Arts Festivals Summit 2019

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Hugo De Greef: “The Atelier is about exchanging experiences”

10 May 2016

In the run-up to the Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Budapest taking place from 2 – 8 June, all presenters who will participate to exchange with 45 young artistic festival directors from all over the world will be introduced. A high-level group of renowned festival directors will guide the participants throughout the seven days of the Atelier BUDAPEST 2016. The first mentor in the row is Hugo De Greef, General Coordinator of the Atelier, Co-founder and Board member of The Festival Academy and former EFA Secretary General.

The Atelier for Young Festival Managers was launched by the European Festivals Association (EFA) in 2006, when Hugo De Greef was the Association’s Secretary General (2004-2008). Today, he is the General Coordinator and co-founder of The Festival Academy - the organisation set-up by EFA to run trainings for dynamic festival makers -  amongst other functions in the cultural sector, both in Belgium and internationally.

Hugo De Greef continuously engages for better conditions of art and artists around the world. To mention just a few highlights in what has been a distinguished career in the cultural sector: Hugo De Greef co-founded the Informal European Theatre Meeting (IETM), the Flemish Theatre monthly ETCETERA, the international publication THEATERSCHRIFT, the Philosophy Festival, the European House for Culture in Brussels, and in 2013 the School of Gaasbeek, a new workplace and residency for artists near Brussels. Hugo De Greef was the founder and General Manager of the Kaaitheater in Brussels for 20 years. He was the General Manager of the European Capital of Culture in Brugge 2002 and Artistic Director for Brussels 2000. From 2007 to 2010 he was the General Manager of the Flagey Arts Centre in Brussels, and in 1998/1999 he was the Artistic Advisor of the Flanders Festival.

His international activities include, amongst others: co-productions with Flemish/Belgian, European and American artists, organisation of the Flemish Arts presentation during the Expo in Lisbon in 1998, member of the advisory board for the Theaterformen festival for the Expo in Hannover in 2000, initiator for the New Europe festival in New York in October 1999, and other.

Hugo De Greef was the international policy advisor of the Flemish Minister of Culture Joke Schauvliege. He is a  Board member of “A Soul for Europe” and the European House for Culture, President of PARTS, a dance school in Brussels founded by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, and President of Passa Porta, the house of literature in Brussels. Currently, he is the co-director of EFFE – Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe.

“It is clear that Hugo has an impressive cultural background as the former EFA Secretary General and initiator of multiple festivals and has a large experience on exchange with the public and the youth. He is the key to maintain the flow of the discussion between the different participants and speakers.”

Carine Rizk, Participant Atelier POZNAN 2014

Renowned mentors from all over the world will guide the participants throughout the seven days of the Atelier BUDAPEST 2016 under the coordination of Hugo De Greef (General Coordinator The Festival Academy, former EFA Secretary General, Director European Capital of Culture Bruges 2002, Co-Founder Kaaitheater Brussels - Belgium):.

  • Rania Elias, Director of the Yabous Cultural Centre and Jerusalem Festival, Palestine
  • Bernard Faivre d’Arcier, President Lyon Biennial, former long-standing Director Avignon Festival, France
  • Rose Fenton, Director Free Word, former Director LIFT London, UK
  • Agnes Havas, Director Armel Opera Festival, Hungary
  • Nele Hertling, Member of the strategy group ‘A Soul for Europe’, former vice-president Academy of Arts in Berlin, former Director Hebbel-Theatre Berlin, Germany.
  • Michal Merczyński, Director of the Malta Festival Poznan and founder and director of Nostalgia Festival Poznan, Poland.
  • Jonathan Mills, Director of the Edinburgh International Culture Summit, former Director of the Edinburgh International Festival, UK.


More information about the Atelier BUDAPEST 2016 can be found on the here.