime editors of The Ensemble, we are constantly inspired by the exciting, imaginative work of programs all over the world. We are inspired, too, by dedicated networking organizations like El Sistema USA and Sistema Europe and global resources like the Sistema Global website. But becoming a robust global field with a strong public identity takes more: it requires all of us—programs and individuals alike—to widen our lens and to take large-scale collective actions that amplify our power and strength as a field.
We suggest this starting point, modest but real in its potential impact: a global open mic.
UNESCO is holding a World Conference on Cultural Policies, MONDIACULT 2022, 28-30 September in Mexico.
The conference will focus on:
- The role of governments in supporting resilience, inclusion, and sustainability in arts and culture
- The role of culture in achieving the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
- Promotion and protection of cultural heritage
- Strengthening the creative economy
The conference organizers have opened a website called Share Your Voice/Virtual Global Open Mic, to receive ideas from around the world in advance of the conference. They’re inviting cultural workers, youth, and the public at large to contribute to this global policy dialogue by addressing these questions:
- What is the one issue of most urgent concern for you regarding the sustainability and resilience of the arts, culture, heritage, and creativity?
- What is one action policymakers should take to effect positive change in this area of concern?
- What are possible solutions that already address this concern?
They invite us to share our responses on the website in writing, via audio/video (via WhatsApp), or via Twitter or Twitter Spaces. And they affirm that all responses “will be considered in the development of a public report” that every delegate will receive.
Let’s all—ALL—take a few minutes to step up to that mic.
This is an open invitation for us to share our perspective about the importance of the field of music for social change. If we can generate hundreds of responses from this perspective, we can begin to become visible, as a field, to leaders and colleagues all over the world.
We’re making you a promise that everyone on The Ensemble team will contribute to the Virtual Global Open Mic. Will you?
Please find those few minutes. Please contribute to this positive collective action that lets the world know about the power of our field.
And let’s all use the words “global field of music for social change” in our messages.
Please encourage your students, too, to tell UNESCO what they think—they won’t know about this unless you tell them. Do they realize they are part of a global field for positive change that answers a call from the United Nations? Support them, as future leaders, in taking action based on their beliefs.
This is how we build a field. By being accountable to one another with small actions that collectively make a difference.