Hull Comedy Festival as part of Hull UK City of Culture 2017, Chris Pepper.

Preparations underway to welcome the international performing arts community to Hull

EVENT DATES: 28-31 March 2019
LOCATION: Hull, ticketed

In spring 2019, Hull-based arts organisation Absolutely Cultured, IETM and partners Arts Council England and the British Council, will welcome the international performing arts community to Hull to explore the theme of inclusion in the creation and presentation of art through an exciting programme of talks, debates, performance, and networking opportunities.

IETM is a membership organisation for contemporary performing arts, with more than 500 members from over 50 countries. With a mission to advocate for the value of the arts and culture in a changing world, IETM holds two plenary meetings a year in different European cities; Hull will be the first UK city to host a plenary since 2010.

Over four days, IETM Hull 2019 will give the national and international arts community an insight into what is special about the contemporary performing arts sector across Hull, the north of England and wider UK. Whilst taking place on the eve of the UK leaving the European Union, the event will promote international collaboration. There will be an exciting and inspiring programme of talks, debates, performances – including world premieres from local and national companies and artists – networking opportunities and more.

The event will explore the theme of inclusion. It will examine issues around race, ethnicity, faith, disability, age, gender, sexuality, class and economic disadvantage and any social and institutional barriers that prevent people from participating in, creating and enjoying the arts as an integral part of the societies in which they live.

Creative Director and CEO of Absolutely Cultured, Katy Fuller, said: “It is very exciting that the next IETM plenary is coming to Hull. IETM meetings are recognised as occasions where new international partnerships are fostered, working practices are shared and the host region and country has the opportunity to showcase what is exciting and unique about its performing arts sector.”

“I’m really pleased that we’re using IETM Hull to explore questions around inclusion and what this means for artists, audiences, funders and partners. For the arts to survive and thrive, we need to have spaces to have positive discussions and debates about these issues. We need to have time to talk about our approaches to ensuring our work is for everyone. Alongside this we need to keep talking about how we make and keep international partnerships and collaborations going; it is not an accident that IETM Hull begins on the eve of the day that the UK leaves the European Union.”

Theatre and Dance Senior Programme Manager at the British Council, Andrew Jones, added: “This is a great opportunity to build on the legacy of Hull UK City of Culture 2017. The British Council was the international partner of Hull 2017 and see this as a great opportunity to sustain the legacy of its year of culture, building on the city’s celebration of international arts and local artists and communities. We’re delighted to be working alongside artists and cultural partners in Hull as well as Arts Council England, to collectively champion this event and continue to cement Hull’s reputation as a thriving cultural centre.”

IETM Hull 2019 will be attended by member and non-member organisations and individuals working in contemporary performing arts. It is anticipated that it will be the largest ever attendance from the UK membership at a plenary meeting.                                                                                                                                                             

For more information visit our FAQ page to register your place visit:

Produced by Absolutely Cultured in partnership with Arts Council England and British Council. With support from Creative Europe, Flanders State of the Art, Hull City Council and Visit Britain.