Joining hands and hearts, Festivals for Ukraine: A call for festival duos

Joining hands and hearts: Festivals for Ukraine is a peer-to-peer call for festival duos addressed to EFA members.

Time is crucial, the situation and needs are changing very fast, as illustrated in our report of the survey on the war in Ukraine. Many festivals in Ukraine have been cancelled, even some of the festivals taking place in the Western part of the country run in a very limited form. One year after the start of the war, Ukrainian festivals need to feel the support of their European colleagues, to continue their work and not be forgotten. The letter of Jurriaan Cooiman and Kateryna Botanova from CULTURESCAPES illustrates it perfectly.

The idea behind this new initiative is to engage in a one-on-one partnership with a colleague festival in Ukraine.

The duos formed so far are:  

These four Ukrainian festivals that have formed duos with EFA members were accepted by the EFA board as members of EFA.

Other EFA members expressed their interest to work in duo with Ukrainian festivals in the near future.

Duos in the spotlight

EFA will give visibility and recognition to the duos in its communication channels so that other festivals can follow their example.

We invited festivals to present their duos during the General Assembly on 12 September 2022 in Yerevan.

Ukrainian festivals also had a specific spot during the Denis de Rougemont Forum session at the Arts Festivals Summit 2022 the same day. Jurriaan Cooiman (CULTURESCAPES) and Mariia Yarchuk (Construction Festival) have presented the initiative “Joining Hands & Hearts” and their duo. It was followed by two presentations: 

  • Ukrainian Institute - Anastasiia Yevsieieva: Partnerships with festivals
  • KharkivMusicFest - Kateryna Lozenko: "Inside the war", join the project

The EFAcasts explore concrete partnerships between EFA Members and festivals from Ukraine that have joined Hands and Hearts to support Ukrainian artists and festivals. 

You can watch here below the video from the trio Kharkiv Music Fest, Walden Festival & Usedom Music Festival and the duo Odessa Classics and Vilnius Festival.

Call for interest

The call for festival duos is open to all EFA members that are willing to partner up with an international festival, active or not, in Ukraine.

We have asked the Ukrainian art institute and Sicheslav Festival Association "ArtEthnoFest" to send us a list of Ukrainian festivals to support.

The spirit is to offer a frame for two festivals to be together, to understand the individual needs and offers, one-on-one, face to face, eye to eye. The role of EFA members can include many things, among others:

  • Being in contact with each other and sharing information
  • Thinking about artistic cooperation 
  • Access to artists in Ukraine and vice-versa
  • Exchange of managers, travels to festivals, visits
  • Communication
  • Financial support
  • ...

There are so many ways. The core of joining hands and hearts is to look, case by case.


Joining hands and hearts: Festivals for Ukraine is an initiative of the European Festivals Association, CULTURESCAPES, and Oleksandr Butsenko from Sicheslav Festival Association "ArtEthnoFest".