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Playbox Theatre, 7 February 1984. Photo: Herald and Weekly Times

Capitalising on Crises in Performing Arts Collections


COVID and COVID-related restrictions have impacted significantly on performing arts collections, as well as the research projects dependent upon them. Yes, we are in crisis. But has it ever been thus? Adversity has always thwarted us in ways that are insidious in their banality: physical deterioration, theft, fire, indifference, and fickle funding decisions have been irritating constants. As collectors of the ephemeral, we are forever compelled by the undertow of impending loss - a compulsion that also serves as a driver for the production of live performance itself.


What have we learnt from this state of constant adversity? How has it come to define the way we collect and research? Can our methods, collections and research outputs be of assistance to other sectors experiencing crisis for the first time? Could it be – heaven forbid - that we are in danger of becoming relevant?


PAHN is calling on submissions that reflect upon performing arts heritage collections and research not only in the time of COVID, but in relation to any crises, real or perceived.


As in 2020, this year we will be hosting a curated selection of pre-recorded talks on our website in late October, followed by a live Q&A in early November. Firm dates to come.


Deadline for submissions: 31 August 2021


Deadline for recorded papers: 10 October 2021


Submissions and queries to be sent to: