“prioritize appointments accessible to the greatest number”

What traces has the Covid period left in the world of culture? Is the public back? How to deal with the soaring costs? Interview with Benoit Careil, Deputy Delegate for Culture of the City of Rennes.

Benoît Careil, Deputy Delegate for Culture of the City of Rennes and Metropolitan Councilor of Rennes Métropole. | ARCHIVES OF WEST FRANCE – LUCIE WEEGER

How is the world of culture after these two years of pandemic?

In the last three years many things have changed, everyone has to adapt to new practices. The book is published at the last moment, this creates uncertainty, and sometimes financial difficulties in terms of receipts. We have also felt a decline in enrollment in art practice workshops. The Covid period has left its mark on the mobilization of the elderly but also of school groups. There are cancellations, which complicates the organization of activities for places.

How to deal with cost inflation?

Equipment has to cope with the explosion of artistic standards, the inflation of energy costs. They have to imagine another economic model that forces them to rethink the project, with a strong tendency to reduce activity, the number of proposals and which is likely to last over time. There’s no difficulty filling theaters when there’s a headliner, the public is more hesitant about less mainstream offerings. We may regret it in a city where there is a tradition of emergence, of visibility given to young creation.

After Covid, the halls are filling up for the headliners, but the public is more hesitant about the less generalist proposals. | ARCHIVES OF WEST FRANCE – THOMAS BRÉGARDIS

What are the guidelines for energy saving?

The rules are the same for all buildings in the city, postpone the heating date, reduce the room temperature to 18°. There is no exception for culture except for the conservation of works. We train in good practices, in the fresco of the climate. We will close the Orangerie du Thabor this winter. Artists will be rescheduled this summer. The exhibition Collection dedicated every summer to the latest acquisitions of the municipal fund for contemporary art, it will certainly be transferred to a room in the museum of fine arts. We will diagnose all poorly insulated buildings. We will postpone jobs that have no impact on energy saving. The priority is to optimize the spaces that are heated, to insulate. Example with the town hall. Since its reopening, it has had a wide variety of uses. She is very busy with festivals, associations, concerts, dances, cabarets, films. We optimize the use of a room that we have invested in the renovation.

Read also: Lights, Christmas, swimming pools, heating… How Rennes will save energy this winter

What is the impact on programming?

We are also thinking about making the public travel less. We will not create large events that can attract people from outside Rennes or the department, in favor of small gatherings. The priority is to guarantee a high level of cultural resources available, so that everyone can have collective experiences. We want to develop this concept of cultural abundance, with a diversity of offers, a festive character. The opera, the TNB, the cafes, the cafes, the neighborhood structures participate in the cultural life and have a role of social cohesion. I prefer to reduce the offer of a great artistic need in favor of a diversity of artistic appointments accessible to the greatest number. The equipment responds to these requests by leaving its own walls or with offers at advantageous prices.

At MeM, if they stop private events, they sink

—Benoit Careil

The Mem continues to irritate the residents, what solution?

The solution is this new tensile structure in which the MeM will invest. It will also move to a space further away from houses, with more trees. Dialogue is maintained. They know at MeM that they risk fines and closures, they are working to find solutions to continue developing their business. They are progressing and the project is very popular with the public. In their economic model there are private individuals, who are probably more difficult to classify. But if they stop, they sink.

A concert in the MeM marquee in Rennes. | ARCHIVES OF WEST FRANCE

What about gender-based and sexual violence?

500 city officials have already been trained, the training was opened on November 15 and 22 to all city partners. We have signed an agreement with Drac and Rennes Métropole on gender equality. We have 60% women in art schools, yet there are still fewer women than men exposed. There is also real concern in contemporary music, with few female songwriters, composers or musicians. Women do not project themselves into these artistic paths. The Modern Garden carries out actions, including same-sex activities, which allows them to express themselves with greater freedom.

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