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"Even before Europe was united in an economic level or was conceived at the level of economic interests and trade, it was culture that united all the countries of Europe. The arts, literature, music are the connecting link of Europe."

Dario Fo

EFA News

Atelier goes to Gwangju, public invited to opening and closing sessions

27 August 2015

The 9th edition of the Atelier for Young Festival Managers will start next Monday, 31 August in the vibrant city of Gwangju, South Korea. The training programme of The Festival Academy is organised in cooperation with the Chonnam National University and the Asia Culture Center, which will be opened with a festival on 4 September. 36 participants from 20 countries will meet for the first time during the public opening ceremony at Chonnam National University, which will kick off 7 days of exchanges, networking and discovering cultural Gwangju. The public is invited to the opening and closing sessions. - more...

Inge Ceustermans on The Festival Academy, its goals, and ambition for the future

25 August 2015

The European Festivals Association plays a key role in developing the festival managers of tomorrow. The success of its Atelier for Young Festival Managers programme led to the foundation of The Festival Academy in 2013, offering various training formats and networking opportunities to young, dynamic and passionate festival makers worldwide. Managing director Inge Ceustermans told Mark Powell from the International Arts Manager more about its work. - more...

Second Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Asia to kick off 31 August in Gwangju

18 August 2015

[PRESS RELEASE - Brussels, Belgium/Gwangju, South Korea, 18 August 2015] The next Atelier for Young Festival Managers, an international training programme run by The Festival Academy and initiated by the European Festivals Association (EFA), will take place in Gwangju, South Korea, from 31 August to 6 September. Hosted by Chonnam National University and Asia Culture Center, the Atelier GWANGJU 2015 will gather 35 young festival managers from 20 countries. During the Atelier participants broaden their programming skills, join a network of future festival leaders worldwide, and are inspired by seven renowned festival directors from all over the world who share their experiences. A public opening session will kick off the Atelier GWANGJU 2015 on 31 August at Chonnam National University’s Convention Hall. The Atelier will end with a public closing ceremony on 6 September at the Asia Culture Center. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: How grateful we must be

26 June 2015

How grateful we must be, all those who are able to travel, to travel in space, to travel in time (the highest form of this travel must be the travel in our mind, in our souls without moving a centimetre even). At the point of writing, I am on a flight to Sofia to attend the Paper Art Fest set up and directed by Daniela Todorova and Todor Todorov, two fantastic artists and initiators of many movements in the arts in Sofia and way beyond. The flight inspired me to enter into a real travel of mind and approach the topic of innovation not in the way I probably was invited for by Daniela and Todor (from a European, comparative, festival related point of view), but rather from an inside versus outside point of view: innovation is inside of us, and it needs an outside view to take full shape. What do I mean? Read the full blog by Kathrin Deventer on Festival Bytes. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: For heaven’s sake

13 August 2015

“For heaven’s sake” is what my colleagues Piotr Turkiewicz, Renata Puczyńska, both working for the newly built National Forum of Music, and myself came up with when we met in Wroclaw last week to work out a concept for the 65th General Assembly of the European Festivals Association (EFA) which will be held in Wroclaw, Poland from 14 to 17 April 2016. We were still under full impression of our visit of the National Forum the previous evening; I had the unique opportunity to be taken on a tour of this impressive building with its Director, inventor and motor behind its realisation, Andrzej Kosendiak. The National Forum of Music will be officially opened at the beginning of September. Read the full blog by Kathrin Deventer on Festival Bytes. - more...

Monique Veaute to share her broad experience managing arts

17 August 2015

Monique Veaute, President of the Fondazione Romaeuropa in Italy, will also guide the participants of the next edition of the Atelier for Young Festival Managers that will take place in Gwangju from 31 August to 6 September 2015. They will have the opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences with her during this intensive week of training on festival management. - more...

Marie-Hélène Falcon explores the ever-shifting frontiers where art and ideas meet

12 August 2015

Marie-Hélène Falcon, former Director Festival TransAmériques Montréal (Canada), with more than 30 years working in the field of festivals, will participate as a mentor in the next edition of the Atelier for Young Festival Managers that will take place in Gwangju from 31 August to 6 September 2015. She will share her insights and experience with the 36 participants from 20 countries all around the world. - more...

