The Festival Academy launches the 11th Atelier for Young Festival Managers on 1 December in Chiang Mai, Thailand

25 November 2016

Following the success of the 10th Edition last June in Budapest, The Festival Academy, an initiative of the European Festivals Association (EFA), presents the next Atelier for Young Festival Managers, to take place in the city of Chiang Mai, Thailand, from 1 to 7 December 2016.

Organized in cooperation with the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), The Atelier Chiang Mai 2016 will gather 35 young festival managers from 20 countries. During the Atelier, participants broaden their programming skills inspired by seven renowned festival directors from all over the world who share their experiences and insights on their fields. A public opening session will kick off the Atelier Chiang Mai 2016 on 1 December 2016.

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 Chiang Mai 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 the diverse cultural institutions from the region will be an excellent opportunity to link insights gained in the working sessions with the concrete surrounding environment. 

 “The Atelier Chiang Mai 2016 is the third Atelier taking place in Asia following the Singapore 2011 and Gwangju 2015 editions. Emerging and renowned festival leaders will gather in Chiang May to talk about the future of festivals and 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. While at the same time being immersed in the context of the Thai arts scene.” Darko Brlek, President The Festival Academy, President European Festivals Association

Under the coordination of Hugo De Greef (General Coordinator The Festival Academy, former EFA Secretary General – Belgium), participants will work with leading festival professionals such as Robyn Archer (Artistic Director The Light in Winter Melbourne – Australia), Mark Ball (Artistic Director LIFT - London International Festival of Theatre – UK), Bernard Faivre D’Arcier (President Lyon Biennial - France), Nele Hertling (Former Vice-President Academy of Arts Berlin and Former Director Hebbel-Theater Berlin – Germany), Kee Hong Low (Head of Artistic Development Theatre of West Kowloon Cultural District – Hong Kong), Seong Hee Kim (Kaywon Art University – South Korea).

The Atelier co-organizer, the Thailand Convention and & Exhibition Bureau, is a public organization which takes the lead on behalf of the Thai government in the development and success of Thailand’s MICE—meetings, incentive, conventions and exhibitions— sector. Established in 2004, the TCEB’s goal is to support business events in the country, encouraging the inclusion of arts and culture for the promotion of Thai cultural heritage. It welcomes both local and international events, and supports events’ organizers maximizing the international publicity and attendances.

The Atelier Chiang Mai will be launched on Thursday, 1 December at 18:00 with a public session at Chiang Mai City Arts & Cultural Centre by Mr. Pawin Chamniprasart, Governor of Chiang Mai and Ms. Supawan Teerarat, Vice President Strategic and Business Development Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau. Mr. Darko Brlek, President EFA and The Festival Academy - General and Artistic Director Ljubljana Festival, and Ms. Inge Ceustermans, Managing Director The Festival Academy, will welcome the Atelier group, and introduce the Atelier. Ms. Nele Hertling will give the keynote speech. The Atelier will close with a public session on Wednesday, 7 December at 18:00 at Baan Mon Fai Cultural Centre.

The Atelier for Young Festival Managers Chiang Mai 2016 is set to continue the success of previous editions held in Görlitz (2006), Varna (2009), Singapore (2011), Izmir (2011), Ljubljana (2012), Edinburgh (2014), Poznan (2014), and Beirut and Gwangju (2015), Budapest (2016).