ATELIER FOR GREEK FESTIVAL MANAGERS (IN DETAIL)

The first Atelier for Greek Festival Managers is organised in Eleusis from February 15th to 17th, 2019.

The idea of the Atelier for Greek Festival Managers emerged from the needs of the cultural professionals themselves as identified during the “Culture 2030” Meeting that took place from 8 to 11 November 2018 in Eleusis. The concept of the Festival was one of the most important issues of analysis and reflection during the Meeting. A Festival incorporates, shapes and reflects the identity of a city and its inhabitants. Respectively, the city is identified, recognised and promoted through the festivals. This two-way relationship raises many questions about a Festival’s curation and organisation.

What is the relationship between Festivals and Artists? How do they support the contemporary artistic creation of the city and of the country? How do they become a mirror of modern societies and cities? How do they derive from the community’s collective imagination and feedback it dynamically? How do they link artists to each other at local, national and international level and reflect the dynamics of contemporary artistic networking? How do political, social and technological developments affect artistic programming? What is the role of the Artistic Director? In which ways can the local community be involved? How can a sustainable framework for festivals, artists and audiences be developed?

On the basis of these elements and aiming at enhancing the Greek festivals’ capacity, Eleusis 2021 European Capital of Culture, designed together with The Festival Academy the first Atelier for Greek Festival Managers; the Greek version of the Atelier for Young Festival Managers, for the professionals of the Greek festivals, tailor-made to their needs.

Atelier is the outcome of Eleusis 2021 strategic partnership with The Festival Academy, the only specialised organisation that offers international training and capacity-building programmes on festivals’ organization and curation. Festival Academy is an initiative of the European Festivals Association (EFA), an organisation that has been active since 1952 in the networking of distinguished music, dance, theater, and interdisciplinary arts festivals, and connects around 100 festivals in 40 countries at European and international level.

The Greek edition of Atelier for Greek Festival Managers offers to experienced, emerging and future festivals managers and artists an intensive and complete training programme. It brings together 25 participants from Greece with experienced festival managers and artistic directors, artists and cultural professionals as mentors to be actively engaged in a frank and open dialogue structured by the successful and non-successful examples that anyone has and to share his/her experience and career.

For the first Atelier for Greek Festival Managers, Eleusis 2021 and The Festival Academy selected Mark Ball, Vigdis Jakobsdottir, Mike Van Graan, Kelly Diapouli, Yolanda Markopoulou, and Froso Trousa as mentors of the workshop.

Mark Ball, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT), and Creative Director of Manchester International Festival (MIF), both are Europe’s leading arts festivals that shape the identity of European contemporary art.

Vigdis Jakobsdottir, Artistic Director and CEO of the Reykjavik Arts Festival, a biannual interdisciplinary festival, established in 1970, which focuses on new productions, presenting visual exhibitions and performances to a wide audience, both in cultural venues, as well as in unusual locations around the city. She is an experienced theatre director, that holds positions in festivals and organizations focused on youth theatre.

Mike Van Graan, one of South Africa’s leading contemporary playwrights, with a rich body of work and teaching experience in Theatre Studies at the University of Cape Town. He has played a leading role in shaping cultural policy in post-apartheid Africa. He has served in leading positions in a variety of cultural organizations, against the apartheid and in favour of human rights in modern African societies (Community Arts Project, Congress of South African Writers, National Arts Coalition, African Arts Institute, Arterial Network, Africal Cultural Policy Network).

Kelly Diapouli, Artistic Director of Eleusis 2021 European Capital of Culture since the initiation of Eleusis candidacy in 2014. She is a curator and cultural manager with more than 15 years of experience in the fields of cultural networking, international cultural cooperation and curating and organizing international programmes and events and work experience in these fields for the Hellenic Culture Organization – Cultural Olympiad and “busart”, a Non Profit Cultural Company, of which she is a founding member and director.

Yolanda Markopoulou is a theatre and film director and producer, director of POLYPLANITY Productions, founder of  SYNERGY_O, and director of the refugee and immigrant theatre group Station Athens with a special focus on site-specific and people specific performances.

Froso Trousa, artistic director of ARC for DANCE FESTIVAL, the first contemporary dance platform with works by young Greek and international artists. She is also a member of many European dance networks and a collaborator of  Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports and the Athens Concert Hall, which supports young creators.

The Atelier for Greek Festival Managers is part of the “Culture 2030” Programme, that aims to foster regional cultural development and also to the enhancement of cultural professionals. The “Culture 2030” Programme contains the lead Meeting, that takes place in Eleusis every November, the satellite meetings of cultural organizations between Greek cities, and also training programmes and residencies for cultural professionals, artists, and residents of Eleusis. The “Culture 2030” Programme, finally, aims to make the city of Eleusis a hub of interconnection and expertise, within the contemporary landscape of culture. 

