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

18 October 2016

In the countdown to the Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Chiang Mai from 1-7 December 2016, the presenters who will participate to exchange with about 40 young artistic festival directors from all over the world will be introduced. One of them 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 its 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 the Atelier.

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 has been the founder and the 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.

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.

 “I have to say that I consider Hugo one of the best moderators I've ever met! It is not easy to guide such a group throughout seven days. His experience and effort in moderating was extremely inspiring.
A leisurely approach to sharing experiences, thoughts, successes and failures; challenging questions and thought-provoking talks...this is how I would describe shortly how the workshops were lead”
Tomas Kutinjač, Participant Atelier BEIRUT 2015.


Renowned mentors from all over the world will guide the participants throughout the seven days of the Atelier Chiang Mai 2016 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): Robin Archer, (Artistic Director The Light in Winter Melbourne – Australia), Mark Ball, (Artistic Director and Chief Executive LIFT – UK), Bernard Faivre d’Arcier, (President Lyon Biennal -  France), Nele Hertling, (Member Strategy Group “A Soul for Europe”, former Vice-President of the Academy of Arts Berlin, former Director Hebbel-Theater Berlin – Germany), Low Kee-Hong, (Head of Artistic Development Theatre West Kowloon Cultural District Hong Kong – China), Michal Merczynski,(Director Malta Festival Poznań and Nostalgia Festival Poznań – Poland), and Kim Seong Hee, (Artistic Curator and Producer, Professor at the Kaywon Art University – South Korea).

More information about the Atelier Chiang Mai 2016 can be found on the Atelier website.

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