Seonghee Kim to share her experience in arts and festivals in Asia

10 August 2015

The participants of the upcoming Atelier for Young Festival Managers will have the opportunity to meet Seonghee Kim, Artistic Director of the Asian Arts Theater/ACC, during the 7-day training taking place from 31 August to 6 September in Gwangju. As the Atelier’s host that will kick off the Asian Arts Theatre Opening Festival during the same week, she will offer the 36 festival managers first-hand insights into the Korean arts and festival sectors.   - more...

Chiaki Soma: eager to improve dialogue between art and society

06 August 2015

One of the mentors joining the Atelier for Young Festival Managers for the first time and who will be sharing her experience with the 36 selected festival managers during the week in Gwangju is Chiaki Soma, Art Producer, Representative Director Arts Commons Tokyo, and former Artistic Director Tokyo Festival. - more...

Robyn Archer: “Your mission is not just entertainment”

04 August 2015

One of the presenters who will participate in the Atelier Gwangju, taking place from 31 August to 6 September 2015, and exchange with 35 young artistic festival directors from all over the world is Robyn Archer, Artistic Director of The Light in Winter in Melbourne, Deputy Chair of the Australia Council for the Arts and Strategic Advisor Gold Coast Arts and Culture in Queensland and Member of the European House for Culture. She has participated in the Atelier Varna (2009), Singapor (May 2011), Izmir (October 2011), Ljubljana (2012) and POZNAN (2014). - more...

New on Festival Bytes: Almada International Theatre Festival is a letter from Portugal to Europe

17 July 2015

A special letter to a director who is missed but left us with a prestigious international theatre festival: "Dear Joaquim Benite, This 32nd edition of the Almada International Theatre Festival (Portugal), which you founded in 1984, started the night before the Greek referendum on the austerity measures imposed by the European Union. For you the relation is clear, but not for all the readers of this text (...)." Read the full blog by Claudia Galhos on Festival Bytes. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: What I Heard About The (Arts) World* live

30 July 2015

There is a saying: “You are what you eat.” We think artistic creation is food for the soul, so what better way to tell others about who you are and what you hold dear than through the artistic objects that make you be glad to be part of the world. At the 2015 General Assembly of the European Festivals Association (EFA) in Ostrava we decided to use this idea to trigger EFA members to get to know each other better. Read the full blog by Eva Nunes on Festival Bytes. - more...

Nele Hertling: “You are the one to enable the artist to create something”

29 July 2015

Nele Hertling, former Vice President of the Academy of Arts Berlin in Germany, is one of the presenters who will participate in the upcoming Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Gwangju taking place from 31 August to 6 September 2015 to exchange with 35 young artistic festival directors from all over the world. She has participated in each Atelier since 2006: GOERLITZ 2006, VARNA 2009, SINGAPORE, IZMIR 2011, LJUBLJANA 2012, EDINBURGH, POZNAN 2014, and BEIRUT 2015. In the run-up to the Gwangju Atelier all presenters will be introduced. - more...

Hugo De Greef: “The Atelier is about exchanging experiences”

28 July 2015

In the run-up to the Atelier for Young Festival Managers inGwangju taking place from 31 August to 6 September, all presenters who will participate to exchange with 35 young artistic festival directors from all over the world will be introduced. A high-level group of renowned festival directors will guide the participants throughout the seven days of the Atelier GWANGJU 2015. One of them is Hugo De Greef, General Coordinator of the Atelier, Co-founder and Board member of The Festival Academy and former EFA Secretary General. - more...

EFA attends opening of 30th Mosel Musikfestival

23 July 2015

On Friday, 17 July, the Mosel Musikfestival opened its 30th edition,  kicking off 3 months of festivities and special artistic encounters along the Mosel river. In the Basilica of Trier, Ludwig van Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis came to life and showed its full brilliance. But, also in front of the Basilica on the Basilica Square, hundreds of people enjoyed the live-stream of the concert: a very special atmosphere on a late-night summer evening bringing the festival’s voice far beyond the concert hall walls. - more...

