Arts Festivals Summit 2022 - Cities programme

The annual Get-Together of festival makers and their stakeholders in Yerevan, Armenia hosted by the Yerevan Perspectives International Music Festival takes place from 11 to 15 September 2022. Together with our host, we have built up a special cities programme this year, dedicated specifically to cities and regions' representatives from 11 to 13 September 2022. At a glimpse, the draft programme looks as follows (times shown are according to Armenian time GMT+4 / UCT+4):

Sunday, 11 September 2022

Arrival of Cities delegates

13.00-15.00 | Registration (The Holiday Inn Yerevan - Republic Square Hotel)

15.00-18.00 | Walk and Talk 

Discover Yerevan’s arts and civil society community in small groups. These cultural visits include museums, galleries, monuments, markets, research centres, and creation spaces. You will visit a selection of the following venues depending on your visit group: Aram Khachaturian House-Museum, Sergei Paradjanov Museum, Cafesjian Center For The Arts, and the National Gallery. Read more about the Artistic and cultural programme here.

18:30-22.00 | Evening reception at Komitas Museum

The evening will start with a guided tour of the Komitas Museum.
Welcome speech by Mr Stepan Rostomyan, President and Artistic Director of the Yerevan Perspectives International Music Festival, followed by a spiritual concert and a standing dinner reception.

Monday, 12 September 2022

8.00-17.00 | Registration:

  • Holiday Inn Hotel: 8.00-10.00
  • Armenia Marriott Hotel Yerevan: 14.00-17.00

9.00-11.30 | Festival Cities Workshop facilitated by A Soul for Europe at Holiday Inn Hotel (for all non-EFA Members)

The Festival Cities Workshop is a joint research, a common talk, a joint thinking among cities and civil society from the region on the question: how can we help to find a new shared basis for a better inclusion of people, citizens, and civil society in local politics? What role can the arts, and arts festivals play in this context?

All delegates, cities from all over Europe, as well as civil society and public institutions from Yerevan and the region are invited to participate in the 2-hour conversation. Read more about the Festival Cities Workshop. This session is moderated by Nicolas Bertrand (Manager and independent consultant) and Nele Hertling (Director of the Performing Arts section of the Academy of Arts Berlin). 

12.00-14.30 | Guided tour in Matenadaran Museum and lunch at Las Culturas Restaurant

All participants from the Festival Cities Workshop join EFA Members for a guided tour in the Matenadaran Museum repository of manuscripts, and research institute. It is followed by a lunch of traditional Armenian cuisine at Las Culturas Restaurant.

Optional: 15.00–17.00 | Denis de Rougemont Forum at Marriott Hotel

The Denis de Rougemont Forum is the format for festivals to pitch concrete projects in order to collaborate and co-produce with colleague festivals. We will also look into different European funding opportunities. This session is moderated by Simon Mundy (writer and EFA advisor).


* * * 19.30 | Official Opening of the Arts Festivals Summit * * *  

At Aram Khachaturian Concert Hall 

Welcome speeches and Keynote

  • Mr Vahram Dumanyan, Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of the Republic of Armenia 
  • Mr Stepan Rostomyan, President and Artistic Director of the Yerevan Perspectives International Music Festival 
  • Mr Jan Briers, President of the European Festivals Association 

Evening Concert

You will listen to the concert of Sergey Khachatryan and the Armenian State Symphony Orchestra at the occasion of the opening of the summit.

Welcome reception at Yerevan Tavern

Dinner with Armenian national cuisine at Yerevan Tavern.

Tuesday, 13 September 2022

Marriott Hotel Armenia

8.30-16.30 | Registration (Armenia Marriott Hotel Yerevan)

9.30-11.00 | Ready, steady, join us: 70 Years-On
Launch of EFA’s 70 Years-On Agenda & the EFFE Seal for Festival Cities and Regions

The 70 Years-On Agenda will look ahead at pertinent issues for the sector formulated by the members of the 70 Years-On Thinking group at the occasion of EFA’s 70th anniversary, including the International Festivals Declare Emergency campaign: Which positions could festivals adopt within the societies they are working in? 

The EFFE Seal for Festival Cities and Regions will be launched in the presence of different cities from across Europe. The EFFE Seal is part of the project (a)Live Now that will conclude in Yerevan.

