Theatre & Social Engagement


Theatre Without Borders supports artists around the globe who are responding to COVID-19, in their theatres, their lives, their homes and their communities. What are artists around the world doing? Here are some of the initiatives:

1. Hello World  is a simple powerful gesture of global solidarity during the COVID-19 pandemic, a greeting to/from our colleagues around the world. The project aim is to continue to encourage international exchange among artists, showcase diverse works to new audiences and foster dialog among peoples of many different cultures – without anyone having to leave their homes. Hello World is a project of TransCultural Exchange.For more information and to participate, please visit


2. KANTO CUENTOS – CORNER STORIES is a collection of short original films produced by Giovanni Ortega, core-member of Theatre Without Borders, as part of The International Imagination Collective, a group of worldwide artists that engage with cultural advocacy through different avenues of storytelling. This series is a direct response to the 2020 Pandemic Crisis that has widened our perspective and delved into a visceral introspection about who we are as part of the human race and residents of the global environment. 

SHARE YOUR NARRATIVE THROUGH POETRY, PROSE OR FICTION on VIDEO through KANTOS CUENTOS – a project create by Theatre Without Borders core-member Giovanni Ortega. 

We have never been as close as before by being so far apart.

Coyotes that Swings at Night by Giovanni Ortega, Los Angeles

Travel is Prohibited by Jessica Alamapay, Turin

UP NEXT: Guacamayos (Parrots) by Sara Acevedo, Puerto Rico

Thursday, April 23


Giovanni Ortega:




Creative responses to the global pandemic contributed by 

Peacebuilding and the Arts at Brandeis University


We’ve curated a sampling of some of the many creative responses to the world’s public health crisis, as well as discussions about the pandemic’s impact on artists and art-making, along with targeted artist-relief efforts. If you know of others, please share the information with us: 

The Social Distancing Festival
“This is a site for celebrating art from all over the world, showcasing amazing talent, and coming together as a community at a time when we need it more than ever.”

Historians Cooking The Past in the Time of Covid-19
A Call to Cook
“Facing the daily challenges that come with living through this pandemic has led us to rethink how we engage with the past. In this vein, we have cast aside the traditional call for papers in favour of a call to cook, asking oral and public historians throughout the world to share a food memory and a recipe during these COVID-19 times.”

Coronavirus: Syrian artist paints murals in war-torn Idlib to warn of outbreak
Al Arabia
“As fears grow of an impending coronavirus outbreak in Syria, an artist in the war-torn city of Idlib is painting murals to raise public awareness about the virus – and to remind the world of the Syrian regime’s ongoing attacks against civilians.”

‘I am not a virus.’ A Korean-Swedish artist illustrates coronavirus-fueled racism      
Canvas Arts/Public Broadcasting Service
Through a series of one-panel comics entitled, ‘I am not a virus,” Lisa Wool-Rim Sjöblom addresses hostilities Asians are facing during the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Coronavirus, Beyond Intractability, and the Constructive Conflict Initiative
Beyond Intractability
“The Coronavirus is not just an epidemiological problem. It is a serious conflict problem. Find out about Beyond Intractability’s effort to help us all think through what we can do to help.”

Art Became the Oxygen
U.S. Department of Arts and Culture
A how-to guide for artists, resource providers and disaster response agencies that includes numerous examples of artistic responses to crises, and ways to build connection, amplify protest, and build resilience. 

Amid coronavirus, Dutch orchestra stages virtual performance from homes
“Musicians from the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra play Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’ from their homes.” 

Culture of Solidarity Fund
European Cultural Foundation
“The Fund supports imaginative cultural initiatives that, in the midst of the global pandemic crisis, reinforce European solidarity and the idea of Europe as a shared public space.”

Join the Call for #GlobalCeasefire with +Peace
+Peace, along with thousands of others around the world, is joining UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ call for a #GlobalCeasefire. “It is time to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus on the true fight of our lives,” said Secretary-General Guterres.

Exquisite Corps (42 choreographers, 1 dance)
“A dance-film: 42 American contemporary choreographers link together on a chain love letter to dance.” [This was created a few years ago, but feels especially relevant now.]  Catch the sequel, “And So Say All of Us.”

Hyperallergic Discusses Pandemic’s Effects on Museums and Art Schools
A special podcast about “what’s happening at art museums, art schools, and other hubs of the art community during the coronavirus pandemic.”

Live Online Conversations with Global Theatre Artists
Every Monday through Friday, 12 noon (New York time)
“U.S. and international theatre artists, curators, researchers and academics talk with Segal Center’s director Frank Hentschker about life and art in the Time of Corona.”

Read about additional creative responses to the global pandemic.

COVID 19 / [United States] CARES Act Resources 
Center for the Study of Art & Community
“Here are some resources relevant to [U.S.-based] artists, do-gooders, sole proprietors, small businesses, and members of the gig nation with good information about how to access funding contained in the StimBomb known as the CARES Act.” 

Coalition of U.S. Arts Funders Launches Emergency Artist Relief Fund
A coalition of national arts grantmakers, consisting of Academy of American Poets, Artadia, Creative Capital, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, MAP Fund, National YoungArts Foundation, and United States Artists, announces the launch of Artist Relief, which will provide rapid, unrestricted $5,000 relief grants to assist artists facing dire financial emergencies due to the impact of COVID-19. The fund will launch with $10 million, consisting of $5 million in seed funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation matched with $5 million in initial contributions from an array of foundations across the United States.

Arts Council England Has Launched a $190 Million Emergency Relief Package for Creative Organizations and Artists
Artnet News

Germany Has Rolled Out a Staggering €50 Billion Aid Package For Small Businesses That Boosts Artists and Galleries—and Puts Other Countries to Shame  
Artnet News
“Artists are not only indispensable, but also vital, especially now,’ says the country’s culture minister.”

Read about additional relief resources for artists.