Atelier News #1 - A dynamic start of the European Atelier for Young Festival Managers 2009

27 April 2009

"After days of clouds and rain, Varna finally smiled with sunny weather for the arrival of both mentors and participants at the second edition of the European Atelier for Young Festival Managers. The cheerful crowd of young people strolled through the streets of the city, described as “the best place to live in Bulgaria”. They gathered at the Varna Municipality to be welcomed by Mr. Basitov, Deputy Mayor of Varna, and Mr. Serafimov, Director of the Varna Summer International Music Festival. After the welcome speeches, EFA Secretary General Kathrin Deventer introduced the vision and goals of the European Festivals Association (EFA), as well as the four mentors of the Atelier, among them former EFA Secretary General Hugo De Greef. Mr De Greef took the podium as moderator and led the participants through the themes and expectations of the Atelier. He elaborated on the Atelier’s role not only as a learning experience but also as a chance to build networks for future collaborations. The entire audience was moved by the story of mentor Rose Fenton about the co-founding of the London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT) in 1980. She spoke passionately about the importance to discover and support new and alternative art and artists, and about how festivals are an essential part of a city’s cultural life. Bernard Faivre d’Arcier, Chairman of Les Biennales de Lyon in France, shared his valuable practical experience on how to run a successful festival from a manager’s and an administrator’s point of view. Nele Hertling, a member of the strategy group of “A Soul for Europe”, stressed the importance of preserving one’s spirit and determination when experiencing difficulties. The welcome session was followed by a reception with delicious food glassed with some Bulgarian wine. Both mentors and participants left in good spirit, looking forward to the next day’s presentations." Varna, 26 April 2009 By Roumi Petrova, participant from Varna Summer International Music Festival Related news: • Atelier News #7 - The last day is the first day of a new networkAtelier News #6 - Another of the mainly highlights: Robyn Archer and Jonathan Mills at the AtelierAtelier News #5 - Intense work combined with Bulgarian arts and culinary enjoyment Atelier News #4 - In-depth discussions and exchanges at the European AtelierAtelier News #3 - “We are led by the artists we choose to serve”Atelier News #2 - At the crossroads of cultures: the participants of the European Atelier For further information please visit the Atelier website or contact EFA at More photos at the Photo Gallery!