Apply until 31 August for new Festival Production Management Training

05 August 2015

The Festival Production Management Training is a new format of The Festival Academy, an initiative of the European Festivals Association (EFA). It focuses especially on production management in terms of realising and implementing the vision of the artistic director. The training looks at the practical side of this process, with special attention given to working with artists. Participants will meet and exchange with experienced production managers and artists, including set designers, light designers, conductors, choir leaders etc. The training is set up as a long-term programme which explores all phases of producing an artistic work: a programme with 3 modules spread over a period of one or more year(s). Application deadline: 31 August 2015. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: Lebanon: The difficulties of being a social megaphone

11 June 2015

The Atelier for Young Festival Managers is a 7-day training programme run by The Festival Academy, initiated by the European Festivals Association (EFA). Targeting young festival managers from all around the world, it aims to introduce its participants to a new culture, and make them discover the local conditions of festivals and cultural institutions. Lebanon, which hosted the Atelier BEIRUT 2015, was a peculiar country in this context as its festivals always have to cope with the country’s instability. Read the full blog by Ysaline Lannoy on Festival Bytes. - more...

International festival directors met in Ostrava for the 2015 EFA General Assembly

10 June 2015

From 4 to 7 June 2015, the General Assembly of the European Festivals Association (EFA) took place in Ostrava, Czech Republic. It was hosted by the International Music Festival “Janáček May”, which celebrates its 40th jubilee in 2015. Some 100 festival directors representing more than 50 festivals in 26 countries attended the annual EFA gathering to exchange, network, and explore the grounds for future collaboration. EFA and the Janáček May Festival took this moment as an opportunity to underline the importance of international cooperation for the impact of culture at the local level. - more...

EFA General Assembly kicks off tonight in Ostrava

04 June 2015

Tonight, the General Assembly of the European Festivals Association (EFA) will kick off in Ostrava, Czech Republic. It is hosted by the International Music Festival “Janáček May”, which celebrates its 40th jubilee in 2015. Until Sunday, 7 June some 100 festival directors representing 51 festivals in 26 countries will exchange, network, and explore the grounds for future collaboration. EFA and the International Music Festival “Janáček May” take this moment as an opportunity to underline the importance of international cooperation for the impact of cultural organisation at local level. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: From the Atelier in Edinburgh to EFA’s General Assembly in Ostrava

03 June 2015

The European Festivals Association (EFA) has been here for over 60 years. It would seem that the network uniting and collaborating with directors of various festivals, arts managers, artists, political representatives, providing them with the opportunity for regular meetings, exchange of experiences, joint problem solving, and generally highlighting the importance of arts and culture in everyday life would be well-known to everybody who is at least a bit involved in the field of arts management. Personally, I heard about the activities of this association for the first time when I attended the Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Edinburgh in 2014. I must admit that when I departed for Scotland last year in the beginning of April, I did not know what to expect from the actual meeting or from EFA. But I had a full week ahead of me; the week which in an unbelievable way enriched my professional life and, as I hope, my future career path. Read the full blog by  Ondřej Sikora on Festival Bytes. - more...

EFFE presented at the European Parliament

27 April 2015

On 16 April, EFA Secretary General Kathrin Deventer and Hugo De Greef (EFFE Co-Directors) presented EFFE - Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe and its current results in the European Parliament during the meeting of the Committee on Culture and Education, chaired by Silvia Costa. Members of the European Parliament were convinced about the importance of this pilot project and, as Silvia Costa underlined, “of the importance of sharing knowledge and a network among the festivals and its audience.” - more...

EFFE’s International Festival Jury: looking at ambitions, challenges, and criteria

18 May 2015

On an unusually sunny day in Brussels, a group of international experts, with expertise from Aachen to Zagreb via New York met to discuss the Festival Award for Excellence, a selection of prizes which will honour Europe's agenda-setting festivals. These experts form EFFE’s International Festival Jury. "An important part of the international jury is to set the tone, to set the benchmarks," said Chairman Vincent Baudriller, Director of Lausanne's Théatre Vidy. "The award is a way to shed light on a few festivals." - more...

Europe’s finest festivals honoured with EFFE Label 2015-2016

20 May 2015

EFFE – Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe announced the festivals receiving the EFFE Label 2015-2016, honouring Europe’s finest festivals. Following a process of intense evaluation by national experts and an international jury, 761 festivals from 31 countries have been selected to be part of the first generation of EFFE Label recipients. All EFFE Label festivals can be accessed on the EFFE website. A comprehensive online Guide to the selected festivals will be available in early summer. - more...

Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Budapest - Apply by 15 September 2015!

25 August 2015

The Festival Academy, an initiative of the European Festivals Association (EFA), is calling for applications for the Atelier for Young Festival Managers to take place from 2 to 8 June 2016 in Budapest, Hungary, in collaboration with the Armel Opera Festival. Ten renowned festival directors will guide 45 participants through the 7-day training programme. Young festival managers from all over the world are invited to apply until 15 September 2015. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: What Pure Beauty – and: all our problems are no problems at all

21 April 2015

From 1975 to 1992 the Civil War was raging in Lebanon. The Beiteddine Art Festival was founded during these times (1984). A cry for normality. Beiteddine means “House of Faith” and in the beginning as well as again and again the whole festival was a cry for normality. Culture as a means to stay alive. To celebrate life. To be aware of its beauty. To celebrate the pure beauty of culture and nature. Even, and even more so, in the midst of war. During the Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Beirut, we had the chance to be guests at the pure beauty of Beiteddine Palace.   Read the full blog by Carolin Hochleichter about the Atelier in Beirut on Festival Bytes. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: Re-imagining our future through art

17 April 2015

The first time I came to Beirut was exactly two years ago in March 2013 to prepare the Atelier for Young Festival Managers, which we postponed once due to the situation in the region and which could now happen in marvelous conditions. Organised under the umbrella of The Festival Academy (initiative of EFA) and hosted by the Beiteddine Art Festival, it was a truly unique experience, and I have heard many many many participants say that they are so happy they came to specifically this Atelier in Beirut. Read the full blog by Inge Ceustermans about the Atelier in Beirut on Festival Bytes. - more...

The Festival Academy and Beiteddine Art Festival generate inspiration at Atelier BEIRUT 2015

16 April 2015

[PRESS RELEASE; Brussels, Belgium, 16 April 2015] The first Atelier for Young Festival Managers in the Arab world took place in Beirut, Lebanon, from 21 to 27 March 2015, and was hosted by the Beiteddine Art Festival. The 7-day training brought together 36 young festival managers from 21 countries, seven renowned festival directors from all over the world and multiple guest speakers from the region. Participants broadened their programming skills, and joined a network of now 300 Atelier Alumni from 63 countries. The Atelier is run by The Festival Academy, an initiative of the European Festivals Association (EFA). - more...

New on Festival Bytes: Welcome to Lebanon ovvero the poetry of an eternal present

10 April 2015

Empty spaces, nothingness, meaningless promises. That’s how everyday life can be. I’m staying afloat on a big, muddy and lost river that brings me I-don’t-know-where. That’s – very briefly described – the cultural fatigue I am experiencing: loss of motivation sitting in front of my super-efficient computer, in my wonderful city, on a perfect day. Read the full blog by Federico Rinaldi about the Atelier in Beirut on Festival Bytes. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: Transformed, inspired, rejuvenated

09 April 2015

This reflection on my experiences at the Atelier for Young Festival Managers was originally written for an audience of family, friends, and close colleagues – so, it is a personal story. I offer it as my contribution to the EFA Blog because I believe it demonstrates one of the great achievements of the Atelier: its ability to inspire and transform those involved. The reflections already posted by my colleagues tell me that this experience is true for them too – not surprising given the incredible seven days we shared. Read the full blog by Joshua Dalledonne about the Atelier in Beirut on Festival Bytes. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: “You need people to make a dream happen”

08 April 2015

24 March 2015, Beirut. Today is the first day of the Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Beirut, I don’t feel like writing something, because I feel so full of impressions that I wouldn’t even know where to start. I’ll try anyways. We split up into groups this morning and went to see different cultural venues across town. It was so difficult to choose, but finally I went with the group to see Zico house and the Monot Theatre. Apart from my Atelier fellows, Zico was probably the most inspired, inspiring, funny and energetic person I have met throughout the Atelier. After the civil war, in the 90ies, Zico opened his living room for art exhibitions and performances. It soon became the meeting point for artists in Beirut. “Let’s go to Zikkos,” they said, and the production house was born. Zico is actually the technical director of the place. But he is also the soul. Read the full blog by Ana Zirner about the Atelier in Beirut on Festival Bytes. - more...

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