Atelier for Young Festival Managers POZNAN 2014 – Seven Mentors Announced

22 September 2014

[PRESS RELEASE; Brussels, Belgium] The Festival Academy’s Atelier for Young Festival Managers, the training programme initiated by the European Festivals Association (EFA), announces seven renowned festival directors from all over the world who will participate in the next edition in Poznan, Poland from 20-27 October 2014 organised in collaboration with the Malta Festival Poznan.

Under the guidance of Atelier Coordinator Hugo De Greef (Atelier Coordinator, former EFA Secretary General, Director European Capital of Culture Bruges 2002, Co-Founder Kaaitheater Brussels - Belgium) the following outstanding festival directors will take part in the Poznan Atelier during its 7 days to share their rich experiences and visions with the next generation of young festival managers through lectures, one-on-one talks and intensive workshops focusing on the artistic aspects of festival management. The group of carefully selected participants from all over the world will work with Robyn Archer (Artistic Director The Light in Winter Melbourne, Deputy Chair Australia Council for the Arts, Strategic Advisor Gold Coast Arts and Culture Queensland – Australia), Mark Ball (Artistic Director London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT) - United Kingdom), Bernard Faivre d’Arcier (President Lyon Biennial, former long-standing Director Avignon Festival - France), Nele Hertling (Vice-Chair Academy of Arts Berlin, Germany), Michal Merczynski (General Director Malta Festival Poznan, Poland) and Annemie Vanackere (Artistic and Managing Director HAU Hebbel am Ufer, former Artistic Director Rotterdamse Schouwburg - Germany/Netherlands).

The Atelier for Young Festival Managers will take place alongside the seventh edition of the Nostalgia Festival Poznan 2014 running from 23-25 October organised by the Malta Foundation (organiser of Malta Festival Poznan). The festival is based on an intercultural dialogue between the compositions of two masters: Tigran Mansurian – an Armenian celebrating his 75th birthday this year and Elliot Carter – an American who died in 2012 at the age of 103. “During the Nostalgia Festival, the participants of the Atelier POZNAN 2014 are invited to attend and explore how the two cultures (Armenian and American), antagonised during the Cold War, relate to each other today as their relationship ceased to be an extension of the hostility between the two empires” said Michal Merczynski, General Director Malta Festival Poznan and Nostalgia Festival Poznan.

“After six editions of the Atelier, we have been confirmed in the mission of The Festival Academy and the continued need to provide space for training and exchange. As the previous Ateliers, the Poznan edition will be a unique platform that allows for formulating experiences and passing on knowledge to the next generation of festival makers: thematically focusing on the very essence of arts festivals - the art and the artist. It will connect ambitious international cultural workers and contribute to the development of the festival and cultural sector,” said Kathrin Deventer, EFA Secretary General.

The Atelier for Young Festival Managers POZNAN 2014 is set to continue the success of previous editions held in Goerlitz - Germany (2006), Varna - Bulgaria (2009), Singapore (2011), Izmir - Turkey (2011), Ljubljana - Slovenia (2012) and Edinburgh - United Kingdom (2014). The Atelier’s motto was coined by Bernard Faivre d’Arcier: “The true role of a festival is to help artists to dare, to engage in new projects.” Participants of the Poznan Atelier will join the Alumni network that currently counts 223 young festival leaders and 32 renowned festival directors from 58 countries worldwide.

“The Atelier in Poznan is a unique opportunity for young curators and festival managers to meet and to share knowledge and experiences. Moreover it offers life-long learning and cooperation possibilities with its ever-growing network of Alumni of The Festival Academy’s Atelier building on and sustaining the relations and experiences initiated at the Atelier,” said Darko Brlek, The Festival Academy’s and EFA’s President.

Latest news and more information on presenters and participants can be found at or

More information about Nostalgia Festival Poznan 2014 can be found at

The European Festivals Association (EFA) is the umbrella organisation for festivals across Europe and beyond representing 102 festivals, national festival associations and cultural networks from 41 countries. EFA initiated the Atelier for Young Festival Managers in 2006; since 2013 it has been organised by The Festival Academy. The Atelier POZNAN 2014 is supported by Polish Institute Cultural Service of the Embassy of the Republic in Poland in Brussels, Culture Centre ZAMEK, Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Hotel Boutique Garden, Hotel NH Poznań and Goethe Institut – Poland. Arts Council Korea, Africalia Belgium and Pro Helvetia, Schweizer Kulturstiftung are supporting participants from Africa, South-Korea and Switzerland to take part in the Atelier POZNAN 2014. The Festival Academy and the European Festivals Association thank for their support: the European Commission, the Flemish Authorities and the City of Gent.