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Culture … conveys a sense of belonging to and of shared ownership that is the glue of social relations.
Jochen Fried - Cultural Cooperation within the wider Europe and across the Mediterranean, Issues at Stake and Proposals for Action
EFA General Assembly and Conference 2009
Gent, Wednesday, 22-04-2009
From 13-16 May, the European Festivals Association (EFA) held its General Assembly and Conference 2009 in Vilnius, European Capital of Culture 2009. The most important outcomes: The Association representing 110 arts festivals from 38 countries re-elected its current President Darko Brlek for a second term and seven new members joined the Association.
Darko Brlek, Artistic and General Director of the Ljubljana Festival, received the unanimous backing of all EFA members after 4 years serving as President. Brlek is eager to continue the successful work and further the importance of the Association in his second tenure.
Preceding the elections of the President, the General Assembly elected seven new members: Chopin and his Europe International Music Festival Warsaw (Poland), D-Marine Turgutreis International Festival of Classical Music (Turkey), The Spring of Mostar – Days of the Central Croatian Cultural Society of Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Mittelfest (Italy), Mexico Festival (Mexico), Music Isle Festival in Jeju (South Korea) and Festival Mitte Europa (Germany/Czech Republic). By decision of the EFA Board, three former members have been welcomed in the Association: the Edinburgh International Festival, the Festival International Echternach and the Festival de Wiltz.
Following the conference on "Artistic Trends in Festivals" on 14 May, in which 125 festivals participated, Gintautas Babravičiaus, Vice-mayor of Vilnius City responsible for Vilnius ECOC programme, awarded festivals with the FestLabPassport, recognising festivals’ innovative and creative work in the framework of the EFA FestLab for Creativity and Innovation. The FestLab is an initiative taken at the occasion of the 2009 European Year of Creativity and Innovation and supported by European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth, Mr Ján Figel’.
Another highlight was the launch of EFA BOOKS 4 "Dialogue. Festivals Act for an Intercultural Society". In the follow-up of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue, "Dialogue" shows the immense potential of festivals to move borders and remove barriers. "Dialogue" and all other editions of the EFA BOOKS Series are available in the EFA eShop.
The success of the 2009 EFA General Assembly and Conference has been ensured by the generous host, the Vilnius Festival, under the coordination of Rūta Prusevičienė, Executive Director of Vilnius Festival. The next EFA General Assembly will be held in Merano (Italy) at the invitation of the Settimane Musicali Meranesi on 8-11 April 2010.
Juliane Reissig, Communication and Project Assistant
European Festivals Association
Kleine Genttraat 46
T +32 9 241 8080
F +32 9 241 8089
Juliane (at) efa-aef.eu
• Press release on the re-election of Darko Brlek as EFA President (in English, French or German)
• Press release announcing General Assembly and Conference (in English, French and German)
• Conference Report
• Conference Outline
• Conference Programme