Cities & Regions programme - Arts Festivals Summit 2024

The Arts Festivals Summit Usedom is gathering festival makers and those concerned with festival making from different perspectives, for example cities and regions representatives.

Launched at the Arts Festivals Summit in Yerevan in September 2022, the EFFE Seal for Festival Cities and Regions is a recognition and an invitation to cities and regions to engage in dialogue on urban planning and the role of festivals in a city. On Usedom, cities and regions will join the conversation and enjoy a specific programme including workshops as well as the signing of the EFFE Seal for new cities and regions joining the project.

Is it the first time you hear about the EFFE Seal? We invite cities and regions that wish to associate and integrate their image and policy with a strong cultural entity to come together with their festivals, and festivals to bring their cities and regions to join the conversations in this context.

Here are all activities at a glimpse:

Monday 13 May, Denis de Rougemont Labs

During the Denis de Rougemont Laboratories in Peenemünde, we will dive into a series of parallel working groups for in-depth reflection and joint thinking for 3 hours. Festivals and local authorities will have the opportunity to strengthen their relations, listen to each others’ needs and reach concrete conclusions on how the arts can contribute to our improve people and societies’ living conditions.

The DdR Labs will provide you the space to share personal experiences and systemic discussions, around one of the 9 topics that is steered by an ‘expert’ in groups of each 25 participants. We would like to highlight two of the working labs that fits the best the interest of cities and regions representatives: 

  • Can the arts save Europe? with Eric Corijn, Cultural philosopher, social scientist, professor
    Both the European Union and the European values of liberty, equality, fraternity are at risk. We need a reset and a mobilising project. The arts and imagination are at the centre of changes of paradigm. They have to relate to the new conditions of geopolitics, Europeanness and urbanity. It will need other ways of thinking community and society.
  • Experimenting democracy with Nele Hertling and Nicolas Bertrand from A Soul for Europe
    A festival is a story of people: What drives the people to organise a festival? To attend a festival? To contribute to a festival? How does it function as a group of people? What is addressed by this group of people?

Monday 13 May, Keynote by Lech Walesa

Together with our host, the Usedom Music Festival, we are excited to announce a special guest contributing to the Arts Festivals Summit: the Polish politician and Nobel Prize for Peace winner Lech Wałęsa, also known as one of the fathers of Europe. In his keynote "Visions for Europe", Lech Wałęsa will speak on the place of Central European countries in the European Union and the importance of democracy in our societies, a universal value that is today more important than ever.

Tuesday 14 May, Festival Cities and Regions Workshop

A hands-on Festival Cities and Regions Workshop, organised in partnership with A Soul for Europe will take place on 14 May from 9.00 till 12.00. This workshop aims to understand through concrete examples how policy making bottom-up works at the local level in relation to festivals and how these policies in the cities and regions work in complementarity with other policies at the European and international level: How do cities and regions strengthen their relations and dialogue with their festivals? How do they ‘value’ their festivals - in which policy areas and actions do they address them? 

This session is moderated by Peter Inkei, as well as Nicolas Bertrand and Nele Hertling from A Soul for Europe. 

Tuesday 14 May, EFFE Seal signing ceremony

During the Closing Evening, new cities and regions will officially sign and express their commitment to get involved in the EFFE Seal for Festival Cities and Regions

A snapshot into the EFFE Seal community work

The cities and regions joining together under the EFFE Seal for Festival Cities and Regions are calling their festivals to share practices, experiments, stories, examples or approaches that they are implementing or considering or facing in their day-to-day work under the topic of environment sustainability. 

By sharing practices and ideas, cities and regions aim to develop practice-based conversations on policies and instruments that serve the sector best, and to offer an insight of these practices from different cities and regions to the festivals community. 

The work in progress will be presented to the broader community during the Sustainability Workshop on 14 May.

On a longer term, the EFFE Seal community aims to raise awareness and contribute, through a collaboratively developed tool, to the common dialogue on the role of festivals in dealing with environmental sustainability.