The brave city – culture won’t stand still!

Dear friends, colleagues, companions,
esteemed audience of the La Strada Festival, Graz,

First and foremost, in these unbelievable times we wish you continued safety and health.

For more than 20 years now and together with artists and its international network partners, La Strada has conceived and developed projects for urban public space, unceasingly reflecting the city and its residents – really close to its audience. Here the multifaceted realities of people’s lives and the stories hidden away behind them form the basis for artistic work. In the current situation, we too are facing entirely new challenges.

The crisis has confronted our team, the invited artists and all of our partners with challenges we would wish to meet with courage and confidence. Working together over the forthcoming weeks and months, we will determine how a wide-ranging cultural life can remain possible in the current situation, how we can foster hope and confidence, support social togetherness and maintain contact with our colleagues in Austria, Europe and the rest of the world. Moreover, how we share this process with people in our city. Indeed how we complete the most essential task of art and culture: to find good answers for complex problems in interdisciplinary processes. So it is that the spotlight falls particularly on community-art projects being developed and realised for and together with residents. 

La Strada began this year on January 1st. It will end in the last hour of sunshine on December 31st. Actually with “The Graz Vigil” project on Schlossberg hill. On 9 April this “wonderful choreography for a whole city” by Joanne Leighton reached the 200th of its participants, maintaining a vigil over the city either at sunrise or sunset. 

The entire artistic programme for La Strada 2020 was completed long ago. Preparations have been underway for many months. It comprises 26 projects by groups of artists from 11 different countries. Twelve community-art projects will take place, involving numerous local artists assisted by participants drawn from a broad spread of generations among Graz residents. 

Here you can now gain an overview of what has so far formed the basis of our work will do so over the forthcoming months. 
Given the current and foreseeable circumstances, we have decided to extend the duration of this year’s festival to cover the entire calendar year, keep a firm hold on the projects and try to time them in such a way that they see off the pandemic. With due respect of course. With sufficient distance. With all the courage in our hearts.

2020 will be different. 
In Austria, throughout Europe and the world.
And La Strada will be different too. 

Let’s keep together. Please be with us. 

Yours very truly, on behalf of the La Strada Graz team,

Werner Schrempf
Artistic Director