For the first Atelier for Greek Festival Managers, we received 68 registration requests from culture professionals, which were evaluated by the two organisers, giving priority to participants from the Region and the city of Eleusis, and from the field of contemporary art, with emphasis on visual and performing arts. 

Short bios

From April 2009 to June 2017, Mark Ball was Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT), one of Europe’s leading arts festivals. He was appointed Creative Director of Manchester International Festival (MIF) in June 2017, where he is responsible for leading the artistic programme for The Factory, MIF’s new large-scale venue for arts and culture scheduled to open in 2021. Mark has been named the Institute of Director’s (IoD) Young Director of the Year and was made a Clore Fellow in 2006/2007. He also holds posts at a number of arts and cultural organisations and is an Advisory Board Member of the Science and Industry Museum. 

Vigdis Jakobsdottir is the Artistic Director and CEO of the Reykjavik Arts Festival, a biannual interdisciplinary festival, established in 1970, which focuses on new productions, presenting visual exhibitions and performances to a wide audience, both in cultural venues, as well as in unusual locations around the city. Vigdis is an experienced theatre director, workshop facilitator and lecturer, both in her home country of Iceland, and globally. She has directed performances at the National Theatre of Iceland and with numerous independent theatre companies. In the academic field, she was programme director for MA studies in Theatre Education at Iceland University of the Arts from 2002-2016. She is the founder of Þjóðleikur – The National Youth Theatre festival in Iceland which she led from 2008-2017. Vigdis was a member of the executive committee of ASSITEJ (International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People) between 2011-2017 and served as the artistic director of UNGI, an international performing arts festival for young audiences in Reykjavík, from 2013-2016. 

Mike Van Graan has played a leading role in shaping cultural policy in post-apartheid Africa. He has served in leading positions in a variety of cultural organizations, against the apartheid and in favour of human rights in modern African societies (Community Arts Project, Congress of South African Writers, National Arts Coalition, African Arts Institute, Arterial Network). He is one of South Africa’s leading contemporary playwrights, with a rich body of work and teaching experience in Theatre Studies at the University of Cape Town. Until early 2017, he served as a Board member for five years of one of South Africa’s largest multi-disciplinary festivals, the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival. In the late 1990s, he was appointed by the City of Cape Town to coordinate the inaugural One City, Many Cultures Festival. Today he is the founder and President of the African Cultural Policy Network and the 2018 recipient of the Hiroshima Foundation for Peace and Culture Award in recognition of his contribution to the fight against apartheid, to building a post-apartheid society and to the study of the interface between peace and culture.

Kelly Diapouli has been the Artistic Director of Eleusis 2021 European Capital of Culture since the initiation of Eleusis candidacy in 2014. She is a curator and cultural manager with more than 15 years of experience in the fields of cultural networking, international cultural cooperation and curating and organizing international programmes and events. Between 2004 and 2008, she worked in these fields for the Hellenic Culture Organization – Cultural Olympiad and continues to do similar work for the “busart” Non Profit Cultural Company, of which she is a founding member and director since 2009. She is an Onassis and Fulbright Foundations scholar, a member of the Alumni Network of the Festival Academy of the European Festivals Association (EFA), a member of the Young Cultural Innovators Forum of Salzburg Global and a member of the Advisory Board of the International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts IETM. 

Yolanda Markopoulou is a theatre and film director and producer. Since 2007 she has been running POLYPLANITY Productions, a production company undertaking theatre, film and interdisciplinary projects. At the same time, she founded SYNERGY_O, an independent space in the centre of Athens. She has directed over twenty plays and short films. Since 2008, she has been the director of the refugee and immigrant theatre group Station Athens. The performance We Are the Persians! (2015-17) was presented at the Athens Festival, at the International Theatre of Finland and at the mind the fact festival, while the site-specific I_LEFT (2014, 2018) was presented as part of the Eleusis 2021 European Capital of Culture program, with which she maintains a steady artistic collaboration. She is the co-founder and curator, alongside Ioanna Valsamidou, of mind the fact, a cultural initiative aiming to present “real stories by the people who have experienced them”.

Froso Trousa is the artistic director of ARC for DANCE FESTIVAL, the first contemporary dance platform with works by young Greek and international artists, created in 2008. She is a professional dancer and dance instructor. Since 2002, she has been the co-director, along with Dimitris Nasiakos, of the dance studio Dance Cultural Centre Froso Trousa has been a member of the European network Spider Expand!, a two-year artistic exchange and presentation program between the following countries: Belgium, Slovenia, France, Croatia and Greece. She was in charge of the main Dancing group of the International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts (IETM) that took place in Athens, in 2013. Since 2014, she has been a member of the European dance network AEROWAVES-Dance Across Europe, a member of the working group “Open Doors,” a collaboration between the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports and the Athens Concert Hall, which supports young creators during the preparation and presentation of their work to the public, and a member of the Dance Grants Committee of the Ministry of Culture and Sports, for the period 2017-19


ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2019
ΕLEUSIS 2021 / EUROPEAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE