Atelier goes to Gwangju, public invited to opening and closing sessions

27 August 2015

The 9th edition of the Atelier for Young Festival Managers will start next Monday, 31 August in the vibrant city of Gwangju, South Korea. The training programme of The Festival Academy is organised in cooperation with the Chonnam National University and the Asia Culture Center, which will be opened with a festival on 4 September. 36 participants from 20 countries will meet for the first time during the public opening ceremony at Chonnam National University, which will kick off 7 days of exchanges, networking and discovering cultural Gwangju. The public is invited to the opening and closing sessions.

Gwangju, one of the largest cities in South Korea, will be the perfect place for the participants and seven renowned mentors alike to experience and discover Asian arts and culture while getting to know one another.

During the intensive week, participants will not only exchange experiences and ideas on the artistic aspects of festival management, the artistic vision, political and social responsibility, internationalisation, networking, renewal and sustainability. They will also meet key actors from the arts and cultural scene of Gwangju and the region, and visit relevant cultural places such as Unjusa Temple or the traditional village of Yangrim-dong. The participants will also have the opportunity to attend performances of the Asia Culture Center Theater Opening Festival. They will also meet some of the artists involved in the festival to get hands-on insights on how the festival has been organised, and experience it from both the organisers’ and audience perspective.

The Festival Academy and the European Festivals Association (EFA) together with the Asia Culture Center and Chonnam National University invite journalists and interested people to attend the following public events:

On Monday 31 August, 18:00, at Chonnam National University’s Convention Hall, the Opening Ceremony will take place with welcome speeches by Jee Byung-Moon, President Chonnam National University,Jongman Choi, President Institute of Asian Culture Development,  and Darko BrIek, President European Festivals Association and The Festival Academy. Hugo De Greef, General Coordinator The Festival Academy, will set the tone for the upcoming seven days.

On Sunday 6 September, 18:00, at the Asia Culture Center the Atelier will be closed with a ceremony. Speakers include Ju No Lee, Dean Graduate School of Culture Chonnam National University, SunJung Kim, Artistic Director ACC Archive & Research, Supawan Teerarat, Vice President Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau, and Seonghee Kim, Artistic Director Asia Culture Center Theater. Robyn Archer, Artistic Director The Light in Winter Melbourne, who has been working with The Festival Academy for many years in various editions of the Atelier, will sum up the Gwangju Atelier with a closing lecture. If you are interested in attending on of the public sessions RSVP to Chamseul Kim at or contact by 28 August 2015.

Interviews can be arranged throughout the week. Please contact The full 7-day programme, a comprehensive press kit, as well as detailed information on the mentors, participants and The Festival Academy are available here.

Last but not least, you can follow the Atelier Gwangju online via:

- Facebook

- Efa on Twitter#AtelierGWANGJU

- EFA blog Festival Bytes where Atelier participants share some first-hand insights