The 2023 Eleusis European Capital of Culture in collaboration with The Festival Academy, an initiative of the European Festivals Association – EFA, invite you to participate in the 21st edition of the Atelier for Young Festival Managers, which will take place from 21 to 27 June of 2023 in Elefsina.
The Atelier for Young Festival Managers Elefsina will offer the opportunity to up to 35 young festival managers from all over the word to spend 7 days together with a group of young and experienced festival leaders, cultural activists, cross-sector experts and artists in Elefsina, to have a global conversation about today’s challenges and the role that festivals, art and culture can play. The Atelier is about gaining new perspectives, exploring the essence of why and how of festivals in a global context, share and exchange experiences and reflect on the topics that concern the participants.
The Atelier starts from the very essence of festivals – the arts, the artist and the audience – and all issues tackled during the training and in one way or another relate to this essence, why we are doing what we are doing, for whom and with whom. It also addressesthe way we do things which relates more to the production side of a festival or art event.
Throughout the Atelier, participants are guided by renowned festival managers who share their rich experience and answer participants’ questions along the way, acting not only as lecturers but also as true mentors and allowing participants an honest and open insight into their careers, including both success stories and failures.
Who can participate?
This seven-day long capacity building programme is addressed to emerging production managers and festival managers from all over the world, regardless of age, gender and nationality, who are interested in exchanging knowledge and experiences between professionals active in the field of festivals and who wish to improve their management skills, learn from renowned experts and exchange ideas and best practices with other participants.
It is addressed at participants who are interested in the organization and in the new ways of cooperation and sustainable production. In addition, it is aimed at participants who are interested in becoming part of a network that focuses on knowledge sharing and networking. At the end of the programme, participants will leave with expanded skillsin festival organisation, curation and production, with a wide new personal and professional network and with inspiration for new ways of developing and producing projects.
The Atelier for Young Festival Managers is a tailor-made capacity building programme focused on the needs of the specific group taking part in the programme, based on the analysis of the expectations of the selected participants. The topics and issues raised by the selected participants are further developed during the Atelier: in panel discussions guided by renowned festival leaders and cross-sector experts from across the globe, in small working groups, thematic lunches, cross-discipline round tables and plenary sessions. There is plenty of time and space for official and informal one-to-one talks during the programme and during meals and cultural visits, as the sharing of experiences and networking are key to the Atelier.
Topics to be explored could be amongst others:
• Different models of curating, focusing on building audiences/communities
• Innovation and new technologies
• The social, environmental and artistic impact of festivals: how festivals are/can be agents for
social change and social cohesion
• Fundraising (beyond subventions)
• How and if festivals can contribute to strengthening global identities and values and tackle rising
• Fair international collaboration (and trade) including the UNESCO 2005 Convention for the
Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions
• Festivals and migrant/refugees communities
• Sustainable festival-making on all levels
• Freedom of expression and the relevance of artistic boycott
All these food-for-thought and conversations will be developed in close relation with our partners and the context in which the Atelier takes place, serving as a source of inspiration and discussions by meeting local actors.
● Capacity, skills and knowledge building within a global context. Digital toolkits collecting the
knowledge shared to distribute to a larger arts/festival community in a global level.
● A platform for exchange in between arts and cultural colleaguestaking up different roles and coming
from different regions
● Generating a better understanding and knowledge of the possibilities that may occur to festivals
and cultural organisations.
● Offering time and space for imagining new collaborations with people coming from very different
backgrounds, based on solidarity and incorporating fundamental universal values.
● Becoming part of a global network of upskilled cultural and production managers including Alumni
and experts of The Festival Academy, today with 1178 people from 100+ countries on all continents.
Mentors and guest speakers at the Atelier are renowned festival managers and directors, cross-sector
experts, cultural activists and artists. They are present for multiple days and mentors and facilitators are
present for the whole period of the programme. Members of the Alumni community of The Festival Academy are also invited to join the Atelier and take initiative leading sessions and involving professionals from their own networks (find out more about our Alumni-led sessions here and about our previous experts here).
The Festival Academy will select up to 35 participants for the 7-day programme of Atelier Elefsina 2023. There is no age limit, and the average age of Atelier participants is of 35 years. Excellent knowledge of English is required (the working language of the Atelier).
We encourage people from all parts of the world to apply, and we commit to working towards making the Atelier accessible for all selected applicants by assisting as much as possible with visa procedures and other permissions/requirements in preparation for the Atelier.
Full course fee: €2100
Reduced course fee for EFA member festivals: €1600
Course fee includes accommodation for seven nights, registration, working documents, access to all sessions, meals and drinks, receptions, local transport to activities within the programme, cultural and artistic programme, and follow–up activities.
Funding opportunities for this training programme are numerous at local/national level, and we have established long-term partnerships with some organisations all over the world to support prospective participants.
Application & Selection Procedure
The 35 participants will be selected out of an open call for applications. Applicants are asked to provide information on their work experience, their expectations related to the programme and – most importantly on their motivation to participate in it.
Deadline for applications: 20 October 2022.
A few words about The Festival Academy organization
The Festival Academy www.thefestivalacademy.eu, an initiative of the European Festivals Association (EFA), offers festival organizing training programs to young, dynamic and passionate festival organizers worldwide. The Festival Academy shares, exchanges and promotes expertise in artistic curation, festival planning and organisation. Through empowering a new generation of leaders and creating international professional opportunities for festival organizers, it develops and maintains a network of professionals worldwide, where training programs and their internationalization are crucial. Through these lifelong learning programs in the context of arts festivals, the Festival Academy brings together a wealth of creative minds: cultural professionals who develop and update themselves on the state of the world today through peer-to-peer actions, which give them the time to create dialogue about the role of festivals in today’s world, inspired by people with different backgrounds and perspectives to challenge and challenge our thinking or the way we act.
More specifically, the different training programs carried out by the Festival Academy organization, currently uniting more than 699 graduates from more than 80 countries and all continents, focus on artistic vision, politics and social responsibility in relation to a festival operating in a community or in a region, as well as internationalisation, integration, renewal and sustainability, new business models, new technology and audience development/community engagement.
20 successful Ateliers for Young Festival Managers have been held to date, in 2006 in Görlitz, Germany, in 2009 in Varna, Bulgaria, in 2011 in Singapore and Izmir, Turkey, in 2012 in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in 2014 in Edinburgh, Scotland and in Poznań, Poland, in 2015 in Beirut, Lebanon and Guangzhou, South Korea, in 2016 in Budapest, Hungary and Chiang Mai, Thailand, in 2017 in Merano, Italy and in 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa and Gothenburg, Sweden . In 2019 Atelier Valletta took place in Malta, and Atelier NEXT in November 2019. The next Ateliers took place in Dusseldorf, Germany in May 2020, Dusseldorf in 2021, Kampala, Uganda in 2022, Montreal in 2022 and in Nicosia in 2022.