The Festival Readings are three-day lectures on artistic festival management and different models of curating. They include public lectures by renowned artistic directors of festivals worldwide and public debates with the participants on issues related to the festivals’ programming and management. The Festival Readings, recognizing artists and artwork as the beginning of every cultural activity, introduce the participants to the essence of the festivals, the artistic vision, the environment that promotes innovation and the unique experiences for the audience.
Through this (and its other training programmes), The Festival Academy emphasises the great importance of festivals for art, for the artist and their place in society, paying close attention to the (social) context of the festivals’ emergence.
At the same time, the programme seeks to cognitively and professionally empower the participants, i.e. the students of theatre studies, cultural management, dramaturgy and artistic production, as well as cultural professionals, festival managers and local government operators who are active in the organization of cultural events.
The Festival Readings are organised within the framework of the Synikismos Festival, focusing on the festival itself, in order to create the conditions for meeting with the artists and for discussing the festival’s impact on their artistic career. The Festival Readings are a programme developed by The Festival Academy, an initiative of the European Festivals Association, and is unique in its kind. The programme has been held in the framework of major international festivals and is organised for the first time in Greece.
Three experienced artistic directors of international festivals will present their work. Drawing on their many years of experience, they share the secrets of their “toolkit”, presenting elements of their curatorial practices and analysing the ways in which they succeed in realizing their vision for their festivals.
The three-day programme includes presentations from speakers from diverse backgrounds and tête-à-tête meetings with them, as well as networking opportunities, offered within the festival’s broader context, with representatives of the Greek Festival Network, Ása Richardsdóttir (IETM – Iceland), Inge Ceustermans (The Festival Academy/EFA – Belgium) and Mike Van Graan (African Cultural Policy Network – South Africa), who is also the moderator of the Festival Readings. Among the speakers are Tom Creed (Artist – Ireland) and Vallejo Gantner (Onassis Foundation New York – USA).
The Festival Readings are part of the Eleusis 2021 strategic partnership with The Festival Academy, which aims to promote theoretical debate in Greece, as well as the practical knowledge regarding the role and the function of the festivals, the role, the obligations and the rights of the artistic festival management and all aspects of festival management.
In this context, Eleusis 2021, in collaboration with The Festival Academy, organized, in February 2019, the first Atelier for Greek Festival Managers, a capacity building programme on curation and festival management, in which 25 festival representatives from different Greek cities participated. At the end of the workshop, the participants established the Greek Festivals Network, with the aim to create a toolkit for Greek festivals, which they will present during the Festival Readings.
The Greek Festivals Network
The Greek Festivals Network is a network for festivals and their people. Its aim is to encourage dialogue, a constant exchange of information and concerns, between cultural organizations, artists and their executives, communication and networking with European organizations, and the creation of a pilot toolkit in order to support existing and the newly established events in Greece.
The Festival Academy
The Festival Academy, an initiative of the European Festivals Association (EFA), offers various training formats on festival management to young, dynamic and passionate festival curators worldwide, focusing on the essence of festivals, the arts and the artists.
Through the unique life-long learning programmes in the context of arts festivals, The Festival Academy brings together an enormous variety of creative minds: individual actors to be upskilled and informed about the state of play of the world today by experts and through peer-to-peer learning, who are given time to critically reflect on the role of festivals in today’s world, infused by people of different backgrounds and perspectives to challenge and provoke our thinking or the way we do things.
The European Festivals Association has been active since 1952 in the networking of renowned music, dance, theatre and interdisciplinary arts festivals, and links about 100 festivals in 40 countries at the European and the international level. The Festival Academy shares, exchanges and constructs know-how on festival management. Through empowering a new generation of emerging curators and generating new professional opportunities for festival makers, it develops and sustains a network of future festival leaders, where capacity building and internationalization play a crucial role. The capacity building programs within the Academy are one of EFA’s core activities. Various educational programmes start with this belief, but focus on matters and issues raised by the participants: artistic vision, public responsibility in relation to the cultural and artistic importance of a festival towards the local community, as well as internationalization, inclusion, renewal and sustainability.
The Festival Academy: www.thefestivalacademy.com
European Festivals Association (EFA): www.efa-aef.org
Dates: Friday 28th until Sunday 30th June 2019
Festival Reading’s participants have been selected by the organisers through an open call procedure
Address: Pindou & Kolokotroni 63