10th Atelier for Young Festival Managers to kick off 2 June in Budapest

23 May 2016


The next Atelier for Young Festival Managers, an international exchange programme run by The Festival Academy and initiated by the European Festivals Association (EFA), will take place in Budapest, Hungary, from 2-8 June. Hosted by Armel Opera Festival.  The Atelier BUDAPEST 2016 will gather 45 young festival managers from 26 countries. During the Atelier participants broaden their programming skills, join a network of future festival leaders worldwide, and are inspired by eight renowned festival directors from all over the world who share their experiences. A public opening session will kick off the Atelier BUDAPEST 2016 on 2 June at Müpa Budapest. The Atelier will end with a public closing ceremony on 8 June at the Hungarian National Gallery.

The Festival Academy’s mission is to share and construct know-how on festival management focusing on the essence of festivals – the art and the artist – and touching upon all artistic disciplines. It is inspired by the motto coined by Atelier presenter and former Director of the Avignon Festival Bernard Faivre d’Arcier: “The true role of a festival is to help artists to dare, to engage in new projects.” The Atelier BUDAPEST 2016 will foster cultural exchanges, and support participants in developing their personal projects through lectures, debates, small topic-based working groups, practical activities and case studies. Exchanges with artists and leading cultural institutions from the region will be an excellent opportunity to link insights gained in the working sessions with the concrete environment. 

“In the Atelier Budapest festival leaders of the future will discuss about the future of the arts sector. They will confront their views with others in the field and exchange about managing the arts in new ways that reflect globalisation, social change, new technologies, and other aspects of our quickly-changing world. All this in the context of Hungary where the arts are being heavily challenged these days. They will become part of the global network of today counting 357 festival managers from 65 countries. The Alumni Network is the heart of The Festival Academy, because it’s all about them – the people – and the things they can imagine and realise together,” Inge Ceustermans, Managing Director The Festival Academy

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): 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.)

The Atelier host, Armel Opera festival established in 2008, annually presents five new operas, created in cooperation with five countries, with the winners of Armel Opera Competition in the main roles. It mainly stages lesser-known operas, contemporary productions, and the modern adaptations of timeless classics, and has been working with the French classical music channel Mezzo and ARTE Concert since the beginning. In 2011, the Armel Opera Festival became a two-location festival, as part of the programme was also accommodated and presented in France at the Opera-Théâtre d’Avignon. In 2015, audiences in a third country, the Czech Republic, also had the opportunity to enjoy the Armel Opera Festival as the entire festival programme was debuting at the newly built National Theatre of Pilsen as a special event in the Pilsen 2015 European Capital of Culture Programme. In 2016, a new scene will enter into the prestigious list of venues, since Hackney Empire Theatre in London will host an opera production and a concert of Armel Opera Festival.

“One of the primary roles of Armel Opera Festival is to create the possibility for different cultures to meet and present themselves through lyric international productions. This offers an ideal background to host the Atelier for Young Festival Managers and to welcome young festival managers worldwide to experience the cultural scene of Hungary and to exchange on the essence of festivals.” Agnes Havas, Director Armel Opera Festival.

The Budapest Atelier will be launched on Thursday, 2 June at 18:00 with a public session at Müpa Budapest by Mr. Hoppál Péter, Secretary of State - Hungarian Ministry of Human Resources, Mr. István Márta, Chairman Magyar Fesztivál Szövetség (Hungarian Festivals Association), Mr. Csaba Káel, Chief Executive Officer Müpa & festivals, Ms. Agnès Havas, Director Armel Opera Festival. Darko Brlek, President EFA and The Festival Academy - General and Artistic Director Ljubljana Festival, and Inge Ceustermans, Managing Director The Festival Academy, will welcome the Atelier group, and introduce the Atelier. Mr. Jonathan Mills will give the keynote speech. The Atelier will close with a public session on Sunday, 8 June at 19:00 at the Hungarian National Gallery.

Journalists are invited to attend the public events: Opening Ceremony at Müpa Budapest and Closing Session at Hungarian National Gallery. Please contact by 30 May 2016. The detailed programme and a comprehensive press kit will be available online; interviews can be arranged.

The Atelier for Young Festival Managers BUDAPEST 2016 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), Edinburgh, UK (2014), Poznan, Poland (2014), Beirut, Lebanon (2015), and Gwanju, South Korea (2015).

Latest news and more information on presenters and participants can be found on The Festival Academy  and on Facebook.