Read more about Ready, steady, join us: 70 Years-On here.

11.30-13.30 | 70 Years-On Conversations: part 1

During the 70 Years-On Conversations, we invite festival makers to talk and listen: to artists, to cities, to business views and about what we need and expect from Europe, about arts festivals and their role in our societies today. How should cities use the power of the arts and of arts festivals more efficiently? Why does the business world need the arts? What has changed for artists when using festivals as platforms for their work to meet audiences? What role for Europe when it comes to supporting festivals’ work for building a responsible community?

The 4-hour session brings the voice of 4 dialogue partners under the motto ‘the unknown mayor’, the ‘unknown Europe’, the ‘unknown business leader’ and the ‘unknown artist’, a certain sense of idealism in these 10-15 minutes keynotes are ‘broken down’ to daily festival making and management in the successive group discussions. Read more about the 70 Years-On Conversations.

1.  Shahidul Alam (Photographer, writer and human rights activist) representing the unknown artist
2. Prof. Dr. Danica Purg (President of IEDC-Bled School of Management) representing the unknown business woman

13.30-14.30 | Lunch at La Cucina (Armenia Marriott Hotel Yerevan) 

14.30-16.30 | 70 Years-On Conversations: part 2

3. Prof. Dr. Eric Corijn (Cultural philosopher, social scientist, professor) representing the unknown Mayor
4. Dominika Lasota (Climate justice activist) representing the unknown Europe

17.15-21.00 | The Turning Wheel – Focus on Youth in Byurakan

At 17.15, we will take the bus to the Byurakan Art Academy. The evening session 'The Turning Wheel – Focus on Youth' is dedicated to our engagement when it comes to the next generation of festival makers, artists, audiences, students. The programme includes the presentation of many interesting projects in which festivals can take an active role and contribute to: the launch of the scholarship programmes of the Byurakan Art Academy, the presentation of The Festival Academy's upcoming activities, the European Festivals Fund for Emerging Artists (EFFEA), and the European Year of Youth. There will also be several perfomances by young talented Armenian performers. This session is moderated by Sona Hovhannisyan (General Manager of the Yerevan Perspectives International Music Festival) with a keynote speech by Haris Pašović (Chair of the EFFEA Jury and Director of Sarajevofest Art and politics).

The presentations will be followed by a reception in the beautiful garden of the Byurakan Art Academy, accompanied by a jazz music concert. Read more about the 'Turning Wheel – Focus on Youth' session in Byurakan.



Marriott Hotel Armenia

11.00-13.00 | "Through the Looking-glass and what we find about the others (ourselves?) or the continuous segregation dilemma"

This session is dedicated to encounters with festivals from the region: Armenia, Georgia, and Ukraine. Read more about it here. This session is moderated by Sepehr Sharifzadeh (Festival maker, independent curator, and producer).

13.00-14.00 | Lunch (Armenia Marriott Hotel Yerevan) 

14.00-16.00 | Workshop "Festivals & environmental sustainability: what's out there?" in collaboration with Pearle*

This workshop will dig into different initiatives and present best practices coming from the festival sector. Find more info about the workshop here.

16:30-18:30 | Visit of Tsitsernakaberd, Yerevan's Genocide Memorial complex

This visit includes a moment of reflection and support for Ukraine. The piece 'Drop after drop' by Maxim Shalygin will be performed, in the presence of the composer.


* * * 20.00 | Closing Evening of the Arts Festivals Summit * * * 

At Livingston Restaurant

The programme of the closing evening includes live music, traditional Armenian dance, and a farewell dinner at the Livingston Restaurant.


For those wishing to stay longer, we offer a sightseeing outside of Yerevan to explore the region.

10.00 | Sightseeing outside of Yerevan

During this tour, you visit the Lake Sevan and Sevanavank. The Lake Sevan is one of the largest freshwaters, high-altitude lakes in Eurasia, that immerse you in scenic views of the surrounding mountains. Sevanavank houses the Geghard Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which dates back to the 4th century.

16.30 | Free time in Yerevan

You are offered to visit Eastern markets of Eastern spices, dried fruits, sweets, etc.