EFA FestFlash: Festivals opening doors to politics, to civic debate and to Europe

25 June 2010

One of the missions of the 2010 flagship project “Open The Door” of the European Festivals Association (EFA) is to open the door to reflection and debate on the importance of arts and culture for societal development. In 2010, under the motto “Festivals: Open Doors. Open Minds. Build Societies,” festivals involve all stakeholders in a political discussion on the role arts and culture play. The second edition of the FestFlash of the European Festivals Association focuses in particular on the work and activities of festivals in South Eastern Europe: How do festivals and politics from this region and how does the EU ‘open doors’ to Europe? In the spotlight of the second FestFlash: the EFA meeting on 5/6 June 2010 during which Ivo Josipović, President of Croatia and former long-standing director of the Music Biennale Zagreb, signed a Commitment to open doors to arts and culture and to Europe. Together with 30 festivals from South Eastern Europe, EFA urges a broad recognition of the role of arts and culture in society as well as closer cooperation between the Balkan region and the rest of Europe and calls for a long-term support of the cultural sector in political, structural as well as in financial terms. “The variety of inherent values culture and international cultural collaboration bring about must become a focal point in all policy areas,” states the Commitment. The 2010 FestFlash brings news about festivals and their activities implemented in the spirit of the “Open The Door” initiative. In “FestFlash Highlights” of the second edition: the Music Biennale Zagreb that is connecting artists, institutions and audiences; the Belgrade Music Festival that is reaching its goals through cooperation; and the REMUSICA Festival in Prishtina that successfully reaches out to audiences and artists despite major challenges. Looking at other parts of Europe, the Festival Internacional de Música y Danza de Granada that makes Granada dialogue; DanceMe, a cross-media participatory project on the internet; or the Black International Cinema Festival that is tackling societal issues, are examples of festivals opening doors to artists and audiences through very different but equally successful initiatives. Last but not least, EFA shares the results of the EFA General Assembly and Conference during which 100 festivals committed to open doors to artists and audiences. How to commit to “Open The Door” The European Festivals Association invites all arts festivals to commit to the initiative “Open The Door” at the dedicated website: Festivals who express their commitment are invited to submit their best practice. Related links and documents: • FestFlash of the European Festivals Association 2 / 2010Report Zagreb meetingVideo gallery and Photo Gallery • Press release in English, French and GermanZagreb Commitment: “Open The Door to Arts and Culture – Open The Door to Europe” •