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Quote of the Week

“A festival is a unique occasion for meeting different people and different cultures. Together with artists who are real masters of communication through art, a festival is a strong builder of bridges between different cultures - and even between civilizations."

Ján Figel’, former European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture, and Youth

EFA Jubilee co-produced with international partners

Gent, Tuesday, 10-04-2012

The Diamond Jubilee is organised by a broad partnership of high-level international players from the cultural sector. From 23-26 May in Bergen, the Jubilee is co-organised by the European Festivals Association (EFA) and the Bergen International Festival. Entitled "EFA 60 Years On ", the Conference (23/24 May) will include three Jubilee sessions which will explore issues such as innovation in the arts, arts and business and citizens in digital times, each of them co-produced by one of EFA's key partners. A Sounding Board and a Strategy Group offer their expertise in the development of the anniversary activities.

Festivals – Celebrate the Arts, Committing to Innovation” looks at new ideas for collaboration, presentation and artistic development in festivals. It questions the notion of innovation in the arts, festivals and society. It proposes measures at local, national and European level (and beyond) which reflect the changing artistic, social and political circumstances.

This session is co-produced with the European House for Culture, a cultural organisation initiated by EFA. The mission of the European House for Culture is twofold: to be a House of Welcome – a meeting and working place for networks and initiatives which relate to the cultural sector. Secondly, the House aims to give the cultural sector in Europe a visible space in order to facilitate a stronger voice of the cultural sector in the European decision-making process.

Festivals mean Business, Festivals have meaning for Business” discusses festivals’ contribution to the development of economic sustainability and their position as major businesses themselves. It looks at if and how festivals capitalise on their influence and at new ways of unlocking their business potential, providing practices of stimulation and support to local businesses other than marketing and communication.

This session is co-produced with A Soul for Europe (ASfE), a European wide initiative stimulating platforms of exchange between business and cultural representatives. ASfE aims to deliver the strong message that Europe is first and foremost a project of Europeans, made by Europeans, understood best through the capacity of culture. Gathering in its Strategy Group young professionals from 21 different countries it’s the initiative’s firm belief that it’s our duty as individuals to engage on an active citizenship. The European parliamentarian working group ASfE is the bridge between the initiative’s projects and the European level decision makers.

Festivals and the Citizen in Digital Times” looks at the role of festivals as agents of participation and cohesion; at the implications and opportunities of new technologies and asks whether (and if so, which) festivals are making the most of them. It looks at how festivals can use their influence during the European Year of Citizens in 2013 to activate citizens and help shaping policies for citizens in Europe.

This session is co-produced with the Access to Culture Platform, established by the EU; EFA is involved in particular through its Working Group “Communicating Festivals- Communicating Europe” and through leading the ACP Working Group “Audience Participation”. It is a civil society platform composed of cultural organisations representing diverse arts that advocates for culture as a fundamental right of all citizens; a platform that formulates priorities for action to place access to culture in a key position in all policy areas at local, regional, national and EU level; a promoter of the legal framework of access to culture and nine recommendations developed in the Policy Guidelines of the Access to Culture Platform.

The EFA Sounding Board, Strategy Group and Working Group “Communicating Festivals – Communicating Europe”

Having started its work already in 2011, the Sounding Board is playing an important role in the development of EFA’s anniversary activities. Persons invited to take part are:

• Henrik Adler
• Airan Berg, Mannheim 2020
• Jan Briers, Flanders Festival
• Darko Brlek, Festival Ljubljana
• Jurriaan Cooiman, CULTURESCAPES
• Hugo De Greef, European House for Culture
• Jelle Dierickx, Musikfestspiele Potsdam Sanssouci and Rotterdam Philharmonic Gergiev Festival
• David Dittrich, Concentus Moraviae International Music Festival of 13 towns
• Enrique Gamez, Festival Internacional De Música Y Danza De Granada
• Per Boye Hansen, Bergen International Festival
• Henk Heuvelmans, ECPNM
• Martin Honzik, Ars Electronica
• Andrzej Kosendiak, International Festival Wratislavia Cantans
• Evelyn Meining, Rheingau Musik Festival
• Massimo Mercelli, Emilia Romagna Festival
• Jonathan Mills, Edinburgh International Festival
• Pineiro Nagy, Estoril Festival
• José Luis Ocejo, Festival Internacional de Santander
• Ruta Pruseviciene, Vilnius Festival
• Ibrahim Spahic, Sarajevo Winter Festival
• Hendrik Storme, KlaraFestival
• Piotr Turkiewicz, International Festival Wratislavia Cantans
• Mike Van Graan, Arterial Network
• Biljana Zdravković, Belgrade Music Festival

Together with the EFA Board, EFA Secretary General Kathrin Deventer engaged a Strategy Group in the creative process of developing the anniversary activities. Members of the Strategy Group are Simon Mundy, Valeria Marcolin and Nadin Deventer.

The Working Group “Communicating Festivals - Communicating Europe” brings together Communication, PR and Marketing Experts of major European festivals. Currently, the Working Group focuses on the use of digital and social media in festivals. A blog “Festival Bytes” has been launched. The following festivals and organisations are actively involved:

• Belgrade Music Festival
• Berliner Festspiele
• Edinburgh International Festival
• Flanders Festival Gent and Brussels
• Festival Ljubljana
• BBC Proms
• International Festival Wratislavia Cantans
• Music Biennale Zagreb
• Association of Irish Festival Events
• Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV)
• Festivals Edinburgh

Further information can be found at www.efa-aef.eu/efa60

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