Atelier News #5 - Intense work combined with Bulgarian arts and culinary enjoyment

1 May 2009

"It was a day of intensive workshops at the European Atelier for Young Festival Managers. Participants were organized into 3 groups, which worked simultaneously with different mentors and presenters, so that at the end every participant had a chance to listen to every presentation. One of the workshops, chaired by mentor Hugo De Greef, focused on the importance of networking with other festivals in order to produce new works by young artists and create for them a sustainable performance environment. Presenter Marie-Agnes Sevestre, Director of Festival des Francophonies en Limousin, shared with the group her rich experience with African artists and provided valuable information how to get in touch with the festivals these artists are associated with. The second presenter for this workshop was Agnes Havas, Director of Opera Competition and Festival with Mezzo Television in Hungary. She explained the concept of the festival and elaborated on the festival’s production process. Another workshop was chaired by mentor Nele Hertling with guest presenter Tzvetelina Yossifova, co-producer of The Red House Center for Culture and Debate in Sofia. She talked briefly about the political context of post-communist Bulgaria and the emerging of a new generation which was in need of a critical change in the structures of art production. That need provoked the creation of the Red House - a place for independent culture and art but also for lectures and workshops - a living laboratory for exchanging ideas and experience. Nele Hertling, who had just returned from a meeting of the strategy group “A Soul for Europe” in Sofia, talked about the first days of starting the networking between similar art production structures in Europe, and stressed the importance of building trust between international partners. The issue of programming was also discussed, especially the need for transparency of decision-making within the art production teams. Mark Russell, Director of Under The Radar Festival in New York, was the presenter at the third workshop. He talked about his experience with connecting a festival with a professional conference of arts producers - in order to address various cultural problems he had to reinvent the existing frames. Answering the participants’ questions, Mark Russell touched many issues, among them programming and balancing a budget mostly on writing grants. In the evening, guests and participants were treated to a dinner at a traditional Bulgarian restaurant and had a chance to enjoy performances of Bulgarian folk music and dance." Varna, 30 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 Atelier 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 AtelierAtelier News #1 - A dynamic start of the European Atelier for Young Festival Managers 2009 For further information please visit the Atelier website or contact EFA at More photos at the Photo Gallery!