● Cultural diversity translates into the time capital needed to grasp it and deploy it productively. No gain in rushing and hustling
● Dozens of partners, 3 years run, many different funders and several localities – think of the entire project not as a reoccurring or serial festival nor as a passing hurricane but as a mobile lab where experimentation builds continuity and energies are not wasted but reinvested.
● How big the entire project is and how fast it moves needs to be carefully calibrated since making it too big and too jumpy will inevitably create confusion and frustration.
● Go to fewer cities but stay longer, the depth of impact makes more sense than the scope.
● The impact is not evident at once but with some delay. In a year, and again a year later, trace back and document the cascade effect whereby those involved in the project receive new invitations for touring and cooperation, which in turn results in more extra opportunities – this is an excellent impact indicator.
● Go preferably to smaller and mid-size cities where the chances are greater of making some difference. Reoccurring visits have more impact than one big splash.
● Avoid the parachute descent effect whereby a bunch of foreign artists moves into a city, creates upheaval and disappears a few days later, leaving behind mostly puzzlement.
● Coherence of the project is not a given property, derived from the initial blueprint, but needs to be checked and reasserted as the project advances.
● Make sure there is an instant communication circuit operating among the partners, do not delay spreading the news, even bad news. But place it always in the framework of the entire project and don’t overload with details.
● In planning and scheduling, make it easy for participants to get acquainted with each other’s work, interact and cooperate. Not just cohabit the same project framework. They might not cooperate at once but later on – a delayed positive impact of the project.
● Project partners won’t be able to invest the same level of resources but they’ll expect and are entitled to the same degree of respect and attention. They’ll reciprocate with trust, commitment, expertise and enthusiasm and thus highlight the project’s ethical standards.
● Enrich the artistic core of the project with training opportunities, reflective exercises and discursive events, so that artistic matters can be connected to a broader cultural and urban context and its needs and aspirations.
● Generosity, understanding and kindness to the artists and staff, even when they are insecure in some developmental phase of a new work, determines the professional reputation of producers and presenters.
● There is a broad understanding that international projects are in fact intercultural. Do consider their inter-generational dimension in terms of the learning outcomes.
● Invest in local host competences before and after the cluster of events – their weakness can ruin the program. Post-event involvement will pull them out of fatigue and stimulate further professional development.
● Study the local, regional, national regulations, habits and operating modes, especially of public authorities, well in advance, to reduce the risk of unpleasant surprises.
● Conduct the prospecting of the unknown territory – the fast urban research is an excellent methodology – but make the findings available to the participating artists in advance, before they take off to a journey.
● In a mobile project, you cannot expect to have ready-made teams in place in each locality, mixing seamlessly the locals and foreign guests. These teams and their individual members need to be given time to grasp and internalize their own roles. Insert a joint e-learning sequence before they meet in the real life.
● Invest in relations with local public authorities and their attitudinal change. Artists are often blasé or standoffish when it comes to such contacts. If the artists do not care for people representing public bodies, these functionaries may well become indifferent to them. Artists cannot delegate this relationship to their managers and producers; they are at the core of the project and thus need to get involved themselves with the public stakeholders.
● Invest in the advocacy capacity of local cultural players – if they get closer to each other thanks to their joint involvement in an international project and subsequently recognize and voice their own common strategic objectives, this is an excellent impact indicator of the project.
● Use local media relationships of the host to clarify the objectives of the project and its specific features in the local media. Reach out to the local bloggers and arrange guest blogging at the local portals.
● Seek to make some journalists at home your fellow travelers on the project journey, take them along as witnesses and participants, or brief them regularly about your experiences in the project.
● What someone is experiencing in the course of the project in some distant locale needs to be conveyed to the constituency back home: twitter, blog and facebook your adventure. In SEAS this strategy was successfully employed especially during SEAS Xpedition in Turkey and Georgia, in September 2010. SEAS X blog, see also the Facebook Diary
● Deploy local university resources, treat them as potential players, share competence and expertise, involve university students and faculty in preparatory research, monitoring and evaluation.
● Build and update on-line manuals for the project participants, especially for the volunteers.
● When analyzing impacts, outcomes and accomplishments, do consider the subtle shifts and changes in your organization as a consequence of participation in an international consortium.
● Make sure the participants have some fun, create opportunities for enjoyment and celebrate successes together.