Nele Hertling: “You are the one to enable the artist to create something”

29 July 2015

Nele Hertling, former Vice President of the Academy of Arts Berlin in Germany, is one of the presenters who will participate in the upcoming Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Gwangju taking place from 31 August to 6 September 2015 to exchange with 35 young artistic festival directors from all over the world. She has participated in each Atelier since 2006: GOERLITZ 2006, VARNA 2009, SINGAPORE, IZMIR 2011, LJUBLJANA 2012, EDINBURGH, POZNAN 2014, and BEIRUT 2015. In the run-up to the Gwangju Atelier all presenters will be introduced.

 “A festival gives you the chance to do extraordinary things. It creates an atmosphere, and supports productions that most theatres wouldn’t be able to produce. And you can really use this atmosphere to take risks and to take an audience with you because they are in a group, sharing a moment together. But as a festival director, you have to keep in mind that you must support the artist and that the artist isn’t there to support you. You are the one to enable the artist to create something,” says Nele Hertling.

Throughout her career Nele Hertling has built many collaborations, created festivals and established organisations in Europe representing turning points of changes in society at their respective times. She was the General Manager of Berlin European Capital of Culture in 1988. One year later, she reactivated the Hebbel-Theatre in Berlin, and acted as its Artistic Director until 2003. From 2003 to 2007, she was the Head of the Berliner Künstlerprogramm des DAAD.

Nele Hertling organised contemporary dance festivals in Berlin: Dance in August (1988), International Dance Festival (1999), and, together with Thomas Langhoff, she created the programme of Theater der Welt (1999). She is the Former Vice President of the Academy of Arts in Berlin. She is a founder and member of many international associations devoted to the support and promotion of art such as the European House for Culture and “A Soul for Europe”.

Nele Hertling is convinced that changes have to happen in the hearts of the citizens, artists, city representatives or state commissioners in order to be successful on the long run. According to her, projects and programmes initiated by the EU can be good examples and serve as support, but local integration of art practitioners and political lobbying has to be a bottom-up process in a specific city or state. 

“Nele Hertling and her infinite wisdom humanised the experience of working with artists and working as part of a team to create remarkable things,” wrote Summa Durie, participant Atelier EDINBURGH 2014, in a blog.

Renowned mentors from all over the world will guide the participants throughout the seven days of the Atelier GWANGJU 2015 under the coordination of Hugo De Greef (Atelier Coordinator, former EFA Secretary General, Director European Capital of Culture Bruges 2002, Co-Founder Kaaitheater Brussels - Belgium): Robyn Archer (Artistic Director The Light in Winter in Melbourne, Deputy Chair Australia Council for the Arts, Strategic Advisor Gold Coast Arts and Culture in Queensland, Member European House for Culture - Australia), Chiaki Soma (Art Producer, Representative Director Arts Commons Tokyo, former Artistic Director Tokyo Festival - Japan), Nele Hertling (former Vice President Academy of Arts Berlin; Member Strategy Group “A Soul for Europe”, former Director Hebbel-Theatre – Germany), Marie-Hélène Falcon (former Director TransAmériques Festival Montreal – Canada), SeongHee Kim (Artistic Director Asian Arts Theater - South Korea), and Monique Veaute (President Fondazione Romaeuropa - Arte e Cultura - Italy).

More information about the Atelier GWANGJU 2015 can be found on the Atelier website.