Part of the AEC advocacy activities is making new and maintaining existing partnerships with other organisations. These are especially organisations that are active in the fields of art, culture, music or higher education and are, as AEC, doing advocacy on a European level. It goes without saying that when it comes to representing political interests, it is advantageous to join forces and to present and remind specific demands in coordinated action.

But collaborating with partners is more than just that. On the one hand, presenting claims in joint action and speaking with one voice strengthens the visibility of the sector as a whole and the credibility of the positions represented. On the other hand, AEC is also proactively involved in developing common strategies to represent the interests of the music sector and the cultural sector at an umbrella level. This is done, among other activities, by regularly suggesting AEC representatives as candidates for the boards of important umbrella organisations in the field. The AEC CEO (Stefan Gies) is member of the board of Culture Action Europe Board, the AEC General Secretary Harrie van den Elsen was recently elected to the board of the European Music Council and the long-standing former member of the AEC Council, Jacques Moreau, represents the AEC as member of the Executive Board of the International Music Council (IMC).

Mutual invitations to the major annual congresses of the relevant associations and organisations are an expression of the regular and intensive maintenance of partnerships, and this is reflected by the fact that representatives from ELIA, EAS, EMU, CAE, NASM and SEADOM, to name only a few, will take part in the AEC Annual Congress 2021.

But first of all, partnerships breathe life by creating synergies in joint actions. Such joint actions can last a longer period of time, but they might as well be focusing on only a single day of action, and they can be bilateral or multilateral. A good example of a one-off bilateral action, which nevertheless promises high visibility, is the collaboration between AEC and Opera Europa on the occasion of World Opera Day on 25 October.

Opera Europa is an international service organisation for professional opera companies and opera festivals in Europe and, as AEC, a Brussels based not-for-profit organisation. Opera Europa has decided to contribute to this year’s World Opera Day with two social media activities: a so-called TikTok Challenge inviting vocalists to post a short self-produced clip from a location of their choice and to write on-screen ‘Happy World Opera Day’.

In addition, it is suggested to offer a series of Rooftop Concerts to celebrate the day with a global action. The format of a Rooftop Concert opens up a wide range of options to organise an action of whatever size and duration taking into account local conditions and possibilities, but still with a high degree of visibility in the local press or on social media channels.

AEC therefore encourages its members to take part in this action:

  •       Join the celebration of World Opera Day by filming a small-scale rooftop concert.
  •       Choose a venue with a view and sing or play a piece of music with your colleagues or friends.
  •       Duration: from 1 to 30min, the format is yours!
  •       Film and record yourself
  •       Post your video on social media (Facebook and/or Instagram) on 25 October and use the hashtags #WorldOperaDay #RooftopConcert
  •       It might be live as well as pre-recorded

More information on World Opera Day can be found here.