Arts Festivals Summit 2019

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Mark Ball: “A driving passion has been audience development and engagement”

26 March 2014

In the run-up to the Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Edinburgh from 3-10 April 2014, all presenters who will participate in the Atelier to exchange with 52 young artistic festival directors from all over the world will be introduced. One of them is Mark Ball, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT).

“My career has been built around a belief that radical, innovative performance practices can reach beyond a small and often professional interest group to appeal to large and diverse audiences. […] a driving passion has been audience development and engagement,” said Mark Ball in his post on the LIFT blog on 10 January 2014.

Mark Ball was appointed as Artistic Director and Chief Executive of LIFT in April 2009. Prior to his appointment at LIFT, Mark established Fierce Earth Ltd in 1997, which specialises in the production and presentation of cultural events, festivals and programmes. From 1998 - 2007, he directed Fierce!, an annual international festival of theatre, live art and contemporary dance taking place across the West Midlands which is now widely recognised as one of the UK's most vibrant contemporary arts festivals. In January 2008, he was appointed Head of Events and Exhibitions at the Royal Shakespeare Company, leading a new department responsible for developing the profile of the RSC amongst new audiences by producing and delivering a range of high profile artist-led projects and commissions.

In November 2005, Mark was named the Institute of Director's (IoD) Young Director of the Year and was made a Clore Fellow in 2006/2007. He also holds posts at a number of arts organisations, including Trustee of Frantic Assembly and the Live Art Development Agency. In 2012, Mark was named by Time Out and The Stage as one of the ten most influential people in British theatre.

Nine renowned mentors from all over the world will guide the participants throughout the seven days of the Atelier EDINBURGH 2014 under the coordination of Hugo De Greef (former EFA Secretary General (2004-2008), Director European Capital of Culture Bruges 2002; Co-Founder Kaaitheater, Brussels, Belgium): Mark Ball (Artistic Director London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT), UK), Bernard Faivre d’Arcier (former long-standing Director Avignon Festival, President Lyon Biennial, France), Heiner Goebbels (Artistic Director Ruhrtriennale, Germany), Nele Hertling (Vice President of the Academy of Arts Berlin, Germany), Grace Lang (Programme Director Hong Kong Festival, China), Joseph V. Melillo (Artistic Director Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), USA), Michal Merczyński (General Director Malta Festival Poznań, Poland), and Sir Jonathan Mills (Festival Director and Chief Executive Edinburgh International Festival, UK).

More information about the Atelier EDINBURGH 2014 can be found on the Atelier website.