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First ever Atelier Alumni meeting to take place in Bergen

Gent, Sunday, 06-05-2012

For the first time in the history of the Atelier for Young Festival Managers, previous Atelier participants will gather for an Alumni meeting at the occasion of the EFA Jubilee in Bergen. On 25 May, they will discuss the Bergen Agenda, challenges and opportunities for the next generation of festival leaders, and exchange on joint projects realised since their participation.

“The Atelier has an ever-growing network of ’alumni’: after four editions, 141 young festival managers and 28 presenters from all over the world have participated in EFA’s training programme on artistic festival management,” stresses Darko Brlek, President of the European Festivals Association.

Atelier Coordinator Hugo De Greef and mentors and presenters like Nele Hertling, Rose Fenton, Bernard Faivre d’Arcier, Jonathan Mills, Robyn Archer and many more, have shared their experiences with participants. The exchanges have been inspiring for both presenters and participants and resulted in the establishment of new networks.

“The gathering in Bergen will be a great opportunity for former participants to strengthen the connection between each other and to invite other young managers to join future Atelier editions,” underlines Anna Lewanowicz, Festival Director of the Krakow Theatrical Reminiscences, who participated in the Atelier SINGAPORE 2011 and who is facilitating the exchanges.

Atelier alumni are invited to engage in the shaping of the Bergen Agenda, which is to set the pace for the next years for EFA to continue its work with and for festivals on an artistic as well as a broader societal level.

“In particular the great diversity of the group, the various artistic disciplines Alumni represent, the various ways how their festivals are organised, the different political backgrounds they are working in, increase the outreach of the EFA network and enhance EFA’s role as an open network in the world,” says EFA Secretary General Kathrin Deventer. In Bergen, the Atelier programme for the next years will be presented, including the calendar for editions in 2013 and 2014.

The Atelier for Young Festival Managers is a unique, intense, 7-days training programme initiated by the European Festivals Association. The sentence borrowed from Bernard Faivre d’Arcier “The true role of a festival is to help artists to dare, to engage in new projects…” is the motto of the Atelier. Particular emphasis is given to the artistic aspects of festival management. This touches upon artistic vision, political and social responsibility, internationalisation, networking, renewal and sustainability.

The attention to training and the transfer of know-how has been an objective of EFA since its foundation. A predecessor of the Atelier for Young Festival Managers as we know it today was organised in 1999/2000 in Geneva/Switzerland and Estoril/Portugal at the invitation of the Estoril Festival under the label “Eurofest Training Programme”. Supported by the European Commission and the European Cultural Foundation, it was created to offer in particular to EFA’s membership a high level European professional training for young managers of international performing arts festivals. It focused on all aspects of festival management. Taking up this dynamic and the good results, a further defined model was developed: today’s “Atelier for Young Festival Managers”. Since then, four editions have taken place: Görlitz (2006), Varna (2009), Singapore (May 2011) and Izmir (October 2011).

The next edition will take place from 14-21 October 2012 in Ljubljana, hosted and co-organised by the Ljubljana Festival. Application deadline is 31 May. The Call for Application including the selection criteria, the application form and all the information about the Atelier can be found at Please contact for further questions.

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European Festivals Association (EFA)
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